Pass on pre-school notes to Prep or give DS a clean start?(13 Posts)
My DS starts at a lovely prep next September. We've confirmed his place with the school so it's not part of the selection process (it's non-selective) but they've asked us to pass on any information about DS that we feel they should know.
During the time my DS has been at his pre-school, the Head has brought up many 'warning signs' as she calls them. Clumsiness, lack of empathy, seemingly ignoring people when they talk to him, daydreaming, slow to respond to instructions, inability to follow more than one instruction. She admitted at the time that many were age-appropriate, especially for a boy, but they were worth keeping an eye on. She now says that he's grown out of most but he is still a daydreamer and his cognitive processing is slow. I'm honestly not in denial but can't this just be the way he is rather than it being a 'condition'? My DH is very daydreamy and if he's deep in thought you can't get through to him. Also, the same Head recently told a friend that she thought her DD has ADHD which I cannot see at all and I fear she's just 'been on a course'
Do you think I should pass some sort of statement to the Prep or just leave it and see what they make of him?
I did ask the Head if she could write a short statement that I could pass on but she just said 'oh give me the Headmaster's phone number and I'll call him'. Do you think this is a good idea? I'd rather know what was being said and for it to be on actual record.
I guess I don't want him to be labelled anything in his new school so young. But at the same time forewarned is forearmed.
It sounds like the Head in question is a bit quick to jump to conclusion and labels. I would talk to the Prep school informally, letting them know what your DS is like as a person. If it is in his nature to be a bit of a daydreamer there's nothing wrong with that (it just gives his new teacher a bit of warning that he might not respond first time every time).
Basically, I think you should do it yourself. God knows what the current head would end up saying.
Our prep school didn't ask for anything as they said they could work it out for themselves. They also told us that the state sector are quick to label as it gets them extra funding. I would just say, Oh sorry they didn't produce anything
DD's prep school took her EYFS profile from pre-school. They did give it to me to give to school so I could read it first.
We weren't asked for anything when DS1 and DS2 started at prep school.
DS2 had been referred to physio for his fine motor skills, or rather lack of, so we sent that report to warn them about his handwriting.
Changing schools has helped the DSs change their approach to school i.e. they will now learn spellings because everyone does and they are tested. Would your DC be less of a day dreamer if the class is smaller and/or the teacher more enthusiastic, say? And remember different teachers have different expectations - I've been told one child is a fidget and also that the same child is great at listening, by different teachers.
I'd tell the teacher DC daydreams a bit, but nothing more.
Mum - state sector are quick to label as it gets them extra funding
This is not true and a very dangerous myth to perpertrate. State schools do not get extra funding by 'labeling' students.
OP - how supportive of your son will your private school be if he does have the problems indicated by the other head?
Some private schools routinely get rid of children with SN. I would want to be very sure of their policy before sending him there.
In the state system if your child does need extra support the school funds it. In the private school you will either have to fund it yourself - or sometimes they just ask you to leave.
You really don't want to stick your head in the sand over this one if you are going into the private sector.
IndigoBell - The prep school has a SENCO and the ISI report indicated several children with Special Needs. I saw several preps and state schools before deciding on this one. Fortunately we are in a position where we can afford private schooling but I saw this as widening our choices rather than 'as we can afford it he has to go private'. Of the ones we saw, this prep came no. 1 and nos. 2 and 3 were state primaries with the other preps below that. The other preps were 'nos' because, amongst other things, they were selective and potentially rooted out SN's early on.
I hope I'm not in denial but I don't think my DS will be classed SN. He may just need extra attention to ensure he's focusing at all times. He's 4+3 and has a brilliant imagination, is always asking probing questions (today - 'what does fate mean?' and 'why do some eggs have chicks in and some you can eat?') and can read 3 letter words that obey the phonic rules.
I'm hoping I can have some time with his Reception teacher at the familiarisation day next year to discuss how he is. To me it's just making sure they realise that just because he seems away with the fairies a lot of the time, he does absorb things and don't write him off. Do you think it should be more formal than that?
Oragneutangerine - I hope your kid doesn't have any SEN, and I'm sure he'll be fine. I just wanted to make sure you'd considered the options in case there was a problem at any time.
Teachers don't 'write kids off' because they're away with the fairies (or at least good teachers don't)
I don't think you need anything formal. You just do need to remember that there were early indications of problems - so that if later there are still indications you don't bury your head in the sand.
All I can tell you is that my DSs nursery teacher spotted ASD years before I or anyone else did. I wish I'd listened to her at the time....
This pre school sounds so similar to ours. They said exactly the same thing about my DS (they bullied me to go to a doctor to check his head). They passed the notes to the school and they did not show his true abilities. With the effort of his new teacher and the TAs he has become a diffent child. They admit it and think that his pre school did not do any good to him but the opposite. Actually, we did not even go to his pre-school's last day. And you know what he did, he took paper and felt tips and drew a beatiful picture. If I knew his preschool undermined him that much I would have changed it. Now he is a happy child in a happy enevironment. The teachers do not select kids (favourite and unfavourite), they work hard. The pre school teachers were lazy, lazy,lazy. How terrible I did not notice this and my kid was feeling so low.
Nurserys have to follow govt guidelines, which in many cases are interpreted as "we must do x, y and z", rather than guidelines. Nurseries have gone from DC playing happily and picking up basic pre school skills, to little factories, where staff are worried if the children don't reach a certain level that they are failing the DC and they will fail ofsted. There is so much pressure on staff, but in my opinion a lot is self inflicted by management. It sound like the head of your DSs nursery has done this. The "warning signs" the head describes about your DS OP sound like the normal behaviour for a little boy at pre school. You wouldnt expect many Dc at school to beable to follow more than one instruction!! She sounds nuts to me.
My DC are older, but if I was looking for a nursery I would want a vibrant, happy place, not one that is interested in assessment, targets and diagnosing special needs.
I wouldn't give the notes to the new school.
We get written reports at Chritmas and at the end of the summer term. Do you? If so, you could see what they say and perhaps pass on a copy.
It might help the new school to know how he's been doing academically, so if they do SATS or similar, his results might be helpful - a teacher assessment probably more so (hence suggestion of using a report).
Indigobell - This is how it works in our LA. SEN budgets for schools are set on how many children they have on school action, school action plus and how many have statements. Each level carries a weighting and the final SEN budget is set by that. As you don't need an official diagnosis to get a child on school action or school action plus, sometimes, just sometimes, it is an advantage to the school to place a label on a child. So it's not a dangerous myth to say that schools get extra funding for 'labeling' children.
Kitty - SEN budgets for schools are set on how many children they have on school action, school action plus and how many have statements
you don't need an official diagnosis to get a child on school action or school action plus
The school doesn't get any extra funding for having kids labeled - they get extra funding (based on very complicated formulas) for having kids on the SEN register. But kids are placed on the SEN register not because they have a label but because they have a special educational need
However - a diagnosis will help a school provide the appropriate help, because it will guide the school as to what might or might not help. So diagnosing kids is not about extra money - it is all about providing appropriate help.
Both of my kids were on School Action Plus without any diagnosis of anything. Later when they got a diagnosis schools was able to help them better because they better understand the nature of their problems.
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