Advanced search

Reception DS will not meet EYFS goals. School not helping - what can I do?

(53 Posts)
RaisinsNotGrapes Sat 30-May-15 15:49:02

I would really appreciate some help and advice from anyone who has experience of this, as a teacher or a parent.

DS attends a local primary school. I have just been asked to go into school to meet the Inclusion officer. She stated in no uncertain terms that DS will not meet EYFS goals in handwriting and a couple of behavioural areas (listening). He is in reception.

Has class teacher has had a quick word with me at pick up, perhaps 5 times throughout the year. She has said things like, DS refused to do handwriting today. Or DS did not listen today. I have been talking to DS about this a lot. I did not get the impression from his class teacher it was a severe problem. Nothing has been mentioned at the 2 parents evenings we have attended.

The inclusion officer told me there are incidents of DS not listening every single day. Why have they not made me aware of this before?

The inclusion officer also said DS will definitely not meet EYFS goals/targets. There is no time for him to turn things around because the reports are being written in 3 weeks. The school did not propose anything for helping or supporting him, or addressing the problems. They said if DS was unable to do the things being asked of him they would help, but as he is CHOOSING not to do the things asked of him, they will not help.

They repeatedly asked if he behaves like this at home.

I am completely confused. What should I be doing next in regards to getting the school to support these issues? I am working with DS every day at home and talking, explaining to him what is expected at school. But I am not there throughout the school day and clearly me supporting him at home with this is not enough.

PattiODoors Sat 30-May-15 15:56:55


Well first things first - pop to GP and request a hearing test. Make appt with optician to get eyes tested.

ps phone playing up, back in a mo

PattiODoors Sat 30-May-15 16:01:23

Back to school- ask for a joint meeting with class teacher, senco (inclusion officer?) to restate your lack of communication about the issues raised. And to ask what the school plans to do from the beginning of the new school year if they are not intending to address right now (boggling at this btw)

RaisinsNotGrapes Sat 30-May-15 16:20:06

I asked what the school would do to help support him, and they gave me the answer that he was choosing not to do things rather than being unable to do them. Therefore they cannot help.

We have checked his hearing but not his sight. I do not think there is a problem with his sight. He reads well and uses great detail in drawings.

mrz Sat 30-May-15 16:29:47

Do you want the school to force your son to do what he's asked?

QuiteQuietly Sat 30-May-15 16:41:08

It sounds like a cop out to me. At this age a big part of the teachers role should be to encourage children to demonstrate what they can do. And if his behaviour was a massive issue, then surely they would have raised it before now - have they only just realised they have insufficient "evidence" for EYFS?

I would go back and set up a meeting. Mention the lack of communication, but the main focus should be on what is their plan. Ask what they are doing to encourage DS to complete tasks and how you can support them at home. Can he/does he do these sorts of tasks at home?

If your DS is not cooperating at school then that really needs to be dealt with now before it becomes entrenched. But I think the legwork needs to be done by school with your support.

mrz Sat 30-May-15 16:46:03

There will be thousands of children not achieving every ELG it isn't unusual so that shouldn't be the focus.

But there is a problem ... Your child is apparently choosing not to listen and is choosing not to learn

mombod Sat 30-May-15 16:50:13

Mrz's response is most unhelpful. As we know from these threads she's an amazing state school primary teacher. Putting that aside, Raisins, I strongly recommend you get your DS working memory tested by a knowledgeable and experienced educational psychologist. Children with poor working memory struggle to follow instructions because they find it difficult to remember all the long winded instructions from teachers and end up sitting there embarrassed and look like they don't listen and if they have the misfortune to have unsympathetic, ignorant and disinterested teachers who write off children as being "disobedient" have a horrible time. Although poor working memory has no correlation with IQ - or ADHD or dyslexia - these children often underachieve due to teachers not being bothered. Instructions to these children should be kept concise, ask the child to repeat back the instructions four times at normal pace and encourage the child to ask if they don't know what they are supposed to do. Susan Gathercole & Tracey Alloway have published a Classroom Guide for all UK teachers to follow but the ignorance amongst teachers and SENCO is staggering as evidenced by Mrz's response. My DS has this problem and has an IQ of > 99th percentile. It has nothing to do with being "naughty" or deliberately "not listening". To him, long winded instructions from teachers, he hears, blah, blah, blah, blah, Rover, blah, blah, blah, Rover and he tunes out. Be your DS' advocate and talk to him and find out what he thinks of the situation and hold your school accountable.

mrz Sat 30-May-15 17:05:07

How is it unhelpful?

The OP needs to decide how she wants the school to support her child. If it is a case that he is choosing not to listen as suggested and he is choosing to refuse to take part in handwriting what does she want the school to do.

mombod Sat 30-May-15 17:05:43

Raisins, ask your school teacher and SENCO if they are even aware of working memory deficits which are the leading cause of children being perceived as "refusing to listen". If they are not aware of this major issue in education then they are not doing their job adequately as educational professionals.

mombod Sat 30-May-15 17:08:13

Sorry Raisins, try the entire link to the PDF.

mrz Sat 30-May-15 17:09:50

Mombod it was the OP who said he is choosing not to listen or take part not me.

Do you honestly think that the reception teacher won't know to keep instructions simple and not to give multiple instructions when working with any young child! Instructions at this age will be "come and do a job with me" ...

Tanaqui Sat 30-May-15 17:15:19

Raisins, it is relatively easy to tell if it is poor working memory- at home can he follow a series of instructions without prompting or forgetting (eg, go upstairs, get your socks and hat, bring them to me). If so, working memory probably fine. If school say he can do things but is refusing to, can he explain why to you if not to them?

mrz Sat 30-May-15 17:30:59

RaisinsNotGrapes Sat 30-May-15 17:38:35

Mrz, DS will not be the first child to have displayed these behaviours, and school have many trained and experienced teachers who will have tools and strategies they could put in place to help resolve these issues. As a primary school teacher, what suggestions would you make? How would you suggest I could help as a parent?

I would also like to try and work out why he may be behaving like this at school.

poppy70 Sat 30-May-15 17:43:33

Mrs is right. It isn't uncommon for children not to make all their early learning goals. IMO it it is ridiculous to question working memory because if there was a significant WM at this age he couldn't have picked up p reading. Has he? It is so so so common for boys to not want to handwrite. It is so so so common for children to be unable to get one of their language and communication ELGs and form this to influence everything else. It is reception. There is a need to realistic.

An aside for working memory. It seems to be a bandwagon thing at the moment. To be realistic in a typical child sense it is just another facet of intelligence. It is onlynfor those of with LD that you need to think interventions and support.

RaisinsNotGrapes Sat 30-May-15 18:24:56

I don't think DS has problems with working memory. To give an overall picture of him, he is reading level 4, exceeding in maths, extremely articulate, excellent fine and gross motor, excellent memory. This is taken from his school report and not my biased opinion!

If I read him a bedtime story that he has heard 5-10 times before, he will tell me if I miss out a sentence or read a line differently. His memory is very good.

I am not too concerned that he is not meeting an EYFS goal - I know children develop at different rates. I am concerned that he is not listening in class and the school say it is a behavioural thing and seem unwilling to to look at any other reasons for it.

I think he does not participate when he is bored. But how do you resolve that, as a parent or as a teacher?

poppy70 Sat 30-May-15 18:35:12

He is fine. He is a child. Give him all the support he needs and he will turn out fine. He isn't interested in learning yet... Not uncommon. A bit of support ahead of year 1 is all he needs.

mrz Sat 30-May-15 18:43:09

As I said it isn't unusual for children to still be working towards some ELGs at this stage so I wouldn't worry unduly
I would make an appointment with his teacher to discuss the situation and how you can work together to support him
Handwriting is difficult for many young children and why would he want to some thing that requires lots of effort.
I'm sure his teacher has already looked at his general motor skills but if not it's probably worth doing lots of fun things that will support writing development
PSE is important so it's a good idea to work out exactly why he's not achieving in this area. Have you talked to him? Can he tell you why he doesn't want to join in?

RaisinsNotGrapes Sat 30-May-15 18:52:52

Mrz, it's the PSE I am most worried about. The handwriting he can do (he was writing several perfectly neat/formed sentences last term). I think he has just become bored of sitting still to do handwriting but it will come back.

With PSE, he isn't really able to say why he is not listening or getting distracted during some activities. It seems to happen with group activities.

My instinct is that he struggles to follow instructions all day long. He gets tired and bored if the subject isn't interesting to him. If it's something he is interested in, he will listen and ask questions and stay engaged for hours.

What are your thoughts on what I have described? Emotional immaturity? A learning disability?

To describe him socialising with his friends, sometimes (about 75% of the time), he will want to be the one to choose all the toys/games. He will not listen to his friends ideas unless coaxed into it. He will want to be the one who wins and will struggle to continue if he is not winning. He may refuse to join in if the game is not being played exactly as he wants to play it.

This behaviour is the crux of what is causing problems at school. Just not cooperating or being flexible enough.

poppy70 Sat 30-May-15 19:04:37

He is immature. He just needs support with this. If he was having problems socially then he should be having social interventions at school. But teachers vary on how much emphasis they put on a child's social development. This is not a major problem at the moment. He needs to be let grow up and be supported. It may be a problem later but he is far too young at this stage to panic. ELGs are, unless there is a developmental problem, more important to the school than anyone else.

poppy70 Sat 30-May-15 19:08:22

Although just one note they are saying he won't get Listening and attention which isn't part of PSE but apart of communication and language.

mrz Sat 30-May-15 19:13:36

In a busy reception class it's very easy for a child to become distracted by everything around them especially if they don't really want to do the activity and the block area looks interesting and have they got bikes out today and what's in the sand tray etc etc

Talk to the teacher and get a clear picture of when he finds it difficult to listen and if there are times when he is listening. Build up a clear picture it will help you and the teacher.

RaisinsNotGrapes Sat 30-May-15 19:22:28

What are social interventions at school Poppy70?

Thanks for your reply. I also think he is just emotionally immature.

mrz Sat 30-May-15 19:36:22

They also mentioned behaviour so you need to be clear what they mean ... Is it just him not listening or something else

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now