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Reception writing - what do teachers expect?

(44 Posts)
Onelittlebugbear Wed 22-Jan-14 10:41:00

I can't get any information out of ds's teacher, if I ask if he's about where he should be she just says vaguely "they're all doing well." Yes, I haven't asked about the others, I just want to know if ds is on target! Here is something he wrote last night. He put the capital letter and full stop himself but I reminded him twice to finger space - hence why "hashorns" is all one word. The sounds and spelling are his. It says "The Thstops hashuns to difnd his suf." It means "the triceratops has horns to defend himself." Although ds said "his self" when sounding out, not himself. He decided he was going to write a sentence about his favourite dinosaur and then draw a picture.

Is this about where he should be? I'm concerned about his writing because his handwriting is random and because without lines on the page he will just basically write anything anywhere. The handwriting for this isn't too bad, on the line and apart from one back to front "s" is clearly legible.


Onelittlebugbear Wed 22-Jan-14 10:44:42

Oh and he's 4.7 so one of the younger ones.

cornflakegirl Wed 22-Jan-14 10:48:25

Looks great to me. Very impressed at capital letter and full stop. DS1 (bright but lazy) only wrote under duress (still does). DS2 (currently in Reception) likes writing but doesn't do sentences.

Is it a stealth boast? wink

PaperMover Wed 22-Jan-14 10:59:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

columngollum Wed 22-Jan-14 11:39:10

I like it a lot. Did anyone ever speculate about whether or not the vegetarian dinosaurs used their horns on each other?

choceyes Wed 22-Jan-14 12:03:04

I also haven't a clue what they are supposed to do re writing in reception class. My 5yr old DS has been a very reluctant writer till recently. Hates to be corrected too, so there's nothing much I can do to improve his writing.

Occassionally he gets flashes of inspiration (very occasionally!) and the other day he decided he wants to write a book and asked me for my help and with some spelling help from me wrote quite a long story about a dragon and a castle (he didn't know how to spell those words though). But while I was making myself a cup of tea in the kitchen, when I came back he had written the sentence " The king and queen had a pet." I was shocked he could spell those words, especially queen.
He doesn't space out his words that well and some letters are bigger than others so it's all a bit of a muddle, but DH managed to read it, so it is kind of legible, just barely.
He sometimes misspells his own name though, so it's all very hit and miss.

Hellocleaveland Wed 22-Jan-14 12:17:55

There is a wide, wide range! If you google the Early Learning Goals that will give you the aims for the end of Reception, but to be honest the goalposts moved significantly last year and what is required to meet the 'expected' level (let alone the 'exceeding' level!) is now significantly more challenging. To reassure you about your son however, I would say he is doing well. He is segmenting words, can write simple words correctly and make phonetically plausible attempts at trickier ones. Assuming his letter formation is ok and he is writing clearly with some awareness of finger spaces I would say he would be around the high middle of my class. I have about 5 or 6 children doing a little better probably, about another 6 where he is and the rest are doing less. About 6 or 7 are still working on letter formation and find it hard to segment 3 letter words, and 2 or 3 have no phonics at all and can't write any letters. It's great that he wants to write, encourage that as much as you can!

ohdofeckorf Wed 22-Jan-14 13:29:48

Wow that's good, my Dd is 4.8 and is only just getting to grips with letter formation....saying that she has some memory issues which are certain to cause difficulties in all areas of learning, and it's still early days yet so we are just encouraging her love of learning at the mo smile

WooWooOwl Wed 22-Jan-14 14:37:55

Teachers don't expect the same thing from all children in reception, so it's difficult to answer your question.

At this age it's more about pencil control, and I'd concentrate on that rather than sentence construction. Do things like colouring and dot to dots and if he wants to, you can practice writing letters evenly sized, evenly spaced, and on the line.

The idea is to have pencil control skills sorted so that by the time his reading and sounding out is as a stage where he can work on constructing sentences, his handwriting isn't holding him back.

Katnisscupcake Wed 22-Jan-14 14:40:31

I'm not sure what they should be able to do, DD is 4.7 and has only been writing sentences because she went to an academic pre-school who started her writing and reading.

But in DD's class there are a massive range of abilities. We went to a 'phonics' introduction lesson with the teacher last week and she was saying that there are some children who are still in the first stages of letter formation and others who are writing sentences.

Reception appears to be mostly about play but when they get to Year 1, my understanding is that it will be a lot more structured and there should be a big change...

redskyatnight Wed 22-Jan-14 14:59:18

They are expected to progress in line with where they started.

At this stage in Reception DS was learning to write a recognisable version of every letter (having mastered the letters in his name in the 1st term).
DD was learning to consistently use full stops and capital letters and think about using more interesting vocabulary.
What was right for DD would have been totally wrong for DS and vice versa!

Rightojo Wed 22-Jan-14 15:00:35

Same stage as ohdofeckorf here. DS is lower end of the ability group though.

LittleMissGreen Wed 22-Jan-14 15:11:44

In Wales they would be working in Foundation outcome 3, I get the impression from MN that in England they are now expecting Yr1 results which would be the equivalent of outcome 4 in Wales which is our equivalent of NC level1.

Our outcomes for literacy are:
Outcome 3:
Children draw on an increasing vocabulary in their talk. They begin to use complete sentences. Children listen to others and usually respond appropriately. With support they repeat/memorise songs and rhymes. They retell familiar stories in a simple way. Children handle a book as a ‘reader’ and talk about its content. They begin to recognise the alphabetic nature of reading and writing and understand that written symbols have sounds and meaning. They hold writing instruments appropriately, discriminate between letters and begin to write in a conventional way.
Foundation Phase Outcome 4
Children speak audibly, conveying meanings to a range of listeners. They begin to extend their ideas or accounts by including some detail. Children listen to others, usually responding appropriately. They recognise familiar words in simple texts and when reading aloud, use their knowledge of letters and sound–symbol relationships to read words and establish meaning. They respond to poems, stories and non-fiction, sometimes needing support. Children’s writing communicates meaning through simple words and phrases. In their reading or writing, they begin to demonstrate an understanding of how sentences work. Children form letters, which are usually clearly shaped and correctly orientated. They begin to understand the different purposes and function of written language.

cornflakegirl Wed 22-Jan-14 15:20:17

What redsky said. It's progress and an enjoyment of writing that are important.

Paper - hello! Bnarnus are fab! Don't you love phonetic spelling? I won't let DS1 tell DS2 how to spell words. I tell him it's because he needs to sound them out, but mainly it's because it's so cute!

PaperMover Wed 22-Jan-14 20:18:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Onelittlebugbear Wed 22-Jan-14 20:35:03

Bnarnus is super cute! I think I will keep encouraging him to write for a purpose, shopping lists etc.
ds has a great vocab so I'm hoping it'll come through his writing in time.

I agree littlemiss that they've moved the goalposts. It seems a lot to expect!

Badmumof3 Fri 24-Jan-14 11:27:32

My son will be 5 in May and is very happy and settled at school. He's only recently started mark making as he simply wasn't interested before. He can write his name, just, but that's about it. However his teacher said to me not to push the writing, as it could put home off. I help in his class and thee is a wide range of writing ability. Equally there is a wide variety in overall development. Children learn and grow at different rates, and you will find that learning isn't always a constant upward thing. I've found that they sometimes rocket forward and occasionally slip back. I take the view that reception is abut settling into school life, making friends and being happy. If they come away at the end of the year with anything else, that's a bonus. He has learned all his phonics so has started to read really well. (I've got 3 btw, and he's my youngest)

SapphireMoon Fri 24-Jan-14 12:16:04

I'm with you Badmumof3. My summer born boy can write his name and he knows what he is writing but he needs to tell us! Reading at very early stage BUT is enjoying school after a clingy and very shy start.
I find I am much more relaxed about him than his pfb brother at this stage as realise learning to enjoy school life and settle is the most important thing at Reception. Other aspects come when the child is ready.
Cliche time- education a marathon and not a sprint....

MiaowTheCat Fri 24-Jan-14 13:42:32

That's bloody brilliant and I love the fact he's used words like defend as well. I don't teach anymore but I would have thought it was good back when I did (disclaimer: no doubt Gove now expects reception kids to be able to quantum physics while standing on their heads reciting The Republic or something ridiculous this week).

PaperMover Fri 24-Jan-14 17:15:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Belacoros Sun 26-Jan-14 08:50:05

They're well ahead of ours. My son's class isn't encouraging sentences at all yet sad They have sheets with pictures of cats, pots, cans and pegs and have to write the three letter word underneath. My son was doing that at 2. We're both getting pretty frustrated. He writes at home, but he longs to take it in to show his teacher, which I discourage in case she thinks I'm being passive-aggressive.

Onelittlebugbear Sun 26-Jan-14 09:20:54

Today we have:
The T. rex has shrp teth and cuws.

The T. rex has sharp teeth and claws.

He spaced it himself this time. Handwriting still not great though!

Onelittlebugbear Sun 26-Jan-14 09:21:38

bel I'd say something. Your ds will get bored.

mrz Sun 26-Jan-14 10:04:22

The expection at the end of reception is -

EYFS Profile

Writing Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds.
They also write some irregular common words.
They write sentences which can be read by themselves and others.
Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.

thegreylady Sun 26-Jan-14 14:33:04

My dgs will be 5 next month. He wrote me a letter:
Deer grammar wee wont to go to the myoosum [museum] with yoo on saterday.

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