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Parents' evening (Reception) - how to ask for evidence of progression

(61 Posts)
Ginmummy1 Tue 08-Mar-16 19:26:10

My daughter is in Reception (turned 5 end November). We had a parents' evening in October, which mainly covered how she was settling, attitude to learning etc. We received a written report at Christmas, plotting her progress against each of the 17 Early Learning Goals as emerging, developing or secure.

The next parents' evening is in a fortnight's time, and we'd really like to come away from it with an understanding of how she is doing, both against government expectations, and also in terms of her own personal progress since her baseline assessment (the results of which have not been revealed to us to date). What specific information can we expect the teacher to provide, and how best should we ask for it?

A bit of background about DD: when she started at school she was already reading quite confidently, was slightly ahead with maths, and probably age-appropriate with writing. Her language, communication, reading and comprehension are her 'best things'. No problems with any social or self-care aspects.

The school have been accommodating with her reading - she chooses two books per week at an appropriate level for her (just moved up to lime). However, she never brings any maths or handwriting work home, so we don't really know what she's doing at school. We'd like to know that they have some sort of end-of-year goal for her, and that we can support what the school is doing to help her to reach or exceed their expectations.

Is it reasonable to ask for baseline data? All we know is that she was given 'secure' in 8 of the 17 early learning goals in December, but as this is for 40-60 months and she was already 61 months this doesn't feel terribly meaningful. What could/should we ask for?

irvine101 Tue 08-Mar-16 19:52:47

Your dc sounds like mine. (Became lime during spring term, free reader from summer term.)
In reception, they didn't give us much details about his progress except him being way ahead of others, but my ds's reception teacher suggested us to get KS2 work books and do it at home. (Seemed to me, almost telling me that they couldn't do much at school for him, but at least she was honest.)

ReallyTired Tue 08-Mar-16 20:08:45

Reception is not about academics and the best way to see progression is to look at her learning journal. Play has a huge role in reception and even gifted children learn through play.

IAmAHologram Tue 08-Mar-16 20:13:12

Baseline data? What are you imagining they'll be able to give you?

gamerchick Tue 08-Mar-16 20:16:05

You don't, it's reception man!

gamerchick Tue 08-Mar-16 20:17:19

Do you really talk about you bairns age in months?

Ginmummy1 Tue 08-Mar-16 20:23:41

Reallytired, we haven't seen a learning journal from school yet. Will she definitely have one? She is a typical, imaginative 5-year-old: loves role play, dressing up, princesses, Lego etc.

However, some friends with children at other schools say they have weekly homework for writing and maths as well as reading, and access to online learning sites etc. We have none of this. I'm sure she's benefitting from school in lots of ways, but am interested to see some data, or at least hear the teacher talk as though she has a progression plan.

Iamahologram, they did baseline assessments in Sep-Oct. I'd be quite interested to find out the results, and compare them to the December report.

AllPizzasGreatAndSmall Tue 08-Mar-16 20:33:39

irvine101

You say the OP's daughter sounds like your son then go on to suggest your son is working four years ahead (KS2 level), I didn't see anything in the OP that says she is way ahead of the others. confused

ReallyTired Tue 08-Mar-16 20:36:08

The reception teacher will have a file with evidence to prove your daughter had met various learning goals. As far as I know every nursery, pre school, child minder or reception class that follows the early years foundation are required to document progress. Typically photographs, drawings or writing done by the child is put in the learning journal. If you google "learning journal eyfs" and look at images you will see some examples.

rollonthesummer Tue 08-Mar-16 20:36:33

KS2 workbook in reception?! Yowzers.

Twistedheartache Tue 08-Mar-16 20:41:53

I assume what I received was standard template wise & I really wouldn't bother. From what you've written your daughter will be in the exceeds expectation in all categories. I'll dig it out later & tell you what the categories were if you want

irvine101 Tue 08-Mar-16 20:51:32

AllPizzas, OP said she was on lime, so I said sounded like mine. Lime is end KS1/start KS2 level isn't it?

Ginmummy1 Tue 08-Mar-16 20:56:51

She had a learning journal in nursery (which was a private nursery not linked with the school). I didn't realise she would have one in Reception too, and haven't seen one. The school were not very receptive to the nursery when they volunteered info about my DD (that is putting it politely). If all we can expect to see is the 17 EYFS learning goals, we can look in her old nursery folder. We had assumed there would be more than this.

Indeed we don't have any concerns about her being behind her peers or even behind national expectations. We had, however, (perhaps naively) expected that the school would have some way of measuring a certain amount of progress in key areas from the start to the end of the year, and would be willing and able to communicate this to parents.

ReallyTired Tue 08-Mar-16 21:32:19

Reception classes tend to have very high expectations compared with nurseries, unless it's a school nursery. A school will be very strict on giving out exceeding expectations as it puts the school under huge pressure with SATs results to show progress.

It is unusual for any child to be exceeding expectations in all areas by the end of reception, yet alone at this point in the year. A child who is exceeding expectations is working at the standard of a child who has completed year 1 in that area.

For example in writing a child would be expected to write a page independently with good letter formation and most words spelt correctly to get exceeding. They would also be expected to use capital letters and full stops in the right places.

Ginmummy1 Tue 08-Mar-16 21:32:35

irvine101 is right that she is very ahead with reading and comprehension.

We don't know how much progress she is making with maths, as we don't really know where she was at when she started school, and we've not seen much evidence from school so far. It'd be good to understand how she's getting on, and to be able to support her learning at home.

TeaBelle Tue 08-Mar-16 21:35:33

If you would like something to be shared with you then can you not request it? Send an email to the teacher stating that this is what you would like - either at parents evening or at a later date if time is too short to prepare the relevant stuff now.

Ginmummy1 Tue 08-Mar-16 21:46:19

ReallyTired - that's very useful.

With the writing aspect, we just have a feeling the school aren't doing a lot to encourage good handwriting. She writes sentences (not pages!), including capital letters, full stops and decent spelling, but the letter formation needs a lot of work! I guess she's 5 and the fine motor skills are still catching up with the brain.

ReallyTired Tue 08-Mar-16 21:58:23

She still has over a term of reception left. Sometimes teachers need to spend time teaching rather than constantly assessing progress. I think you will be surprised with what she manages by the end of the summer term.

My little girl got exceeding for writing. She could write six to eight sentences independently. Bare in mind that reception and key stage 1 children write on lines that are further apart than older children. There is usually space for a drawing as well. However she was not that level in the spring term.

london32 Tue 08-Mar-16 23:47:04

My daughter was a year ahead before she started school approx

By end of reception exceeding 80% areas

2nd term of year 1 is at level 2b (basically 1.5yr ahead still).

If this is any use as a comparison.

PlaymobilPirate Tue 08-Mar-16 23:57:27

She's 5 - surely the most important thing is that she's happy and settled and is enjoying learning rather than trying to get data on her?

SueLawleyandNicholasWitchell Tue 08-Mar-16 23:59:26

Funny to think that in many other countries they haven't even started school yet - in Finland not till age 7 - and there is no frantic measuring and baseline assessments and homework - just playing and enjoying themselves.

Soon the government will be insisting on some phonics lessons in the maternity wards.

crispytruffle Wed 09-Mar-16 00:03:17

We get targets which are then looked at again and new ones given during each parent consultation each term. We also get to see all their school books.

SueLawleyandNicholasWitchell Wed 09-Mar-16 00:03:47

In fact the vast majority are 6. And quite a few are 7. Not many are 5.

Interestingly, the USA, Germany, France, Singapore, S Korea... All start at age 6 and seem to cope fine with the loss of a year of hysterical measuring and plotting on graphs.

data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.PRM.AGES

DropYourSword Wed 09-Mar-16 00:07:01

Isn't she very young to be thinking this way at the moment? Surely hey just being happy going to school is enough right now, and anything else is just gravy. She is exceptionally young for maths homework etc, and I'm sure I've seen that there really isn't as benefit of homework in primary school, especially the lower years. Just be careful you don't end up putting too much pressure on your child.

BackforGood Wed 09-Mar-16 00:31:09

However, some friends with children at other schools say they have weekly homework for writing and maths as well as reading, and access to online learning sites etc. We have none of this

I would be feeling very pleased I'd chosen the right school then, and feel very sad for the friends' dcs.

Reception are only supposed to report against the EYFS, which you will get at the end of the year. Knowing that she is secure across all areas and is happy and enjoying school and making friends, and is confident and has an enquiring mind is all she should be aiming for in Reception. What you write sounds at the top end of 'where she 'should' be.

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