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Bright child loosing love of learning

(17 Posts)
Faz2015 Fri 25-Nov-16 10:18:53

my dd in year is asd and bright for her age.

last year in reception she had a wonderful engaging teacher who developed and maintained my dds love of reading. When she started reception she was on reading band 1 and by the end of reception she was reading Roald Dahl. She used to love learning and even wrote a 4 page story that the teacher showed the school during assembly and put in their library. Her intelligence was not only celebrated but also cultivated.

Now in yr 1, her current teacher just does only minimal. When asked if she was being challenged she just said yes, and during parents evening I was told she is very advanced in maths and I asked if she could access higher level of work teacher said well she still makes mistakes in her work. Now when I ask my dd if she's being challenged all I get is no I do work as everyone else.

I have stopped asking teacher to challenge her or give her work upto her abilities and my dd has become very complacent... no real enthusiasm for reading or writing that she had earlier.

So I have two questions.. first should I take it up with the deputy head teacher and voice my concerns and ask them why she's not being challenged according to her individual ability?
Second: what can I do at home in regards to her studies as I don't think she is learning anything new?

I'm getting worried as I think instead of nurturing her they are trying to dumbifing her.

Please help!

Many thanks!

Sohardtochooseausername Fri 25-Nov-16 10:57:22

This must be such a stress for you! A close family member had a similar issue - her DS was pigeonholed by his y2 teacher. She had many meetings with the deputy head and headteacher and very little changed all year. Luckily he now has a much better teacher for y3 and is loving school again.

I guess at home the best thing to do is read widely to/with your DD, take her to museums, theatre, whatever floats her boat. I'm sure you're doing all that already.

Definitely raise it with the school though - you will feel better having voiced your concerns and the head/deputy head may well respond positively.

irvineoneohone Fri 25-Nov-16 11:01:42

My ds had same experience, he had great teacher for reception and yr2, but all the others won't/can't seem to extend him.(ds is in yr4.)
I think it's definitely worth speaking to school.
But you can do a lot at home as well. My ds used to do quite a lot of extra maths work at home. Now he still does some, but his interest has shifted towards other things too. (He spends more time on musical instrument and learning foreign language these days.)
There are so many resources you can access outside school. (I think kids these days are so lucky compared to when I was a child.)

sirfredfredgeorge Fri 25-Nov-16 12:52:50

You've not actually explained how she's not being challenged? The kids do the "same work" as each other in our school, but the challenge comes from different goals and outcomes required for that work. So I think you need to establish what she's not doing.

Whilst she can read and do maths (although if she is making mistakes in Yr1 maths work, then she certainly needs to solve that, it's pretty simple, even if the challenge in solving that is not the maths itself) Maybe she needs lots of challenging in other areas, and that is what the teacher is focusing on.

From what you've described, it sounds to me more like your conversations with the teacher have been a bit talking past each other. With you focusing on challenges in some very narrow academic areas, and the teacher talking about the whole package.

GraceGrape Fri 25-Nov-16 12:57:32

With regard to maths, the new "mastery" curriculum expects everyone to be doing the same. Challenge is put in by getting children to apply their skills in problem-solving and reasoning. Could you check with the teacher, as maybe your DD is doing this.

catkind Fri 25-Nov-16 19:11:37

With regard to maths, the new "mastery" curriculum expects everyone to be doing the same.
Not really, no. Some schools seem to be using it as an excuse though. Even within the same year's curriculum, children who need it should be getting more challenging questions to answer. And if they can answer the challenging questions, it should in theory be possible to teach ahead to next year's curriculum too.

Next time you speak to the teacher, ask to see examples of work that your DD found challenging. Take your DD with you too and ask her if she found that work challenging. I think some child input is really helpful in convincing the teachers that it's an unhappy child problem not a pushy parent problem they're dealing with. Looking at their targets can be really helpful too. And if they're vague, ask for a more specific example of things that they can't yet do that they'll be learning to do better.

Home-wise, getting the reading right is key I think. If they have books to read that inspire them there's a chance they'll be inspired to write too. And don't forget things like poems and non-fiction. Reading can help support maths and things too - DS (7) loves the Murderous Maths books, DD (4) has been looking at an Usborne lift the flap maths book for example. Both enjoy puzzle books which are often mathsy. Once their reading is good, inspiring learning is easy - just go to the library.

GraceGrape Sat 26-Nov-16 01:18:21

While it would be possible to move on to the next year group's curriculum, it has been made very clear that we should not do this. But, as I explained, challenge should be provided while teaching the same overall objective, in the form of complex reasoning or problem solving. It is possible that some teachers or schools are not offering the appropriate level of challenge within their current plans, which is why the OP should speak to the teacher to find out what they are providing for her DD.

Faz2015 Sat 26-Nov-16 07:37:56

Currently we do lots of learning activities like maths games spelling games, drama piano, sports etc. When I asked teacher during parents evening how she was being challenged she replied saying we are challenging her and she's doing fine. When I told her my dd is getting bored her reply was she shouldn't. That was before half term. But now when I ask my dd what she did in class for numeracy she's not doing anything she finds challenging. Her Teacher said her creative writing needs improving as she wrote very basic sentences, she didn't even know that dd last year wrote a short story with connectives and lots of adjectives.

I think she is coasting my dd as I don't think she even knows what my dd is capable of. My fear is do I start teaching get through work books at home or let her coast?

GraceGrape Sat 26-Nov-16 08:18:55

It won't hurt to do workbooks at home if she is interested. I do some with my DD. Or you could get her to keep a journal to practise her writing? Some children like writing one about a toy that they take around with them. As PP suggested, trips to museums etc could engage her.

srslylikeomg Sat 26-Nov-16 08:24:35

Don't forget... and I mean this kindly that children do plateau. Your DD might be coasting a bit while she focuses on other 'school' stuff like friendships/negotiating/people dynamics. She's obviously bright, keep the stuff out of school fun and engaging and then you know she's getting enough stimulation. Some kids do go off the boil a bit in year one speaks from experience

irvineoneohone Sat 26-Nov-16 08:31:41

My ds had same problem regarding writing. He was really good writer, but became reluctant in YR1. I think it's inevitable. They focus more on structure, contents, etc. But that's what needed to be a good writer.
Also about careless mistakes need to be addressed. It need to be sorted out now rather than later.
I think these things needed to be worked on before you teach new stuff yourself at home.
As for too easy work at school in maths, my ds used to figure out the ways to make it more interesting. If they are doing number bonds, he does normal ones first, then do it using his knowledge. So, say he needed to make 20, he does 7+13, 2+18 or whatever first, then he does 7.5 + 12.5, , 5^2 - 5 or whatever, to have fun with numbers himself.
Reading is easy to supplement at home, imo.
My ds learns at home, but I don't teach him. He does it himself. I only help him when he is stuck and ask for help.

TheoriginalLEM Sat 26-Nov-16 08:37:16

Make an appointment to the the SENCO at your dd's school. They will be able to help get additional support for your dd to be challenged further in the classroom

catkind Sat 26-Nov-16 09:15:18

Sorry grace, i thought you were saying they should be doing the same work I.e. answering the same questions. One of the beauties of maths is that you can ask very hard questions using even the simplest operations. So the fact that they're doing addition is not a problem. The fact that even the extension questions aren't pitched at a hard/interesting enough level is (for DS anyway).

OP, would really encourage you to ask to see specific examples of work. Ask to see a creative writing prompt where she could have done more, ask to see some challenging work in her maths book. Then you can get better tabs on what is/isn't working or why your DD seems discontented. You could also take in some writing from home to show the teacher what she can do. Then the job is working out between you why she isn't producing her best in class. She does need to be doing things consistently, one great story is lovely but keep going! We have found that showing DD's teacher one great story from home and a few other pieces of writing has got her some more challenging writing prompts in class which gives her more opportunities to do the same. But that's reception which is easier to differentiate in a way as they're working in small groups and short bouts. Year 1 is harder because it's all more structured and a lot of whole class work.

Try to talk to your DD about it specifically too. DS said that he's bored during the teacher input parts of the lesson for example, which is something specific the teacher could address - she's now trying giving the top table their challenge first unless it's something actually new. Which is great because it means DS less likely to be tuned out out of habit when it comes to the occasional new bits of teacher input.

sirfredfredgeorge Sat 26-Nov-16 09:31:05

That last year, she wrote a short story, is pretty irrelevant, her challenged now are clearly about actually completing work. Now yes that could be a motivational issue in the class environment, or it could be simply that your child is motivated to do something at home - it sounds like you give lots of praise and encouragement - and is not as intrinsically motivated to do something in the classroom.

Remember challenges are not simply about learning new things.

Scabetty Sat 26-Nov-16 09:46:11

I am in year 2 as a TA. The year 1s came up bery strong this year but areas needing development were telling the time to 5 min intervals and money. We also give lots of word problems which the higher achievers love. In writing your daughter could look at poetry, similes and developing her noun phrases as these are areas we have worked on this term too. If she is already doing this then ignore 😀

Scabetty Sat 26-Nov-16 09:49:37

Also sometimes a teacher really favours a brught child and they grow used to the extra, special attention. This isn't fair as they expect every teacher to know they are special.

jamdonut Sun 27-Nov-16 13:02:51

Sometimes the ones that say they are bored are the ones that think they know it all , at teacher input. ( You get " This is easy!" remarks).
Then you send them away to do their work and it becomes quite apparent that they didn't get it at all...

Not all input can be fabulous ,all bells and whistles, some concepts to be covered are a little boring, frankly. More able children need to understand this, that sometimes they have to sit through things while less able children grasp concepts.

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