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What to make of this report?

(33 Posts)
Misstic Sun 27-Nov-16 09:51:58

My DS is 5 and in reception. His maths report was on the lines of: DS can write number sentences and understands the symbols +, -, and =. He uses his 100 square to work out answers and is very quick at remembering number bonds. DS clicks very quickly with new topics. His english report was very good. Along the lines of DS has a fantastic phonic knowledge and is able to recall tricky words from memory. He reads fluently and can answer questions about what he has read.

His target is for maths is: to slow down working out written sums to ensure there are no silly mistakes.
His target for english is: to ensure he does not rush his written work and writes to his full potential

My question is, what does these targets mean? Apart from telling him to slow down, I can't see what these targets mean or are implying. How can these be targets?

Emochild Sun 27-Nov-16 09:56:26

What it means is that you have an able child who is making mistakes in his work when the teacher knows he is capable of doing it.

The teacher feels that these mistakes come from rushing and that if he slowed down he would be more accurate

His target is really to work more accurately

nice stealth boast btw

mrz Sun 27-Nov-16 09:56:26

IT means he's capable but makes lots of mistakes because he rushes

ziggitypop Sun 27-Nov-16 10:00:31

Basically I think they mean that he's bright and can easily do the work but he's not always showing himself in the best light because he's rushing to finish his work and in doing so he's making mistakes (spelling mistakes, poor presentation, not remembering a number bond? Things like this perhaps) so, they're looking to improve the consistency of his work rather than pushing him to do harder work. This sounds sensible to me, because habits like rushing work and making mistakes if they are not nipped in the bud can become a real problem later on.
Congratulations though, sounds like a great report!

irvineoneohone Sun 27-Nov-16 10:05:17

I think this is a very good target. These things are very important. And if you can meet the target earlier the better. Rushing and making mistakes, not so good presentation can drag you down later if not corrected in early age.

Floggingmolly Sun 27-Nov-16 10:08:14

Why didn't you ask the teacher what it meant if you really didn't get it?

catkind Sun 27-Nov-16 10:41:37

Great report. Good sign that they've worked out where he's at and got him working with a 100 square and doing proper writing at this stage. It sounds like he's well ahead of reception expectations.

I think the style of targets we have for DD (also a very able receptioner) is probably more what you had in mind. They are specific things to learn or do, like learning and reciting poems, being more consistent in using capital letters in her writing. I love that because it means we can really support her learning at home. It's the first time I've seen that level of detail though, I didn't expect it.

What you have is a more general approach target, to slow down and make less mistakes. If they're only going to give you one or two per learning area, I think that's much more useful than "next we're going to work on tens and units" because that will be come and gone in a flash.

But given what they've shared about what he's doing, and assuming you think they've got that pegged about right, I'd just be pleased that they've cottoned on to his abilities and are making learning work for him.

Misstic Sun 27-Nov-16 10:50:22

Not stealth boast but can see how it might appear that way. smile

The report was half an A4 page and I have not (yet) spoken to the teacher. I am new to the school system and lingo and read on here that there are measurable key stage targets, etc. I genuinely don't get some of these things eg, should I be reading between the lines or should I just take the report at face value. Also don't know if these targets are typical stuff eg, do kids his age normally rush and so this is tare is normal lebel of target at his age.

I definitely get the point that it is a bad habit that will undermine his performance if not nipped in the bud.

I'll ask the teacher next week but there's no harm in hearing what others make of it?

Misstic Sun 27-Nov-16 10:53:27

Thanks Catkind you explained my concern better than I did. I expected something more specific.

catkind Sun 27-Nov-16 12:03:34

You can look up the general EYFS targets for the end of the year on the internet. The Development Matters document is quite good I think. You may also find that there is some curriculum information on your school website that says what their targets are in general for this term?

I'm getting the impression our reception teachers are particularly hot on communication. We have been sent home among other things a copy of the EYFS goals and nearly weekly sheets detailing what they're working on with the class in general. Which your DS would be working well ahead of in the areas you've described.

There's a lot more to EYFS than sums and reading and writing though, hopefully your DS has targets for the other areas too.

Ineverpromisedyouarosegarden Sun 27-Nov-16 12:11:10

At this stage your Ds is learning the building blocks of his literacy and numeracy work for the future years. Number bonds and decoding tricky words are the holy grail. He can do both. Sit back and breathe a sigh of relief. He needs to realise how to check his work and stop making silly mistakes. The teacher wants him to slow down. That's all, no need for contacting teacher. Not all kids will be as good as yours the teacher will need her time for parents whose kids need extra support.

irvineoneohone Sun 27-Nov-16 12:57:17

I can understand that you feel uncomfortable just getting kind of vague targets, but those are the ones need extra work, and easily learned if started early.
All the academic targets can be met quite easily by your ds, but trying not to make careless mistakes by checking your answers, writing answers neatly, showing all the workings, are the skills which determines how well advanced children can do better or not in the future.

Ineverpromisedyouarosegarden Sun 27-Nov-16 13:43:14

I can't find the link but there was a study done on children of similar IQ and why their outcomes differed and the conclusions were things like self belief etc but also exam techniques like showing working out, checking work etc

mrz Sun 27-Nov-16 14:05:57

The prime areas of the EYFS profile are not reading or maths for a good reason.

Misstic Sun 27-Nov-16 14:09:04

I will look at the EYFS. I've found the advice from the responses here useful and I'll think about how to help him not rush things and to show his workings. Any practical advice beyond me just telling him to slow down and don't rush?

Misstic Sun 27-Nov-16 14:09:51

What do you mean mrz?

mrz Sun 27-Nov-16 14:20:14

EYFS is split into 3 prime and 4 specific areas of learning. The prime areas (communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development) are considered essential to learning development and future achievement. So far from being considered the "holy grail" reading writing and number bonds are not seen as essential at this age.

Ineverpromisedyouarosegarden Sun 27-Nov-16 14:58:30

Mrz I didn't say they were the holy grail at this stage. I said they were the foundation stones for further maths development. Obviously in addition to thinking and understanding skills but you do need to break that down so the average parent can understand it.
Most parents haven't and don't need to have read the curriculum.

I think we are both trying to say the same thing. It is no longer about rote learning it's about thinking and investigating and using language both orally and written to record this.

I do have an issue with the reports though it's all very well listing what they can do but it's meaningless without reference to whether they are meeting expectations or not (individual tailored expectations).

Having said that (and I am not a teacher) they still do need to know their number bonds.

mrz Sun 27-Nov-16 15:02:21

Don't most schools provide parents with an accurate overview of the curriculum?

I'd say essential foundation skills for maths is many steps back from knowing number bonds and if they aren't secure knowing number bonds us meaningless

mrz Sun 27-Nov-16 15:04:03

Misstic Sun 27-Nov-16 15:58:36

For context, his school is a high performing school so I am assuming that if he had issues with his development and other foundation requirements that they would have raise concerns?

How can I check that he has the basics in place? Is it through the EYFS? If so, I'll need to look at it indepth this evening. I have never really looked at it in any detail before.

mrz Sun 27-Nov-16 16:01:43

I've posted a parents guide

pklme Sun 27-Nov-16 16:28:14

At some point he will be taught skills like 'guesstimating', reversing the operation, and doing it twice to help him check his work.

In the mean time, asking him 'are you sure?' Is enough! Try and use positive language- take your time, rather than don't rush. It's hard to do several things at the same time, at this age. Writing neatly, and doing it correctly and doing it quickly ate three different skills. Ask him to focus on a different thing each time.

catkind Sun 27-Nov-16 16:46:09

mrz, link didn't work for me, maybe this one?

I think to some extent we have to assume that a teacher is listing "cutting edge" abilities, there wouldn't be space in a short report to list every single EYFS box that has been ticked. They wouldn't be talking about the child knowing number bonds and writing sums if they didn't know how to count things or couldn't follow an instruction, they'd still be working on counting things with the rest of the class and wouldn't have done the sums when asked.

OP, I really think you can trust school to have it covered. There's no sign they're worried, there's a number of signs in my opinion that they've noticed your child is able and are encouraging his abilities. I'm suggesting you look at EYFS and curriculum info not to check he has basics covered, but to reassure yourself that school are on the case and probably giving him a bit extra. If you want to know how he's getting on against age expectations though there's no reason you can't ask the teacher.

Misstic Sun 27-Nov-16 16:51:26

Thanks Catkind, I could hug you. I was starting to get confused a bit but your explanation has helped. I do believe that if they are worried about him not having the right foundation they would say so. I had no idea that at his age number bonds, etc were not the main things they should be focusing on. It's good to know that but I began to wonder why they gave a report mentioning these things if they should be telling me about the other areas instead.

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