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Worried after YR1

(16 Posts)
RP1979 Sat 11-Jul-15 10:28:02

I am worried about my Yr 1 daughter after reading her report yesterday. She is an August baby and youngest in her class, which I believe make it so much harder for her!

She left reception with everything on average apart from writing which was below.
6 weeks into Yr1 her new teacher told us during parent evening that our child is 'so behind'... She focused on phonics with my daughter the entire year and had her in a 'lower spellgroup' with 5 other children. This knocked my daughter's self confidence. I got rather annoyed as 'higher' group received spellwords such as days of the week, months of the year; which surely my daughter should also have learned? She left the lower group for the TA while she worked with rest of the class.
I dont think she ever managed to engage my daughter as she speak softly and in monotone voice. My daughter is lively and smart. At home she grasp concepts quick and always want to learn more about general topics such as space or animals.

So she ended the year on the same level of writing as 'behind' on 1c
But now also behind in math 1 c
Comments of her 'not listening on the carpet' and then not knowing what to do when she get to her desk.

She is also only on ORT level 4 as this teacher took her back in the beginning of the year from Level3 to 1 and kept her there until I complained. Then my daughter spent 4 months on level 2 before she would let her move up! At home my child was reading ORT 4&5 comfortably.
The whole report is negative apart from the one line of phonic improvement! Even her PE is marked as emerging!? This from our daughter who is extremely active and always running,jumping and throwing balls!

Im really confused and frustrated. Im thinking this teacher did not get my child at all? Her reception teacher was always full of praise about my daughters progress.
The only good thing is that she passed the phonics assessment.

Does anyone have comforting stories where their child just suddenly improved in year2 or with a different teacher?

If we never worked with her at home I wouldnt have minded but I was off on mat leave this year and really spent alot of time with my daughter reading, doing math worksheets etc. and even had a tutor for a while.

Im now considering Kumon. My husband and I are both professionals and were high achievers in school, I want the same for my daughter- or at least to be average! Im so worried that she will lose more confidence and think of herself as not being able to do as well as her friends. sad
Could this all be because she is so much younger, and when does it even out?

Galena Sat 11-Jul-15 10:50:06

She shouldn't have got levels - they refer to the old curriculum. Y1 should have been following the new curriculum which has higher expectations for the children. DD has gone from exceeding in YR to 'secure' in Y1, but her teacher was keen to tell us this was fine and she couldn't get exceeding in y1.

pollyisnotputtingthekettleon Sat 11-Jul-15 12:07:57

I work in y1 and children not sitting still and not listening are a hugh problem... so we say we are looking for finger spaces... show examples ask questions ... kids trot off to do the work ... and `no idea` what to do ... re explain ... still not interested, no work done so cant tick the boxes. DD maybe great one to one but thats not going to happen in school. No teacher has time to sit with one child.

MumOfTheMoment Sat 11-Jul-15 12:34:12

Galena why can't a yr1 get an "exceeding"? My dd got exceeding for writing. Curious as to why the teacher said that?

proudmama2772 Sat 11-Jul-15 13:44:00


I know your frustration as I have been there myself as have many others. I know the additional stress it causes. It doesn't sound like the school is treating you well.

Being a summer birthday child has a large effect on progress. In the US, it isn't until the end of 3rd grade (year 4) until they expect it to level off. Until then there is an expected wide variation in abilities within a year group. When reporting results, schools in the uk often show results with summer born factored out as well. So it definitely is known to have an effect.

However, did the school mention any other factors that are affecting her progress? It sounds like they are saying paying attention and following instructions is an issue. I got the same feedback about my youngest only to find she has dyslexia in year 3. I don't want to worry you by telling you that, because it could just be age or concentration level.

What level did the tutor say your daughter was performing at?

Littlefish Sat 11-Jul-15 14:02:26

I think it would be good to arrange to see your dd's current class teacher before the end of term if possible to talk about her concerns, and then arrange to see her new teacher after about 3 weeks in the new class.

If your dd has been struggling to listen, pay attention and then follow instructions, then this is going to have a huge impact on her learning. Had this issue been mentioned before by the year 1 teacher?

Are you clear about the curriculum expectations? Just because you feel your dd is active and always running, jumping and throwing balls doesn't mean that she will be achieving well in the PE curriculum. Likewise, although you feel that your dd grasps concepts quickly and wants to know more when it is just you and her, she may not be able to do this in a large group.

RP1979 Sat 11-Jul-15 14:03:50


Thank you for the kind words.

As for the person who work in Y1, I know teachers cant do 'one on one' as suggested, but goodness me surely its up to the teacher to keep children's attention too! Not to mention her age will play a roll in concentration levels. I think we expect a hell of alot from our young children.

As for dyslexia I am not sure but will look into it. Hopefully the new YR2 teacher will grab her attention more, and perhaps she will be a bit more mature.

It feels wrong that younger children should be classed as 'below average' simply because they are not able to keep up with children that is often a year older than them.

Hopefully it all evens out a bit before my daughter has no self esteem left.

pollyisnotputtingthekettleon Sat 11-Jul-15 14:26:28

So school has high expectations, but not high enough for DD, who is working at a lower level than your expectations?

proudmama2772 Sat 11-Jul-15 14:37:38

Oh I don't want you to jump to any conclusions about dyslexia.

I don't think the 'below average' are very informative statements and they are not age standardized. There have been some assessment tests in the past that are and I think they are Wales - I could be wrong about that. At any rate, I think it would be better in primary if they were - but it's not going to change

I've helped in schools and there are some kids, who do have a difficult time concentrating. Some fidget - they can't help it. You can see where they may be very bright, but their attention span affects their progress. I think if schools engaged with the families of children who have these challenges they could personalize homework or something. There is no way the teacher can keep these kids working at the same level as their 'more focused' peers who are doing their work with less teacher intevention. They tend to get put in lower ability groups. Some schools do 1-2-1 to keep them up to speed.

proudmama2772 Sat 11-Jul-15 14:46:41

Then there are the schools who 'frown' on parents who get tutoring or help their children at home (they don't teach them the correct way) taking matters into their own hand. At this stage, the school has put the student in a lower ability group and they will not move their targets beyond the minimum expectation.

it's a crazy system and I am always posting on here my personal opinions about the ability grouping and the target setting. I have a DS in Year 9 who has just gotten a B on a mock GCSE in maths. She was always put in the low ability groups and was the 2b - 4b ks1:ks2 trajectory. She really believed she was 'below average to average' and is quite surprised by her ability.

I have one ds who moved schools and was assessed at a higher level than her previous school. We had her tutored and previous school refused to acknowledge this had affected her attainment.

Mandzi34 Sat 11-Jul-15 17:14:43

As a mum of two summer born DC's I can totally understand. DS is an end of August baby and the youngest in his class. He was behind in Reception, received extra help with just about everything and his report reflected this including the fact that he couldn't sit and concentrate for very long periods. By Year 1 he was average but still lacking focus, similar in Year 2. He had more than caught up by Year 3. DD is July born and like your daughter seemed to end Reception well, she then had a wobble in Year 1 and then by the beginning of Year 2 she was fine. From experience they have good years and some not so great. A lot of it can be a maturity thing too.

RP1979 Sat 11-Jul-15 18:22:59

Thank you Mandzi34. This was what I was hoping to hear. Some experience that it may go better next year.
They should asess children for school readiness if born in summer and give parent option to put your child with coming year group as they are so close to being the oldest in another year group (by days in some cases!). Think I heard America give parents that option.

Thanks again. Will try Kumon and hope next year might go better with different teacher. At least she is the head of the year group and not a newbie like the teacher my Dd1 had yr1.

Thank goodness my newborn Dd2 is a September baby!!

TheWildRumpyPumpus Sat 11-Jul-15 18:30:29

DS2 has just got to the end of Reception, he doesn't turn 5 until next week. He got 'meets expectations' for all but one of his categories, but the written part of his report points out that his attention still wanders and he finds it harder than some of the older children to settle for more 'studious' activities (rather than gluing at the craft table or digging in the sand pit).

I have no great expectations for next year - we will try and keep up with reading over the holidays but if he needs extra help then I won't be surprised if he lags behind the older children.

I have a September born finishing yr 2 who has just come out with straight 3s in his SATs. I honestly think it makes an enormous difference, those 9 months.

Galena Sat 11-Jul-15 18:49:37

mumof, it's up to schools to decide on their way of doing things. Our school does not give exceeding in y1 or above because once children are secure in their year group they move into the mastery curriculum giving them breadth and depth in their age related expectations.

dietcokeandwine Sat 11-Jul-15 19:22:56

Another one here saying the summer birthday can make a huge huge difference at this age. (Not for all DC, obviously, there will always be some summer born high flyers from the off, but I suspect they are the exception not the rule.)

My DC2 has just finished reception. He's your classic second child autumn born confident achiever, exceeding early years goals all the flipping place. His report is glowing. He's nearly a whole year older than some of the DC in his class: it gives him (at the moment) a massive advantage.

DS1 is July born and has some SEN to add in the mix (Aspergers and attention deficit disorder). He ended reception behind on everything, it was a hard year, he struggled so much; if anything Y1 was worse. He needed so much extra help and support. Y2 was much much better, things started to even out and he began to progress well.

He has just finished Y6 on L5 for everything smile except the maths test where he got a 4 (4 being the expected level for end Y6). And it is also worth adding that he's now overtaken some of the autumn born early achievers in his year who were streets ahead of him in infants school.

mrz Sat 11-Jul-15 19:49:04

I'm a Year 1 teacher and the only child in my class to exceed in all areas has a late August birthday so being the youngest in class (actually 5 months younger than any other child in class) doesn't mean that you should have lower expectations.

It's very poor practice to leave those children who are "struggling" to always work with a TA. They are the children who need a teacher most!

I would see it as a personal failure if a child made no progress in my class and wouldn't have left it until the end of the year before speaking to parents about supporting the child.

You need to arrange an appointment with the teacher to find out what you can do to support now your child. Personally wouldn't recommend Kumon, but that's a whole other thread.

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