My year 4 DS. A very depressing parents evening(18 Posts)
I am at my wit's end with my ds school. I have two older children who are at secondary and they both went there and I have never had these problems. They have had the same head, same year 4 teacher and I have volunteered and worked at the school as a a midday. I have some experience as a lsa. This is all for context as I am hoping I don't come across as precious.
He has always struggled with his attainment. He has an IEP. He doesn't have any additional needs and he is currently working at a year 3 level but "only just" as I understand from the recent parents evening. (It was a shock to know how low attaining he is at this point). He is in a small rural primary with four classes of mixed year group. He has numeracy and literacy in a year 3 group and them moves back into class 4 for the rest of the day which has year 4 5 and 6. I am adamant that this does not work. Parents evening was a mess. His books weren't available to me because he moves classroom and no one seems to be taking any real responsibility for his learning. He has a TA to support him. She isn't his 1 to 1, she supports him and others also. I'm not keen on her approach. If she feels there are things that he needs to work on she will take it upon herself to tell me. She is related to the year 3 teacher.
The year 3 teacher he has for numeracy and literacy hasn't once contacted me or helped me identify ways I can support him. In parents evening the first thing she said was that he was disengaged and messing about in lessons and not trying. I had no idea things had got so bad.
My biggest bug bear is that the class ta scribes for him during literacy and even scribed an assessed piece of writing. This meant he was marked on that. It was all spelt correctly because he'd copied it! Is it me? Is that a good approach to trying to get children to do their best? He can write a volume of words as I have done things with him at home.
I have got a meeting with all staff involved a week Thursday. This is to discuss his IEP. I feel it's vague, not measurable and that the ta is left to deliver it within her own remit. How can I best handle this meeting? I don't want to come across as that parent but I am beside myself with worry and deeply unhappy with the current arrangement. There are two teachers in class 4 and I feel they are both a safe pair of hands. The year 3 teacher seems to not regard my sons progress as her responsibility as she is not officially her pupil. He has assessments next week so I should have some idea of where he's at by then. Help me! I'm out of my depth!
No it's a terrible approach! He's being taught to be dependent rather than supported to become independent.
Thank you so much for your reply. I have been stewing so much about this. I could validly take this up with the head without coming across as an idiot.
I agree, it's a shambles and a terrible approach.
If he couldn't write enough to do that assessment he shouldn't have been assessed imo.
learning to copy is only learning to copy.
Thank you for replying. It's giving me confidence to handle this. The other thing I wanted to ask is should a teacher be planning the interventions e has? I'm unsure whether it's the ta or the teacher that does it. I have done learning support before and although I sourced and planned interventions i ran everything past the teacher first. I don't work in education anymore.
As a SENCo I believe interventions should be planned by the teacher and delivered in addition to normal classroom lessons by the teacher not as a substitute
If someone was scribing for him, what was he purpose in him copying it out again afterwards?
Scribes should write down was the child says, so that the content of the work is the child's, because their writing is not of a legible standard.
Feel free to tell me to eff off, but could you give an example of on if his IEP targets? How often are these reviewed?
I agree with you that they should be measurable. And attainable. They should also be constantly reviewed by the class teacher/TA. That way they are ensuring he is making good and consistent progress. If he meets one, then update to extend the challenge. If he isn't meeting one, build interventions or activities in to help him to meet it. IEPs should be more fluid. A lot of schools treat them as this rigid thing that is only reviewed once a term and the targets are fixed for that time. And usually unattainable.
It does not seem right that he is shipped off to another class for literacy/numeracy. His actual class teacher should be taking responsibility for his learning and not passing it off to someone else. As mrz says, his interventions should all be planned into lessons and delivered by the teacher.
He has a TA to support him. She isn't his 1 to 1, she supports him and others also. I'm not keen on her approach. If she feels there are things that he needs to work on she will take it upon herself to tell me.
The TA is trying to do her job. Would you rather not be told? Teachers don't always have (or make) the time to search out individual parents to provide information like this, and TAs are often told to relay such information, and well involved TAs know exactly what a child needs to be working on to progress. And since, as you say, the teachers have bothered to clue you in and let you know what's been going on, I would at least be thankful a TA was trying to tell me what I could do more of to help. It's certainly not the TA's fault, especially if she's not a one-to-one.
The fact that the TA is related to a teacher is irrelevant. Many TAs have family members who are in the teaching position, while they ponder the decision to pursue a teaching degree as well.
It does sound like you have been without detailed information generally for far too long, especially as your child seems to be quite far behind. They should never have let it get this far without you knowing exactly how far behind your child is, and that you child is not being disruptive/disengaged/not trying. And it does sound like none of the teachers have a coherent plan. Not having your child's book available for a parents/teachers evening sounds like a basic failure to prepare, and it does make them appear like they could care less, tbh. I would make a list of all your concerns and make sure the SENCO lead is there.
Thanks for your replies. Foxy, I am unsure of the purpose of the copying out. It's something i need to find out. Ewe, my problem with the TA s approach is she is telling me things out of context. An example is number bonds to 10. Number bonds are on his IEP but I thought 10 was pretty embedded albeit sometimes slow to recall. That was pretty much the gist I got from his last IEP meeting. Maybe I am shooting the messenger here. She is certainly not planning a career move and has been working at the school for some time as a ta. It's probably a clash of personalities. However I do expect to be clued in. One IEP meeting a term is not enough. And it's a term, not a half term. I have worked in schools, I understand the pressure but how can I support him if homework is missing, books are never in his bag, messages not relayed? To get to this point at not have any clue that he has made no progress on his IEP isn't good enough. Because he is another class, I don't get copies of layered targets or anything relating to that class. Homework is missing. I provided a folder for him to take from class to class and the response was "we don't have time to put things into this". It was in an effort to make him more responsible. Id labeled the folder and sent a note.
His IEP targets, number bonds is one. Completing a number of questions in class is another relating to the learning objective. Working on short term memory ability is another. I'm being a bit vague but I'm not at home. I'll post them later once I've got the IEP to hand.
Mrs, he doesn't have a 1 to 1. I'm not sure why.
Foxy, his writing is legible, just about. Probably the standard of a good year 2 child.
*"*^*Mrs, he doesn't have a 1 to 1. I'm not sure why*^*"* probably because he doesn't have SEN ...he's behind
It sounds like you're doing the right thing getting all involved round the table to discuss -sounds to me that your perception that he's being overlooked as he's being passed from class to class and no one is taking responsibility is correct. Also the TA is getting far too much input/involvement.
Just picking up on a couple of things - organisation / memory - could he possibly be dyslexic or dyspraxic?
It feels as if no-one is fully tuned into his progress - unless maybe the TA actually is and is realising he's not being kept tabs on so is trying to do this?
Children can regress / forget etc things like bonds to ten if they don't have a concrete understanding of number. Imo he could do with work on basic number dots / amount recognition and patterns which is a precursor to bonds to ten.
Numicon would be great for him. I'll try to find the dots thing in a link.
The other very good resource the school could use and you could possibly use at home is the Nessy programme for spelling/ reading. It can be expensive but the school could use it to target his needs as it has an excellent screening assessment and send print out activities for homework etc. It's also really good fun.
Thanks everyone for your input. I will update this thread when I've met everyone. I love the school. I hope we can work things out.
I just wanted to update. I had my meeting with the three teachers involved, one year 3 teacher and two job sharing year 4 teachers. It was very productive. I've got a revised IEP with very specific things to work on at home. They have assessed him on his phonics knowledge. Much of phase 3 isn't there, in particular the vowel sounds such as oa and aI. So I can support at home which has helped and I have also asked for a meeting before February half term. They have suggested a hearing test as is strong on consonant blends such as cr. He is having an ed psych assessment in January. Thanks for all your comments. I had a much more productive meeting because I felt that I had given some thought as to what I needed to have to support him. The poster who suggested that the IEP should be more flexible in its approach was spot on. I have specific measurable things I can work on now. I thought he was secure in phase 3 phonics and number bonds. It was good to have that benchmark in order to move forward. It also made me think harder as to why he is struggling to learn. Hopefully the ed psych will provide more insight.
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