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How much progress have your reception Dc made so far?

(51 Posts)
Annanon Tue 22-Jan-13 12:52:27

My Dd is 5 and in reception. She joined in the nursery year, settled in really well straight away and flourished. However, I am finding the pace of the reception year extremely slow and am struggling to see what she has learnt so far this year, in terms of basic numeracy and literacy. She has spent the whole of last term re-capping what she learnt in the nursery year. Her end of term report read almost exactly like the one from the term before, in the nursery (e.g. knows single letter sounds, can blend CVC words, can count to 20 and identify 2d shapes).

What is typical for a reception class to have covered so far?

Dolallytats Tue 22-Jan-13 19:17:05

learnandsay I did shed a 'proud mummy' tear!!

YouBrokeMySmoulder Tue 22-Jan-13 19:22:13

These threads give me the right humpage.

Mine can eat all her packed lunch and put her own tights on without help. So there.

WipsGlitter Tue 22-Jan-13 19:24:18

These threads depress me. So much pressure on a five year old to "progress" and not "coast". There are loads of ways you can extend her learning at home without the need to focus so much on letters/numbers/reading.

Depending on how many are in the class the teacher (and assistant) will be trying to provide a range of learning opportunities. Also you're not there in class do there may not be the same consistency as you perceive at home.

You sound really pushy and determined your child will be top of the class.

learnandsay Wed 23-Jan-13 10:08:42

I don't see why people should be getting humpage. We have always been taught that school was a place to learn things. So it's not all that surprising for mums to wonder how much learning is actually going on. That's not pushy. I hate the term pushy, anyway. It disparages parents for wanting their children to learn which is what parents should want. It's a stupid, ridiculous and counter-productive phrase.

gabsid Wed 23-Jan-13 10:33:27

All children are at different stages, especially at that age, and R is in some ways an extension of nursery (lots of learning through play). And most importantly, learning and progress is not linear, she may not seem to progress much in reading and maths this term because she may be busy getting used to the new school and making friend. She may even not progress much this or next term but then take off in Y1. Don't push her or the school just yet leave her to develop at her own pace - I know that can be hard as I have a very slow starting 7 year DS who slowly seems to wake up now.

E.g. DS seems particularly good at drawing now, he copies pictures improves his techniques constantly. At YR - Y1 he did only simple drawings if at all and he would only read and write if he had to. Now he is slowly starting to enjoy books and with maths I still push him along a bit.

DD (just 4) loves drawing, having stories read (we are often reading simple chapter books now), she recognises and writes a few words, knows and writes a few letters and numbers. All in all her concentration and interest seems so much better. I feel she will be ready and do well in YR whereas my DS could have done with starting a year later.

But I am sure your DD will be fine. She has only been in YR for one term.

simpson Wed 23-Jan-13 16:08:01

DD also in reception and 5 next week <<waves to filly>> started reception (and nursery) being able to read well but has still made massive progress in her reading and is on gold level books...

Her writing has really taken off and she writes short, basic little stories/ letters etc..

Could not tell you about her numeracy tbh (have not seen amazing progress yet)...

But the most important thing is that she loves school, has made loads of new friends and I have really noticed a difference in her confidence wise and independence wise too...

Annanon Wed 23-Jan-13 17:56:16

Thank you for the replies everyone. It is interesting to see the range of opinion.

I viewed preparing my Dd for school as one of my jobs as a parent. There are so many threads on here about school readiness. My Dd can dress herself, pick out her own coat, take herself to the loo, change for swimming and feed herself with a knife and fork. I would be embarrassed if I left those things for my Dd's teacher to teach her at five years old. DD loves school, which is my main priority. She has been in the school setting for over a year, has lots of friends, settled into the routine quickly, lines up when the bell goes, listens well, shares, and has a good attention span. I am delighted with all those things, but that is not where it ends.

Overnight, I have looked over the seven areas of the EYFS and while I am satisfied with what Dd is doing in the other five areas, I feel that in 'literacy' and 'mathematics' there is a lot of re-doing what she has already learnt in the school nursery. Obviously there will be learning that I cannot see. I can only base my perception, on what Dd tells me, the books she brings home, the newsletters that outline the termly plan for Dd's class, and looking through Dd's work at parents evening. Dd loves drawing and often draws very detailed pictures (e.g. houses have roof tiles, letterboxes, door numbers, curtains etc). All of the work that I have seen is done very neatly. I am not concerned with Dd being top of the class. I am concerned that as she is 'in the class' she too, should be learning 'new' things in all areas of the EYFS framework, each term.

Surely progress for each child is relative to their individual starting point. Based on some of the replies here, there are various things in literacy and mathematics that Dd could have feasibly learnt at school, by this stage - e.g. how to write simple words (other than her own name), simple addition, perhaps some new GPCs etc.

I do encourage learning at home in an informal way. We read lots of stories and play games like I spy, pairs, shut the box, snakes & ladders, frustration, bingo (numbers up to 89) & bananagrams etc. I have also taught Dd some GPCs myself, in order to give meaning to some of the random words in the endless, old fashioned, pink or red level 1+ ORT books that Dd has been bringing home since Easter last year. I just think I am worried about what the future holds, if the whole class are expected to learn at the same rate, and do exactly the same work. It wasn't like this last year.

Oh, and Dd is in a class of 19 with a full time TA.

WipsGlitter Wed 23-Jan-13 19:51:26

I'll say it again. She's FIVE. There's plenty of time to see what the future holds! I've been involved in early years research and the one thing that stuck with me was that the biggest single factor in a child's progress was the education attainment level of the mother (EPPNI research).

It's great to take an interest but you are really over thinking it at this stage. She will progress, but it will always be within the constricts of the classroom and the range of children within it. You say her loving school is your main priority, you've achieved that. Relax.

Tgger Wed 23-Jan-13 20:00:55

Yeah, they don't learn much in YR in the old fashioned sense. I think you need to re-think what "learning" is for a 4/5 year old. It's more about social things and place in the world than reading, writing and maths. That's not to say that some won't make progress in the 3Rs.

I would chill out a bit. DS didn't seem to learn anything in the first term of YR, then between January and July his reading went from Songbirds Stage 3 to Lime Level. His writing went from learning the letters (about November to February/March) to writing one or two sentences. Not sure about his Maths, but he's "above average" in Y1.

More than that though he became a lot more confident in himself, made friends of his own and had a rich variety of experiences.

Between 3-6 children are at a really broad range of "levels" in development. Having the space and creativity to develop themselves is something we should treasure. Then at 6-7 they can start more formal learning. Certainly Y1 was a gear change in this regard.

Maggietess Wed 23-Jan-13 21:51:18

Annanon I totally agree with you, my DD sounds almost identical. She loves school, she's been ready to go from the off, wants to be challenged, can't wait to learn more but, with the reading she gets to do she is massively bored. We get 3 reading books home at the moment, 1 floppy with pictures only, 1 floppy with basic words (Page 1- Mum, Page 2 - Mum and Dad) and a book for parent to read to their DCs. DD reads beautifully, calmly & confidently, blending, spotting non conforming words etc, working out from context so she now reads half the story book and I read the other half just so she feels like she has achieved something.

I held off saying anything to the teacher in first term but second term she's just bored (only in reading nothing else so plenty to work on in school). I want to encourage her enthusiasm and love of reading as I think there's nothing better for your child to grow up enjoying but I don't want to rock the boat or be seen as nightmare pushy mum.

I'm working up to having a quick word with the teacher just to see does she even realise how much DD is capable of (and is this an everyone must stay together at all costs strategy) and would she be willing to up her 2nd Floppy book to a level that might challenge/help her develop. I honestly wouldn't raise it if I didn't think DD enjoys reading but she so obviously does!

(Patterns and sorting on the other hand "are just soooooo annoying mummy!" so we still have plenty for her to learn in school!) smile

WipsGlitter Wed 23-Jan-13 22:22:26

But Maggie why do you not just encourage her at home? Why all the emphasis on school? Reading books from school are a tiny part of learning to read; keep doing what you're doing - going to the library, reading at home etc. the home from school reading books take seconds, do it and then read something else.

Tgger Wed 23-Jan-13 22:24:16

Or teach them to read yourself shock.

simpson Wed 23-Jan-13 22:26:36

Maggie - try the Oxford owl website. Or our local library has a set of phonics corner books which are fab....

wasabipeanut Wed 23-Jan-13 22:53:05

There is so much angst about the progress of 4 and 5 year olds! My goal for him (and his younger siblings) is for them to read for enjoyment on an ongoing basis. I remember reading somewhere that this is a big benchmark for success even if the child isn't hugely academic. That doesn't equate to flapping over reading levels.DS is still on pink which seems pretty basic but he loves school, reading and being read to.

He's learned loads already this year. He knew some letter sounds but not all in Sept and could only count to 20. Can now count to 100 but has a real sense of numbers. He always tells me that X is a bigger/smaller number than Y for example. It's not just sums - he seems to get how much bigger 50 is than 20, 10 or 1. They use number lines a lot. He still asks questions endlessly and is incredibly observant. His writing has improved massively in a really short time - something I think has been helped by endless craft activities over the last few years. Apparently he only learned to write his name in nursery to label his work. Now he can write a short sentence.

So many like to sneer at today's teaching methods but I think they're great. Better than being made to stand in front of the class doing a sum that you couldn't quite understand and having the teacher shake you .

Maggietess Wed 23-Jan-13 23:17:43

Wipsglitter I have taughts her to read at home, that's how she's so far ahead! The emphasis on school is as I'd like her to be taught something that engages her whilst there and have her teacher recognise and nurture what she's good at. I don't think I should just sit back and say well never mind I'll do it all myself at home. Surely it works best when parents encourage and help at home and the teachers bring them on further in school and help the parents in working out what to try next.

And we do of course read together at home, go to the library and use online resources (thanks v much Simpson I discovered Oxford owl website just before Christmas, it's great!)

Maggietess Wed 23-Jan-13 23:23:13

Wasabi I don't think I'm "getting in a flap" about reading levels, rather was looking for a little bit of advice on how to nicely ask the teacher could she could send some interesting books home. If we have to read them every night we might as well be enjoying them!
Definitely not sneering at any teaching methods, I think DD's teacher is fab and DD absolutely loves school, raves about her day when she comes home and has made loads of friends.

Tgger Thu 24-Jan-13 09:32:10

Maggietess, if the reading books are very easy for your child just find a moment to talk to the teacher and ask for something a bit more challenging. I was very nervous about doing this for DS in YR, but actually the teacher was fine with it and had already realised that he was further on than most of the children with sounds etc, just had given him the first book as that was what they gave all the children to start with normally. I told her what he could read at home and she sent something else a bit harder.

I have to say though that this pattern stayed the same in the whole of YR grin.

gabsid Thu 24-Jan-13 10:32:52

OP - I think your main problem is that you don't trust the school to do the best for you DD, you may feel that she is held back by others who are not as far as her.

I would suggest you go and see her teacher and tell her about your concerns. Maybe she can explain/share what she is doing and how she ensures that your DD is progressing in all areas. If you are then still not happy you can discuss that as well.

birdseed Thu 24-Jan-13 16:51:24

Annanon, I understand where you are coming from - given that your DD spends 6+ hours a day in school you would like that to be beneficial educationally (in general) as well as to the others who were less advanced on entry to reception.

Wasabpeanut, you may have missed the OP's point - your son was less advanced at reception entry and so has learnt lots. I think the the OP would have been delighted if her DD had learnt an equivalent amount.

I may (or may not!) have a useful perspective on this having had our son in 2 different schools for reception already - the first had a very structured traditional style timetable for mornings yet they failed to differentiate adequately to stretch him. I was frustrated as he wasn't making progress in spite of all the 'taught' hours and I felt that he was missing out on playing instead.

The second is predominantly play based so I feel that it is worthwhile as he must be practicing his social skills if nothing else. They have also assessed all the kids and provide him with appropriate reading books even though it is well beyond where they currently are with their phonics programme.

Do you have a play based reception? If so then would you be happy with it as it is if the teacher could provide appropriate reading books? If so then you could ask the teacher to assess her reading.

A friend with older children suggested that bright kids should be extended 'laterally' at home, ie not with numbers/ reading etc as they are likely to click with that quickly at school anyway, but with physical activity/ sport/ music/ chatting about interesting things unrelated to school topics.
I think that it was wise advice.

Hope that helps in some way.

learnandsay Thu 24-Jan-13 18:40:16

Providing the child with appropriate reading books isn't advancing the child. If the school has a problem with providing appropriate reading books then it should at least allow the child to read alternative books provided by the mother. I know of only one person whose child is having special phonics lessons. I've also heard of YR children having phonics lessons with Y1. It may well vary from school to school. But most of the intermediate and above Reception readers that I've heard about don't seem to be getting any special treatment. And I haven't heard of any special arithmetic treatment either. But some children have access to computerised arithmetic/maths lessons. Some of these have the ability to raise the child's level automatically. I don't know what happens in the case where the computer program meets a Reception child who can multiply two digit numbers. But since the program I'm thinking of provides for children up to Y6 it's entirely possible that it can cope with such children.

teacherwith2kids Thu 24-Jan-13 19:21:40

The EYFS shouldn't be placing a limit on what a child can do ... and in fact the 'learning through play' is a brilliant way to allow bright children or those who are already secure in one thing to progress to the next.

As the parent of 2 bright DCs, one very spiky in profile, there was no pr0blam at all in Year R because e.g. DD could spend all day writing stories, and DS could spend hours in the 'World Cup' topic working out total goal differneces between different groups and thus exploring how negative numbers work.

The problems of 'limiting progress' came in Year 1, when teaching became much more 'didicatic' and such open-ended exploration was no longer possible.

(I believe that is possible, btw, to assess childen in Year R on NC levels if the EYFS is not sufficient to describe what they can do IYSWIM. Certainly I was given NC levels for DS, though he was before the current requirement to communicate EYFS levels to parents so such 'informal' reporting of higher levels may be more tricky now - not my age group so I can't say)

teacherwith2kids Thu 24-Jan-13 19:22:05

Appalling typing. Sprry.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 24-Jan-13 19:33:41

OP is it a private school?

My DS1 is in reception, and he has gone from not being able to read to ORT stage 2.

He was already counting past 100 and doing simple addition and subtraction sums before he started, and now he has grasped numbers up to 1000 and is learning about 3D shapes, and time and money.

He also spends a great deal of time playing with the lego, the farm animals and role-playing various scenarios that tie in with their current topics.

I think maybe something you should remember, is that your daughter as an older in the year girl is likely to be much more competent with things like dressing, eating, remembering her belongings, and generally coping socially than, say - my July born boy. It will take lots of kids a lot longer to do all this basic stuff, and it takes up time in the school day.

PoppyWearer Thu 24-Jan-13 19:37:15

My DD's progress (also a July baby) has been almost identical to AliBaba's DS. From zero reading to ORT level 2. 3D shapes, etc.

simpson Thu 24-Jan-13 21:16:02

Teacherwith2kids - I agree, I have been given my DD's NC levels and she is in reception.

She is assessed in reading/comprehension, writing and numeracy on NC levels so it is definately possible if they have finished EYFS scorings...

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