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Year 6 dd has given up - any advice from teachers

(11 Posts)
moldingsunbeams Mon 10-Feb-14 22:42:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ferguson Mon 10-Feb-14 23:02:38

That is very sad, and I feel for you both.

I was a primary TA for twenty years, now retired.

If you can tell me a bit about her SEN, and what progress she HAS made, what she likes to do in way of activities, hobbies, etc and I'll try come back to you sometime. When it is your Half Term holiday, enjoy that and try and do something nice together, and forget school for a few days!

moldingsunbeams Tue 11-Feb-14 00:11:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cory Tue 11-Feb-14 09:21:49

Will she be moving to a different school for secondary?

Ime secondary schools are often far more clued up on SEN and have more resources to help.

Also qualified subject teachers may be in a better place to engage her interest in the subject rather than focusing on herself iyswim.

This has made all the difference to my ds. At primary he saw his learning as one whole, making it all about him as a person, and because he struggled with some aspects (e.g. couldn't hold a pen well) he thought it was all hopeless.

After an initial settling in period in Yr 7 when he played the clown to get attention, he discovered a joy in individual subjects and started wanting to find out more. Now he is flying. He still hardly ever reads a book but he follows news stories on the internet and watches serious news programmes, and his history and geography teachers are very posivitive about his progress.

PastSellByDate Tue 11-Feb-14 10:31:45

Agree with cory - secondary school will be better able to help - both in terms of SEN but also subject specialization in teaching is going to mean that they're much better able to support her individual interests.

For Grammar - there is a system (the problem of course is English doesn't always follow the system - but knowing the system will get you there a lot of the time).

Some useful things:

St. Ambrose Primary Spelling page - these are on-line quizzes (most work but a few don't so beware) that will quiz you on various spelling rules:

knife ---- knives
wife ---- wives
roof - roofs

y changing to i + ending

happy ---- happiness
tiny ---- tiniest

anyway link here:

CGP literacy workbooks Years 4/ 5 really helped my DD1 (she had no grammar work at all until late Year 5 - and since I knew SPAG was coming last year, I started with these early Year 5 (also in run-up to 11+). They're funny and she really enjoyed working her way through them. A page only takes 5 - 10 minutes and is ideal for things like waiting for a sibling to finish a lesson, those 5 minutes before heading off to school, etc....

You can see what is there here: - where there is a 'look inside' feature.

Woodlands Junior School (which I adore for their MATHS ZONE) also has a literacy zone:

highly recommend playing some of the games in spellings/ plurals/ prefixes and suffixes.

Finally don't forget about BBC Bitesize KS2:

There is a spelling & grammar section (under ENGLISH) - with explanations & games to help review/ learn SPAG.

The problem with dyspraxics is of course that you can't force them to do things, they have to want to. But if she's finding SPAG frustrating - perhaps encouraging her to go away and do a bit more at her own pace may make a difference. If she's a 3, she really does have it all to play for - May is a few months away. 10 minutes here and there 3 - 5 times a week will add up and will make a difference.

I am sorry that she's losing interest in school but suspect it is a reflection of the fact that they're not working with her in a way she can understand or possibly respect. Dyspraxia is very tricky - certainly at University age it can literally come down to dyspraxics refusing to attend a rescheduled lecture because the lecture is Tuesdays at 10 a.m. not Thursdays at 3 p.m. We have huge issues with dyspraxics getting paperwork in to us completed and on time (time management, planning, organisation huge issues for many).

I'm not certain how severely dyspraxic your DD is - but I would advise that you let what extra work she does toward reaching L4 for SPAG be down to her. Try suggesting 'Hey, PSBD on Mumsnet suggested this... What do you think????' Then it's her choice. Hopefully a few things in there will appeal and help.

Hang in there molding brew


moldingsunbeams Tue 11-Feb-14 11:04:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PastSellByDate Tue 11-Feb-14 11:36:06


My advice regarding SATs - is lots of forwarning about when it is:


Scroll down to TEST DATES - and you have a break down of what & when.

Encourage her to see this as a process/ a tradition. She's bound to say she doesn't like it or doesn't understand why she has to do it like this on such and such a day - but make it clear that EVERYBODY is doing much the same.

If she has 'an Educational Statement' - she may be entitled to additional time during the exam. So that may also be worth looking into. As she may need more time to process what the exam is asking her to do.

KS2 SATS papers are available free here:

In her situation - it may be advisable to let her see these papers and possibly practice at home (although I'm sure she has already & will continue to be in school as well) - so that she's extremely familiar with their structure/ content - so there are no surprises on the day.

Ferguson Wed 12-Feb-14 23:02:09

You have had good, and I hope, useful info from others. I'll just add my standard Numeracy stuff; probably not all relevant, but use what you want from it:


Practical things are best for grasping number concepts - bricks, Lego, beads, counters, money, shapes, weights, measuring, cooking.

Do adding, taking away, multiplication (repeated addition), division (sharing), using REAL OBJECTS as just 'numbers' can be too abstract for some children.

Number Bonds of Ten forms the basis of much maths work, so try to learn them. Using Lego or something similar, use a LOT of bricks (of just TWO colours, if you have enough) lay them out so the pattern can be seen of one colour INCREASING while the other colour DECREASES. Lay them down, or build up like steps.


ten of one colour none of other
nine of one colour one of other
eight of one colour two of other
seven of one colour three of other

etc, etc

then of course, the sides are equal at 5 and 5; after which the colours 'swap over' as to increasing/decreasing.

To learn TABLES, do them in groups that have a relationship, thus:

x2, x4, x8

x3, x6, x12

5 and 10 are easy

7 and 9 are rather harder.

Starting with TWO times TABLE, I always say: "Imagine the class is lining up in pairs; each child will have a partner, if there is an EVEN number in the class. If one child is left without a partner, then the number is ODD, because an odd one is left out."

Use Lego bricks again, lay them out in a column of 2 wide to learn 2x table. Go half way down the column, and move half the bricks up, so that now the column is 4 bricks wide. That gives the start of 4x table.

Then do similar things with 3x and 6x.

With 5x, try and count in 'fives', and notice the relationship with 'ten' - they will alternate, ending in 5 then 10.

It is important to try and UNDERSTAND the relationships between numbers, and not just learn them 'by rote'.

I am sorry it seems complicated trying to explain these concepts, but using Lego or counters should make understanding easier.

An inexpensive solar powered calculator (no battery to run out!) can help learn tables by 'repeated addition'. So: enter 2+2 and press = to give 4. KEEP PRESSING = and it should add on 2 each time, giving 2 times table.

There are good web sites, which can be fun to use :


This was originally for younger children.

I'll also come back re something else in a while. . .!

Ferguson Wed 12-Feb-14 23:18:11

I was impressed by DD range of interests and activities, particularly Drums! Does she play in a band, and what types of music does she like?

By coincidence, I played drums semi-pro for around forty years: pubs, clubs, dances, and later with amateur theatre groups doing pantomime every Christmas, and also shows like South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, The Boy Friend, Oliver, Annie etc.

When I worked as a TA in an infant school, I coached Yr2 children on percussion for the Christmas production each year. I also had a recorder club for ten years, and a percussion club for a while.

Music can encourage a range of skills in children, and it can be a useful social activity as well.

Let me know what music she is 'in to', and I'll try and send some 'links' to music, and drummers, she might like.


moldingsunbeams Thu 13-Feb-14 07:30:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ferguson Thu 13-Feb-14 20:22:14

Hi again -

I guess maybe DD wasn't taught via 'phonics' when she started reading? It can help a lot with reading and spelling though, and can make things easier in the long-run.

On the MN 'book reviews', in the section on 'Children's educational books and courses' I did a review of the Oxford Phonics Spelling Dictionary. This explains things in a very clear way, and you might find it useful.

Re Drums: I've tried to find a useful on-line 'drum machine', but haven't found quite what I wanted yet. This one is easy and might do for a start though: hover over the '?' for instructions. You can control 'beats' from the computer keyboard. I can't see a volume control, so turn down the computer volume until you get used to it.

Have fun!

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