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Y6 remedial tuition offered - can I say no?

(27 Posts)
ShaynePunim Thu 04-Oct-12 12:11:32

Sorry if this is a bit long.

My youngest DS is in Y6 and has been offered after-school 1 to 1 tuition for one term in order to improve his writing.

His teachers (including this year's teacher) have always commented that he was very intelligent and knowlegeable in various subjects that interest him, and in mental maths. However they always said that he is extremely slow when completing written work.

Recently he had to do some creative writing as homework. It was very hard to MAKE him do it and it took ages, and I noticed he spent a lot of time thinking and discussing his story with me, asking what Ithought of the plot or the characters etc. The actual writing though was very painful.

When it was finished, I congratulated him for his good work as I thought it was actually very good, the story was amusing and interesting, he used a wide range of vocabulary, his spelling, grammar and punctuation were excellent.

But his teacher commented that the piece was much too short and that everyone else had produced a longer piece.

Anyway. She has told me that the school has been given some funding for remedial tuition and she wants my DS to benefit from it one hour a week after school for a term.

She has shown me the learning goals of the proposed tuition, and all the objectives are stuff that DS can do perfectly (using correct punctuation, think of one's audience etc.) His only problem is the pace of his work, which no tuition will help with.

I'm just worried the school or the teacher will think we don't support our DS's learning if I refuse the offer.

What do you think, either from a parent's or a teacher's perspective?


weblette Thu 04-Oct-12 12:15:57

How do you know that no amount of tuition will help? They may have different strategies that will help him speed up. He won't have that level of support at senior school, helping him now would seem a great idea.

Personally if I were offered something like this for one of my dcs I'd snap it up.

Why exactly don't you want to take it up?

Fobwatch Thu 04-Oct-12 12:20:30

"no tuition will help"???
What if the tuition involves quickly coming up with ideas and committing them as short stories to paper? Then gradually moving on to longer stories? What if it's about thinking of lits of ideas, then deciding which one will make the best story and concentrating on that one thread? What if there are tips for opening paragraph / closing paragraph which can be applied to almost every story?

I think you are bipeing a bit defeatist and a bit narrow-minded.

You have a teacher offering tailored, one-to-one tuition to your son, who by your own account is lacking in this area.

Seize the opportunity with both hands.

mummytime Thu 04-Oct-12 12:20:38

Why would you refuse the offer? For my eldest two have been very very fortunate to get 10 sessions of 1 to 1 help with Maths, and it helped massively, and really boosted their confidence. 1 hour 1 to 1 can offer so much more than 1 hour in a class situation.

Also if as you expect it really doesn't help then you can really ask for either an amanuensis or a laptop, as everything has been tried.

MyBoysHaveDogsNames Thu 04-Oct-12 12:21:38

One-to-one tuition? I'd bite their hand off! A great opportunity for your DS to have some focused attention on his writing. Even though he is capable of achieving the learning objectives, all practice is valuable. As he grows in confidence, his writing may grow in length.

I wouldn't be put off by the term 'remedial'. Think of it positively as approx. 12 hours of private tuition. My DS1 had some intervention work on his writing in Y1 and it really made a difference. He, too, is good at mental maths, has a good vocabulary and is doing well in class - he just didn't like putting the effort into writing. This is the ideal time to work on it prior to secondary school.

A parent's and recently qualified teacher's perspective!

mollymole Thu 04-Oct-12 12:23:03

Take it, you will never know if you don't try. Let your son, together with his teacher decide if it is beneficial.

RaisinBoys Thu 04-Oct-12 12:25:18

I'd take it!

I guess it is the word "remedial" that you balk at. Remove that from the discussion - the school and you recognise that your son is bright. His writing sounds great quality.

He knows all the other stuff (grammar, intention, spelling, expression, characterisation etc) so he can spend the hour working on his speed.

Doodlekitty Thu 04-Oct-12 12:31:15

My god, schools really can't win can they? I don't understand why anyone would turn this down. I used to deliver 1 to 1 tuition in English and Maths. It was 10 sessions after school and was aimed at the middle ability children in the hope of giving them that little push to the next level.

If he improves punctuation etc surely this will improve the speed of his work? The biggest boost I saw as a teacher was to the child's confidence. Every child I tutored went up at least one level in 10 weeks, largely through increased confidence or learning 'tricks' to use (like including at least 1 ly word in every sentence). One child went from a level 3 to a 5 (to be fair this was in Maths). Why would you turn that down?

Pancakeflipper Thu 04-Oct-12 12:32:22

I would try it.

CecilyP Thu 04-Oct-12 12:38:24

I can see where you are coming from, OP, if you have been shown the learning goals of the proposed tuition, and they are all things that your DS can do already. Before commiting to or refusing the tutition, would it be possible to discuss with the teacher how it might help him improve the pace of his work because, while you may be sceptical, there may be some strategies that they can work on.

ShaynePunim Thu 04-Oct-12 12:39:36

My reasons for not wanting to take the chance are that:

-He hates school lessons with a passion. He loves the social side of school and he loves independent learning but he hates the classroom situation.

-The tuition would be given by his class teacher, who has taught my other children before and while she is perfectly nice and competent, doesn't really think outside the box. The sheet she showed me was just bullet points of stuff he can already do. I fear that instead of helping my son he'll just see it as yet another hour of boring stuff when he should be running around in the fresh air. :D

-He always had this speed issue but when I was in Y4 his teacher had a deal with him where he was rewarded if he sped up, and it worked. So I know he can do it. He's just bored out his mind and 'not bothered'.

-As I feel he doesn't really need it and definitely doesn't WANT to do it, I'm wondering if taking it up might deprive another kid of it as I assume the funding is limited.

Doodlekitty Thu 04-Oct-12 12:42:12

You can say no to it, I had parents who did. I still don't get it, but it's your choice (and his). Just let the school know so they can fill the place, as you say.

ShaynePunim Thu 04-Oct-12 12:46:00

Thanks all for the very useful replies though, it's true that it might be beneficial in ways that I can't see myself at the moment.

It's true that it's the 'remedial' word I don't like, it's funny that you all saw that when I hadn't really thought about it! smile

tiggytape Thu 04-Oct-12 12:59:01

They may all be things that he can do but, at the moment, he cannot do them very quickly. And in the ever increasing move to 100% written exams (not to mention Year 6 SATS), being able to do things is not the same as having enough time to show you can do them.

1:1 tuition will improve his focus is nothing else which in turn will improve his speed which means he will score the kind of results in assessments that reflect his true ability rather than scores based on much less work than he is capable of.

I'd be another one biting their hand off!

ShaynePunim Thu 04-Oct-12 13:05:02

Good point tiggytape, thank you.

I'm glad I posted this thread, I do things a bit differently now.

ShaynePunim Thu 04-Oct-12 13:05:33

(I do SEE things a bit differently!)

forevergreek Thu 04-Oct-12 13:32:26

I Definatley would. Next year he will be in secondary where whether he likes to or not they are expected to keep up with the pace and get on with things often alone

Tiggles Thu 04-Oct-12 13:41:39

If he needs motivation to produce work quickly it looks like he has just been given one. Show the teacher that you can consistently work quickly and efficiently and you won't have to have 1:1 tuition any longer.

mumofthemonsters808 Thu 04-Oct-12 13:47:36

If it was me I would take up any offer of additional support.My DD had additional help with her maths and god what a difference it made, please try it you may be surprised.

Hopeforever Thu 04-Oct-12 13:51:16

Glad you have changed your mind, get all the help you can
Agree you should ask about laptops. DS writes very slowly and has had a laptop since year 7 but had a social basic key board before that

Hopeforever Thu 04-Oct-12 13:51:33

Social should read special

thecheekofhim Thu 04-Oct-12 14:36:54

Can't see why you'd say no but school will be keen for you to say yes as this tuition is probably only being offered to those who they believe will achieve a higher grade at SATS as a result of it.

Maybe someone who works in a school can advise but cynic me reckons that this isn't a sudden pot of funding but rather the school finding a pc way of allocating resources to bump SAT scores

ramblinrose Thu 04-Oct-12 15:08:24

I just want to stick up for you a bit here OP. (Although I do think you should accept the help for your son)

It sounds to me as though your DS has a real problem with the physical act of handwriting. My DS1 (17) has exactly this problem himself, and whilst he was at school, and bringing homework home etc, it was heartbreaking for me to see him struggling so much with his handwriting.

You mention the fact that he worked really hard to produce a piece of written work, and then was told it was too short. It brings back a lot of memories.

Other posters have commented on him not being motivated, or that he needs to speed up etc, but he finds the act of writing difficult (or even painful after a few minutes of writing) this is not very helpful.

OP, I think it's a good idea that you take up this 1 to 1. This way the tutor will have time to witness your son writing, and hopefully have a better idea what the problem is.

cansu Thu 04-Oct-12 16:42:50

Schools have been given money for 1:1 tuition. There are certain conditions about who they offer it to but it is definitely separate money. Whilst I can see why you aren't keen and your ds might not want to spend the time after school, the tuition will boost his confidence if nothing else. Ten hours of 1:1 private tuition should certainly be considered. He might not be offered this again.

cece Thu 04-Oct-12 16:46:00

Why on earth would anyone turn it down!?

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