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5yr old still cannot write a sentence

(54 Posts)
Cleek Tue 11-Oct-11 12:53:01

Just had a parent meeting yesterday. My 5yr old dd (summer baby) just started year 1 but she has been given IEP (SEN) since she was in reception because she was behind with her reading, writing and PSED. Over the summer holiday I worked hard with her so her reading is within the expected level now. However yesterday?s meeting the teacher told me that dd writing is still far below the expected level. As the school expects a child of year 1 should be able to write at least one or two simple sentence/s but my dd is still not able to write even one simple sentence. Also she is very quiet and not joining in without teacher?s constant encouragement especially at circle time. I now worry if dd is happy at school at all and wonder should she change school? Anyone would share their comments or similar experiences?

Erebus Tue 11-Oct-11 13:01:41

DS is Y6 with no SEN and he can barely write a coherent sentence!

Madlizzy Tue 11-Oct-11 13:02:13

My triplets could not read or write until Year 2 and soon caught up with their peers. Sounds to me like the school expect far too much and your daughter is struggling with that.

belgo Tue 11-Oct-11 13:03:52

Ridiculously high expectation. She's only just turned five! My dd2 couldn't even write her name until she was five and a half.

theyoungvisiter Tue 11-Oct-11 13:08:37

Christ on a bike that's ridiculous! DS1 is a year one summer baby and can write simple WORDS but definitely not a sentence. There is a handful in his class who can write whole sentences but the majority are at his level or somewhere in between.

Where does the teacher get this "expected level" from?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AurraSing Tue 11-Oct-11 13:15:56

I agree with everyone else - the school has very high expectations.

I've just seen a display in DC Yr1 class and there is such a wide range of abilities. Some children can write a whole side of paper, others can't write their name. My DS could probably write 'cat', if he put his mind to it, but nothing more complex and certainly not a sentence. There are also nonSEN children without reading books yet.

It's still very early in the school year and your DD is still so very young.

IndigoBell Tue 11-Oct-11 13:18:10

I disagree with everyone smile

I don't think it's ridiculous expectations to expect a child in Y1 to write a sentence.

But I also don't think you should change school. If she is already on an IEP for reading and writing it sounds like the school really know what they're doing, and are doing all the right things for your DD.

CecilyP Tue 11-Oct-11 13:34:17

I agree with everyone else. The school's expectations seem unusually high. I doubt if there would be a general expectation for a summer born Y1 to write one or 2 sentences this early in the school year. I doubt if my DS, although a good reader, wrote sentences until summer term of P3 (Y2) and he is a February birthday.

I would worry about a school that classifies what I consider to be the normal development of young in year children, as special needs. You could always ask the school what they will be doing to bring your daughters up to their expected levels.

Rollergirl1 Tue 11-Oct-11 13:36:16

Well what is the expected level? My DD is also in Y1 (April born). She wrote a note for me yesterday that said:

Dear Mummy
I am sore that I was nrote
love DD xxx
Ples be mi frend
Me DD I sore (her name in brackets)

Sore = sorry and Nrote = naughty.

Besides wanting to hug and kiss her all over for being so sweet (she had been a bit unkind to her brother) I was also quite impressed with her use of capital letters at the beginning of a sentence, the brackets and her attempts at spelling.

I wouldn't have a clue if she was working at the expected level or not. Surely there is such difference at this age?

reallytired Tue 11-Oct-11 13:38:41

That is barmy especially as she has just had her fifth birthday. I don't think that my december born son could write at the start of year 1, never mind write a sentence. He is in the top group for English now in year 4.

She is a baby and its important not to knock her confidence.

Cleek Tue 11-Oct-11 13:50:30

My dd is very welling having a go at writing a single word new or ones she already knows. She can write words like "pig, cat, dog, mum, dad, moth, with, the etc" and always remember finger space. But she cannot write a sentence. She can construct a sentence if she sees the individual words say on some fridge magic things. I think She trys hard to please me or the adults. But I think dd is beginning to feel the pressure! I worry it would put her off school for life.

bigTillyMint Tue 11-Oct-11 13:57:08

Does she not "have a go" at unknown spellings using her phonic knowledge?

I would be horrified if a child was too scared to have a go because the teacher expected only correct spellings.

You need to encourage her to have a go - praise every sound she can hear in a word and write down. It does not matter that she cannot spell them correctly - she should be aiming at first to read back her own writing and then for it to be decodable by an adult.

Does she know all the initial sounds?

bigTillyMint Tue 11-Oct-11 13:59:42

It is NOT unreasonable to expect a Y1 to "write" a sentence - some might even write a whole story. They should be developing a love of writing and confidence in their ability to communicate meaningfully through the written word.

But it is unreasonable to expect them to spell the words correctly.

theyoungvisiter Tue 11-Oct-11 14:06:42

"It is NOT unreasonable to expect a Y1 to "write" a sentence"

Sorry but I think it is! It's not unreasonable to hope they MIGHT write a sentence.

It is unreasonable to say it's "expected" as if that is some kind of minimum acceptable attainment and anything less is a some kind of failure on the part of the child.

Based on my DS1 and his peers the norm is extremely wide and they're only in the first few weeks of Y1 for goodness sake! I'm sure by the end of Y1 they should be writing, but reception is mainly play based -- you can't "expect" them to start composing essays overnight.

theyoungvisiter Tue 11-Oct-11 14:09:13

what I mean is, of course SOME children are writing full sentences. But 6 weeks into a term when a child is still getting used to a new setting, a new teacher and a new system, I don't think they ought to be talking about being "far below the expected level". The school should be discussing how they can help Cleek's dd feel more confident, not using language that implies a sense of failure before they've even got to half term.

IndigoBell Tue 11-Oct-11 14:13:23

So none of you trust the teacher's prof judgement when she says that the OPs DD is not at the expected level?

There is an expected level for this stage of Y1. The OPs child is not at it. The school recognise this and have put the child on the SEN register.

How come all of you feel qualified enough, on the limited amount we know from the OP, to question the teacher?

Cleek Tue 11-Oct-11 14:14:43

My dd knows all the letters and sounds. But just ............ I think ..... dd doesn't see why she has to write a sentence other than pleasing the adults. Rather she likes to see writing a word is like a puzzle grame.

bigTillyMint Tue 11-Oct-11 14:16:13

I would imagine that the teacher would "expect" something like " I wt to the prk" Would she have a go at that? If not, she needs support to get there.

Rollergirl1 Tue 11-Oct-11 14:16:21

Can you tell us what the expected level is IndigoBell?

bigTillyMint Tue 11-Oct-11 14:18:14

She may be too focused on correct spellings, and not realising that the main purpse of writing is to communicate.

Could you do stuff like getting her to help write shopping lists, you write her a little note - one sentence / phrase which she then replies to....?

PatriciaHolm Tue 11-Oct-11 14:18:19

Heavens, DS can barely write his own name grin And he's yr 1, 5.5! No one has suggested he has any issues, and I genuinely don't think he has (he's DC2 so I have an elder comparison). He can spell things out to me by saying them well, he's just slow at writing, and being left handed doesn't help. He's making progress, which tbh is all I want right now - if he ends Y1 like this I won't be happy, but i have no reason to think he will.

Your DD does sound as if her confidence might be an issue - does the school generally have high standards? TBH I would expect most things done in Y1, if done with effort, to be met with a "well done", whatever level children are working at.

Cleek Tue 11-Oct-11 14:22:20

Yes bigTillyMint my dd would have a go if the teacher is next to her and encourage her. But I think my dd likes writing one word at a time as a pelling game.

theyoungvisiter Tue 11-Oct-11 14:23:29

Well Indigo if you're so confident in your judgement perhaps you could explain why my DS1's teacher has no concerns about him when he can't write a sentence either?

IndigoBell Tue 11-Oct-11 14:23:32

RollerGirl - your DD is above the expected level. Her writing is fine.

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