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Apparently DS (year 1) is behind. Perspective needed please.

(9 Posts)
catquestioner Mon 17-Feb-14 19:02:20

I have been writing in his reading record book that he is reading the books that school send home fluently but apparently it is school policy to read a book band lower at home than what they do at school. (Apparently for confidence and to instil a love of reading. This is a joke in itself as the books they send are from the ark!)

I also got a letter home last
week to say my DS will be attending an additional phonics group daily to improve his reading and writing.

I had a question regarding this weeks homework so collard his (supply) teacher after school. She then went on to tell me that he is very behind and is struggling to write a basic sentence and needs to practice his blending. I was shocked at this as he has been able to blend cvc words since nursery and was in the top group for phonics in reception.

The teacher then went on to say she struggles to assess him as he writes so little and his writing is terrible. (It's big and messy but letters are generally formed correctly.)

Apparently I should be doing more with him at home and he should read more too. He reads his school book every evening (plus books for fun!) and always completes his homework and practices handwriting, number bonds etc. He also plays numeracy and literacy apps on the iPad and writes for fun (as in...'I'm the waiter...what's your order?')

Realistically, what should I be doing at home with him? I'm really concerned that he's behind and feeling pissed off that the teacher didn't approach me about her concerns. She fobbed me off and said she would speak to me again after half term. (She had a staff meeting.)

Any advice would be much appreciated.

TIA

catquestioner Mon 17-Feb-14 19:03:44

Yikes...that was an essay! Sorry.

WipsGlitter Mon 17-Feb-14 19:05:43

Well, it's good they're giving him extra support. Probably best to make a formal appointment and talk it through with her.

ziggiestardust Mon 17-Feb-14 19:06:43

I'm sorry but I think if you're reading with him every evening and helping him with games etc, than that's enough. No need to draw too much attention, I'd say. Some kids just take longer to grasp ideas, and your son's teacher cannot be THAT concerned if she didn't ask to see you sooner, and also was happy to leave it until after half term.

catquestioner Mon 17-Feb-14 19:10:41

Thank you for the replies.

I asked her this morning if I could speak to her after school which she said was fine but she then got collard by two other parents which is why her 'chat' with me was somewhat rushed.

I just feel a bit sad that he was one of the brightest (according to his reception class teacher) and now he's behind. I feel like I've failed him somehow. Luckily he seems completely oblivious...

lljkk Mon 17-Feb-14 19:16:15

It sounds like he is weak on phonics...

The big phonics test is in June, they have to teach to the test. He may be able to read by other methods very well, but he has to do phonics in June & if he doesn't pass he'll have to re-take phonics in yr2 which will be a faff. I'm guessing that's where school is coming from.

Teachers told us that it's kids who read very well without breaking down to phonics who get tripped up on the test. confused

Tagada Mon 17-Feb-14 19:20:40

I think it's really hard for a parent to realise the level they work out at school as you only see your one child's progress.

From having been in a similar situation, I would
1. try to find out actually what reading band most of the other children are in his class ( just casually ask him / his friends / their mums) to try to assess for yourself the level of the issue (if I had known myself, I would have acted sooner)
2. for a change buy some of these little practice books you find at WH Smith etc with phonics/writing exercises - get one at his level or lower if needed
3. try to read harder books with him, or again easier if required.

Good luck !

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 17-Feb-14 20:29:54

the problem may well be that he can blend cvc words ok and can read quite well having learned lots of words from reading so much but he may struggle with longer words he doesn't know. What would happen if you gave him some long unseen words to try and read?

Yr1 reading levels can be anywhere from pink/red(1/2) to beyond lime (11) but I think the levels they would expect them to be at this stage in yr1 would be level 5ish or higher (green).

writing wise I think from what we were told at parents evening they should be using full stops and capital letters, writing proper sentences, at least half a page of sentences I assume from the way the teacher was talking (we don't have this problem, DD writes LOADS, just very messily) using common spellings that they should know and phonetically plausible ones for words they don't know. If he doesn't write very much then the teacher really will struggle to know what he CAN do.

RiversideMum Tue 18-Feb-14 13:04:18

In a typical year 1 class (ie not a class full of Mumsnet children) you will have some children reading fluently with a reading age well above their chronological age, and writing groups of sentences or stories correctly punctuated. You will also probably have a handful of children who cannot read or write anything without support. You will then have every stage between the two. So if the teacher says your DS is behind, you need to find out behind what? Behind all the other children? Behind where he should be? Not making progress? If his writing is so bad, the school needs to look at providing fine (and maybe gross) motor activities. It's good that he's doing extra phonics. Find out what they are doing and maybe you can support him a bit with it at home. Has he coped with the transition to year 1?

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