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how would your school state or private deal with this

(42 Posts)
Megan74 Fri 26-Oct-12 19:36:46

I have just had parents evening for DD who is in year 2 and feel utterly deflated. I shall describe her and would like you to tell me how your children's school would have dealt with this.

Did really well in reception and ended about a year ahead for literacy and where she should be for maths. Described as enthusiastic and eager to learn. Fast forward to this stage of year two and has dropped to the middle stream for literacy and remained middle for maths. Described as lazy and unfocused. There was no plan offered on how we or them could deal with this and the whole parents evening was rushed.

Is this just par for the course in a state primary as there are 30 children and some who are really struggling and all will work out? Is it just a bad example of a school private or state? Would this happen in a private school? Am I just being PFB and by the time she leaves year 6 she will be fine and she just needs to mature?

lunar1 Fri 26-Oct-12 19:40:24

Mine is in private but only 4. I know patents of older children though and the school would never wait for parents evening. They will call in parents as soon as they see a problem. Then bring the child in and devise a plan together.

Sorry you are going through this.

lljkk Fri 26-Oct-12 19:42:04

You need to have another chat with teacher about strategies to help her find enthusiasm again, find what is missing or what is keeping her from her best. Teacher can't do it all & you can't do it all. Parents evening 10 minute slot was probably never going to be enough to discuss it properly.

FWIW, I never managed to have a single parents' evening for the 2 years that DS was in a private school.

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Fri 26-Oct-12 20:17:25

Did they really use the words lazy and unfocused? And how was she in year one? Was she enthusiastic and eager to learn in year one?

I would talk to your DD about how she feels about school right now and then I would ask for meeting with the teacher to discuss issues raised at the parents evening and come up with strategies together. Not wanting to pry, but has your DD's home circumstances changed as that definitely has an impact on learning eg new baby etc?

Personally, I would not resign to saying maybe this is what happens in a state school. Not for your DD. Best plan of action is to work closely with your school so that your DD achieves the best that she can.

seeker Fri 26-Oct-12 20:23:02

Were the actual words "lazy and unfocussed" used?

difficultpickle Fri 26-Oct-12 20:27:38

Depends on the school. Ds had a terrible year last year. He went from being very able but capable of more to near bottom of the class. Everything was his fault rather than the teacher's for failing to engage him (14 in a class so not unreasonable to expect the teacher to make lessons interesting). Fast forward to this year and a new school - ds is described as enthusiastic, eagar to learn and very very bright. I tried really really hard to turn things around at his previous school but got nowhere. Ds was offered a scholarship elsewhere but if he hadn't have been we would have left anyway (as others did).

strictlovingmum Fri 26-Oct-12 20:27:46

Good or bad school rather then state/private IME,
DD private school(for what is worth) same year as your DD her teacher is really on the ball, so no nasty surprises at parent evening, would be tackled sooner if teacher realised that child is sliding down in terms of work, parents would be called in sooner.
DS state(for what is worth) many years ago now,it would be same scenario as with DD, we had a similar issue to yours when he was in Y4, we were actually called in at the beginning of the Y4 due to discrepancies in terms of his work/effort and Y3 report given to him at the end of Y3, teacher dealt with it swiftly and successfully, brought him quickly to his senses.
As for calling a Y2 child lazy(6 year old) hmm I am not sure Why? Capable and proactive teacher will have to use such descriptives in reference to such young child.

OwedToAutumn Fri 26-Oct-12 20:38:37

A teacher at my DC's private school said something similar.

We had him tested by an Ed Psych, and found he has various SEN, which we (advised by an OT) have been able to assist him with.

The teacher who said this to us was the SENCO!

Suffice it to say, he is no longer at that school, but at another school which takes his SEN seriously, and doesn't blame him for them.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 26-Oct-12 20:49:19

DD at private excellent reception and year 1 slipped to bottom of middle year 2 comment at end of year 'well what can I say about kittens reading ....'
Fast forward year 3 reading assessment first week of term DD only child with reading age in double figures, brilliant year. This year fab teacher looking very promising.
Hindsight year 2 teacher took a dislike to me when I complained about DD being bullied and disliked DD because she did not like independent children. Total personality clash with both of us.

Megan74 Fri 26-Oct-12 21:20:28

Thanks all as all comments are helpful. Sooo lazy was the exact description used. There were examples of that particularly in her written work but I just don't like the connotations of that word. I am glad its not a state school thing as I am always thinking "what if" about private school. Not that I can afford it smile

admission Fri 26-Oct-12 21:24:38

And the question to the "sooo lazy" comment is what the h**l is the teacher doing about it. The answer would appear to be not very much which is totally unacceptable, they are being allowed to be lazy and that has got to be the fault of the teacher.

acebaby Fri 26-Oct-12 21:50:38

Lazy is not a helpful way to describe a year 2 pupil. At that age many children live in the moment, and need to be motivated by the teacher. This does not make them lazy. It sounds like your dd is not getting on with the teacher and has become demotivated. We had this in year 1 (private school). The teacher was a bit more tactful with us,but the end result was the same sad. In year 2, ds1 clicked with the teacher and quickly made up the lost time.

Megan74 Fri 26-Oct-12 22:17:28

Thank you it's good to have affirmation that 'lazy' is not the right word to use. I wouldnt mind so much if it had been followed by a plan to tackle things. To answer the question about year 1 I was told she was doing well and no suggestion of lazy had been used although it all felt a bt generic.

difficultpickle Fri 26-Oct-12 22:24:28

I would tackle it. I tried to but failed miserably and by the end of the summer term ds was a wreck. With the benefit of hindsight I would have made a greater fuss (I gave up trying after the second term's parents' evening).

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Fri 26-Oct-12 22:50:27

Lazy is absolutely not the right word to use. Deeply deeply unprofessional. Am I right in thinking that written feedback in her books includes the word lazy? How is that helpful to your DD? If teacher brands her as lazy of course she is going to see herself as lazy and then start acting lazy. You seriously need to go in and talk to the teacher about this and make sure it's nipped in the bud. Keep a written record of your conversation. If you don't get anywhere with teacher, go see the head teacher.

Megan74 Fri 26-Oct-12 22:54:31

Lazy was used in the parents evening. Written feedback in the books was along the lines of ' E - Is this all you have done for one lesson?' hmm. The irony is the teacher has not written in E's reading diary since the start of term - 5 weeks ago!

Megan74 Fri 26-Oct-12 22:55:25

bisjo - Sorry to hear about your son.I hope things are better for him now.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 27-Oct-12 08:30:28

I would definitely ask for a follow up appointment where you can have more time to get to the bottom of this.

difficultpickle Sat 27-Oct-12 08:31:51

Things are fine now, thanks. I gave up with a term and a half left in the year. I thought that was a relatively short time to get through buy in hindsight it was a very long time indeed for ds. Ds's teacher certainly made the transition to ds's new school very easy as he really didn't want to go back. It has taken a while for ds to recover his confidence but the lovely caring school environment he now has certainly helps.

bamboostalks Sat 27-Oct-12 08:39:11

I would not have a problem with the word lazy. I think it's when everything that children do is described in faux positive terms that parents get misled. I understand what lazy means and would want to take action. Would hearing, "lacks motivation" make it a sweeter pill? As for private v state that is a red herring re. this situation. My friend's son is at v. Expensive and exclusive prep. He was described as needing a massive kick up the backside and obnoxious. He is 5!!

Pourquoimoi Sat 27-Oct-12 08:48:31

State school here and that is unacceptable. I would request a follow up appointment, say you were really concerned by the statement at parents evening and want to discuss how you can work together to improve this.

Before you go, talk to DD and find out what's going on. Is everything ok at home?, are kids in her class giving her a hard time?, is she scared of getting it wrong so thinks it's better not to do it?, is she actually bored because it's too easy and she needs stretching? What is her attitude like when you're doing homework together? Just a few ideas as you need to have an idea what you think the issue may be before you meet the teacher.

The teacher should be giving support whatever the reason is, after all how is she (the teacher) going to ensure DD meets her targets? (They will have set a detailed SATS target for her by now)

Go in with the attitude of how are we going to work together to the teacher, say that you'll encourage her at home but what are they going to do in the classroom? What do they think the issue really is, she hasn't had a personality transplant overnight has she? How are they going to enthuse her? How are they going to monitor her and encourage her? Does she need to be in a smaller group, have some TA support (even just to encourage)?

Good Luck, sadly sometimes making a fuss is what you have to do.

lljkk Sat 27-Oct-12 09:18:46

I like the word Lazy if that's what the teacher honestly thinks, it's refreshing to think a teacher might tell it like it is rather than pussyfoot around with nice-speak.

But not good to tell you these things without suggesting joint strategy for trying to rectify.

RaisinBoys Sat 27-Oct-12 09:51:46

Nothing at parents evening should be a surprise.

You should have been made aware that there was a possible issue with your child's learning.

The discussion at parents evening should have been along the lines of "how are we going to move forward...work together to support learning...these are the strategies that we might employ...interventions that might help...etc"

This is what would happen at my DS large state school - 30 per class.

Name calling doesn't help. Unlike IIjkk I don't think that a teacher calling a y2 child "lazy" is refreshing. Unfocussed she may be, but the teacher has a responsiblity to address this in a proactive, constructive way.

There is also the possibility that your DD is bored stiff!

Follow up meeting required to address the specific issues.

Good luck!

difficultpickle Sat 27-Oct-12 09:53:03

Lazy is fair enough if true but it seems odd, at least to me, that the OP's dd has gone from doing well in her first two years at school to then being described as lazy.

In my case ds had a very good year 2 followed by a dreadful year 3. The big difference was in the teaching style. Year 2 teacher firm but fair and quietly spoken. Year 3 teacher didn't hide the fact she had favourites and shouted, a lot. I remember telling ds that if she shouted at him he probably deserved it so should stop whatever he was doing that led to the teacher shouting. Ds said she shouted at nearly everyone so that wouldn't work.

At parents' evening I was told that ds hugely outperformed in tests - she said 'maybe he is just one of those children that does well in tests' and then went on to say that he didn't pay attention in class and was near the bottom (test results put him near the top). I spoke to her, I spoke to the head. I got nowhere (head had lots of ideas but didn't follow through).

Before I accepted the scholarship offer at ds's new school I had a meeting with the new head and was very candid about the year he had. He said that teachers weren't allowed to shout at the pupils and would be spoken to if they did.

The change in ds since he started in September has been great to see. He is keen and motivated to learn and enthusiastic. I'd forgotten what it was like to have a child who actually enjoyed school.

mrz Sat 27-Oct-12 09:57:09

I don't think "unfocused" is a synonym for "lazy" is it?

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