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What should I be expecting from state primary education?

(28 Posts)
JadedAngel Sat 08-Nov-14 17:25:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bearwithspecs Sat 08-Nov-14 17:33:27

If there is only 9 in her year, is it tiny? At our 90 intake school they do tons of extra curricular stuff of all types and they have the ability to put children across all 3 classes per year into appropriate groups etc

spanieleyes Sat 08-Nov-14 17:35:30

In our school RWI is "set" across KS1 so children are working with others at the same level but not necessarily in the same class, those in year 1 who complete the scheme early work with the year 2 children who have already finished until there are enough to make a viable group of year 1's.

Times tables are not an expectation in year 1 so, whilst extension activities for HA children might includelearning times tables they may not necessarilt be taught as a matter of course.

The "extras you mention will depend on the school. Music in KS1 is mainly singing and percussion ( although we have private music teachers who come in to take additional music lessons but at a cost) swimming is generally a KS2 activity ( although again, we have swimming from Reception as we have our own pool), French is a KS2 subject, PE should be about 2 hours a week, gym will be ONE of the topics covered over the year but not necessarily in the first term.
Facilitating friendships can be tricky, teachers can encourage children to work together but we cant make them be friends!

JadedAngel Sat 08-Nov-14 17:54:43

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spanieleyes Sat 08-Nov-14 18:00:38

Good grief, what sort of school did you go to! I really wouldnt worry about children standing when the Head enters!
How much do you think they learnt going to the beach? They will come back, write about it, draw it, look at different shells and animals, talk about what they see.
Quite frankly , you are in danger of sounding like an arse grin

JadedAngel Sat 08-Nov-14 18:04:27

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spanieleyes Sat 08-Nov-14 18:09:49

Possibly some homework but not necessarily, it depends on the ethos of the school, we ask parents to read with their child and practice the weekly phonics sound but wouldn't expect anything else in yr 1, it does ramp up a bit later on in school!

BackforGood Sat 08-Nov-14 18:10:52

I think what you describe your dd as doing sounds a lot more 'normal' than what you describe from your own childhood, tbh.

BackforGood Sat 08-Nov-14 18:11:42

re homework - I would be delighted with that. Completely pointless at that age.

JadedAngel Sat 08-Nov-14 18:31:09

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Biscuitsneeded Sat 08-Nov-14 18:32:34

If you want standing up for the teacher, lots of homework etc then you need to look at not just prep but a very traditional and expensive one. If you want DD challenged more, surrounded by more like-minded children, I would go for a state primary with a bigger intake. Small village schools can be very lonely places to be if you're cleverer than everyone else (which is what is, essentially, the problem).

JadedAngel Sat 08-Nov-14 18:36:58

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meglet Sat 08-Nov-14 18:48:26

The DC's go to a 'good' medium size state primary. They have spellings and homework over the weekend. Reading is ongoing, they usually change their books once a week. But it's also ok to read books from home, just as long as something is written in the reading record.

The most able reception children start to learn their 10 x table, although this involves parental support at home not that I'm pushy or anything. I don't know what year they officially teach times tables.

I've just asked the dc's if they stand up when the head enters the room and they said "no, we just keep doing our work".

Your DD's school sounds lovely, especially the beach envy, but it doesn't sound like there are going to be many children working at a higher level.

UniS Sat 08-Nov-14 19:28:27

Expect Times Tables formal work in year 2, 3, 4 . And its more than just learning to chant them, it's being solid on counting in what ever, using multiplication facts to solve puzzles etc. French is unlikely before year 3. Music in a lot of primary school is rudimentary and majors on group singing, percussion and rhythm work. A commitment to beach and forest school sounds lovely, well done your local school, many only pay lip service to outdoor learning.

Year 1 in a state primary is often a transition from play led reception style learning at the start of the year ( this term) to being ready for more formal desk based learning before they start year 2.

To have 2 out of 9 that you consider not suitable friends is about par for the course. DS is in a class of 24 and I'd say there are 6 or 7 kids that he is not interested in being friends with because they play rough, or are besotted by TV shows or try to control situation all the time . The rest he rubs along with , 1 is is his best-est buddy.

Try not to underestimate the non academic learning your child and her peers will be doing this year and next. They really do a lot of growing up in Key Stage 1.

Other children will be busy catching up with your in the reading and writing stakes. again its anecdotal, but at this stage in year 1 DS was not a fluent reader while some others were. He is currently ( yr 4) engaged in competitively reading the swallows and Amazons series along with one of the high flyers from year 1. Both children started reading them independently over the summer. Both are in the same guided reading group. DS is in the extension group for maths , membership of which has fluctuated over the last two years, currently year ones high flyers are not in it.

JadedAngel Sat 08-Nov-14 19:33:03

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Timeforanap1 Sat 08-Nov-14 20:22:24

OP please stop worrying, all sound quite normal and typical. Ask how she's settled into new class, is she happy, what are her learning behaviours like (keen, motivated, interested, questioning etc). And then keep reading at home, let her practice her writing and numbers at her level. Let her just enjoy learning at her level. Let her enjoy her school. The standards stuff will come.

Toomanyhouseguests Sat 08-Nov-14 20:24:42

I think you can expect your DD's school to continue to move along at this gentle pace.

You don't sound like an arse to me. I also stood as a child when the HM entered our classroom, etc. I was shocked by my DDs' school. I kept wondering when they would finally "get going." I even asked why they didn't move the children to individual desks in rows. I remembered this from school and felt it would help concentration and cut down on chatting. (Now, there is an arse! grin)

Ultimately, what you see now, is what you will continue to get. If you aren't satisfied, expect to augment at home. Your school sounds typical in style and philosophy of a British state primary.

My husband and I have appreciated the sense of community, kindness, and pastoral care, but we are looking to switch to private at 11+ because we just don't feel confident that standards will meet our academic expectations going forward. It's going to cost a fortune, and we are hardly rich.

teacherwith2kids Sat 08-Nov-14 22:05:43

Parent perspective: small schools are, somnetimes, not ideal for those who are 'outliers' in terms of ability, simply because the statistical probability of them having 'peers' is that much lower. DS - self taught pre-school reader, loved maths with negative numbers, adding and subtracting 3 digits etc in reception - was miserable in his first primary, which though double the size of yours was still too small for him to have any likelihood of 'near peers'. We moved, he moved to a school with a 2 form entry - 60 per year group - he had 4 or 5 'near peers' and never looked back. Small schools - I have taught in several, and know they have great strengths in some areas - are often exceptional for care and nurture and 'all round education', but not always great at meeting tyhe educational needs of 'outliers', simply because there are so few of the.

Teacher perspective:
^ DD knows most of her times tables but that's from learning at home, they don't seem to be doing them at all at school. Is this normal?^
All times tables must be learned by the end of Year 4, and are often learned earlier - which may sound late BUT, by learned, I mean:
- Knowing all facts out of order instantly
- Knowing all facts both ways round (8x4 and 4x8), again instantly
- Knowing the associated division facts, again out of order (32 divided by 8 etc)
- Being able to use these facts to solve both calculations of a 'pure' number type, and of a 'word problem' type.
- Being able to apply the facts to e.g. multiples of 10, so 4 x 80 =, 400 x 8 =

We are having to fill in the gaps with a lot of extra-curricular stuff outside of school that when I was at primary we did in school (admittedly a private school) - music/singing, swimming lessons, french, gymnastics - they only do PE once a week in school which seems very little.
This is where being a small school may be an issue. From the perspective of a larger school (bog stadard state): class music lessons weekly, and instrumental lessons (paid for in 1 school I have worked in, bought in for the whole class in another) are offered. Singing forms part of singing lessons,and there is a weekly 'singing assembly' led by a qualified musician. A 'fun choir' and a 'serious choir' meet after school, every year group puts on a musical theatre performance every year. Equally, swimming lessons are offered by every school I have taught in, though the year groups vary - some offer all year groups, all year round, others do 1 year group, others rotate the year groups in 8 or 10 week blocks. Gymnatsics is in the PE curriculum, and where I work is taught for a full term, dance for a term, athletics for a term, with a games lesson in addituion each week which alternaties between the main winter / summer sports. Also clubs in all the above.

Socially, DD is struggling a bit with her year group. She prefers to play with the year twos and threes but I'd like to encourage friendships in her year (of 9 children...). Can I ask the school to help facilitate this a bit? I can't imagine that being seen in class partnering with the TA to do read, write, inc while all the other kids are partnering with a peer is a good thing?
I would ask the schiool about this. However, with such a tiny peerr group, social relationships may always be a struggle. Indeed many peple ay that a strengrth of small schools is the ability for cross- year-group friendships to form.

bearwithspecs Sat 08-Nov-14 22:06:51

I think the school sounds lovely but they need to tackle the bully type DC. Educational methods have moved on hugely and relaxed play based learning is amazing in the early years. The beach stuff sounds awesome. I would leave her there and focus on topping up at home if need be - academic and extra curricular etc grin

teacherwith2kids Sat 08-Nov-14 22:11:58

"Your school sounds typical in style and philosophy of a British state primary."

From my experience of teaching in a number, I would say no, it is not typical of British primaries as a whole. It is typical of a small rural primary that has not moved with the times. It sounds very UNLIKE the large town primaries, such as the one I curretly work in and the one my children have attended. Increasingly, it is also unlike the small primaries that have looked around them and realised what is now needed in education You do not say what its Ofsted grade is and whether it has been recently inspected. it soumnds very like the last small primary I worked in, just before I arrived - very pained to discover that its 'nice' approach to a 'lovely' experience for 'delightful' children had brought it, all unknowing, to the brink of Special Measures (it would have ended up in SM straight away using the current criteria).

Read posts by mrz on here - she teaches in a rural area, and her school isn't huge, but the experience of her pupils is very, very different from what you describe in its rigour and ambition, even though many of her pupils start from an exceptionally low base.

teacherwith2kids Sat 08-Nov-14 22:16:36

(I should point out that some of the features ARE normal - I didn't stand up for the HT at primary in the 1970s - but the lack of academic rigour and ambition that Toomanyhouseguests is worried about is, IME, much less typical. It might not LOOK like what you expect - you might expect reciting tables, I might expect a deep understanding of tables - but there should be, and is in many schols, a real academic rigour underpinning what may seem to be 'aimless play'!)

bearwithspecs Sat 08-Nov-14 22:28:15

I would agree with what teacher says- at our school the play based and informal / peer learning has huge amount of thought and learning objectives hidden behind it. The children make amazing progress as a result. They are engaged and proud. You may need to work out if it's aimless or not. We don't get much homework at all. Huge percent of the DC do music, choir, sports, drama afterschool instead. This creates different ways of learning and rounded children

Snapespotions Sat 08-Nov-14 22:35:36

I don't think it sounds like a typical state school at all, OP - far from our experience, in any case. The real problem is probably that it's so small - with only 9 kids in the year group, I don't think you can expect much in the way of extra curricular activities and it's unlikely that kids at either end of the academic spectrum will find a suitable peer group. Any chance you could move to an area with a bigger school?

JadedAngel Sat 08-Nov-14 22:38:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JadedAngel Sat 08-Nov-14 22:42:57

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