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opposite reports from son's two playgroups

(13 Posts)
mamatilly Fri 10-Jul-09 13:46:10

met with keyworkers at son's two different playgroups this week:-

playgroup one - "son happy, confident, lovely boy, never angry, no behaviour issues, plays in groups or on his own observing the others, no concerns atall".

playgroup two - "son very timid on arrival, only wants to stand by wall and watch, only plays with very timid shy quiet girls, testing boundaries with other staff, keeps sticking tongue out at one lady, issues around sitting down at lunch, doesn't want to share toys or allow other children into an existing group, does sports activities but needs alot of reassurance".

what do you think?!!!

is playgroup one being too kind/blind?

is playgroup two being too unkind/pedantic?

is the truth somewhere in between?

PrettyCandles Fri 10-Jul-09 13:50:26

My instant reaction is that there are problems with the staff at pg2 and their behaviour management skills. That is, as long as you are sure that pg1 are genuinely involved, and might not just be spouting buzzwords because they haven't observed him well.

Is it at all possible that one of the keyworkers got mixed up and thought she was talking about another child?

Do you recognise anything of your child in either of these descriptions? You know your child, and I'm sure you've peeked at him either at drop-off or pick-up, and have some idea what he's like wiht other chidlren. Of course children can be completely different at home with you and in another environment with other adults, but they shouldn't be describing a child that you completely do not recognise.

mamatilly Fri 10-Jul-09 13:57:49

pg1 he always seems happy to zoom off, maybe they don't pay quite enough attention to detail, but it is a happy open place, parents always welcome to drop in, help out etc, plus windows onto the path so can always peek in. he always seems to be having a lovely time whenever i have looked in, have seen he maybe is a little hesitant on finding a place at circle time.

pg2, all behind closed doors, no parents present, and have felt sometimes they gush in front of parents but are snippy behind closed doors.

purepurple Sat 11-Jul-09 08:28:58

Sounds like he doesn't really like pg2.
Children do behave differently in different situations, and maybe as prettycandles suggests the staff at pg2 are a bit pants.
TBH, the report from pg2 is very unprofessional, in that it is very negative. As an early years worker, I always make reports sound positive and concentrate on what the child can do, rather on what they can't.
Try to find out who the staff member is whom your son pokes his tongue at out (at least he is showing the ability to stand up for himself ) and gently question your son about her. He might reveal what is going on there.
Sounds more like the playgroup has issues rather than your son. Everything they describe could be dealt with, with a bit of TLC and support, and are not really signs for concern, more of a reaction to his surroundings.

Hassled Sat 11-Jul-09 08:32:40

Does he need the 2 playgroups? I mean, can he not just spend the hours at PG2 at PG1, or is it more complicated than that? I think you need to trust your instincts - you know what your son is like, and if PG2's description of him feels wrong, then it's safe to say they've misjudged him, or that he has specific dislikes of staff/children which are affecting his behaviour there.

mamatilly Sat 11-Jul-09 08:51:58

thanks for support, have decided to drop PG2 altogether, i called and spoke to keyworker and expressed sadness at such a negative report and to check was this what she wanted to say? much discussions later, when i was perhaps more straight than i could have been about my concerns, i received two FURIOUS calls from another worker there who shouted at me, disputed my allegations by suggestion i am liar, and saying all sorts of other horrible things.

most unprofessional, still reeling in disbelief and hoping i hadn't been too accusatory, but surely that should never be the response.

anyway, all very clear now. PG2 so over.


OrangeFish Sat 11-Jul-09 08:53:24

Think of group of people you interact with (like work, friends, family) and then on how do you conduct yourself on each of them. You will see you are a a slightly different person in each situation.

IS the same with kids, they can enjoy a setting, they may have a person who has found the best way to keep them behaving well, for their own stye, or one that makes them feel angry or miserable.

It may be the children around them, the dynamics of the group, the place, whatever...

Regarding the difference in reports... I really don't like to get all positive reports about DS as I feel those are written for the sake of keeping the parents happy, but by not telling you about any problems they are keeping you in the dark and an opportunity for you to help your child with a particular behaviour issue is missed. So the problem is how to recognise when a positive report was written by someone that only wanted to keep the peace with the parents and when there are really no problems with the child.

mamatilly Sat 11-Jul-09 08:58:50

yes orangefish, i don't want only placitudes, and i do wonder if PG1 are watching my son's development that closely to make any real observations,but even so, it does always seem a happy place, he is happy there, always skips off and always happy when i collect him.

PG2 skipped over all positive and droned on about negative. when i queried this, they just took the positive as read, and wondered why on earth i would want to hear the obvious! but faced with such a long list of 'issues' doesn't seem like taking care of parent to me.

Eddas Sat 11-Jul-09 09:04:17

my dd went to a preschool from aged 2.7 and then a nursery from aged 4, the reports I got when she transferred to school differed quite a bit. The preschool one was very much more accurate (IMO) as it described the child I know, the nursery one wasn't really my dd, I don't think dd ever liked it there and didn't settle well. She only went to nursery as I had no other choice, it was that or not work. She loved preschool and that clearly showed in the way she was there. I think you've made the right choice in stopping PG2. Did your ds start that one after PG1?

piscesmoon Sat 11-Jul-09 09:19:09

I think the reaction from PG2 tells you all you need to know!!!

purepurple Sat 11-Jul-09 09:23:59

There is a skill in writing reports that can highlight negative aspects in a positive way.
I have just written a report for a 4 year old with major behaviour issues that uses positive language while still potraying a pretty accurate picture of that child.
It all in the language, instead of 'never' 'doesn't' and 'can't' I say 'with support, is able to' or 'ie beginning to' or 'is working towards'.

saintmaybe Sat 11-Jul-09 10:10:33

PG2 sounds completely awful, thank goodnesss he's not going there any more!

PrettyCandles Sat 11-Jul-09 13:28:38

"...they just took the positive as read, and wondered why on earth i would want to hear the obvious!"

BIG warning flag!

You are well out of it to drop PG2. Tho I pity the children and parents who remain there.

If they see no need to emphasise the positive, no wonder they see so much negative behaviour.

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