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Just got DDs school report....and feel surprised as there are some surprises in there :( I wish we had known earlier in the year

(17 Posts)
Greythorne Tue 21-Jun-11 20:33:52

DD1 is 4.6 and in the equivalent of Reception (in France). We received her school report today and although overall I think it is good, there are some specific areas that need work.

The evaluation system here is based on three possible results:

A Acquired - ie that competence / skill has been acquired (no probs)

N Nearly acquired - ie getting there, but not quite right yet

F Failed to acquire

So, there are some very concrete skills which she has "nearly acquired". These are:

- writing on a straight line
- copying words written in capitals
- writing figures (numbers)

I think these are skills that we could have been helping her with if only we had known. Now, I see the teacher 4 times a day (am, lunch pick up, lunch drop off, pick up) and I have never had any feedback at all. I really wish she had just once mentioned, "oh, Greythorne Junior needs to work on writing her numbers".

Instead, we are finding out right at the end of the year.

Incidentally, there are some other areas which she scored "nearly" for, but these are things like "takes risks" and "understands her place in time and space" so I can see why these were not mentioned as there's no obvious way of supporting a child in those.

What do you think?

Should I mention to the teacher that we would have preferred to know earlier?

LindyHemming Tue 21-Jun-11 20:37:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 21-Jun-11 20:39:04

What Euphemia said.

Greythorne Tue 21-Jun-11 20:40:21

No, she won't have the same teachers next year.
So, beginning of the year, make a point of asking for regular feedback?

I just never thought of doing that because it seems so fucking self evident smile

PaisleyLeaf Tue 21-Jun-11 20:41:40

Sounds like all's well and you've nothing to worry about.
Nearly acquired/getting there sounds like progression in the right direction to me.
Did you really have no idea that they were working on writing and writing numbers etc at 4?

Surprised they learn the writing in capitals though.

LindyHemming Tue 21-Jun-11 20:43:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

prettybird Tue 21-Jun-11 20:45:59

Depends on what they were expecting her to have achieved by the end of the year. It may be that they are only expected to have acquired those skills by the end of the equivalent of Y1 - so "nearly" is actually a good result.

You have not given us enough information - or the school hasn't given you sufficient information to make a judgement.

amIbeingdaft Tue 21-Jun-11 20:48:09

I'm not sure what the problem is. At 4 your child can nearly write in a straight line, is getting there with writing numbers and capital letters...that's very good progress! Do you think she is behind? What makes you think that 'Nearly' is not good enough for these particular skills at 4?

Greythorne Tue 21-Jun-11 20:49:15

yes, I did know that they were working on letters and numbers....but it's hard to know what standard they expect. DD seems to write pretty well to my untutored, foreigner's eye.

But, here, even writing skills are different to what you would expect in the UK.

For example, they start with upper case, which I did not realise. We've mostly been doing lower case / sentence case at home.

Likewise, being able to write on a straight line; it's hard to support your child if you don't know they are being evaluated on this!

The system here is really quite different. Hence my surprise that DD has not acquired certain skills and yet we knew nothing about it.

They are also learning to write cursive, which seems to be going OK, but would probably be surprising to anyone coming from the UK system.

Greythorne Tue 21-Jun-11 20:53:45

it is really not clear to me whether this long (very long) list of skills is a list of skills they are supposed to have mastered by end of this school year or not. It doesn't say on the report.

I guess my mistake could be that I am assuming everything on the list should be acquired by the end if this school year.

Maybe not.

It is a real struggle being in a foreign country and not knowing the system at all.

My point, really, is that I feel like DD is doing ok, from what I observe, she is doing well with her letters and numbers. Hence my surprise that no-one has mentioned areas for improvement at all over the year.

swash Tue 21-Jun-11 20:55:56

What does it matter though? You don't have to slavishly follow the school's particular set of objectives. If your child enjoys reading and writing, then great.

peppapighastakenovermylife Tue 21-Jun-11 20:57:56

I understand why you want to talk to the teacher / would have liked to know.

But does it really matter? You now know. You can now work on this if you want. Unless the system is really different over there and she is about to sit some kind of exam / have these marks recorded for life it wont matter?

ImpyCelyn Tue 21-Jun-11 21:14:32

French DH thinks there are probably more skills than they expect them to really acquire, to make sure that they stretch all the children.

Did she only have 3 Ns? And no Fs? In that case DH thinks she's probably done very very well.

Greythorne Tue 21-Jun-11 21:29:09

thanks for checking with your DH.

No, she did not have any Fs, so maybe I am just not in tune with the system here and can't suss out (a) what's expected and (b) what's considered good.

Perhaps I panicked a bit and it may be a good evaluation. The comments at the end do back that up.

I just feel I can only support Dd if I know her areas of weakness. My big complaint here is that school is like a black box; you drop off your child at the door, never see the inside of the classroom, pick up at 4.15 and never get a word of feedback.

Greythorne Tue 21-Jun-11 21:30:44

Oh, and she had 5 Ns altogether. The three concrete ones I listed above, plus the two softer ones (taking risks and "placing herself in time and space").

quirrelquarrel Tue 21-Jun-11 22:17:44

I have a cousin who's always on the go and thinking of things, he's obviously clever, but in his strict/demanding school in Paris, he got mostly Presque Acquis, a few Acquis in basic things and then some non Acquis...the conclusion you'd draw from this is that the school doesn't really get much of a synoptic view of the child. It's all very formulaic.

Also my cousin, who went through the stringent French system too, everyone said she was lazy/stupid because she was always average, but she got great results in her Bac and studies Chemistry now. So don't be disheartened by the v. high standards- they're not the be all and end all. Even if the school aren't wholeheartedly supportive, it doesn't mean the child will suffer. Look at the English system- kids get every help possible and there's no 100% 5A*-C pass rate.

Just a couple of examples to maybe make you feel better smile I know it's sort of missing the point, but it is a different world over there.

curtaincall Wed 22-Jun-11 09:41:17

Maybe this is as much about you feeling out of the loop as it is about your daughter who seems to be doing very well.

Don't worry, I agree with what others have said about French schools and I went to one for a couple of years too - much more rigorous and formulaic than UK for instance. When I transferred to an English school I was quite far ahead aged 7.

Can I recommend an excellent book, '60 Million Frenchmen can't be Wrong'. It has valuable insights into the French mentality and is written by a couple of French Canadian journalists who lived there. There are very funny and fascinating observations and anecdotes about French life from education, behaviour and attitudes to sex through to politics. I think you will find it helpful.

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