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Son has just started school and teachers not happy

(25 Posts)
Megamum42 Sun 20-Oct-13 21:03:33

Thank-you everyone for your replies! Especially those about children who struggled a bit at first and are now doing very well. Yes, my son is one of the youngest. I am wondering if anyone else at the parents evening got any positive feedback, but I've only spoken to a few parents so I can't really tell. But yes, I shall be making a meeting to speak to the teachers, and taking my husband with me for moral support this time!

BasilBabyEater Sat 19-Oct-13 22:30:16

His teacher is talking shit, please don't worry about this.

In fact, by talking such shit, she's given you permission to discount anything else she says.

Amber76 Sat 19-Oct-13 22:19:31

I'm in Ireland and just to add - its recommended here that a child have turned four by March 1st prior to starting school in September. Some parents do send kids born in March or April when they are just under 4 and a half but most schools would not even accept a child only turning 4 in the summer.
So, I think that your child is very young and should be taken into consideration when teaching your son.

mumofthemonsters808 Sat 19-Oct-13 21:21:50

I can not understand this, he will have been in reception for what 5/6 weeks?. Is this first term not about establishing routines and procedures and settling in. I would have thought this first meeting would be extremely positive, perhaps with a discussion about where the teacher thinks your child is at and what the school will be doing to turn things around. Very odd to begin the school parent relationship so negatively. However,I would try not to worry too much, it is very early days and an awful lot for a wee one to adapt to. Your next parent teacher meeting further along in the school year will probably be very different.

negrilbaby Sat 19-Oct-13 20:55:44

I would also ask for another meeting with the teacher or the head of early years. Tell them that you have had time to think about what was told to you at the parents' evening and now have some questions that need answering.
Ask them what strategies they are using to support your child and how you can work with them to help this.
Explain what you said about how your son was in nursery and ask if they have any idea what could have caused the change in attitude.
Ask them how they are measuring 'underachievement' - what should he be able to do that he can not?
Ask them why they have not approached you sooner with these concerns.
Ask them what your son has achieved - if they are doing their job properly they should be able to tell you this.
Remember that your son doesn't even need to be at school yet - officially he doesn't need to start full-time education until the term in which he is 5 (which I imagine is the summer term for you). A number of the youngest children in DSs school attended mornings only in the first term.
Reception children should be following the EYFS framework (birth to 5). The parents guide to this states the following:

From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.

Ask the school to explain how they are doing this for your son.

gutzgutz Fri 18-Oct-13 10:34:25

Poor boy. Just remember that in other countries they start later when the child is more ready. I think it's bad actually that we push them when they are so young. My DS will probably be the youngest up in the school next year and at the open day the head teacher assured me the reception teachers are fully clued up to this. Also the poor motor skills are a boy thing. My brother struggled as one of the youngest in his year. Ultimately he was held back a year (private school) with the support of my parents and it worked well. He recently completed an MSc and is in a senior position in a good company. Your son will be fine <crosses fingers for DS>.

BrigitBigKnickers Thu 17-Oct-13 00:31:22

Poor you and poor little thing- he should be in a nurturing environment where there is no concept of failure and under achievement. sad I very much hope that he is not aware of this vibe of negativity.

DD1 is young in her year. I was told she was below average aged 4 hmm She was a little slow to start with reading and I was told that maths was very poor and she struggled with basic skills...This continued until the last year of junior school and she achieved slightly above expected levels in maths and more in literacy at the end of KS2.

Fast forward to more recent times-Just over a year ago she achieved 8 As, a B and a C at GCSE and now in the upper VIth has been predicted A*, A, B, for A level (oh and the A* is for maths wink) and is looking at Russell Group universities.

Enjoy your little one, talk to him, read to him, kick up leaves in the park, have fun. Try not to worry. He will get there in his own time.

IHaveA Thu 17-Oct-13 00:20:03

What an insensitive teacher.

I would ask for another longer meeting and I would ask the teacher to make some positive comments too. If she can't think of anything positive your son needs a different teacher!

out2lunch Thu 17-Oct-13 00:04:26

I remember an assessment was done on my very shy 4 yr old ds when he started yr r.he failed the assessment as he couldn't hold a pencil.
I just laughed it off - I knew he was fine,he is now in his second yr of uni.try not to worry.

youaremychocolatecake Wed 16-Oct-13 23:59:47

Oh and obviously a year is a huge difference!! They're still a baby at 4, don't panic. It's not like you're being told all this stuff when he's 12 x

youaremychocolatecake Wed 16-Oct-13 23:58:15

School sounds a little unfair and shouldn't be comparing him to other children. They're all different. My son is about middle of the road I'd say. He's amazing at some things like Lego and anything using his hands. Writing etc. not so much. He didn't speak until wayyyy past 2 and is now articulate and chatty. They all level out in the end and he needs to be encouraged and praised for the stuff he is good at. The rest will come when he's ready. If you feel the school isn't being supportive. Move him! Don't spend years fretting about it x

matana Wed 16-Oct-13 08:16:10

Is he quite young op? Tbh the teacher sounds clueless which is worrying. Lots of little ones, particularly boys apparently, can't hold pencils and need help and support to acquire this skill. He's what, 5 weeks into school and they have dismissed him as an 'under achiever' at the age of 4?! What they should have done was focus on the support they are now going to focus on in order to help him develop skills, not write him off. Have you noticed he has no eye contact, or has anyone else ever mentioned it? Do you think they have concerns about asd or something? Do you share these concerns? Lots of children take some time to settle into a new routine. My niece is 4, born in July, and also just started school. At home she's assertive and extremely loud. At school she's very quiet and passive, but rather than criticise they have reassured my sister that they will keep an eye on her and help her to settle better. I think if you don't share the concerns you should speak to the head.

Beamur Tue 15-Oct-13 22:45:52

That sounds a lot to dump in one go! More time to talk through with the Teacher or Head might be a good idea.
'Underachieving' is a bit extreme language, but it sounds like he is struggling with some of the basics, like pencil holding, my DD was sent home with some special pencil grips to use.
I'd be asking what the school will do to help support him and develop those skills and what you can do at home too.

simpson Tue 15-Oct-13 22:42:04

My first parents eve with DS (now yr4) was so bad that I cried blush I did manage to get out of the building though, thank goodness but sobbed all the way home.

Lots of he can't draw a circle, can't read, can't use a mouse etc etc (he was 31st Aug birthday).

He just needed to mature in his own time and was fine by the end of his r year.

In fact if I had another parents eve like it, I would pull the teacher up on it now (hindsights a great thing!) and ask if they had anything positive to say. DS's behaviour was always v good he was just too young IMO.

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Tue 15-Oct-13 22:37:07

Oops grin

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Tue 15-Oct-13 22:36:22

I would have a meeting with the head! The teacher sounds inexperienced or something.

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Tue 15-Oct-13 22:34:07

I would have a meeting with the head! The teacher sounds inexperienced or something.

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Tue 15-Oct-13 22:34:03

I would have a meeting with the head! The teacher sounds inexperienced or something.

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Tue 15-Oct-13 22:33:59

I would have a meeting with the head! The teacher sounds inexperienced or something.

FrauMoose Tue 15-Oct-13 21:41:51

Being among the youngest makes a huge difference - and I think any decent Reception teacher should know that.

In your shoes I'd be interested to know what your son says about school. Does he enjoy the activities? Has he made new friends?

I'd want to talk to him before going back to the school. Also if there had ever been any written feedback from the nursery, I'd want to show that to the school and ask for their comments.

rubyrubyruby Tue 15-Oct-13 21:41:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mumof3girlys Tue 15-Oct-13 21:36:26

Is this the first you have heard from the teachers? Surely if the noticed anything like this or bad behaviour they should of approached you earlier for a chat!

My dd is in year 2 now but when she started reception she was the youngest in the school ( she was 4 at the very end of Aug and started in Sept) while she has always been a good girl and really keen to learn it was picked up early that she was a little behind than the other kids but like her teacher said to me, she is a YEAR younger than a lot if the children and at that age a year is massive!

I really think you should go to the school and speak to them, it's really horrible to just dump all that on you on parents eve with no warning, our teachers are always stopping parents at the end of the day to have quick chats about anything good or bad x

fairylightsintheautumn Tue 15-Oct-13 21:09:18

ok, well that could my son you're talking about in some respects. He is August born, has never shown interest in colouring or playdoh so has virtually nil skills as regards writing or drawing as yet. He is ALWAYS with the TA in any formal learning like phonics or maths and needs a LOT of support to cope with the school setting (despite being at pre-school / nursery since 2). His school are a little concerned but not in a negative way and I have had numerous email and face to face exchanges about the processes they have in place for him (visual timetables etc). I have heard from one of my friends that her DDs (in reception) school gives them daily homework and is on at her about forming her letters in the right order FFS! I think schools vary enormously in how they approach reception. Being a summer born is not "an excuse" it is a reason why they may be behind/ less mature / less able to cope. I think you should request a separate, further meeting with the teacher (not just a playground chat) and agree some targets between you that you can focus on. Take notes at the meeting and be clear before you go in what you want to come out with. Try to get the focus on what he IS doing and CAN be moving toward, rather than what he isn't doing. best of luck x

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 15-Oct-13 20:52:02

Under achieving? At four? In reception?

Good grief what on earth are they expecting

Megamum42 Tue 15-Oct-13 20:50:05

My son has just started school. Last night was the first parents evening. I had a 10 minute slot. I was feeling very keen to learn how my son had been getting on, but I wasn't prepared at all for what they said! Basically there were no positive comments at all! They said he was under achieving, could not concentrate, was naughty with the friends he had made, couldn't hold a pencil, did not follow their instructions, always needed prompting or support to do an activity and would not make eye contact. They did not seem pleased with him. They were quite abrupt in their manner. I came away feeling bewildered! I did not see this coming at all! I feel so surprised that they had nothing positive to say! The nursery he went to before school said very different things. They said he seemed intelligent, inquisitive, always asked questions and communicated with them well. I feel quite upset and not sure where this has come from. He is one of the youngest in his class but when I made this point they seemed to take it as me trying to make an excuse. Anyone been in this situation? Any ideas? what can I do?

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