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"He hasn't made much progress, has he?" teacher tells me with a smile...

(16 Posts)
bradbourne Sun 12-Jun-11 22:02:26

Just had first parents' evening for ds who is in reception, aged 5.5.

His teacher's opening words were (and I quote) "he hasn't made much progress this year, has he?", said with a big smile.

She then went on to say that I needn't worry - because he started off near the top of the class, even though he hasn't made much progress, he has managed to remain in the middle group.

No behavioral issues or anything like that - he is a well-behaved and happy boy.

Am I unreasonable to be hacked off with this attitude from his teacher? I mean, I'm pleased to see that he is happy at school. But should the teacher really be so unconcerned with his lack of progress (until Friday, I thought I was just being pfb about what I thought was his slow progress).

School rated "good" by Ofsted, fwiw.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 12-Jun-11 22:07:56

Gah, I hate teachers like this.

DD had one in Yr 2 who told me on parents' eve that DD had made no progress and was now a year behind. She waited till May/June to tell me and when I asked what she was going to do about it she said nothing as she "didn't think that children should be stressed out by been given extra tasks/work". hmm

I was so glad it was nearly the end of the academic year and DD got a new teacher in her next class.

I suppose just be thankful that its only reception for your DS. If he gets a different teacher next year then make an appt early on to say that you were told he'd made no progress in reception and while you're not a pushy parent you want to know what steps are being put in place with regards to monitiring and helping him to ensure there isn't a repeat in Yr1. In the mean time just spend lots of time with him reading, colouring, do some age relevent fun but educational games - Orchard Toys type stuff.

piprabbit Sun 12-Jun-11 22:11:57

I assume you'll be getting his report shortly. I'd be looking at it very closely to see what (if any) progress is actually being reported.

mrz Sun 12-Jun-11 22:13:23

No you have every right to be annoyed

bluebobbin Sun 12-Jun-11 22:14:55

I think the big smile thing is a bit shocking and I would report that to the head (as long as you don't have younger siblings who are going to get this teacher next year!). Is it happy or funny that no progress has been made?!

It is a terrible attitude to have and I would have wanted to be informed by at least, say half way through the year (Feb half term) if child had made no progress.

In any case, I would also seek and answer from the teacher and/or the head as to WHY no progress has been made and also WHY you were not informed earlier and WHY no action plan was put in place to help him make progress.


This happened to a friend of mine in Yr R and she didn't complain but went to see the Yr 1 teacher instead. All sorted out by Y1 teacher and did very well in Y1 so I wouldn't particularly worry about your DS, but I would want answers from the school.

bradbourne Sun 12-Jun-11 22:45:23

Thanks for all your responses.

Tbh, ds's teacher is always very nice, very friendly and empathetic towards the children, although I have had some doubts about her effectiveness for a while now.

I was so taken aback by her opening comment - and the manner in which it was made - that I didn't really say much back to her or ask any questions. But the general gist was that his reading, writing, numeracy skills are pretty much what they were in September, whilst his drawing skills have actually deteriorated (!) as he is keen to finish activities at the same time as his friends, so will often just scribble things down, whereas he used to enjoy doing careful and detailed drawings.

I think I'll make an appointment to speak to her again and raise the matters that you have all brought up. So glad to know that I wasn't being unreasonable to be annoyed by this - I don't want to be all "pushy parent", but I would like to think that ds has actually made some progress after almost a year at school.

Gawd, I hate all this. Who wants to be the complaining mum?

easycomeeasygo Sun 12-Jun-11 22:57:13

This just reflects on her teaching standard really, so I dont know why she's smiling. Hope you get to the bottom of it.

Happymum22 Sun 12-Jun-11 22:58:48

I think, as a primary teacher, it is practically impossible to a child to make absolutely NO progress. Every child has achieved something and in reception this is usually huge amounts from learning to write, count, draw better, soical skills -made friends, learnt to get changed, learnt to play with others... If this really is the wcase then she should be very concerned and have been alerting you a long time ago. But you say he is happy, behaves etc.
Is there a chance she was being sarcastic or trying to imply he could do all this at the start of the year and now the rest of the class have caught up.
But even so she should have been alerting you and putting methods in place to ensure his progress continued at a reasonable speed and he is motivated and being given all the encourgement to fulfil his potential.
She also certainly should not have started her comments off on a negative and should have reported things he has achieved, and what you can actively do to help his recent slow in progress.
Seems the teacher either tried to crack a joke and failed, is extremely laid back and cant be bothered or is hopeless! Promise not all teachers are like that and as others have said if i get a new class and a parent comes and tells me things like this I am likely to monitor that child closely and be genuinely pleased a parent has informed me of the situation and the negativity they are feeling. I dont see such concerns as pushy parenting. It is often the children who make slow steady progress or whose performance plateaus in reception that thrive in year 1 with element of challenge and more formal structure.

Happymum22 Sun 12-Jun-11 23:04:40

Sorry just saw your reply! Did your DD go to school very able in writing maths etc?
The drawing is fairly irrelevant and typical little boy! Shows hes thriving soically tbh that he has people he engages with and competes with etc!
I agree- all this issues should have been raised far earlier- or she should have been saying his performance isnt changing but im not concerned as he came to us very able and for his age he is unlikely to progress further but we will be expanding opputunities and pushing him. She also should have told you what he has acheived soically, skill wise (eg PE, changing) involvement in class (doe he contribute? is he confident? do tasks in classroom happily etc) Even if he hasnt progressed significantly academically early years reception year is all about the social life skill side too and these achievements are just as great.

bradbourne Sun 12-Jun-11 23:05:42

I'm sure the smile wasn't meant as a joke... I think it was more to do with her general "niceness"/friendliness or maybe meant as a "don't worry". And I'm not exactly worried, because he is still young and I think he's quite bright (pfb alert!) But I am annoyed that nothing has been said up til now and annoyed that I have dismissed my own concerns as paranoia.

bradbourne Sun 12-Jun-11 23:10:50

Thanks happymum - the "soft skills" were pretty much in place when he started - .i.e. he could sit still, follow instructions, get changed. It is hard to think of anything he has actually learned in the reception year when I come to think about it. I suppose he's developed an interest in football that wasn't there before.... but beyond that?
And now I'm feeling like a bad mum for not fully realising all of this until last week.

blackeyedsusan Mon 13-Jun-11 00:28:22

i would be mortified to think a child in my class had made such little progress. I would have been doing all I could to ensure that progress has been made...

sugartongue Mon 13-Jun-11 09:58:46

ds made no progress in reception - no that's not true, I taught his alphabet. He didn't stay in that school much longer! If they have actually failed to teach him anything there is a problem - either with his ability to learn or their ability to teach! (possibly both I suppose). Why is she smug about the situation?! I would monitor it very closely if I were you - probably warrants a trip to the head frankly.

coccyx Mon 13-Jun-11 10:27:52

is this the first parents evening of the year?? seems late. I hope it was an embarrassed smile that she is useless

bradbourne Mon 13-Jun-11 10:49:14

Yes, the first parents evening.
There was an open evening just before Christmas when we could go in and look at the "work" they had been doing (i.e. a couple of picture on the wall).
A folder is sent home perodically with comments like "Ds understands that different people have different cultures" next to a photo of ds holding some chopsticks, and so on. "Ds can hold a pencil"; "ds makes up games and plays with other children" (ok, making these up, but that's the type of thing in the folder).

It isn't the kind of school where it is easy to speak to the teacher - most days I don't even see her as we have to drop off at the gates and a TA usually supervises home time.
I assumed all of this was normal until I started asking around and checking out other parents' experiences in Rl and on the net - that's how I ened up here.

I am relieved in a strange way to think I am right to be annoyed and it isn't just me being all silly and pfb. (According to Ofsted, the teaching in foundation stage is "good and well-organised"). But I don't really know what to do next. I've made an appointmant to speak to his teacher on Wednesday and I guess it will have to be the head next if I don't get any satisfactory answers.

fairydoll Mon 13-Jun-11 11:13:50

Children don't progress in a straight even upward trajectory, but in fits and starts.Some kids will have leap frogged your child this year but he might do the same next year

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