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nursery teacher uninterested

(27 Posts)
ebwy Thu 01-May-14 10:39:11

My 3 year old is one of those kids who likes learning. Whe. He started in his school nursery in September he was able to count and identify all of his letters and numbers. He's long since learned his phonics and how to write all the letters too. So twice at parent evenings I've asked what his next steps should be to get him reading, hoping for suggestions. First time she said "well, if he doesn't do it where I can see it then it doesn't count" but no reply to whether she'd assessed him recently. Second time all I got was "We don't worry about that until reception anyway"

It's like she doesn't actually want him to carry on learning. All I wanted was some hints so what we do at home because he wants to ("mammy, we learn now?") isn't going to conflict with what they do there.

Surely as a teacher she should be pleased to have a child who wants to learn and be encouraging him? I just hope his reception teacher is better

ebwy Thu 01-May-14 10:40:20

*When he started

Stupid phone!

Canus Thu 01-May-14 10:54:01

You'd be surprised at the number of children who can read by the time they reach reception.

Normally early reading is facillitated by parents. I have never known a nursery teach a child to read.

We used a phonics based approach, with a bit of Peter and Jane thrown in. grin All of our children could read by four.

Nothing you teach will conflict with school. Children can either read well, or not. The method won't matter in the end.

ReallyTired Thu 01-May-14 10:54:52

Nursery is not about academics. Its about learning social skills, playing and making friends. School nursery is only three hours a day. There is plenty of time in the day if you want to hot house teach him academic stuff.

If you want him to learn to read then I suggest you use Jolly phonics. Jolly phonics do some lovely activities books with lots of stickers. Once he can blend get him some decodable books

For example
jelly and bean

dandelion readers

ruth miskin books All load of free e books

Do you have any friends with older children. It might be worth finding out what they use in reception so that you can pick different reading books.

With maths teachers are more interested in seeing what a child can do with objects. There is a huge difference between a child who can recite numbers up to hundred with no understanding and a child who can actually count real life objects.

These books are really hard to get hold off and are quite expensive, but Singaphore maths is brilliant for ideas for hands on activites that promote mathematical understanding.

The last thing a small child needs is death by work sheet. They need hands on activities. Nrich website has lots of free ideas for mathematical activites for the more able child.

Children need to learn to think rather than reguritate facts.

ebwy Thu 01-May-14 13:48:16

I know nursery isn't about academics, it's preparation and social. but she's the one who's a qualified teacher, not me. So I hoped she'd have more ideas than me for what I can do with him when he asks

But I just felt like she was brushing me off, no suggestions or anything. They have a chart up for numeracy and he's on the bottom of it

He's not keen on jolly phonics at the moment. I read several books with/to him a day.

I'll check out those websites. thanks.

I definitely am not hot-housing him! He's only little and academic pressure won't do him any good at all.

He likes workbooks, I got one because he wanted one in poundland (I think he liked the stickers in it!) and have bought him more because he asks to do them. I don't make him, I don't even suggest them. He brings them to me and asks to do them (among other things like making stuff -mainly messes , playing, watching tv...) his choice. I'm not out to ruin his childhood!

ReallyTired Thu 01-May-14 14:01:14

"But I just felt like she was brushing me off, no suggestions or anything. They have a chart up for numeracy and he's on the bottom of it"

Are you sure? It would be a pretty weird nursery that makes the ablity of different children public knowledge. I have no idea of where dd is in a reception class. I doult she is top or bottom of her class.

My impression of nursery was that the children spent most of their time playing or painting or running about on the trikes or singing. Dd did very little academic work in nursery.

ebwy Thu 01-May-14 15:48:26

yes, I'm sure.

it's got groups for things like "can count to 5" "can count 10 things" and "can group things together"

he's on one of the lowest groups. Hasn't moved since December (possibly before, I didn't notice it until then)

I also thought they'd spend most of the time playing, with story time or maybe a bit of singing, but they do have that chart on the wall. (I don't see why either)

He can't read yet (or I'd not have been asking her for advice anyway) but since some do read before they are out of nursery I can easily imagine a kid who CAN read seeing that and seeing where they are on the chart and thinking that they "can't do numbers" which isn't what I'd want any kid to think.

ReallyTired Thu 01-May-14 15:54:30

I am really surprised that they have such information on display. I would hate if uber competitive alpha mum new that little freddie had problems counting to five. I feel that its a breech of confidentality to make it public which children are low ablity. (Especially as being August born puts a child at a major disadvantage in the nursery rat race.)

SueDNim Thu 01-May-14 16:00:15

Is there something else that they are focussing on with him? I wouldn't necessarily expect them to prioritise what you want them to do or what he is most interested in. I would expect them to work firstly in any gaps they perceive. So it might not be the area that you identified as needing work. But if they haven't got some sort of focus and plan, then I think there is something wrong.

For example, my DD enjoys doing things with numbers and I would love for her to excel in numeracy activities. But her current nursery focus is on fine motor skills and pencil control. That is because they have assessed her and that is the thing they have identified as needing most input.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 01-May-14 16:00:59

I taught my dc to read and write before they went to school, nurseries and pre schools tend to leave it until reception from what I remember.
I haven't heard of pre schools teaching children and nurseries are usually play up until pre school, is this not the case?

ebwy Thu 01-May-14 22:25:22

as far as I know they aren't focused on anything for him now. They certainly haven't said so - just that he was "doing really well"
At the start he needed to learn to interact with other children because we didn't have any friends locally with similarly-aged kids, and he was in "sharing group" learning to take turns but by the end of his first term those things were no longer an issue so he doesn't do those things now.

I don't mind them not having a specific focus if they think he doesn't need one, but that chart annoys me for existing AND being wrong! He's a July kid, as it happens, but they have fresh intake every term anyway so shouldn't matter.

I shouldn't get so annoyed, to be honest. As long as he's having fun, that's what he's there for. It just gets to me that she was so "we don't worry about that" when he wants to learn... I wasn't asking her to do it, just some hints about what would be good to do with him next to help him when he asks me to.

SueDNim Thu 01-May-14 22:37:33

That does sound poor. The nurseries that DD has been in were very happy to record developmental progress from home too. We get her records to look at twice a year and contribute to them too. They don't particularly tell me what her targets are at her current nursery, but will discuss them if I ask.

I'd just tell them the chart is wrong and they need to correct it or ask for a new key worker to be assigned as the one you have seems disinterested. I did get DD's keyworker changed once and was glad that I had.

I have a bit of a bugbear about wall displays not being correct. I think if you aren't going to keep things up to date and correct then you shouldn't have them on display - just put up some pictures instead. DD's old nursery had the same "book of the week" on the wall for about 6 months, "today's nature rangers" had been the same for over 1 month and they had post it notes for each child's targets, but often 50% of them were blank. Her new nursery is better for that sort of thing, partly because they have less on the walls and don't set themselves up to fail. but their chart of whose birthdays were in each month missed DD - they fixed it when I asked them to. It isn't rocket science, but if you put things on display they are there to be read.

ebwy Thu 01-May-14 23:01:22

now you've got me wondering - I'll check the other displays and see if anything's changed (I've got a bit fixated on the numeracy one)

I told the teacher, and the TA he's most involved with (he loves her!) who said that she knows he can count as he was counting with her the previous day
I think I mentioned it 4 times to the actual teacher last term, then as I was leaving muttering to myself about "bloody woman doesn't listen to a word anyone says!" I was stopped by an OFSTED inspector who wanted to know how I felt about the school...

I could read before I left nursery and seeing that chart I would have understood it and decided "oh well, I'm crap at numbers" and believed it so it would have been a self-fulfilling thing. Ok, my boy can't read but the "what if one of them can..." thing worries me.

Having finally let out my frustrations on here I'll probably check tomorrow and it'll have been changed! (we can always hope)

ebwy Fri 02-May-14 14:47:46

No, still on the bottom one. And no change to the display next to it either. Didn't check the others as I was consoling him about the frogs having been taken back to the pond.

Twighlightsparkle Fri 02-May-14 14:54:40

This is exactly what I went through with my eldest, I worked out the emphasis isnt on reading and writing at that age and instead ket her do things she wanted to at home.

My youngest I didnt even tell nursery she could read, as I knew it didnt matter.

try to chill out and let your child enjouy nursery and all the fun things it involves.

ebwy Fri 02-May-14 21:59:38

don't worry, he doesn't know I'm frustrated about it

insancerre Sat 03-May-14 08:48:04

If the nursery teacher thinks reading and writing is not important them maybe you should be lead by her
There are 7 areas of learning for preschool children with each area having further subdivisions
Most nurseries concentrate on personal and social skills and letting children find their own identity
Preschool is about preparation for school - about developing a passion for learning and developing am imquiring mind
And research has shown that children get switched off and lose their enthusiasm for learning if formal learning starts too Young. Which is the idea of the play based curriculum
I really wouldn't concentrate too much on trading and numbers
If you want to do thongs at home just let him see you using numbers and writing in everyday practical thongs- like shopping lists writing letters etc and using maths I'm practical things like cooling and solving problems
Let the nursery concentrate on getting him ready for school
It doesn't matter if he is the cleverest child in the class- if he hadn't got the confidence or the social or language skills to contribute his opinions then he's not going to get anywhere

teacherlikesapples Sat 03-May-14 14:18:22

The curriculum is much wider than teaching literacy skills. Your child has more to learn than just academics. He will be learning every day at nursery, through his play and interactions.

That said the teacher should still be building on what he can do & following his interests. She could also have explained herself better and let you know all the learning that he is doing, that will contribute to his academic achievement as well as his general learning and development.
For example- playdough, lego and activities such as threading will help him develop good pencil grip. Messy play, mark making and role play will help him develop key literacy skills. Bit to the untrained eye- this is not obvious, the teacher should have helped make these connections for you.

In terms of things to do at home: First watch something like the alphablocks to ensure you are getting the phonic letter sounds correct (M= mmmm not muh, for example) Then plan fun games like initial letter sound I spy.
Don't be in a hurry to rush ahead with his learning, instead take time to make sure his understanding is consolidated.

The resource 'Letters and sounds' (used in most UK schools & nurseries) is very good- look through the phase 1 activities & resources

naty1 Sun 04-May-14 20:14:02

The chart could maybe be eyfs targets.
Maybe ofsted requirements to have things on the walls.
My work was always going on about putting charts up, visual cues but noone ever looked at them (though not a nursery).
I actually think it would be useful if it was uptodate so parents can see what there kid can do.
I can see what they mean though .. They cant do it unless ive seen it, as parents can claim anything and its not like in school they would say oh ok then they can do times tables as you say they can will ignore this test. But i do agree it then depends on how acurrate the key worker is recording things.
Are they actually teachers, i wouldnt have thought so so maybe they cant advice on reading, they probably just follow the curriculum and tick kids off as they do them

SueDNim Sun 04-May-14 20:59:42

I think that nurseries have a duty to work collaboratively with parents and can take things they have seen at home as evidence. Or they can organise an activity to give the child the opportunity to display their skill.

The nursery seems to have missed a huge chunk of what the OP's son can do. That seems poor to me.

ebwy Mon 05-May-14 20:28:08

yes, she is an actual teacher!

I would have thought that at some point since september she should have assessed him if she's going to have the chart on the wall. One of her TAs wrote in his file that he counted to ten but apparently that doesn't count.

to be honest, I've given up on getting anything resembling answers from the school and just go on whether he seems happy or not.

At home I'm lead by him - if he brings it to me and asks to do some of his book then we do. I expect there to be less of that now the weather is improving as we'll be outside more.

naty1 Tue 06-May-14 11:28:29

So the other kids can all count objects not recite numbers up to 10.
Can he do that at home ie there are 4 cats etc?

ebwy Thu 08-May-14 13:50:27

he counts things all the time.

he likes counting. "mammy, that's 9 grapes!" "Look! [babybrother] has 5 cars out! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!"

he doesn't recite numbers pointlessly.

I have no idea what most of the others do or don't do. Not my business tbh. About half the class is on the bottom of that chart, but I know it's inaccurate for my kid so wouldn't trust it.

hazeyjane Thu 08-May-14 14:00:16

I would be steaming if there was a chart up like that in ds's preschool!

JennyBlueWren Sun 15-Jun-14 09:26:20

As a nursery teacher I would never have yet alone display a chart like that! Each child has an individual assessment chart in a folder but are only measured against themselves. I share their individual achievements and next steps with parents with suggestions of what to do at home.
Sometimes parents do think their child can do a lot more and this could be because they show it at home or it might be because the parents don't realise that they prompt it. "He writes his name at home" when he is actually copying it.
Odd too that he hasn't made progress. I only have one child who has made very little progress academically however he no longer hits other children and can often sit for a story so different achievements.

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