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year 1 parents evening - what concrete info can i reasonably expect?

(18 Posts)
swallowedAfly Mon 12-Nov-12 13:43:35

ds's parents evening is coming up. last year (reception) was all very fluffy and vague understandably.

this year i would like to know what level ds is reading at - perhaps even some levels for numeracy and literacy.

is this reasonable? what can i ask to get specific information about how ds is doing other than 'ahhh he's a lovely boy, he's really bright' etc?

do they still do reading ages? are we onto NC levels yet?


swallowedAfly Mon 12-Nov-12 13:49:14

just to add i'm an ex-secondary school teacher so have ideas and expectations in my head of what teachers should be offering information wise but don't know how this translates to primary school. to my mind they should be able to tell me how he is doing in the context of wider scales of achievement and they should be giving me/him specific targets of what to improve upon and how. you know? measurable attainment info and targets.

i am a nightmare parent due to having been a teacher or am i reasonable in my expectations?

really grateful for any feedback you can offer. must admit i find this teacher a nightmare i helped in her class once a couple of years ago before ds started there and was horrified by the lack of planning, the total absence of keeping kids on task and her lack of.... 'switched on'ness and general knowledge.

kind of dreading sitting down with her and want to make sure i'm reasonable and don't let my lack of confidence and faith in her show.

Houseworkprocrastinator Mon 12-Nov-12 13:55:31

i got "lovely, well behaved, bright and doing well" nothing specific apart from a couple of targets.

heliotrope Mon 12-Nov-12 14:03:23

It's our first yr1 tomorrow too so not much useful experience to offer, but in reception we got the opposite - full of red/amber/green charts and numbers of how they'd assessed the children against a range of early years areas. Lots of parents found it a bit much that the children had been catalogued like that at just 4. I think a lot of it was about the teaching team's need to document progress through the year - so I didn't worry about a few 'red' lights on the spreadsheet she waved at me.
Having said that she also showed us work that doesn't usually come home - e.g. to show progress in writing words etc.
I am expecting similar this term - but yes I would expect to be given some idea of reading and literacy levels together with the 'he's doing really well, gaining confidence' stuff.

swallowedAfly Mon 12-Nov-12 14:05:29

that's what i want to avoid housework! but i want to avoid it without coming across as pushy, unpleasant etc. i need to know from primary school teachers what is reasonable to ask and what language, buzzwords etc to use.

i'm a bit worried that two ofsteds in a row have reported that they are not extending bright pupils and they are not focussed enough on progress with writing. ds is 'lovely' and 'bright' - i KNOW that - what i want to know is how his education is going and whether they actually know what level he's working at and how he can be extended.

fully expecting flaky nothingness though sad

learnandsay Mon 12-Nov-12 14:10:03

swallowed, don't you already have some idea of how he's doing? You must know what kind of books he can read. Do you see him writing? How's he getting in with that? I hope I never have to use buzzwords to ask about my children. You might need them to be a teacher, or to teach teachers. But I don't think they're necessary to be a parent. In the same way that you don't need to know the parts of an engine in order to drive a car.

Houseworkprocrastinator Mon 12-Nov-12 14:15:06

i didn't expect too much at this stage in the term it is more how they have settled in the new class etc. i didn't ask much to be honest but saw all her work. i expect more detailed info at the march parents evening.

but i guess if you ask them levels they would tell you. (would they have had recent assessments though?)

thestringcheesemassacre Mon 12-Nov-12 14:18:55

We didn't really get any fluffy stuff at all at our year 1 parents night. It was all targets, levels, what needed to be done etc. To be honest I was quite shocked.

deXavia Mon 12-Nov-12 14:22:56

Now in fairness I am blessed with the most wonderful, incredible teacher of all time (I am biased as we had the year from hell last year but she is pretty damn fab - a whole other thread!) .... however she showed me some of DS's work from in class, from there it was a pretty easy step to what level he was at, what he needed to work at and suggestions of things to do to help compliment school work. So I guess start with asking to see some work - thats not pushy and will probably be part of what they had in mind, from there you can take it further.

swallowedAfly Mon 12-Nov-12 14:23:46

learnandsay - yes i know what he can do/read etc but i have no idea how that compares to what he should be doing at this age re: average levels etc.

the thing is it doesn't just tell you how your child is doing it also tells you how their educators are doing re: are they on the ball, do they know your child and their capability and what they need to be doing to help them improve etc.

maybe it is the teacher in me but i want to know these things. i want to know that they are competent professionals and have a plan itms.

must admit i worry that this year is a write off because of this teacher.

sittinginthesun Mon 12-Nov-12 14:25:08

It's probably going to depend on your school's policy. I have a Year 4 and a Year 1, and had parent's evening just before half term. From what I have experienced, Key Stage 1 was far more about how the child was settling, how they got on with other children, adults, how they were with concentration etc. Key stage 2 is more about levels, targets etc.

If we want to know levels, we have to specifically ask, but I wasn't too worried in Year 1. I can tell which table my child is on, what reading level they are working at. I was more worried about friendships etc.

swallowedAfly Mon 12-Nov-12 14:26:00

thanks to those i keep x posting with. goes to show you can't please all the parents smile some shocked by too much targets and officialness others shocked by fluffy vagueness.

swallowedAfly Mon 12-Nov-12 14:29:15

i think it's my anxiety about the teacher and the school that's coming through. i feel so sad about ds spending a year of his education with this teacher. i was honestly shocked at the low standard of teaching and how oblivious she was to the fact that virtually none of them had understood what she had set them to do and therefore none of them were doing anything and yet she wanted to stand chatting to me whilst my instinct was to be going round the room explaining what they were meant to be doing and helping them get on task.

i so wish i had never seen her teach.

i'm aware i'm probably sounding a bit neurotic. trouble is with having been a teacher is you don't have the blind faith 'they know what they're doing' element because you've seen for yourself how many incompetent and unsuitable people work in education.

DeWe Mon 12-Nov-12 14:42:26

Ds's lovely teacher at year 1, I spent most of the time talking about him socially/behaviourally, because that is where he struggles. I think academic stuff was mentioned, but no comparisons, levels etc. As far as I know the teachers don't officially level them at this stage, so I wouldn't expect an answer to that if I asked.

I've never had levels at year 1, not sure it's helpful, as people I know who get them seem to get very hung up on what level they are, whether that implies they'll get good levels at SATS (or beyond!), whether they're struggling, whether the teacher has assessed them right etc.

learnandsay Mon 12-Nov-12 14:45:10

That's funny! I would have considered myself to be the last person on God's earth to jump to the defence of teachers. It really annoys me on threads when all the teachers log in to mumsnet and start posting bitter comments! But swallowed, aren't you being a bit harsh?! For example, your son is 8 weeks into year 1, right? Presumably you can compare the books he's reading with those other children his age are reading, there are plenty of postings all over the internet about what these children or those children are doing. People compare work on this site all the time. If your son is noticeably behind then I think you've got a supportable case that his teacher isn't doing enough. But don't your accusations need to be more specific than the woman is woeful and inadequate and I don't like her? (I'm not a teacher, by the way!!)

ioness Mon 12-Nov-12 14:59:06

One thing somebody advised me to ask was which part of the class are they in, as in top third, middle or lower. Just to get a vague idea of progress. I'm not sure they'd be able to tell you this early in year 1, but by the end of year 1 this was useful information for us. At the end of year one they also did a spelling test. a phonics test and a maths test, as well as giving a reading age. We were given this information but I know my friend wasn't. So it's worth asking if the information is not forthcoming.

Tgger Mon 12-Nov-12 14:59:25

Well I sense your anxiety but perhaps you should try to see some positives...even if it's only well at least she's not teaching him in Y3.!!.... they are still quite little and social skills etc are probably as important at this stage.

swallowedAfly Mon 12-Nov-12 15:14:59

it's a good point tgger! yes, that would be a positive way of thinking about it smile

learnandsay - i'm not reporting her, i'm not doing anything official in which i have to substantiate my opinion. i've just been honest that i do not have faith in her (anonymously on mumsnet - not in the playground) after having observed her in the classroom. my opinion is based on what i observed. as a teacher i do have some idea of what i'm looking at in a classroom - obviously expectations of 6yos are much different to those of teens but expectations of the teacher (that they should have planned well, that they should have clear learning objectives, that they should be focussed and aware of what is going on in the room, that they should be helping children stay on task and confirming their understanding of what they are doing, that they should be watching to see if the learning objectives are being met etc etc are very similar in many ways).

i'm not asking for her to be sacked - i'm saying that i, personally, do not have confidence in her and feel sad that my son will spend a whole year in her class.

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