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Bright DD in Reception -- how much do I need to say?

(22 Posts)
wrapsuperstar Fri 30-Sep-16 10:09:53

DD is 4, will be 5 at the end of February. She's pretty bright -- fluently reading (loving Roald Dahl at the moment), incredible comprehension and vocabulary, great imagination and maturity. She loves to make comics and write stories. Mathematics probably a bit ahead of her age too (can add/subtract single digit numbers, understands concepts like more/fewer, counts backwards and forwards up to and beyond 20).

Went to an information evening at school this week and learned a bit more about the EYFS curriculum. I am concerned that she is already generally working beyond what is expected of her cohort by the END of this academic year and the meeting didn't really outline what the school does for 'able and interested' children who are exceeding expectations. Learning single letter sounds for phonics really isn't going to be of much interest for her, I fear.

DD is enjoying school, has settled well and I can tell she is getting plenty out of it -- I fully understand and respect that education is more than academics especially at this young age. I'm just concerned that a full year of learning at this pace might not be the best thing for her and want to know how (if I indeed should!) I might broach this with her teachers.

I reeaaaally don't want to be that pain in the arse parent seeking special treatment for their PFB, but nor do I want to see DD feeling bored or losing her love of learning because she's already covered so much of what the class will be doing this year. She's happy and bonding well with her teachers, I don't want to undermine that at all, but should I be doing more to make sure she's feeling academically challenged?

Paulat2112 Fri 30-Sep-16 10:12:22

The teachers will be able to easily see what level your child is at and will work with them. They are well seasoned with dealing with children at all different levels so I really wouldn't worry.

MiaowTheCat Fri 30-Sep-16 10:16:13

Sounds like my DD1 - I've said nothing really (I may have introduced her to her teacher as the child who's likely to be responsible for most of her wine consumption this year) as I trust the staff to figure it out and challenge her. She's happy, she's settled into the school routines and is coming on socially - I'm not too worried about it really (I also really trust our preschool in how they'll have handed on transition data on the kids).

I'll give it to the first parents evening and bring it up then if it's looking like needing to be discussed - just letting her be a kid at the moment to be honest!

Ionacat Fri 30-Sep-16 10:20:05

My DD loved the phonic songs and they did lots of activities based on the phonic of the day, they made sock puppets, frying pans, carrot cake etc. She was moved onto an appropriate reading band and this was only a small part of her day and was also encouraged to write at length. She loved the free-flow and the teachers were happy to stretch her in her chosen activities. (She made a collage of the formation of a galaxy for example - she loves everything about space!) I didn't need to say anything!

turtlesallthewaydown Fri 30-Sep-16 10:23:31

Why all the crossing out?

For what it's worth, a girl in my daughter's reception class last year was exactly like this. The teaching staff were fab, assessed her reading level quickly, and made sure she was given appropriate books to read. Her writing and maths were good but not light years ahead for her age so that was not something difficult to deal with, for a competent teacher. A lot of reception is about development outside of academic stuff, so this little girl still benefitted hugely from being with her peer group.

A good teacher would be open to discussing with you how you and school can best ensure your daughter is stimulated. They will have dealt with similar situations before.

Yesterday I had a meeting with my oldest's teacher as I felt the maths teaching last year was poor and had let my daughter down. It was absolutely fine, the teacher had come to the same conclusion, and we've agreed a plan and review point. I really rate this particular teacher which I guess helps a lot. Be straight forward rather than anxious, and offer your help and support. Good luck.

SoupDragon Fri 30-Sep-16 10:24:25

DD is enjoying school, has settled well and I can tell she is getting plenty out of it

I think that is pretty much all you want at this stage!

I wouldn't say anything yet as I feel it's too early to be "academically challenged". It's something to keep an eye on though.

Yawnyawnallday Fri 30-Sep-16 10:25:18

Talk about it at parents' evening which must be soon. Keep an eye on her social development too. In same position (dd now Y5).
All the usual stuff about encouraging effort as well as achievements.

SoupDragon Fri 30-Sep-16 10:25:59

Why all the crossing out?

There isn't any. confused I guess you are oneither the app or mobile site (I can't remember which!) that doesn't format properly if there are things like dashes or asterisks in the general text.

turtlesallthewaydown Fri 30-Sep-16 10:31:50

soupdragon oops, thank you for letting me know, I had no idea that could happen! I'm on the mobile site. Almost half the post was crossed out.

op sorry for my mistake re crossing out.

crayolala Fri 30-Sep-16 10:44:50

Does she actually need to feel academically challenged in reception though? She's 4! The vast majority of the year is learning through play and she shouldn't be bored doing that as they don't realise they're learning.

I think what's more important in reception is forming friendships, settling into the school routine, being able to dress for PE etc. She'll be sent home appropriate books so her reading will continue to progress throughout the year.

Jules125 Fri 30-Sep-16 11:07:02

I don't really think so. My DD (now year 1) is a free reader who achieved "exceeding" on all ELGs at the end of last year. So she is doing very well all round, well above all the goals set.

I started wondering if I should be pushing the school to give her harder work (she reads everything they give very easily) but she is still very happy and learning at school. I've decided I really don't need to do anything right now, she is still only 5 after all. I will discuss at parent's evening what I can do at home to help her, but to be honest we don't do a lot as I work almost full time and have a younger DD also.

Lovepancakes Fri 30-Sep-16 11:30:54

I think she does need to be academically stimulated crayolala, not necessarily challenged but certainly stimulated and if I was the OP I'd want to know that school could provide this so she thrives in keeping interested as well As the social side etc.

She sounds lovely and I would just keep an eye on it to see if they need to respond to her as an individual or whether she's very happy anyway; and no matter how dedicated the teacher from the sound of your DD i would think class size could be quite key.( Is she is a large or small class?)

With DS (aged 5) we moved area and I am staggered at the change moving him to a small class has made (he's now in a class a third of the size) . within days he became fascinated by school and having dragged his feet last year actually rushes to do his homework as soon as home. he's given 5x the number of books he was and I think he had a great year anyway last year and a very brilliant teacher but still glad we moved.

wrapsuperstar Fri 30-Sep-16 11:52:33

Thank you for all the thoughtful replies! Will be back to respond properly when DD2 is napping, but just wanted to clarify what Lovepancakes has already done beautifully for me; I do indeed mean stimulated as opposed to challenged. I obviously don't expect her to be hitting the books hard at this age and that isn't the approach that has got her to the point she's currently at. However spending a year re-learning a lot of things she's already very happily covered isn't going to be very stimulating/encouraging, surely?

I'm certainly very happy with her progress on the social/personal independence side. Class size is I think 24, one teacher and one TA.

sparepantsandtoothbrush Fri 30-Sep-16 12:03:41

My DD is y5 now but was also reading fluently when she started school with great comprehension etc. The whole school did phonics and guided reading at the same time as each other so they could move children around as and when they needed to. So, when in reception, DD went to y2 for phonics and guided reading sessions. It worked really well and DD thrived massively.

A good teacher should be able to deal with it but some teachers are a bit crap. It's a bit too early to see which category your DD's teacher falls under though. Parents evening will be a good indicator.

Ginmummy1 Fri 30-Sep-16 12:05:38

I was in this position last year – worrying whether the teacher would notice and be keen enough to do something about it. I was lucky because, at the end of the second week, the teacher called me in to talk about what they would do with DD. However, if she hadn’t done, I was planning to wait until parents’ evening. Easier said than done though – I remember twitching at picking up time, hoping the teacher would want to have a word!

I agree with the other comments – there is so much to learn socially, and so much stimulation in class, that she will be getting lots out of the early weeks at school without much in the way of special input.

Hopefully you’ll have a useful discussion at a parents’ evening just before half term. Meanwhile, if your DD will talk about her school day, you’ll get clues as to whether your DD is being extended (my DD would say that phonics was ‘easy’ when her main teacher wasn’t there – which gave me a clue that her main teacher stretched her). You might also spot discouraging signs (DD would occasionally say that the teacher asked an open question to the class but asked her not to answer!).

Hopefully your DD is having a great time and using up most of her emotional energy settling in with her classmates and learning the school routines, and the school will be aware of where she’s at, and will tailor their approach to give her plenty of opportunities to progress even further. Let us know how it goes!

wrapsuperstar Fri 30-Sep-16 13:15:20

Thanks all. The general consensus seems to be to sit tight until parents' evening as DD is otherwise happy and enjoying herself, which is the approach I was leaning towards anyway. It's really useful to hear from those of you who have been here before; and great especially to hear about how well your DC's teachers generally responded. DD's teacher is young and in her third year of teaching; she seems enthusiastic and the kids are all very fond of her so I feel confident this will all work out.

I totally agree that here with her peer group is the absolute best place for DD. I contemplated homeschooling or other alternative approaches but dismissed them because I wanted her to have the broadest experience possible, and in her big bustling three form entry school she is certainly having that. Part of why I wanted her to be educated in school, though, is that I knew she would thrive on getting recognition for her abilities so I am hoping that will soon start to happen for her. I was chuffed to hear that her class teacher thinks she's a very mature and reliable little helper already!

ginmummy your post about twitching at pick up time made me smile. That is EXACTLY how I have been feeling! Glad to hear how well your DD has been doing.

Thanks all for the advice and for making me feel that by keeping my counsel I've not been doing the wrong thing. Will be sure to update if things change!

bojorojo Fri 30-Sep-16 14:09:56

"Get recognition for her abilities". That comes across as ultra competitive and that she will be the top of the class and everyone will know this is the case! In a large school, others will have talents and she may have to learn that other children will get recognition in all sorts of ways. This is part of learning to rub along with others and you may find that all the children are recognised in some way even if they are less remarkable than your DD.

wrapsuperstar Fri 30-Sep-16 14:20:36

I think you've misunderstood me enormously bojo! Nowhere did I state that I want my DD to be the only recipient of praise for her achievements in a big class of 24 -- I know many of the other children and they are ALL wonderful and deserving of plenty of positive attention. What I meant was that if I had kept my daughter out of school, she would be in more of a bubble and I think she thrives on getting recognition from more than just her parents (who obviously praise her an awful lot as all parents do).
She rubs along with her peers just fine, thank you, as I've stated in my other posts. She's a good friend and really likes being in a group of kids just like her.

2014newme Fri 30-Sep-16 14:23:39

I would be surprised if she was the only one there are likely to be others at same or higher level.
Teachers gomega on praise and rewards in reception, for all children, so I wouldn't worry about that.

Toomanywheeliebinsagain Mon 03-Oct-16 20:49:24

Not quite the same as yours as my DD started reception not being able to read (I offered to teach her, she refused) but by the middle of October could read well and was quite extraordinary by Christmas. The teacher had noticed but for a variety of reasons hadn't quite realised how far she had got. We were doing some supplementing at home and one day I just wrote - maybe reassess her- they did immediately and the response has been great since then. With appropriate stretch programmes and visits to other years etc

catkind Tue 04-Oct-16 01:48:23

OP, have you stolen my daughter? This is us too. Down to the birthday even.

I'm a little concerned DD is now 4 weeks in and says the teacher still hasn't even heard her reading. Don't see how they can be properly assessing and differentiating if they don't even give her a chance to show what she can do. And if that's not happening in reading which is a major focus in reception, is it happening in anything?

"Learning through play" isn't entirely reassuring either. I feel like learning through play requires playing with children who're on the same wavelength? DD doesn't want to play on her own. Also the play resources aren't really targetted at where DD's learning is.

Like you hanging on to parents' evening as long as DD isn't unhappy. I can't see her staying happy if she doesn't get to learn. It's too big a chunk out of her week. At preschool she would just have a learning blitz on her day/afternoon off.

Lisaq01 Tue 04-Oct-16 13:26:39

My DD1 now in Year 1 was exactly the same, she got exceeding across the board at the end of reception.
She reads almost at a free reading level and goes to Year 2 for her phonics class
But most importantly, she adores school. she has lots of friends and is thriving.

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