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Primary school day/ Year 4

(8 Posts)
bicyclebell Tue 17-Nov-15 12:24:35

I am having some concerns about the school that my son is at.

According to Ofsted (last year) it is a good school. But I know that on the Ofsted day they pulled out extraordinary lesson plans that are not 'normal' for the school - so I'm not trusting that report really.

The school has always been regarded as relaxed and I've been happy with that so far. We've also previously been lucky to have good teachers.

This year my son has an NQT teacher. I can't tell whether its solely because of her that I'm worried though.

My son comes home regularly from school saying that they've done no literacy and just a little bit of maths. He has done no topic work. I can't get from him - and neither can other parents - what he is learning. And its not that the children are being secretive - they just genuinely don't have an answer for what they are doing all day.

Fridays they do very little - maths usually is marking each other's homework.

Mondays - swimming take a huge chunk out of the day - so its the same.

Parent's evening - I was shocked at how little work was in their books and the quality and quantity of my son's work had visibly reduced from last year (his last year's work was at the beginning of the book). I showed this to the teacher and her mentor and they were shocked too - apparently they hadn't noticed before.

The teacher actually said to me in parent's evening that there were too many children in the class for her to be able to get my son to do better work. She said to me and other parents that she didn't know how to motivate our children.

It seems to be a whole class thing - although the parents of girls are happier than boys.

We've talked with the school. They agree that my son's learning is going backwards but will not comment on the whole class.

My instinct is to take my son out of school and home school him for a bit. We can't move schools as we're moving area in the next year or so and I think too many moves will be disruptive. Also my son has a disability and I'd rather keep things as familiar and regular for him as I can.

For the moment I'm just doing extra work with my son at home before and after school as a short term measure. But I would rather he was doing his work in school.

Sorry for the rant. Just trying to make sense of all my worries.

MM5 Tue 17-Nov-15 17:44:17

Speak to Headteacher immediately!

bicyclebell Tue 17-Nov-15 22:28:20

We have already MM5. The school are being very defensive. They are accusing me of being negative.

The only person who has been open to finding a way forward for my son is the SENCO. She is amazing and very very different from the rest of the school's leadership team.

Any parent that has a serious complaint to make to the school has found it impervious to criticism. Those were another parent's words.

At the moment I'm waiting to see whether the Senco can sort things out. But seeing as its the teacher who is in the classroom the whole time I can't imagine that even the Sencos ideas can change things much. Especially since the rest of the leadership team are in such denial.

Never having worked for a school though - I am intrigued. Are they as thickskinned and blind to the obvious as they seem? Or do you think more might be sinking in than they let on?

MM5 Wed 18-Nov-15 05:31:49

Then if I were you, I would be looking for a new school. Find one that feels right and fits your child's needs.

Not all schools are like that. There are some very good schools that consider a child's individual needs and do something about it.

I suppose I would want to have a list of what the school has been doing. You may find they are doing a lot. My question would be how my child is responding.

Also, what you may not know is that there may be an intense plan of support in place to get this teacher up to par and she is not responding to her plan. But,met here is a procedure and that CANNOT be discussed or even alluded to by the leadership as it is private and confidential to the teacher. As an NQT, they are under extra scrutiny and observations. I doubt a good school is doing nothing about it. It is not in their best interest to have a teacher not teaching.

If this is happening, it can look as if they are doing nothing about it to the outsider. Which,miss unfair on the leadership. But, how it has to be.

Sorry you are going through that.

bicyclebell Wed 18-Nov-15 10:26:19

Thank you for your reply MM5,

That makes sense about privacy to the teacher. I see ...I think there probably is an intense plan.

My problem with the school is the lack of respect for parent's having real concerns about their children. As a result most people do not voice any worries at all. I am not the sort of person who cannot speak up - and also I have a child with special needs so he needs more support - so I often end up saying things for him and all the other children.

I don't want to move my son as he has very good friends at the school and with his disability he is accepted there. I would worry about this not happening in a new school. It feels like too much of a risk to move him.

But also teachers have been good in the previous years. Its the leadership team and head mistress I'm not keen on. In years when I've been able to deal just with the teacher and Senco everything has been fine.

I just need to get him through this year and hopefully then we can move on as before.

Autumnsky Wed 18-Nov-15 11:10:16

If you are moving next year, it is better to keep him in this school. Don't worry too much about what he is learning at school, the stuff is simple in primary school, you can certainly keep doing some at home before you change school.

My DS1's Junior school was not very good as well, we didn't know that. As the atmosphere in the school is quite good, teachers look good, his friends are lovely. DS1 really enjoyed his Junior school. However, what we didn't know is the school was going down, their good headteacher left when DS1 was in Y3, the new headteacher was not very able, some senior teachers had left too. So we had quite a few NQT, children loved their NQT, as they are quite warm and exciting. But now I know they do lack the experience, need a good leadership team to help them. By the time DS1 left, the school slipped into require improvement.

But DS1 didn't suffer much acedemically, as we did some extra work at home for 11+.

Witchend Wed 18-Nov-15 12:15:07

My ds is also year 4.

If you go entirely by what your ds says then mine tells me he played football, ate lunch and Eric fell off his chair and they all laughed themselves silly. hmm
If I ask what maths/literacy he's done he looks blank and says something along the lines of "yes, we did some, I think. I think we watched a film in maths last week on Wednesday. Or maybe it was Tuesday. Or was it the week before."
It's not as though he won't notice, they're setted for maths so have to go to a different classroom, so he can't have failed to notice.

But when I look at his books, he's done a lot of work, it's marked and he's clearly making progress.

I'd stick with talking to the SENCO if she's more proactive than the senior management, and set out what is expected. Can he get extra 1-2-1 help?

bicyclebell Wed 18-Nov-15 22:18:35

There's not enough funding with his statement for 1-2-1 help. But he's never needed it before. Academically he's been fine. His special needs are more physical. This year he is going downhill academically but I think other children must be too - its just that their parents won't go in and say anything. Parents of boys - particularly - are not happy and were told at parent's evening the same as me - that she didn't know how to get their children to work ...

I am worried about his books because he hasn't done a lot of work. The class mark the work for each other. This is new this year, I'm sure. And no he's definitely not making progress.

Anyway - we have another meeting in a couple of weeks to check what's been happening.

By the way. I gave a special pen to the teacher last Thursday - to see if that would help with DS's writing. Every day I ask DS whether he's used the pen. And still today, nearly a week later, he hasn't. Because they've done no literacy since last Thursday apart from something yesterday on their white boards. Character descriptions on their white boards. I just find it odd that they're still using white boards ... in year 4 and that nothing has been put in their literacy books since Thursday last week.

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