Further advice needed on lack of progress.(19 Posts)
Background. We were concerned when receiving latest parents evening report that it appeared our 6yo DS in Year 2 had made no progress over the last 10 month period !
Received further information from school, as detailed below.
Last year and this on Blue.
Updated information is DS has learnt 50% of two next levels yellow and green.
Conclusion. School have mistakenly been testing DS on wrong Blue spellings for the last two terms and mistakenly written blue not yellow/green on his report.
No info, have to trust that the "fine" level is accurate and look at next report.
Last year year and this in Phase Three.
Updated information. School gave list if test scores with no comments. In our opinion it appears slow progress was made during Year One. Progress lost after summer holidays. Current progress is the same, as Summer last year. I.e. No progress made in the last two terms (we have five terms a year for grades etc)
DS is still only getting 9/19, can't move on until he gets 15 or more. If he returns to last year's progress levels it will take a further 3 terms to move to phase 3 !
Our school "practically teach phase 4 alongside phase 3 and that phase is completed so fast" Not sure if this is relevant but might be.
My question is...given the new information are we right to still be worrying ?
We are concerned that seeming no progress in Phonics has been made in the two terms in Year Two. What can be done ?
Also not happy that they have not been testing on the right spelling level either...but guess they have corrected it now...nothing more can be done in this area.
I remember your previous thread. It's difficult to be sure what's happening without knowing how the school assess these things- for instance the 9/19 in phonics- do they mean he only knows 9 phase three spellings?
Personally, I would focus more on what you know about your DS. Do you know which phonics he is confident with and which he needs to work on? Can he easily read words containing 'qu' 'sh' 'ee' 'wh' etc? Do you agree that he hasn't seemed to make much progress in the last year?
Apparantly school test the children termly on 19 out of the 44 phonic sounds and if they get 15 or higher, they move up a level.
I have no idea how things are going at school. Beyond what the school tell us. DS never talks about school and refuses to answer questions too. All he repeats is that he hates school, everyone hates him and he has no friends The school say the opposite, which I pray is correct.
He seems to read his reading book ok. School said he can read all the phonic sounds (good memory) but can't spell or use them in his writing, hence remaining in phase 3 for phonics.
However his general reading level is 20 which isn't even on this year's targets of starting at 21 and finishing the year at 28 but school say this is due to new curriculum and that he will catch up.
Phonics wise IF he starts progressing at last year's speed. ..he might finish phase 3 by the end of year 2, when I thought all kids should be finished at phase 6 !
School says DS lost two terms worth of progress over summer holidays and took two further terms too catch back on this lost work. Is that reasonable/expected.
I worry that he is switching off and not learning in the classroom as it is too noisy and busy for him.
But the teachers report he is very well behaved and easy to teach in the classroom. Which amazes me and the SALT and OT as we all struggle to get his attention even for a few moments, with 2 to 1 !
I guess it is tricky to pin down how a child will progress in the future.
Is "well behaved" and "easy to teach" perhaps their idea of "quiet and not disruptive" while he is actually withdrawn and not engaging?
I think your son "could" be so overwhelmed by school that he switches off, and the classroom is so busy that they are not even noticing him. He doesn't bother them so they think he's fine. They see him with other DC in the playground (or he doesn't bother them/isn't hurt etc.) so they think he has friends.
My DD (middle one, no problems with friends/social awareness) went through primary saying she had no friends. She was a real people pleaser so would be all smiley and nice to the teachers. finally in year 6 someone monitored her at breaktime, and discovered she spent every break by herself reading because she had no friends. Things got a bit better then. But this was at a very caring touchy feely school, that really wanted everyone to be happy etc. I hate to think what would happen if the school didn't see the social side as important or was really under pressure.
Can you afford time/money to get him some 1:1 outside school help?
Does he do anything social/fun outside school?
Does he want to read? Can you access books he might enjoy? What is he interested in?
Look it sounds to me several things are going on: you're unsure about the quality of the school, have doubts about how well they know your child's abilities, aren't clear what is going on in class and are worried your DS is unhappy at the school.
In short my advice is try to realise that you can't control the school but that you can make little changes at home to help your child where you can.
If it's reading skills, spelling, maths, etc... that worries you there are tons of resources out there - and many on MN have discussed them in detail (I fear I can be quite verbose where maths is concerned).
In terms of feeling you have few friends - consider having your child join some after school or outside of school activities. Swimming, cubs, football, karate, tennis, cooking, choir, etc.... Most schools have lots of activities - and joining them gives your child the chance to spend time with children outside of class and build friendships. It also makes school less 'all important' to his sense of belonging.
In terms of finding the teacher hasn't noticed things - I fear this has been quite typical of my experience here in Birmingham. In part I'm sure it is that teachers are very busy and there's a lot more administrative form filling/ meetings than we as parents can envision. I also think that pupils who aren't obviously struggling and aren't whizz kids tend to somehow get lost or overlooked in the shuffle.
My genuine advice is if you're worried about a particular area - do more at home.
Woodlands Junior school Resources is a great place to start - there are links to resources and websites that offer ideas and opportunities at practise but make learning fun. resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/
Since your child is in Year 2 - BBC Bitesize KS1 is ideal for reviewing those skills essential for preparation for KS1 SATs: www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/ - you can select the level of difficulty (medium/ hard/ really hard) - and it is a really useful way of finding out whether your child is struggling or not. (Playing these games with DD1 it was clear she couldn't subtract - even 1 from 10).
My genuine advice is if you're worried about a particular area - do more at home.
We've had the experience off flagging up a concern with our DC teachers to be told it's a none issue for a few months to pass as suddenly the same issue is huge problem and holding them back - though school resources to help usually can't be accesses - or not for some time.
If spelling really is a problem apples and pears or for one of my DC spellbet seems to be helping.
I'd look at the maths ability yourself - there are things that it would be good to do at home anyway - times tables - lots of free online stuff there or parker songs to help. Card games other fun things that help practise basics.
My one of my DC short term/working memory is dire, hearing was for first years of schooling intermittly bad - hearing test were borderline or good - and he is easily distractible - So I think concepts were being explained and there be a very short delay to set up an activity to underline this - by which time he'd forgotten everything. So needed the repetition of concepts found in mathsfactor and dancing bears. When he started getting things - reading improved maths massively improved he started engaging and looking forward to school. I think as he shown he capable - the teachers now don't let him coast - he can't manage distractions and they seem to be aware of this now.
The social bit is harder because you can't judge for yourself. I've been in a position of DC telling me they had no friends and school telling me it's all fine. Luckily things usually improve - it a large school lots of mixing between years and new DC starting - and groups and activities being held in break. If you can do groups outside school - it's a good idea but keep mentioning it to the school as well.
Yes, I agree we will have to teach him ourselves
Thanks for all the links...we'll need them.
Are they testing him on his ability to recognise single letter/sounds?
I don't think you should be TOO worried, and if he is moving forwards, albeit slowly, and not going backwards, then I think he will get there in the end. You should be able to judge, to some extent, from the reading he does with/for you how he is getting on, so don't fret about the school's 'technicalities'.
Do plenty of reading with him at home, and some writing, but don't force him to when he has had enough. Try and make it as light hearted and as much fun as you can (maybe not easy!)
An inexpensive and easy to use book, that can encourage children with reading, spelling and writing, and really help them to understand Phonics, is reviewed in the MN Book Reviews section. Just search ‘Phonics’.
mrz, I don't know. I will ask.
Ferguson, No progress made in last two terms. Which is why we are worried.
I'm afraid I would be concerned if a child was still on phase 3 in Year 2 and would expect the school to have a plan to help him catch up.
mrz, What should we ask for...what should they be doing to help him ?
I would expect him to be thoroughly assessed to identify exactly what he knows and what he needs to be taught next. I would want a plan to show how gaps in his knowledge will be addressed - what/when/how/who/
I would want to know if he is taught how to form letters correctly and how to spell the 44 sounds.
Personally I would want to know why they are using books that don't meet government criteria but that is probably a batttle best left for now.
Thank you...We are going to have a think and write a strong email and hopefully sort something out.
I think you are right to be worried and whilst raising it with the school I think you will probably have to take some of it into your own hands and go through the phonics over and over establishing exactly where he is, not where the school may or may not be telling you he is as the information seems very mixed.
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