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Worried about my child’s new school(46 Posts)
I am worried about my child’s new school. He started reception in September and since then he has been given no homework at all except to be sent home with a couple of reading books. I also get next to no information as to how he is getting on, no reports and only a hurried 10 minutes at parents evening which was very general. My friends whose children are at other schools say their children were given homework from the first week, they have apps or emailed reports telling them what their children have been up to, but my child’s school has none of these. Should I be worried?
What sort of homework do you want in reception apart from reading books?
It’s only half term, I wouldn’t expect a report yet
All sounds perfectly normal. Do your friends children go to private school? I don't think I've ever been told what my kids are doing at school and a 10 minute parents evening in the first half term is actually pretty good going.
Is he in reception?? Sounds perfectly normal to me, we just got our first piece of homework ‘draw an autumn picture’ it’s all very simple just now.
Blimey. Neither if my dcs had homework in Reception. I don't think they even had reading books until after October half term.
Yes, parents evening is it. If you have a specific problem you can talk to the teacher but if you're expecting daily reports you'll be disappointed.
In Secondary school my dd has an internal website site with all kinds of info on that pupils/parents/teachers can access. There's everything on there from timetables, attendance records, homework set and behaviour points in certain subjects. This seems more normal for Secondary.
No my friends’ children don’t go to private schools. One of them mentioned her son got sent home with handwriting practice, another had to do some sort of project, when sent home with a book they then had to talk about it in class to show the6 had read and understood what the book is about. I wouldn’t have been worried if it had just been 1 friend telling me this but it is 3 friends that I have talked to. All have apps/ emailed reports sent from their schools to show what their children have been up to and learning including photos. But from the responses it seems this is the exception rather than the norm then?
The app sounds like Tapestry which is a EYFS tracking app. It's often used in nursery and reception to track how the children are meeting the EYFS targets. But it's an optional thing. If the school doesn't use it then they'll be tracking the same things probably on paper in a folder kept in school. So you won't get to see as much of it compared to an online app.
Yes Tapestry sounds familiar I think that’s what it is. I just worry that I don’t know what is going on and what my son is learning at school , when I ask him what he did he just says he doesn’t know. He is my first so I don’t have any prior knowledge of what should be happening apart from comparing notes with friends.
Tapestry is great for info sharing, my DS's school used it throughout KS1. My school uses it for YR and the SEN Resource (because the pupils there are less able to tell their parents what they have been learning). It's not just an EYFS thing anymore, it has assessments etc for KS1 and 2.
However, your school not having it doesn't mean the learning is any poorer in quality- it just means you get to see less photos!
I think you should enjoy the not knowing. When my oldest son was in his p1 seven years ago it was very like how you are describing it. I knew nothing. He did get some homework but barely any.
My youngest has now started school and they overload with homework and information. I hate it. Feel like they are doing so much more than they did before and I feel like my son is just too young to do so much work. Sometimes no news is good news
It may well be the case that the school is doing what it should be, the problem is that I simply don’t know what that is and I think there should be more communication in some way even if they don’t have the app. Then the fact that they haven’t given my son any homework when my friends say their children have been given lots just made me more concerned.
Yes on the homework front one of my friends said their child gets so much it’s difficult to keep up,so it may be that that school have gone overboard. I just don’t want my son to fall behind because he isn’t being stretched enough
Do you live in Guildford or Cambridge?
You are showing very little trust in your school. Was it not your first choice or is there some other reason you don't feel sure they will provide a good education such as an Ofsted category?
I would be patting myself on the back that I'd chosen the right school tbh. 4 yr olds don't need homework. What an awful thought.
@FranD1 My DD is now in Y1, but this time last year, I had exactly the same fears as you. My DD did not get into our chosen school (the school she had attended nursery at) and TBH, it felt like a battle from the start. Nothing was done to integrate my DD (she was the only one who hadn't been to that school's nursery out of a group of 31) and the class teacher was an NQT, who just finding her feet and really didn't seem to know any of the children at all. It was awful as my DD became increasingly withdrawn and unhappy. I had a few meetings with the HT and eventually, by about Easter, my DD began to come out of her shell and enjoy school. In regards to HW, we had a home/school diary where we as parents could stick photos etc yo say what we had been up to - the teacher did not write in anything, but ticked to acknowledge what we had put in. We also were sent home 1 reading book a week. This was very different to what my friend's children were being given. I don't actually think children should be given formal HW at that age at all, but I certainly felt a personal pressure to help my daughter read and write to a certain standard (I'm a secondary teacher myself and hated the thought of her being an un-noticed, disaffected middle-set child who would get lost amidst the more/less able students who tend to get the funding in high school). On the recommendation of a teacher friend, we downloaded the 'Teach your monster to read' app which offers a great phonics programme and compliments the widely taught jolly phonics approach. You could try that to supplement the reading you are already doing? X
No I live in Birmingham. The school did have a disappointing Ofsted report recently which hasn’t helped. I just don’t like being in the dark, but am probably a bit of a control freak tbh!!
I would be worried if the school was sending home homework for 4 year olds because the evidence suggests it doesnt work.
We had no reading books til half term, practically no homework until the beginning of this year (yr2) apart from reading and it was great!
In terms of the communication, was he at private nursery before? I noticed a massive difference when dd1 went to reception and the unknown was difficult.
I wouldn't worry about other schools being different as long as you think your child is making progress.
Think yourself lucky any homework apart from simple reading books sent home early in reception are usually for the parents to complete on behalf of the child, so far in five weeks I’ve had to do three journals filled with photos and text. I’ve spent hours on them for her. Topics were : (What I did in the holidays) (what I did on my week with the class teddy) (me growing up)
AS your child learns to read and write, homework will be coming thick and fast but really at this age apart from drawing a picture what else can you realistically expect homework to consist of?
In my experience homework is often sent because of parents' requests and not because it is objectively a good thing.
I am always hugely suspicious of primary schools that set copious homework as I wonder if they are relying on (some) parents to fill curricular black holes.
Thanks everyone for your input on this. You have been most helpful and I am feeling a lot less concerned now.
Bloody hell. I’d be more upset/concerned if my 4/5 year old was being given regular homework.
The school my DS goes to has an Outstanding OFSTED, and they don't give any work for Reception children until after the first half term. Then when they do give work it is one reading book from the reading scheme and one book that the child chooses to read together. Neither are compulsory to complete.
The teachers at my DS's school do one day a week where after pick up you can ask for a 10 minute chat about anything that's bothering you. Does your school do something similar?
I don’t know if the school does anything like that but if I feel like I need to raise my concerns I will arrange to speak to the teacher