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I need opinions and need to make sure I'm not missing something before I book another appointment with teacher re: ds1's level/ability etc

(28 Posts)
SilveryMoon Sun 18-Nov-12 15:26:42

Right. Will try to include all information without rambling too much (don't want to drip feed either)
Ds1 is an august born child so is one of the youngest in his class.
When he started nursery, he struggled a bit because they made the pupils sit at the table straight away to trace over their names with a pencil and ds1 was very against this!
I think he enjoyed nursery but it was difficult to get him there.
Anyway, massive improvement last year in reception, he went happily enough and seemed to do quite well. We struggled with homework, they were sending a sheet, sometimes 2 sheets home a night of writing practice, letter formation. I did not push him too hard as I felt that after a long day, homework shouldn't be a battle and I didn't want homework to start off on a negative foot at the age of 4 (in hindsight, I may have been wrong, but I don't think so)
We attended various parents evening throughout his reception year and he seemed to be making steady progress. There were things that he was better at than others, but nothing overly concerning apart from the homework.
I told the teacher the struggle we were having and she seemed to be quite understanding of this. The TA gave ds1 a 'special' pencil to take home, and boom, he was more than happy to do homework and has completed 100% since then.
His final reprt from reception stated that he was hitting average for everything. All subjects (Literacy, numeracy, KUOW, creative etc) all had B/C marks for effort and were all graded at 6/7 points for ability. At the bottom of the page, it stated that the average for that year was 6/7.
Brilliant, very happy parents.
Last week, we attended his first parents evening for year 1 where we were told in no uncertain terms that ds1 is below average in everything and is about a year behind where he should be now!
Right. Ok. So I told the teacher I am more than happy to support him at home with his learning and I will work with her to enable ds1 to catch up.
She said his reading is poor and that's what we'll start with first. I actually thought he was doing well, but hey.
So she didn't give me any clues as to what to do at home other than read daily with him which I have been doing since he was 2 weeks old, and I'm kind of thinking that if he is a year behind, me continuing with something I've been doing for 5 years isn't enough???????
So, we started playing some rhyming word games, sounding out and repeating whole word games, he played on websites that help to build cvc words etc and we have continued with his reading.
I asked the teacher to send (at her convenience) information on the exact strategy that would be put into place to help ds1 catch up and she wrote back saying she would send home some flash cards and as he grew confident with them, would add more. That was it.
She sent home 4 cards that said 'we' 'me' 'be' and 'she'. Great. 4 words he knows. I write in every day to tell her we looked at the cards and he knew them. That we also played matching games with my flashcards etc etc.

Re his reading, I know they have tyo push phonics, and I know that ds1 gets lost in phonics and is better at whole language reading, so we have started doing both at home, where i model reading without sounding out and he copies, sentance by sentance. We then pull out some colourful flash cards to see if he's memorising the book or knows the words.
Some he struggles with, some are fine.
It's almost like he thinks he has to use phonics even if he knows the word. he'll sound out words like 'can' 'cat' 'tub' in a book but will just know them on a flash card confused

So, what I want to know is how does a pupil that was marked as average last year, suddenly fall a whole year behind? Has he been incorrectly assessed at some point? Or am I missing something?

Thanks for reading. That was long wasn't it? Would be grateful for any thoughts.

mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 16:21:22

"It's almost like he thinks he has to use phonics even if he knows the word. he'll sound out words like 'can' 'cat' 'tub' in a book but will just know them on a flash card confused"

It's very common for children taught with flash cards not to be able to recognise the same words in other contexts ... it also happens when children "memorise" whole books and can't transfer what they seemingly know to other texts. We often find that turning two pages some children will "read" the missed page ...

mam29 Sun 18-Nov-12 16:27:53

I would book another appointment even ask to have combined meeting between reception teacher and yera 1 teacher as dont get the discrepancy and talk about action plan.

I was told start year 1 1st parents evening everything was fine by 2nd parents it wasent she was struggling and behindsad.

Year 1 has phonics test so expect they be doing phonics coaching before that ours did.

SilveryMoon Sun 18-Nov-12 16:28:35

mrz Thanks for your reply. We spoke on the 'phonics' thread in the week too.
I'm just so confused as to what to do to best help him. I don't want to do nothing but I also don't want to push a method I'm not sure he fully understands.
I fully understand the reason for phonics, and I would like to encourage him to use it, of course, but think there may be other things and ways of reading that could help him.

I also am struggling to see how a child who was doing average at the end of last year can be a whole year behind (in everything) now.

SilveryMoon Sun 18-Nov-12 16:33:13

That's a good idea mam about asking to see both teachers.
Thanks for your reply.
Am I wrong in thinking there must have been an incorrect assessment somewhere?
If this teacher had said he was below average and behind by some, I could have accepted and even agreed. I know ds1 is not top of the class, I know he struggles with certain things, but he also is nearly a year younger than the oldest class-mates.
But an average achieving pupil can not fall behind by a whole year in 10 weeks of schooling can they? (17 weeks including holidays)

mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 16:44:05

Firstly the reception report isn't quite accurate

Point scores are levels of achievement and not the points in the profile, i.e. a score of 6 does not mean profile 6, it means point 3, plus 3 aspects achieved of sections 4-8. *Children with the same points score will therefore probably have a different level of achievement.*

It is therefore not enough to say that the acquisition of 6 scale points is indicative as an acceptable basis for the next stage; it depends upon the particular scale points achieved.

so basically it depends upon which 6/7 profile points your son achieved in each strand whether his achievement is average/below/above

mam29 Sun 18-Nov-12 16:47:46

Hard to say silvery moon.

my dd got 6s reading and writing and 8/7 in her efys scores so I know it was year 1 where thinks went since wrong unless her efys scores were incorrect but dd had done nursery/preschool since 1 so had very good idea where she was during those years felt confident about her starting schoo, but she was 41/12 as feb birthday.

If its any consolation a lot of younger ones were ahead by end of year 2 so he will catch up.

A couple of july ones are top tables, higher nc/reading levels but its wide range ability in a year especially if youngest I was a july baby , hubby august and we always had to work at it.

If same school im perlexed why so different?
dd found reception to year 1hard so co-operation between the 2be beneficial as its sounds like your dd got on well with reception teacher and she had confidence in him.

Also could it be the teacher? dd dident get on with year 2 teacher who was polar opposite personality to year 1 teacher was lot stricter and more formal which i thik dident help her do her work as she was always anxious of getting told off.

I think a small slip can happend in hols over summer as its quite long.
But hes had 8weeks of year 1 and been back 2weeks so she should be getting a true picture of ability right now would like to think.

Also one off dd freind was uspet over her math set turned out levels were typo errorsad. But its not just grades your reception teacher said he was fine in her words.

SilveryMoon Sun 18-Nov-12 16:50:34

what? confused
On the report, each topic is broken down into different aspects of that topic. For example: Communication, Language and Literacy broken down into Language for communicating and thinking, linking sounds and letters, reading, writing. Then there is a column headed FSP Points all of which are 6. Then a column headed Effort which are all C's apart from reading which is a B.

At the bottom of report it says: 'Foundation Stage Profile Summer Term
Reception Average at end of Summer Term: 6-7

So this doesn't mean that he is average?

SilveryMoon Sun 18-Nov-12 17:00:16

mam yes.
I do a fair amount with them at home.
We still did bits over the holidays, we kept up with reading daily, we looked at flash cards, they listen and watch phonics songs etc on youtube, we used websites with word games, shapes, colours etc all through the holidays. He did not go 6 whole weeks without any kind of educational input.

mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 17:01:34

The quotes I posted are clarification from the National Assessment Authority because many schools were wrongly reporting 6 as "average"

SilveryMoon Sun 18-Nov-12 17:05:00

Oh, I see. Ok.
I think I will call the school tomorrow and schedule another appointment with the teacher to make sure I'm not misunderstanding anything

mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 17:11:28

It's why raw scores are misleading. The original expectation was that most children would achieve all the ELGs.

mam29 Sun 18-Nov-12 17:11:52

Mrs z best placed person to answer.

But I did dig out dd eyfs profile 2011

has 3sections

personal /social emotional development

scored 8, 6 and 4 subtotal 21

The next one is communication/language and literacy

language 7
linking sounds and letters 7
reading 6
writing 6
subtotal 25

last was problem solving /reasoning/numeracy.
scored 8,9,77,8,7 subtotal 23

total score 92 overall

I did think 6 was average so anything above was good
Thourght 9 was max so was pleased with 7,8

I dont have any grades on mine or oevrall avergae score just points.

I assumed if max 92/117 was good providing each of the 13 sub headings scored.

But dd really struggles with numeracy in year 1 and year 2.
Aklsi has been a low level reader
writings improved last 6months,

we used to have regular homework which we did with her.
old school had phonics homework
numeracy and spellings tests in year 1.

dd over summer did libary reading challenge we read loads
we did project on butterflies
visited couple of museums.
online maths and scince through c beebies bitesize and carol vordmans summer camp.
we practiced writing as dd wrote and drew pictures for a book which I helped laminate.

It sounds like you doing all the right things.
best go in and speak to both teachers.

mam29 Sun 18-Nov-12 17:13:57

These scores were submitted on written end of year report which led us to believe dd ws doing well.
It did have a letter with it but saying 6 was everage.

But if schools are being misleading then thats a problem.

SilveryMoon Sun 18-Nov-12 17:20:10

Thanks mam
I will contact the school and hopefully find out what this actually means.
I agree is not ideal if parents are being misled.
I'm not sure how else I was to interperate(sp?) those marks

mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 17:27:11

SilveryMoon I don't think schools are deliberately setting out to mislead parents I think they are genuinely confused.

We are told 6 is a good score ... but it depends which 6 and then no one will tell us which 6

SilveryMoon Sun 18-Nov-12 17:29:38

Yes. Ok, they might not be deliberately trying to mislead us, but if I have misunderstood these marks on the report, then it is likely others have and that is not ideal

mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 17:43:40

There is a new profile this year so I hope when it's published it is less confusing

Lougle Sun 18-Nov-12 17:56:37

It is confusing. I thought I understood the EYFS profile, and I knew that a score didn't indicate that the child had achieved all the points up to that level. Yet, DD1 is struggling in Year 1 after scoring 100/117 on the EYFS profile.

She is struggling with change/social situations/expectations, etc despite scoring 8/9 for social development.

I don't think it's the school's fault. I think the transistion to year 1 has revealed some issues with her development (that the school has yet to see, but that's a whole other thread), but it's quite a shock to realise that a child who scored 100 out of 104 'main points' (given that point 9 on each scale is reserved for children performing well beyond the ELGs) is struggling.

mam29 Sun 18-Nov-12 17:59:35

I found the letter

dear parents

I hope this letter helps you understand about your childs achievements in relation to early years goals and was sent to you with your childs report,

The early years goals establish a developmentally appropriate curriculum for all children in reception to work towards goals divided into 13areas for assessment they form the basics for planning and future learning reception being last part of foundation stage

six areas are

mentioned above in pp

At the end of foundation a few children may have achived the early years goals and could be working beyond them.
It is however been found across the country that most children working withion the developmental stages and moving toards some or all of early years goals.

It is accepted by the local by the lea-ors is rated 25th in uk i think and nationally that the average child would score a 6 out of 9 cross all learning goals.

So took anything as 6 to be ok nothing to worry about and and the 7/8 as good.
The year 1 written report was broken down into literacy and numercay and supported fact she was going ok.

Only dug this out as deputy head implied dd started school behind or dident have good rception year hence why year 1 not good but found out she as good and year 1 was a issue.

Unfortunatly for us we couldent work it out and moved schools after october half term as old school were unwilling to give her extra help in her weak areas, she was making low level progress and upset as she was behind many people in her class who were quite compatative.


SilveryMoon Sun 18-Nov-12 18:00:01

So all of these 6/7's he's got next to subject headings, do i add all of those together to find out his overall EYFS score?
If so, it's 80 which is really low to what some of you are saying..........

mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 18:05:20

The problem is the profile is measuring different things and there is no correlation between the EYFS profile and future attainment.

The data shows that some children who score 1s on the profile go on to achieve level 3 at the end of Y2 and others who score 8-9 scrape a 2c

mam29 Sun 18-Nov-12 18:07:17

All I can say silvery moon/lougle is do query and check.

Unfortunatly for 1st half of year we were unaware any problems think 1st parents evening was october she had not been there very long.

We had no one ringing us up with concerens
2nd parenets evening it was raised at end of may.

Thy did some help with phonics-pre phonics test cynic in me wonders if that would have happened if had been no test?
she passed with 32/40

but this meant year 2 having no extra help with phonics as only ones who failed got smaller groups yet she was on one of lowest levels for reading.

They offered no additional support with numeracy.

Now shes moved shes in a

handwriting group
guided reading group
phonics which is mixed years ability not based on some artbitry test which the teachers dont rate anyway.
online reading and maths programme.

On plus side they just started year 1 you have time to correct it and make transition easier.

mam29 Sun 18-Nov-12 18:14:00

mrs z I read it wrong thourght 1 lowest and 9highestsad
6eing average aa goves high number of points out of possible number of points..

so is lower efys score better as in 13?
sorry if im confused.

Most of dd year even younger ones got

1a/2c at end of year 1.a few got 1b and 1c.

some schools say 1b is fine ours told me dd was below avarage and he was exected a 1a but thik her cohort that year their ere some high achievers.

80 still quite high to me.

mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 18:16:54

9 is the highest mam ...that's the point.
Achieving 9 doesn't guarantee a level 3 in Y2 just as achieving 1 doesn't mean that the child won't go on to exceed expectations.

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