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Upsetting reception report

(36 Posts)
mia1972 Fri 07-Jul-17 21:55:12

Hello ladies,

I am sure I am overacting and being 8 months pregnant with hormones all over my body doesn't help but I am having a terrible time with my son's school.

The background is that he is a summer born and very young one. He was moved from his reception class where he had settled well, and this is probably the origin of all of this upset. So the previous school was tiny village school and very nurturing. He was one of 2 boys and we thought it would not work long term so we took a view - probably mistakenly - to move him to a comprehensive down the road where some of his friends were going to help have a broader circle.

What I didn't know is that the new school had 20 boys and 10 girls and some of the boys are quite 'physical' - to cut a long story short, settling in was much more difficult than we envisaged, my son got picked on quite a lot, he got thrown around the playground, teased, excluded. Not by one child but by the group. And no amount of talking to the teacher has made a difference, she denies this is happening at all (although I have seen this in the playground myself and many other parents have expressed concern about the 'vibe'). So you can imagine that this has created quite a settling in process and has affected him. For example I see him walk to some children in the morning in the playground and trying to be friendly and being given the hard shoulder most times.

Now his report today really upset me as there is no acknowledgement of the difficulties he's been having. My son never had social issues before and the report says: 'his social communication skills are improving' and that, given more time they hope he will be able to make friendships. But have marked 'Making relationship' as emerging in his report. In a face to face meeting she told me that his listening was really good, and she has market 'listening' as emerging again. Finally, this one I expected as he is ambidextrous and hasn't chosen a primary hand, writing is also market it down as emerging, despite the huge effort he is putting into this.

As for reading, he reads fluently and by sight level 4-5 books and reads all the time, I had buy so many more books as the school could not keep up. His phonics are good and knows a large amount of tricky words. Reading for her is simply 'expected'. No mention of how much better he reads than the average (I went and read with the class).

I feel completely let down and deflated. Of course he doesn't know this and will never find out but I can't help feeling I made a huge mistake to move him and now there is no way to go back to the old school. I can only hope that the year1 teacher is going to be better at helping him integrate in the social environment. And also recognise that he has some strenghts.

Been sobbing all day and trying to work out if we can pull the finances together to send him to a small private school. I feel a complete failure today as a mom for inflicting this onto a 4 year old who is trying so hard but can't help being so young and new.

Sorry it's a really long post...

Thanks, any advice appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
BarbarianMum Fri 07-Jul-17 22:34:14

My advice is this:

Forget about the "expecteds" and "emergings" they are neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things.

Be glad his reading is coming on well - this is the foundation on which everything else will be built. "Expected" and "exceeding" refer to national not class averages- given his age you should be delighted with his "expected".

It is totally normal for reception children to be totally disengaged with writing. Ambidextrous or not, many don't have the gross or fine motor control or abdominal musculature to make sitting writing comfortable or easy. It comes with time. My own ds1 barely wrote a complete sentence willingly until Y2 despite being on the gifted and talented register for English (under the previous system the teacher was able to assess ability verbally - don't think they can do this any more). If he is reading and comprehending readily then writing will come in time.

The social thing is worth keeping a very close eye on. See how it goes with a new teacher next year - and go in and voice your concerns early on and see what response you get. Things often settle down in Y1 so all may be well yet. If they don't, then you can decide what to do. FWIW I think being one of 2 boys sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen- for all sorts of reasons, not just friendship, so I don't blame you for chosing to move him. And if you need to, you can move him again.

That was long, I hope it helps.

islandandshores Fri 07-Jul-17 22:35:59

Reports are generally meaningless.

He's reading and achieving fine.

Don't worry flowers

MoMandaS Fri 07-Jul-17 22:40:39

By 'reading' they mean 'comprehension', not just being able to decode and pronounce the words.

Heratnumber7 Fri 07-Jul-17 22:45:57

My DD was marked down in reading while she was reading fairly advanced books at home.
Years later she told us she refused to read the school books at school because they were too easy and the stories were boring!

What matters is what DS can do, not what the report says he can do.

2014newme Fri 07-Jul-17 22:46:15

Can't see that teacher has written anything inaccurate. Seems the sobbing is perhaps more a,reaction to the troubles he's unfortunately experienced at the bigger school. It must be very difficult. Can you move him back to the smaller school?

cestlavielife Fri 07-Jul-17 22:51:29

I think the op is sobbing over the report
Not the child

If the child is not sobbing then wait til next term and year and see how it goes

You have a new baby to throw into the mix keep some thing stable let him go back to sane school unless your ds is truly unhappy

cestlavielife Fri 07-Jul-17 22:53:27

Tho if he was settled in well at the small school consider taking him back there

bluebell34567 Fri 07-Jul-17 22:55:11

agree with others that his reading, writing will be allright, don't worry about it. and you didn't make a mistake by moving him to this school.
you did your best.
bullying in new school is bad and it seems they are brushing it off.
you need to speak to them next year and if you don't see any improvement take him to a better school.
wish you good luck.

bluebell34567 Fri 07-Jul-17 22:56:45

him being young than the others makes big difference at that age.

StarUtopia Fri 07-Jul-17 22:57:16

I would move him back.

Doesn't sound like a great school at all to me!

But with regards to his actual report, even those kids are who amazing won't get exceeding - unless they are literally Einstein! Doesn't leave any room for the 'data' to show improvement etc.

Seriously though. On an emotional point, this age is very important. I would move him back to where he was happy and settled. He can deal with transition to bigger schools etc when he's older.

mia1972 Sat 08-Jul-17 00:20:43

Thank you ladies,

And just to answer a couple of queries, no we can't move him back to the old school as the place has now been taken.

And yes reading and comprehension go together - I check both and read with him every day and have long conversation about the story in the book.

I think I just got really upset as the report is written in an abrupt way and it doesn't really say anything positive at all when I know my lo is trying so hard to do what is required.

OP’s posts: |
mia1972 Sat 08-Jul-17 00:26:45

But ultimately it's the bullying if we can call it this in reception that is making everything hard and the fact that it's making everything harder at this point. thank you again

OP’s posts: |
LovingLola Sat 08-Jul-17 00:29:43

Is there a plan to alleviate the bullying for September? Is he miserable?

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sat 08-Jul-17 05:27:37

A class with 20 boys who are already showing billying traits may be a difficult class for some years. I would (without telling him) put his name down on waiting list for the original school and some surrounding schools but check out the classes before you commit to them. You don't need to make the decision yet, look around them yourself and if and when a place comes up then assess the situation.

I wouldn't worry about the academic side at the moment. He is still only 4. Keep supporting him but unless there are substantial issues they are unlikely to do anything beyond normal classroim interventions until 7. Just like crawling and walking children aquire these skills at different stages. Dd didn't walk until 15 months, by 6yrs she was winning hurdles races. She didn't read fluently until nearly 7, by 11 she was getting marks over 110 (or whatever the cut off was) in all her SATs. He is doing fine in school, some of it is to do with what they have observed and a quiet, well behaved boy won't get as much attention if they are busy extinguishing other fires all over the classroom.

It might sound counter intuitive but I would put his name down for Beavers, that really helps them develop some friendships out of school. They can start when they are six but there is often a waiting list.

Squishedstrawberry4 Sat 08-Jul-17 06:02:03

My reception teachers gave only partially reflective reports too and It was very clear that the reception teacher didn't know them. All mine could read excellently too. Teachers do get it wrong sometimes or err on the side of caution. Try not to take it understanding personally

If your son is being assaulted in the playground and the teacher is failing to act, then speak to the head. List all the incidents and outcomes to date. If that fails you can always make a complaint to the governors about how badly incidents are dealt with.

Could you talk to the year 1 teacher in September and explain to her about the other boys in the playground.

Also invite gentle boys he likes for play dates.

Squishedstrawberry4 Sat 08-Jul-17 06:11:36

My concern would be the bullying and not the report. You know he's academically able and that will shine through with time.

Some schools have a lot of rife Untackled bullying and are often in denial about its existence. It can be deeply ingrained. Alternatively it might be that the reception teacher has no handle on her classes behaviour so just lets it slide. If it's the later, issues can be dealt with by talking to the head. If it's the former, move schools.

TheBakeryQueen Sat 08-Jul-17 06:22:27

He sounds absolutely lovely! And if they took into account his age then of course he is exceeding with his reading. I wouldn't worry about the report.

I wouldn't send him back there in September, it doesn't sound like a good school at all and his emotional well being is far more important than anything else.

Like another poster said, put him on the waiting list for the original school. Can you homeschool him until a place comes up?

Zoflorabore Sat 08-Jul-17 06:29:11

Year one is completely different op. Much more structured and less time for play.

My dd is in year one and the difference in a
year is staggering.

The issue here though is the interaction with the other children. If you truly think he is being bullied then please do not let it go.

Speak to the teacher and also the head.
This could be a case of immaturity and the fact that your ds came along when friendships had been made.
I am in no way excusing the behaviour but just wanted to give you a different angle to explore.

Hope it gets better flowers

autumnboys Sat 08-Jul-17 06:32:50

It sounds like he's doing very well! I hope next year's teacher is more willing to tackle the social issues. If they're not then I would escalate it to the head.

With regard to the emerging/expected/exceeding measures - i think they're complicated. Ds3 has really struggled with reading. He had some eye issues diagnosed as he started in year 2 in September and a treatment plan put in place. As a result he has gained 2yrs 9months of reading age this year. His progress was marked as expected because his reading age is still (just) below his chronological age.

I hope you have a lovely weekend & that the end of term goes as well as possible. Enjoy the summer!

littlebillie Sat 08-Jul-17 06:38:22

Don't worry about the report, especially in reception. If you are going into year 1 go in and get to know the teacher and ask about all your worries. Often voicing them at school puts them into context x

HeteronormativeHaybales Sat 08-Jul-17 06:39:11

Re Einstein - he got less than sparkling school reports IIRC grin

He's of an age where a lot of kids in other European countries won't be in school yet for another couple of years. One of mine was 6 and the other was 3 weeks off being 7 when he started. Reception is just that - the dc are being received into the school system. If you think about a reception in a building, it's where you come into a place, start getting used to it, someone welcomes you and gives you directions to go where you need to, and you're not expected to know your way around. There's a reason it doesn't have a year number. I wouldn't worry at all about levels etc at this stage.

I would, though, be worried about the social situation and the school's reluctance to deal with the aggression, and would be strongly considering a move back to the small school. I get that just 2 boys may not be ideal but there are up- as well as downsides to this sort of setting.

user789653241 Sat 08-Jul-17 07:18:04

Bullying is a concern, but those who you consider as bullies are still young children, who are learning social skills. So they may change as they grow. Some of the boys who seemed like a bully when they were in reception are now quite well behaved and nice boys in yr4 in my ds's school.

About the attainment, it's nothing to do with how good the child is in the class, but it's a tick box system against national target, as pp said.
So being a summer born could be a disadvantage in reception.
But in few years, they will catch up. And by yr3(KS2), it's not obvious who is summer born and who is winter born regards to their ability.
He seems to be doing great, those who try hard will definitely progress really well.

mia1972 Sat 08-Jul-17 08:31:14

than you ladies you have really made me feel better.

and yes it is also case also of immaturity and the fact that your ds came along when friendships had been made. He is the sort of kid that will still shout 'doggy!! in the street' IYKWIM The upsetting thing is that there are friends there that he has had for year - at least two - who are now seeing him being teased and picked on and they are doing it too.

At the moment I have the number of one of the TAs in y1 that tutors young children after school (I'm surprised they can do this TBH) and was thinking of getting her to help him with the writing - if nothing else so that somebody knows him well in that class and understands him. Other than that I will speak with the y1 teacher but also planning to quietly go and see other schools as things might come up you never know. I really don't want to move him as it is so stressful but if the bullying doesn't get better I definitely will. I thought about home schooling funnily enough until a place comes up but with a new baby I can't see how that would work,

Thanks again

OP’s posts: |
cestlavielife Sat 08-Jul-17 21:01:54

Please don't tutor unless he has identified special needs...and nerds specialist intervention
He is just four right ?!
Give him time .
Don't push writing.
Just build it into play e.g. chalks at home...
Find a nurturing school and let him be

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