Advanced search

Reception targets- too high??

(18 Posts)
kittykat001 Mon 20-May-13 17:04:20

Im writing at the end of my tether really.
My son is nearly at the end of his reception year, I had my parent consultation with his teacher last week who basically told me that he is below average in the class, his handwriting is very bad, as well as maths. I work full time- I read every night with him, we do all his homework at weekends - everything has been done 'our end' to my knowledge until now. When I am asked my friends how he has been getting on I have been gushing about how pleased I've been with his reading and writing (I didnt even think he'd be doing so much in the first year of school!) adn he seems happy enough.
When he comes home from school my parents or the childminder (whoever collects) encourages him to change, have a bite to eat adn then go outside to play and run about. I dont really want him to be doing work as soon as he gets home - (he is only 5!!).
So I am feeling very dispondent about the school- firstly not telling me that he was so far behind - and secondly that they are doing so much academic work- of course I knew that - but I thought it would mainly be done through play. I thought the idea of reception was for the school to 'receive' the children and then prepare them for the years ahead. I also feel like I hvae perhaps failed my son in some way- but possibly now making him feel that he isnt as clever as the other children in his class.
Is this how all reception classes work? Or is this standard? shoudl I be thinking about moving him? I dont know what to do.....
(am having another meeting with the teacher - who didnt actually have that much positive stuff to tell me about him, later in the week).

learnandsay Mon 20-May-13 17:10:13

This may turn out to be a boy versus girl thing. Anecdotally it's common to hear how well infant girls are doing.

lunar1 Mon 20-May-13 17:27:41

I have no idea if its normal as my DS1 is only in his KG year but it sounds like a horrible experience for you. Why on earth if you son was so far behind would it have taken the teacher so long to let you know. I would want to know if he just got behind in the last couple of weeks or if it has been noticeable for a while. Why hasn't the teacher called you in before now and given you guidance as to how you could help him. I would be very disappointed in the school and teacher too op.

sitzonhandz Mon 20-May-13 17:33:37

He's in yr r. And he's 'below average'. At this point, this information alone is fairly meaningless. In a class of thirty, fifty percent of them are going to be 'below average', and fifty are going to be above.

How far below average? If she is talking about calling in the senco, and getting him referred to a developmental paediatrician for assessment, then do start to be concerned. If he is just an ordinary kid, and not 'below average' enough to bother listing as school action, let alone seek external support, then you are worrying completely unnecessarily.

Below average is meaningless. Completely meaningless.

Is she suggesting senco involvement? School action? Or was it a passing comment?

Yr r is mostly about playing and getting to grips with school routines. No need to panic. Some kids take a year or two to warm up to education....

sitzonhandz Mon 20-May-13 17:34:33

(But no, reception targets aren't too high. For an awful lot of kids, they are way too low. But averages at this age are a fairly meaningless concept. There's a huge range of difference at 5)

learnandsay Mon 20-May-13 17:43:29

It's possibly that the teacher has explained herself badly or that we OP's post hasn't fairly represented what the teacher actually did say.

simpson Mon 20-May-13 18:02:37

What is he behind in?

Lots of boys find writing harder.

Also the way the EYFS is set up a lot of children get distracted doing work when they can see their best friend making a telescope on the creative table for example.

The only time that my DD does any work all together with her class is phonics and numeracy and topic time.

The rest of the learning she does is in much smaller groups so that some kids get distracted by what their class mates are doing.

This will not happen on yr1.

I also think its shockingly bad of the teacher to tell you now in the school year that your child is behind. IE no hint of it earlier in the school year.

My DS (now yr3 - Aug born) struggled for the majority of reception and his teacher made me cry at parents eve blush as she did not say one positive thing about him..

Periwinkle007 Mon 20-May-13 20:00:51

I wouldn't worry if it his handwriting, this comes with practice and from what I can see of my daughter's reception class they don't do handwriting practice, they don't even have lines so....

maths - I think they want them to be able to use numbers up to 20 by the end of reception (someone correct me if I am wrong) so I assume that means recognising them, writing them, counting them and using them for basic addition and subtraction? I could be wrong on that, subtraction may not come into play until yr1. They do it as counting on and counting back I think so you could probably work out for yourself how he is doing with that.

Obviously we don't know but I think you may be worrying unnecessarily, as others have said half are above average and half are below average and often age and boy/girl plays a large part in it in reception.

I think if I was you I would put a note in his bag asking if you could arrange to speak to her again following some concerns that came up at parents evening when there wasn't time to discuss them fully. You can then ask whether there is anything to worry about and if so, what you can do to help. It may be that just a bit of reminding with counting over the summer holiday would help make sure he doesn't slip behind over the holidays.

allyfe Tue 21-May-13 14:04:22

Simpson your post just about made me cry! How totally vile of a teacher not to say anything positive about your child. I can't imagine how upset I would have been.

OP my daughter is going into reception this year, and I think that we have all become so obsessed with education and a good university education, and so focused on achievement at every step, it is so easy to forget that children learn at different stages and sometimes, in different ways, so the classic markers of 'achievement' (like phonics, maths etc) are not always the best. If you think he has been doing well, and he is happy, I honestly would say that you are the best judge.

cassgate Tue 21-May-13 14:48:02

Kittycat - I could have written your post two years ago. My ds was in reception and left way below average in everything. His reception teacher told me that she thought he was really going to struggle in year 1 and she wished she had the power to hold him back a year as at that point he was deemed still to be at nursery level in most things. I was so upset and worried about him. However, year 1 was the making of him and he made up the lost ground and ended the year average in reading and numeracy (level 1a in both) and only a little behind in writing (level 1b). His expected levels for end of year 2 are 2b/2a across the board. So he has completely made up the lost ground. Unless there is a senco issue I wouldnt worry just keep a close eye on it and speak to the year 1 teacher to see if there is anything you can do at home to accelerate his learning. Sarah

redskyatnight Tue 21-May-13 14:49:57

OP - at the end of Reception my DS's handwriting was dreadful (he could just about form all his letters in a recognisable way), his writing was non-existent and his reading consisted of intelligent guessing.

He was below national expectations for reading and writing (but not below average in his class, which tells you how meaningless comparing against an individual class can be).

In Y1 it “clicked”. And in Y2 it clicked some more. And he finished KS1 well above average.

Slightly stereotyping here, but I think a lot of boys find Reception hard going – they haven’t got the fine motor movements needed to write well and prefer to engage in more active play.

You sound like a concerned and supportive parent – which means your child is likely to do well.

(and reading between the lines you possibly go to a high achieving school, so comparing against class averages may be disappointing).

Elibean Tue 21-May-13 14:51:13

Well...have a look at the thread lower down, 'EYFS profiles' etc.

The expectations of 'development' have changed very recently, and put loads of pressure on - some of them are totally daft, in terms of child development, and very much focused on academic achievement.

That aside, no teacher should ever make a child or his parent feel the way you feel - there are always plenty of positives, and 'average' is largely irrelevent at this age. What matters is individual progress, and if that is an issue they should be offering support.

I'm with allyfe - and I hope your next meeting with the teacher is more helpful.

eviekingston Tue 21-May-13 14:53:13

The new Early Learning Goals have meant that end of year expectations have changed somewhat. The expectation for writing for the end of Reception is now very high, as is Maths - number (not shape space and measure) I teach in an outstanding school with a very middle class, professional catchment area - our children generally achieve above the national average - and in these two areas the majority of my class (probably 20 out of 30) will not achieve the expected level for writing and about half will not achieve it for Number. There is such a massive range in Reception, and in my opinion if your child is settled, happy, making friends, communicating well with children and adults, following the rules most of the time, able to blend some sounds to read simple words, write a few words that have reasonably well formed letters, recognise numbers to 20 and find a total of two sets of objects, then they are doing fine. Try not to worry!

Scruffey Tue 21-May-13 14:55:03

My ds also had terrible writing in reception. He was below average as well. Now he is in yr 2, he has moved up the class to the "middle". I read with him every day and get him to do basic sums. You can try to encourage handwriting by getting him to write something he is interested in such as a list of toys he wants(!) or places to go or an invitation to a friend to come and play or a diary (this didn't really interests ds)

Angie77D Wed 05-Jul-17 13:58:56


I'm just wondering if anyone could advise me on what to do?

I have an adopted son who came to us, just before he turned 3. When we went through the adoption process you meet their paedriatrician and we were told he could have FAS foetal alcohol syndrome or be affected due to birth mum drinking.
I was told he wouldn't be academic but to get him into dance, music or drama, anything creative really.
He's now in reception class, coming to the end of the school year and I've just received a phone call to say that his teacher has referred him to be reviewed for learning difficulties. It's not 100% out of the blue, as in September I was called in to say he was struggling to concentrate and had refused to write. Now being new to school and him being able to do practically what he wanted in pre-school, after speaking to other mum's I thought a 5 yr old boy that lacks concentration was not unheard of. In October he was put on ELSA emotional support, I thought any help would benefit so didn't worry too much, I was told he'd be on it for 6 weeks and if the teaching assistant didn't think he needed to be on it, then she'd sign him off. Before Christmas I lynched the teacher who was very secretive, saying everything's good and she and D'S we're doing a little project for me and I've heard nothing since. I did ask his teacher a few werks later who said this assistant helped with other children and didn't see DS as much anymore???
Then early December I had a call to say DS wasn't well and when I picked him up, the receptionist asked me to hold on as his teacher wanted to speak to me. So I waited and she asked if it was possible to meet me and dad to discuss DS and about he may have to be put of the special needs register, gave me a form to fill in to confirm times for a meeting. We met and she told us how DS had a lack of concentration and was below average in a couple of areas.
Anyway this led to another meeting as D'S couldn't write his name, recognise no's and didn't know the alphabet A-M.
We did a 10 week plan how we could help at home and ive had nothing back until this phone call today.
An I right to be upset with D'S teacher and school, I'm a 1st time mum who doesn't know what to do. I thought me and his teacher had a good relationship, im surprised she hasnt said anything. I think i might ask to speak to her when I pick D'S up. I've accepted the referral as I don't want to hinder our D'S any extra help in a good thing in our eyes.
But how worried shall I be?
Our DS is lovely and confident and wondered if anyone has been in our situation? He does follow instructions (He goes dance school and can do the routines no problem) recites songs and he's very bright, great manners, he's just so good (I'm not saying any children with autism or ADHD aren't ) but are we looking at autism or ADHD? What happens if he has any of these conditions?
We would love him and support him 100% but would like some feedback? TIA

m0therofdragons Wed 05-Jul-17 18:34:38

Dd 1 was below average at the start of year 1 (30th Aug baby but was prem so I did consider keeping her back). It's now the end of year 1 and it's all clicked so she's expected for everything except reading and above expected for that. They all get there in the end. I think it's good to have high expectations. It's reception so don't stress it.

Nix32 Wed 05-Jul-17 18:47:50

From what you've said, they're not suggesting autism or any specific condition. Out of my class of 28, I have just 9 children who have achieved the standard expected at the end of Reception. Of the remaining 19, 9 are going into Year 1 on the special needs register with an IEP. This is to ensure they get the support needed as they move through school. Some of them are just very young and immature, and maths and phonics just aren't clicking with them yet. I'm just sharing this to reassure you that your little boy isn't unusual. They don't seem to have communicated very well with you - maybe next term just make a point of initiating a conversation each half term. Yes, that should come from them, but if it doesn't, there's nothing stopping you from asking those questions. I hope this helps.

Angie77D Wed 05-Jul-17 20:59:48

Thank you both, for putting my mind at ease. I did think it must be ok otherwise I'd of been pulled in. After school today I did pull his teacher over and said I'd had a call and she apologised for not speaking to me first. She said he lacks concentration and can only sit still for 5 minutes and he's behind in English. She says she's hoping someone will come in and observe but the paedriatrician deals with me not the school, so it's out of their hands. I also asked a out the ELSA programme and she said that off the record I should speak to the headmaster as he's no longer seeing the woman anymore and maybe a parent asking may help??? At the end of our conversation she said, "look he's a happy little boy who loves coming to school and that's the main thing". I asked if there's anything more i could do and she said "no its concentration issues". I will google and see if i can find some ideas. We do play board and card games and he does get bored but we make him play until the end haha But as a parent you want your child to be where the majority is, but believe he will get there, just in his own time.
I'm at the school with his younger brother, as he starts reception next year. Yes I have another who may have other issues. So I'll see the head master and see if I can arrange a meeting.
But like the idea of speaking to each teacher on a term basis smile Thankyou

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now