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Attainment and effort

(10 Posts)
irvineoneohone Sat 09-Jul-16 14:53:44

My ds got GD(working at greater depth) for "attainment", and BA(below average) for "effort" in writing.
He is a reluctant writer, and always been commented content was a bit boring in the past.
This year, we have done lots of creative writing at home, and in my eyes, he has improved a lot.
He is a slow starter and deep thinker, so it takes time to start writing.
And teacher's comment suggest that he is too slow and sometimes he can't finish his work in time.
He was shocked to see the report.( please spare the argument of pros and cons of showing report to a child, we have always done this from start.)
He said writing has become one of his favorite subject this year, and he worked really hard in school. Report must means his writing itself is good standard, but he hasn't put enough effort in it? But he says he always try to do his best.

Is it normal for child to get below average for effort, only because he is a slow writer? What can we do to improve this?
I should be happy that he is working at greater depth, but I'm really worried the teacher thinks he is not putting enough effort in, when I think he is, and he is really enjoying writing.

sorry for rumble.

TeenAndTween Sat 09-Jul-16 15:38:29

Will he have the same teacher next year?

If not then I would leave it, but have a quiet word with the new teacher a couple of weeks or so into next term, saying your son is a slow starter when it comes to writing. It might be he needs help with methods to get going faster.

If he will have same teacher then I think you should chat and explain you think he is trying his best, and how can you both support him so he gets more done.

TeenAndTween Sat 09-Jul-16 15:39:36

Also, you could practice writing off the top of his head, where the aim isn't to write brilliantly, but to write something.
e.g. 1 minute to write about ....

irvineoneohone Sat 09-Jul-16 17:42:39

Thank you Teen.
He will have different teacher next year.
She is a lovely teacher, and she gave him above average for "effort" for things like PE, when he is not naturally sporty. So she seems to recognize when my ds was trying hard. That's why it puzzled me even more. How can he be working at greater depth without an effort?

The practice writing off the top of his head is a great idea. We will do this during the summer and see how it goes. Thank you.

Ellle Sat 09-Jul-16 18:29:55

Yes, that's strange. If the report says his writing is at greater depth with below average effort it makes it sound like your DS is so good and talented at writing that he can write great pieces of work with minimal effort. And that is not the image I get from your posts, where you said it is the area that it doesn't come natural to him and he has to put a lot of effort to make sure the writing is at the standard his teacher wants. Since you said that your DS was shocked to see the report and that his teacher is lovely, it might be okay to talk to her about it and try to understand exactly what she meant.

I had a similar situation with DS in Year 1, where his writing was above average but the attitude/effort was below average, and I could see it made sense as writing was not DS's preferred subject. This has changed with time, and his teacher in Year 2 commented how good he is at writing and how much he seems to enjoy it now. So in his latest report the effort matched the attainment.

irvineoneohone Sat 09-Jul-16 18:45:31

Thank you Ellle.
No, writing is not his strong subject. I was quite surprised for his attainment. But I assumed new curriculum suited him better.
He isn't good at creativity, but he is good at spelling, grammar and punctuation which seems to be new NC is all about.
I think I'm too puzzled to ignore this, so I think I have to ask her.

irvineoneohone Sat 09-Jul-16 22:45:59

I started to wonder if "working at greater depth" was a mistake.
Can teacher make mistakes on school report?
If so what happens if it was found out?
It is really bugging my thought.

Ellle Sat 09-Jul-16 23:15:19

The only way to know is having a chat with the teacher to see what she meant by his writing being at "greater depth" with the effort "below average". It's not unheard of as I said, DS got this last year and I could see that it was true. But the problem here is that both you and your DS feel that the effort has improved and does not match the teacher's observations.

What you said about the new curriculum that suits him better because he is good at spelling, grammar and punctuation makes a lot of sense. I have read here on mumsnet some teachers saying that children that were previously in the top groups for writing because they were very creative, now with the new curriculum they are not necessarily in the top groups any more as what is being assessed as good writing is a different thing (grammar, spelling, punctuation instead of creativity).

When DS got "below average" in attitude for writing in Year 1, the comments said that he would write the minimum required for the activity and although what he wrote was of high standard and above average, the teacher knew he could write more but he was choosing not too. If the teacher suggested why don't you add this, or write more about that, he would then do it. So that's what it meant with attitude, he could do it if prompted but needed reminders. Now in Year 2, he was able to write long pieces on his own initiative, and sometimes he would even suggest new ways for writing something (e.g. a poem) and would do it as an extra thing. So he not only did what the teacher asked, but went further on his own initiative. And I think that is why he now got "above average" at effort as well.

irvineoneohone Sat 09-Jul-16 23:41:31

Thank you again, Ellle. Your advice is always so helpful.
I will ask the teacher on Monday.

irvineoneohone Mon 11-Jul-16 17:10:34

I had a chat with his teacher, and seems like she thinks he can do better.
1: he is too slow.
2: he put minimal effort, especially the topic is not his interest.

At least she believed in him, and maybe this could be a good wake up call for him. Until now, he can do most things easily, he doesn't know how to put more effort in. He may change his attitude a bit.

Thank you for your advice.

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