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advice on why bright Yr 3 progressing slowly / not at all PLEASE

(18 Posts)
whizzylala Sun 09-Oct-11 13:49:45

Hi all
I would really appreciate some advice on my DD who is now in Yr 3. Sorry it is long......
She is at a prep school and I have been holding out for yr 3 to be the making of her as I felt she was a bit bored in Yr 2 but it's not working out that way. She seems to be losing interest, not wanting to go, and generally not the little girl who previously loved school.
There is a new boy in her class who she hates and who she says pesters her all the time but I am wondering if there is more to it......
In reception we were told by the school that she was an extremely bright child, way above her peers and not just above average - we never fished for this, it was forth coming! Since then I feel that she has drifted a little doing well on the whole, could have been pushed more but seemed happy so left things. Now I feel that the other bright children who she was previously "streets ahead of" seem to be overtaking her, she is no longer in top group for maths I just found out and I am wondering if this is the school not getting the teaching right for her or if she isn't all that they cracked her up to be in the first place. How do I find out which way round it is.
To me at home she still seems a smart cookie and people often comment on how converstaionally etc she is different to a "normal" child her age but I just don't know anymore! Her spellings are pointless, every week, without learning them she gets them all right but the teacher insists they must be phoneme etc related so we go through the motions. She "hates" guided reading as the others are quiet, slow, no expression....she says. I had no idea she had moved down a maths group, it probably is not her stongest but we did some maths in the hols, KS2 probability for example and she got it straight away and has always been on a par with the others in top group.
My inkling is that school is letting her down but I also don't want to look a fool if she has just plateaued and this is her now. IS it worth getting some sort of private assessment done or just tell them all the above. I haven't really bonded with her new teacher who seems quite defensive on the two occasions I have spoken to her (spellings for one - formulaic answer, new boy for two - they're never even together was her reply , ie shes lying which she isn't!).
Please, any advice appreciated, am getting my knickers in a twist about it all.

whizzylala Sun 09-Oct-11 18:44:12

Any thoughts?

lljkk Sun 09-Oct-11 18:50:55

fewer words & more paragraph breaks next time?

It is common for precocious children to be overtaken by their peers, it's the difference between bright & precocious.

Does she like this school? Is there anything you both like about it?
I wouldn't worry about her slipping out of top groups, but the lack of love for learning is a bad sign. What are you paying for, here?

IndigoBell Sun 09-Oct-11 18:59:02

I don't see how a private assessment will help. Even if it says she's a genius school still ain't going to move her up a maths group because of that.

whizzylala Sun 09-Oct-11 19:25:11

Ok lljkk! Just trying to explain....and of course I want to make sure I am paying for something. Don't you think a school should spot difference between precocious and bright, they gave us a bursary on the strength of her ability.
Yes we all love the school otherwise and our DS is very happy there.
Just thought an assessment would give a clue as to whether she is very bright or if she was innfact precocious as obviously makes a huge difference as to what I then expect from the school at this stage.
She seems apathetic about it all this term and I am not sure if she just wants to coast along, perhaps she and teacher aren't a great mix. Normally she is desperate to please but tells me she has been told to work harder in maths so sounds as though she is not really trying to me which seems a real change and shame.

MigratingCoconuts Sun 09-Oct-11 19:31:09

I think the first thing to do would be to go and have a meeting with the teacher about all your concerns and see what they say about the matter.

What does your DD say about the school?

I agree with a previous poster, a loss of the love of learning this early is a really bad thing and such a shame. It may be easily fixable though, with a frank (but nonaccusetory) discussion with the teacher. Swapping notes may make you both realise something you hadn't about wha is going on

whizzylala Sun 09-Oct-11 20:17:03

I have just managed to get DD to talk honestly to me, she says she hasn't
been trying this term, she is on a table with a great boy friend and I think that may be something to do with it as I know they are chatter boxes together.
I feel really upset about the huge shift in her attitude and definitely need to get this sorted so will speak to teacher, again.
I feel like crying to be honest I knew something wasn't right and feel so sad that she already can't be bothered. here's hoping our little chat just now will motivate her again.

lljkk Sun 09-Oct-11 20:19:05

I don't know that anyone can tell difference between exceptionally precocious and exceptionally bright, isn't that a question for time to answer? But I'm not an expert, either. I'd just ring some Educational psychologists and ask them what they could offer to help you find your way.

No matter what her ability level, apathy is not good. And it's a very bad sign if you're paying directly for her education. Everything is relative, and some days I'm just glad that DC go to school without grumbling, but mostly.... I have one DC at a private school and I do see it as the duty of his teachers there (only a bit less so for my DC in state schools) to inspire DC. Else, what am I paying for?

lljkk Sun 09-Oct-11 20:20:55

oops! X post.
Definitely talk to her teacher.

MigratingCoconuts Sun 09-Oct-11 20:20:55

It could be this simple...peer pressure is huge! She made just need a shift of tables, away from the fun, to get back in focus.

Good luck smile

spiderpig8 Sun 09-Oct-11 21:33:09

It's been known since research in the 70s that children coast a bit in Y3 and 4 and then put on a spurt again in upper KS2. You will notice that the weakest teachers are often put in Y3 and Y4.

yellowsubmarine41 Sun 09-Oct-11 21:38:00

That's an interesting point, spiderpig. I notice that schools often put NQTs in years 3 and 4, though I assumed that that was to do with most of them starting to hone in on 'borderline' SATS students during these years and wanting experienced teachers.

yellowsubmarine41 Sun 09-Oct-11 21:38:20

years 5 and 6, I mean.

threeslices Mon 10-Oct-11 10:48:33

We have exactly the same with our ds. He is in year 2 at state primary and definately coasting all this year and chatting to his mates. At the end of year 1 he was already high level 2s in reading, writing and numeracy so i had high hopes for this year. Problem is, because he is above average even if he slows down he still does well but i know and he knows he can do more. I have just had a quick word with his teacher to let her know he has told me he is chatting and he got told off a few times last week, so I am hoping it stops. Apart from that i don't know what to do. But i know how you feel. It is so frustrating!
Please keep posting to let me know how things are going and i will do the same. Fingers crossed it is just them testing the boundaries.

MigratingCoconuts Mon 10-Oct-11 18:32:59

spiderpig, that's a really interesting point!

whizzylala Tue 11-Oct-11 14:53:28

off to see teacher this afternoon threeslices so will report back. Can't believe how nervous I am, it is ridiculous!

MigratingCoconuts Tue 11-Oct-11 19:09:30

How did it go?

threeslices Wed 12-Oct-11 10:16:08

Hello whizzylala. Just wondering how you got on at school. I have just caught a glimpse of my ds in his classroom (I help out at school sometimes) and it looked like he had his head down and mouth closed! I wish i was a fly on the wall in his class sometimes. It is so hard to know what they get up to.

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