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Year 6 and going backwards...

(11 Posts)
PastSellByDate Mon 03-Dec-12 03:20:22

Hi Binkytub:

First off the thing that occurs here is that you care and are worried. You care enough to ask for advice - so you definitely are in your DS's corner and supportive of him, which is a huge advantage for him.

as ItLooksLikeRainDear suggested - 4b in Maths is actually fine for end of Y6 KS2 SATs - that's national expectation (see Mumsnet learning pages info on progress through NC Levels here:

So the issue is the reading. Whether it's assuming the role of class clown, a learning difficulty, or it's just not his thing is something you can explore in the coming weeks. One thing I did pick up is you said 'He's always disliked English despite us reading to him daily and encouraging him as much as we can...' Now that sounds like it's been a struggle all along and that you're doing his work a bit too much.

Maybe what you should be doing is getting him to read to you more.

Can he read out loud well? confidently?

What does he enjoy reading? Can you encourage more of that?

Have you considered graphic novels? Comics? [suprisingly they do build vocabulary - e.g. DD1 Y5 came home at end of first day of school this year and I asked her how was it? She informed me 'her arch nemesis' was sitting at her general work table. Well done Marvel Comics!].

We have had real struggles with DD1 regarding reading - it hasn't come easily and she hates (really hates) reading out loud. We've tried 5 things with this:

1) We've explained we think it's important she improves.
2) We've ensured she has access to a range of reading materials (magazines, books, comic books, etc...)
3) We've also got her writing (letters, postcards, Christmas cards, etc... so she's thinking about expressing herself) - this is in the context of no writing homework from our school.
4) We've found taking turns reading - one page from her, another from me, and if she's reading well and seems a bit tired, I may finish out the chapter.
5) you can't see the movie/ DVD until you've read it (works great with books like Harry Potter, Babe or Holes). With the Hobbit (which is difficult language - DD gets her to read obviously easier passages, and he does bulk of reading - but this is about her listening to the pattern of language and broadening vocabulary - oh and DH reliving his youth).

It's been a long slow struggle - but our feeling is it is one worth having. It does take up some of your time, but I think it is important to try to get your DS to a point where he can easily engage with Senior School work, or ultimately weak reading skills will let him down.


cansu Wed 28-Nov-12 16:24:39

unfortunately children do sometimes mess about and disrupt themselves and others. Y6 is a time when this is quite common. I am not sure why this would necessarily point to dyslexia. I think this is a bit of a red herring tbh. I would focus OP on supporting the school and taking up the opportunity to invlove your ds in setting some targets and being clear with him about your expectations.

Binkytub Wed 28-Nov-12 11:04:36

I will definitely mention what you've said about dyslexia to the teacher! It could be a factor.
I think, despite pretending to be cool, he is quite anxious whenever he starts a new year at school. We have had bad starts with other teachers and then he's settled down and got on better but obviously the school is more focussed on SATS in year 6 and there is an expectation that he should be more mature. Bless him, he's quite immature, I think, for his age and, although it doesn't (or shouldn't?) make any difference by this stage, one of the youngest in the class...

IndigoBelle Wed 28-Nov-12 10:53:10

Mild dyslexia would explain his behaviour though. It would stop him from achieving his potential in class, which could make him disruptive.

It would make everything just that much harder for him, so he's acting up so that nobody thinks he's stupid.

It would also explain why his maths is so much better than his English.

Although you may be right and it may be nothing like that. But in that case, why do you think he's being disruptive?

Binkytub Wed 28-Nov-12 10:41:21

He's been tested and observed etc. in year 1 but nothing came of it. If he is, it's very mild (sorry, don't know much about dyslexia so maybe this is rubbish!)
I feel that he's got himself caught in a bit of a vicious circle that only he can get out of. He's disruptive, gets isolated and told off and so doesn't bother making an effort, is distracted... and so on. The school is very positive and caring and I think his teacher really wants to encourage him to try harder and start seeing the positive results he's capable of achieving but he needs to stop being disruptive too.

IndigoBelle Wed 28-Nov-12 10:12:55

He def could have dyslexia. Late talker, late reader, bad handwriting are all symptoms of it.

Combined with him clowning around to avoid the work.

Now, I'm not saying dyslexia to get you worried, or even to give you hope, but rather to help you look at it a different way. Is he disruptive because he knows the answer but can't get it on paper?

You can be dyslexic and read well. (Depending on your defn of dyslexia. There isn't one defn of dyslexia, there are many)

Whether or not he has dyslexia, I think he's probably being disruptive because he can't do the work for one reason or another.

Binkytub Wed 28-Nov-12 08:58:14

IndigoBelle Both, behaviour and work it seems. On reflection, not sure the point she was making about him needing to work to get by.
We have been worried about him since the beginning of the year and i have asked him a few times if everything is okay at school. He's insistent that it is. I think he is quite anxious at the beginning of every school year, and that comes out as disruptive behaviour... but I don't want to be one of those parents who makes excuses for their kid's rubbish behaviour.
He was a late talker and so a late reader but reads avidly now. Spelling not bad but handwriting, grammar and presentation all awful!

ItLooksLikeRainDear Wed 28-Nov-12 07:37:14

Just to point out if he's achieving a 4b in maths now then he's already at end of Y6 expectations (& so quite bright) and therefore should be encouraged to work towards a L5. Maybe if this was presented to him as a challenge he'd have something to work towards?

Hope things improve soon.

IndigoBelle Wed 28-Nov-12 07:27:45

Is his work going backwards? Or his behaviour?

Do you agree with the teacher that 'he's not bright enough to just cruise'? Or do you feel he actually is quite bright?

Do you think he's playing the class clown in order to cover up that the work's too hard? Or in order to cover up something else?

Did he find learning to read easy? How's his spelling?

learnandsay Tue 27-Nov-12 23:04:22

I have seen lots of threads about Y6 boys messing around. A common theory is that they've just outgrown primary school. I'm sorry, I have no ideas of my own. I have no boys and no children that age.

Binkytub Tue 27-Nov-12 21:51:45

Just got back from DS parent teacher meeting. Unfortunately, my son seems to be doing really badly. Although the teacher was lovely and keen to point out what an essentially nice boy he is, he seems to be averaging a 3b in English and a 4b in maths. He's always disliked English despite us reading to him daily and encouraging him as much as we can but he's actually pretty good at maths, or so we thought. He is trying to make jokes in class and distracting other children who are trying to work hard. The teacher also said that she feels he could do much better but he's not bright enough to just cruise the way he is. I sense she's growing weary...
We're not pushy parents and have got stricter and stricter with him since the beginning of the school year to try to make him behave better and put more effort into his homework but it really seems to be having the opposite effect.
Should we be doing more with him? Less with him? I feel like a failure and I was worried before this meeting but it was worse than I anticipated! I am meeting the teacher after school on Thursday with DS to talk about how he's getting on and to try to make a plan etc.
If anyone has any advice at all, I'd be really grateful!

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