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Reception expectance levels.

(47 Posts)
pigleychez Fri 19-Oct-12 14:19:44

DD1 has recently started reception. She is loving it!

From things I have noticed in the classroom and a couple of class meetings Ive attended it seems that the level is very low in what they expect them to know.
They have been learning shapes which DD knew years ago and my 2.5yr knows and counting up to 10. Again Dd2 knows this!
I know not everyone is at the same level but this all seems very basic?

DD1 is very good at reading and is soaring through the levels at school. She has recently been coming home saying that she cant read till she older. This seems an odd thing to say and she says her teacher told her this. Ive written in her reading record about how she is doing the reading to me and doing well but the teacher either hasnt read my comments (has seen the book as shes written in it) or has read and ignored.
I dont want to come across as pushy as im not, just I know DD1 and she thrives on learning (Nurseries words not mine!) but its true, she soaks new things up and will just get bored and un motivated if she's not encouraged.

I have a parents Meeting on Monday but the teacher and I already dont get on after a disagreement about DD1 being part time.

I shall continue to support DD at home but if things are really going to be that basic (and the teacher no help) then I'll have to look into getting high level books etc for her to look at at home.

Any other reception class parents any thoughts on levels of expectance in class?

HippoPottyMouth Fri 19-Oct-12 14:29:05

hmm, certainly seems like they are not trying very hard with her. You are of course going to annoy the teacher by hassling her about this (especially if you already don't get on) but I don't see what choice you have.

My DD started reception in september too and has a new reading book most days and seems to be getting lots of encouragement. Each new book is commented on in her reading record (by the teacher or assistant) and they let us know what the new words are for that day.

So no, I don't think you are expecting too much.

VolumeOfACone Fri 19-Oct-12 14:31:29

I think it is so so early in the first ever year they've been at school, the main thing is surely just getting them all settled in for now, you can worry about if the school is pushing your child sufficiently in an academic sense a bit later.

It's not even half term yet. The new routine, new people, new rules, new places, that's enough to be taking in for the first few weeks, enough that your DD won't get bored and unmotivated I'm sure.

redskyatnight Fri 19-Oct-12 14:46:59

It's very early on in the year and the main focus so far will have been settling the children in, assessing them, getting them used to school routines and helping them to make friends. Many schools haven't even started sending home reading books at this stage.

Also bear in mind that Reception is play based, so there is a minimum of formal teaching - however your DD should be encouraged to extend her activities. If she can count to 10, can she run a pretend "bank". Can she find one more or less than a given number? If she knows her 2D shapes, does she know her 3D shapes?

FolkGhoul Fri 19-Oct-12 14:53:43

At this stage of the year it will be all about getting the children in and settled down into the routines.

They have to learn all of those too.

It is quite basic, but then Reception is quite basic. It's what a lot of parents forget when they are busy teaching their children before they start school.

As far as the shapes go, they will be learning properties of shapes and not just the names of the shapes. Categorising based on the properties, recognising similarities and differences. That sort of thing. There does seem to be quite a lot of repetition; practice and application. That's how young children learn best.

I don't really understand your comment about the reading. How can she be "soaring through the levels" and have been told she can't read until she's older? I would imagine that was a specific response to a specific question your daughter asked. It doesn't make sense otherwise.

I posted on one of your other threads about p/t vs f/t. I don't know if I said it on that thread (I thought about it, but don't know if I said it) but you really need to pick your battles and think about how you're going to approach/voice your concerns.

Whilst it can be true with some schools that it is the squeaky wheel that gets the most attention, it can be equally true that, like a child who is constantly shouted at, the school will stop hearing your voice and, like the child who cries wolf, you may at some point have a genuine problem that is overlooked or unheard.

When you go on Monday, have some clear ideas about questions you want to ask, but remember the school/teacher and you are on the same side. You both want your daughter to succeed. You don't need to approach them as the enemy. Good luck.

pigleychez Fri 19-Oct-12 15:50:29

Folk - She is going through the levels because im doing reading with her. The children dont have any formal reading at school. The choose a book in the morning to share at home. The teacher has read with her once and she read the story to DD.

I do understand that they are still settling in and I dont expect them to do formal learning as such. I guess I need to remember that not all kids will have learnt what DD has from Nursery and home.

I dont want to be the moany parent but then I want whats best for DD. The teacher is very old school and set in her ways and gets funny if someone questions anything. Its not just me, other parents have mentioned that they dont find her very approachable either.
I dont want her to become the enemy at all as she will be looking after/teaching DD. I already worry about her being treated differently from our disagreement before which is why im concerned about her being forgotten and not encouraged.

Another thing I want to question but worry about doing so is PE. They are yet to do any PE at all.(still early i know) Her PE is still nicely folded in the bag untouched. A friend in YR1 said her son did it twice in the whole year in her class! She questioned it and was told 'Oh they take too long getting changed and dressed again'. I however dont feel that its an acceptable answer and will question it if she tells me that. Other schools manage it plus they are never going to learn/get faster if they dont get the opportunity to practice.
Im from a teaching background and yes some things are a nightmare to do but you still have to do them.

RedSky
Thank you for the suggestions. smile

simpson Fri 19-Oct-12 16:17:31

DD also in reception has only had PE for the last 2 weeks (every Tuesday).

According to the teacher it is taking 25 mins to get them all changed!!

DD can also read pretty well and has been getting reading books since the first week (but I am lucky in that she has the same teacher she had in nursery so she knows my DD well).

Does your DD not have daily phonics/numeracy lessons??

ATM DD is learning to re-tell a story in her own words as a class (The Gingerbread Man), 3 D shapes and soon they are going to look at money I think...

MrsMelons Fri 19-Oct-12 16:27:57

This does not sound like a particularly good school particularly about the PE. Both of my DCs have done PE twice a week since the week they started school regardless of class size.

I think the reading situation is not as easy to figure out - you are saying your DD is capable of x but the school are not supporting this. This is either because they do not think she is ready or they are not keen to differenciate (quite lazy IMO). It sounds like the latter TBH which I would also be really unhappy about it.

They have been at school 6 weeks now so should be mainly settled by now. At DS1s school they were given reading books from about 2 weeks (for those that were ready, later on for those that weren't), same at DS2s school.

Did your DD do half days whilst the others did full days? This of course could cause issues as there is less time for them to assess her and also it would have taken longer for her to settle generally.

pigleychez Fri 19-Oct-12 16:52:49

Melons
Yes DD did part time until this week. There was an issue when she first started with the teacher 'encouraging' everyone to go full time. Quite a few parents were told their child would be 'the only one doing part time'.
I was not ready for DD to be full time yet. She was getting very tired on just half days and being one of the youngest felt she needed more time as it hadn't even been a week of school! Suddenly from 8 part timers to 1 in a week!
I spoke to a parent governor who spoke to the head and it was confirmed that I was more than able to keep her pt till I felt ready. Teacher didnt like this and was frosty with me for a while. Now I find she just avoids me.
Really hoping this doesn't mean she has something against DD now. Im more than aware that im labelled as 'one of them' parents.

I dont think it has made much difference her being part time. Speaking other parents they too have only done reading once with the teacher. Plus theres a 'reading' sheet on the wall marked with when they are read to and some havent got anything marked down at all.
The lessons take part in the morning anyway when the children are fresher and brighter.

Simpson You know ALOT more than me about what your child is doing. DD keeps talking about Scarecrows so guessing something about them!

learnandsay Fri 19-Oct-12 17:03:19

The EYFS objectives are published somewhere, they're very basic, counting to 20, reading CVC words and learning lots of social things. Children who have been home educated before starting Reception, on average, should already probably be exceeding these goals (by quite some margin in some case) before they ever reach school. But, as many point out Reception is primarily not about formal learning it's about fitting into school, making friends, etc, etc, ie social stuff.

My daughter had a fairly thorough home schooling with me before Reception, this continues now that she's in school. I treat school work as a welcome alternative to what she learns with me. But I understand that it is very very basic. Meanwhile I simply continue as I did before.

mrz Fri 19-Oct-12 17:15:39

Some of the EYFS objectives

Reading: children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.

Writing: children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.

Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

Shape, space and measures: children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

of course this is only a tiny part of the curriculum

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 19-Oct-12 17:21:33

When is the teacher frosty to you? At pick up? Is she more frosty to you than others (as you say she is quite old fashioned)?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 19-Oct-12 18:05:40

pigley my DS1 has just started reception, and he is being stretched more than your daughter.
They don't start formal reading until next week (books home etc) but they have been reading and writing in class, and they do number work every day. DS is pretty good with numbers and I have been assured that they will get him started on the KS1 work before he gets bored - he had met his EYFS goals in maths after 2 terms at preschool.

Stiffybyng Fri 19-Oct-12 18:58:41

DSD had a really bad time in Reception. He's bright, and had a teacher who was adamant that he would only be doing Yr R work and nothing else. He got very bored and disruptive, and his behaviour got so poor that the school raised a query that he could be autistic.

The next year he had a teacher who happily let him do more advanced work and it all changed. He was happy at school, his behaviour improved and he made great progress.

He's now Yr 5 and we've had the same thing more than once-teacher who won't stretch him=poor behaviour. You can be very dependent on the approach of the class teacher in primary! He now has Yr7/8 target levels this year and we're waiting to see if this year's teachers are good or bad-seems fine so far.

Iamnotminterested Fri 19-Oct-12 20:07:01

Getting bored of the stealth-boast threads on MN. So...ta ra x

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 19-Oct-12 20:32:27

Door, arse etc confused

BlueSkySinking Fri 19-Oct-12 20:37:01

Well done for looking at your kids needs and keeping her part time. She is only 4 and there is no legal obligation for her even to attend until the term after her 5th birthday.

My bookworm DS1 arrived at reception with a reading age of a 6 year old. They took a while to realise and then continued plodding though all the phonics with him/the group. I do agree with their approach though as it means that all pupils have the same firm and identical base to build upon. And anyway, the most important thing is playing at this stage - not being drilled academically. Things will develop. After half a term in our school they streamed the kids on ability tables and began to differentiate a bit more. In the mean time I just continued visiting the library and inspiring my DS with reading.

Unlike DS1, DS2 is no bookworm. We did no phonics before he started school as a result. I am totally stunned by the huge leaps he has made in only 7 weeks and I think he will out perform DS1 progress quite quickly.

mrz Fri 19-Oct-12 20:48:39

My son arrived in reception with a reading age of 12.6 years (tested by Ed Psych) and they didn't teach him phonics and he struggled with spelling through primary school.

AbbyR1973 Fri 19-Oct-12 21:17:54

I see where you are coming from. My DS1 also started school having already exceeded expectations from EYFS. The school have been fabulous so I will give you am idea of how they have dealt with him. A bit of background- in the last couple of weeks the school has been rated Oustanding by OFSTED. Also there is only a small reception class so much which probably helps (small state village school.)

By the end of week 1 they had worked out DS1 could read, although not to what level and had also worked out he knew numbers to 20(actually he knows much more than this but the point is they had very quickly worked out he was further on than average yearR.) We had a discussion at end if week1 about what he could do. They sent him home with (easy) book with words as a starting point when others got picture books. Over the subsequent weeks there has been a lot of exchange of information so it feels like a real partnership between school and home. The teacher has spoken to the year1/2 teacher about him and they have a plan for extending him within reception. He joins in all the other things that the other children do including basic phonics but they extend him within that. Where the others are being given tricky words to learn to read DS1 is asked to learn to write them etc. He has not been pushed as the focus has been ensuring he really enjoys his reception year with plenty of hard work to come in year 1 but they are keeping him suitably challenged within that. DS1 is thriving and very motivated and most importantly thinks school is brilliant.

pigleychez Fri 19-Oct-12 21:21:51

Thanks for the replies everyone.

MrZ I completely understand the links between phonics and spelling and im more than happy for her to learn them. She loves all the little actions and rhymes for them. DD2 (2.5) is picking them up really well too so im sure this will help her too!
Thanks for the EYFS objectives.

Stiffy That exactly my worries for DD. I dont understand teachers holding kids back. What are they trying to gain...apart from having a bored disruptive child!?

No idea of her reading age as the school doesn't do reading levels. The books she's on at school are Strange street/Literacy land Step 4.

Im hoping that after half term things will pick up abit and they will get the levels where each child is. Its the word 'hope' that bothers me though... what if they dont.
See what the teacher says on Monday! although she has stipulated that she will only be discussing settling in, not academic. hmm

pigleychez Fri 19-Oct-12 21:23:36

Abby Can they have a word with DD's teacher please!! smile

MrsMelons Fri 19-Oct-12 21:28:02

How are they stealth boasts? People are sharing experiences to try and explain why they think the teacher is right or wrong to do this!

Why do people have a problem with bright children and parents discussing it. Its not like people are boasting to all the mums in the playground. Its a serious discussion that actually causes worry to parents. No one would comment nastily if people were discussing children who were struggling.

I think it is a shame that the teacher is not willing to stretch your DD, DSs YR teacher and after that in Y1/2 have been amazing at doing this whilst of course ensuring that he has all the basic knowledge such as phonics as well. NOT a stealth boast - just a comment relevant to the discussion.

mrz Fri 19-Oct-12 21:28:04

It's unusual for schools to test reading ages in reception unless a child is very able.

simpson Fri 19-Oct-12 21:30:41

Abby - sounds exactly the same as what my DD is getting. She has to write sentences with tricky words in whilst other kids are learning to read them...

She also has phonics lessons (and numeracy too as far as I can tell) with one other boy who is about the same level as her with the TA every day.

She had her first guided reading session today ( reading between the lines of what DD has told me!!). She said she enjoyed reading with the other kids and telling them when they had got words wrong blush

simpson Fri 19-Oct-12 21:33:34

DD has done the yr1 phonics test (not sure how much of it) and did well.

She did it twice (not the same test) once in nursery and once since she started reception.

But not a reading age test. Not sure of the point of one tbh. I would rather know whether DD has any gaps in her phonics knowledge or how to help her reading progress rather than a reading age iyswim...

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