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Shy and unconfident DD

(14 Posts)
MerryRealisation Thu 23-Feb-17 20:54:33

My DD is just 7 and in year 2. She has never been the gregarious type but is okay once familiar with a situation. She undertakes swimming lessons and attends Rainbows. Both of which she loves and takes fully part in.

It was parents evening this week. She has dipped down in her grading from virtually at the top to middling. All the teachers (there are 2 teachers who split the role) focused on was her shyness and poor writing.

Her writing isn't great. It was lovely in reception, dipped in Y1 and hasn't improved. Even when she takes her time at home it can be lovely then get gradually worse with poor letter formation and increasing size.

However, she is on white/gold band reading books. She has just read The Minpins to me and was very good. She has a really good grasp of books and understands what she reads.

Her timetables (2, 5, 10) are very good and she can answer questions from me that are contextualised. She is good at addition, not so great at subtraction.

She likes sport and is okay at it.

The teachers didn't spend long with me as were running late. I should have had 10mins but had about 6. I was the last and I know they were tired but they were so unenthusiastic. I left feeling totally disheartened.

They forgot to give her a head teachers award the week before half term. I know they were busy but something like that would mean so much to my DD. Without my reminder they wouldn't have remembered.

I'm really concerned there is something underlying going on. Any ideas?

I am going to ask for another meeting as they didn't make me feel they were addressing anything and were just letting it go. Am I like looking for too much? I don't want to become the awkward parent but either do I want her to slip away.

There appears to be a divide between her ability at school and home.

Sorry for the huge post! Any thoughts really welcomed.

irvineoneohone Thu 23-Feb-17 21:37:49

If you are concerned, yes, definitely make appointment to see the teacher.
In the mean time, I would focus on her writing and subtraction, if that's her weak point.

Does she write diary? I think it's a good writing practice, if she likes that sort of thing.

It's quite natural that she can do better at home, with 1 to 1 attention and better environment, compared to busy/noisy school environment with limited attention from teacher, imo.

Didiplanthis Thu 23-Feb-17 21:53:04

you have just totally described my yr 2 just 7 dd ! Very able, very quiet and quite shy. Tends to disappear into the background of school, seems to miss out on the rewards and awards for no obvious reason which she never mentions but gets quietly sad about. Academically plateaud in yr 1 although still above average not progressing. We got so worried about the disparity in what was going on we got an ed psych assessment - turns out she is very bright but almost certainly dyslexic. We are now in a far better place to fight her corner and boost her confidence. I would say go with your gut feeling if you think somethings not right.

Trying2bgd Thu 23-Feb-17 21:54:44

Yes, go talk to her teachers again to go over your concerns but don't panic she is only 7 and there could be allsorts of reasons to explain her handwriting and grading. Keep an eye on it though and if your concerns are still there in say a year's time then go see the SEN teachers and arrange a meeting.

MerryRealisation Thu 23-Feb-17 21:55:14

It is natural she does better at home but there seems to be a very big gap now. I'm not that fussed about SATS but she will be.

She writes all the time at home. She really enjoys it. confused

MerryRealisation Thu 23-Feb-17 21:56:52

Didi - I'm wondering about dyslexia. It's something I'm going to bring up when I have the meeting.

MerryRealisation Thu 23-Feb-17 21:59:15

Trying - it's a small school so all teachers know all students very well. Wouldn't it be better to tackle it sooner rather than leave it as this has been going on since Y1.

She has also had a rough deal with teachers and hasn't had the same one for more than 1.5 terms. I don't think this has helped.

Trying2bgd Thu 23-Feb-17 22:11:01

Dyslexia can be hard to diagnose accurately at this age which is why I suggest waiting although a year is probably too long to be honest. My DD wasn't given a diagnosis until year 5 and yes it was very helpful. I think you have to go with your gut as each of us has a slightly different journey. My one piece of advice is to keep an eye on teachers and make sure your DD does get SEN support, despite the increased awareness about dyslexia etc, many teachers are poorly equipped to deal with SEN children and as in my experience a stressed teacher can leave a real dent in the self esteem of the child.

GraceGrape Thu 23-Feb-17 22:15:35

By all means make an appointment, but don't worry about the shyness too much. I have 2 very shy DDs and I encourage them to be confident, but I also let them know that it's not a problem if they are quiet. I try to avoid using the word shy at all. I would also ask the teachers why they feel her shyness is a problem. Is it specifically affecting her work? She is only young still. I was painfully shy and feeling that adult were frustrated with me made it much worse. I'm a primary teacher now and while I try to help the shyer pupils gain in confidence, I don't make an issue out of it. I would also ask them about the awards etc. Things like this are especially important to the quieter children who may feel that they are often overlooked. If it was an oversight, the teachers will want to correct it.

With regards to the writing, I would ask for specific examples of what the issues are. If it's something like handwriting, you can practise extra at home. Things like threading, beads etc can help. Is the problem mainly handwriting or is she also struggling with spelling, punctuation etc?

MerryRealisation Thu 23-Feb-17 22:17:23

Thank you Trying.
I really don't think the swapping of teachers from morning to afternoon helps. My DD does like continuity. She adores the reading teacher though. And that teacher is very very encouraging.
Her confidence is already knocked.

I meant to add to my OP that one of the teachers keeps getting her name confused with her best friends. They do look a bit similar but still!

MerryRealisation Thu 23-Feb-17 22:23:09

Grape - I try not to make a big deal out of her quietness and try and encourage her which is why she does Rainbows and swimming. I praise her a lot at home as well. She does speak to other adults she knows and will enter into a simple conversation.

We practise a lot with her writing as she enjoys it. She's not very keen on my pointing out where she could improve though.

Her letter formation is off (but this was very good in reception), she doesn't punctuate well and about half of the time her sizing is out.

She reads well but will sometimes get the very simple words mixed up.

GraceGrape Thu 23-Feb-17 22:37:50

She doesn't sound as shy as my children. I would focus more on the issue of the writing then, if it's more than just untidy handwriting. Given the slowdown on her progress, you could ask for the SENCO to do a general assessment. It wouldn't be specifically for dyslexia though. I'm not sure what it's like in other areas but around here it is almost impossible to get a dyslexia assessment done unless privately.

Ginmummy1 Mon 27-Feb-17 11:22:00

Lots of useful comments already. A couple of additional thoughts.

Was this the first parents’ evening with these teachers? If so, I wonder whether it is just their style to focus on the areas for improvement rather than praise? I remember attending my DD’s first parents’ evening in Reception and being a little surprised that the teacher focused on one small weakness rather than my DD’s strengths. When I came to my senses I realised how useful that was! By contrast, her Y1 teachers sang her praises and, though it was lovely to hear, it wasn’t terribly informative!

Also, you say she’s dipped in her grading from virtually top to middling. Is this compared with national expectations or against her classmates? Has she made expected progress over the past year? I wonder whether she is actually doing fine, but some of her classmates have had a burst of progress recently.

I agree with others that you should talk to the teacher again, if you don’t feel the points have been covered adequately.

smearedinfood Fri 03-Mar-17 17:04:00

Could she be an introverted child? Sometimes the school day is really exhausting for these types of personalities as school lends itself to extroverted children. I've done a lot of reading on it lately for my son and the main gist seems to be that you have accept their personality and then help them find their way in.

There is also a tendency to hung up on doing something perfectly rather than just giving it go.

Definitely pursue it further - have you considered emailing the teacher?

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