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How well is he doing?

(39 Posts)
Notintheframe Sun 12-Nov-17 22:25:31

My son just started Year 1. He is 6. In his report, his teacher said he has a good concept of basic number skills, addition and subtraction but needs to apply these to larger numbers and one step problems and that he should continue to work on counting in 5s.

I can't make out whether this is communicating a positive view of his ability or just that he is doing only okay.

Any views?

BackforGood Sun 12-Nov-17 22:37:59

Most reports will tell you 'where are they now' and also 'what is the next step'.
It does not mean you need to be worried. It is a good thing, in that you know how they can improve / move on / get better .

dibbleanddobble Sun 12-Nov-17 22:47:26

Sounds about right to me.... Yes they'll usually give a target, that doesn't indicate there's anything wrong.

Notintheframe Sun 12-Nov-17 22:49:33


Are they expected to know their 5x table at that age? I am wondering whether the targets are stretching.

dibbleanddobble Sun 12-Nov-17 22:54:32

Counting in 2's, 5's and 10's is normal at this age, it's not the same as knowing times tables but leads into them if that makes sense. So he's going to be repeating a pattern 5.10, 15, 20, 25 etc and not at this point knowing that 4x5=20.

sirfredfredgeorge Sun 12-Nov-17 22:58:05

Counting in 5's is not the 5x table. As in it's not what's 6x5 - expect an answer, it's knowing that you can and being able to go 5,10,15,20,25,30 etc. And possibly actually able to perform the multiplication by using their fingers to count how many 5's they've added.

In our school, the child would already know that feedback - what they need to concentrate on next - but giving to you is just fine. I'd say the lack of any concern suggests the progress is well within a normal range.

Notintheframe Sun 12-Nov-17 23:01:54

You're right dibble. That makes sense. Counting in 5s is not the same as awareness of the 5x tables.

I hope he is doing well, perhaps I am hoping he is better than average smile but I will know better once I met his teacher to discuss.

minipie Sun 12-Nov-17 23:29:47

I have found teachers are reluctant to tell me whether my child is doing "well" "not so well" or how they compare to the average.

They will say what the child can do or not do yet but not whether that's above/below average for their age.

I presume this is for some good reason but I find it very frustrating.

Notintheframe Sun 12-Nov-17 23:49:49

Thanks Sirfred.

I agree Minipie. The language is so broad that it is hard to understand what the report is saying, to the point it is almost meaningless. The only thing I can be certain about is that there is no cause for concern. Beyond that, I can't tell how well he is doing. It is indeed frustrating.

irvineoneohone Mon 13-Nov-17 08:05:31

I think this would tell you if the child is expected(mastery) or above(mastery with greater depth).
I think he is doing well, but not above average at this point, imo.

robinR Mon 13-Nov-17 08:11:09

Meaningless reports have been around for many years now. You are not allowed to write anything other than bland, boring statements.

Trying to make them minusculely different for each of 30 kids is the most boring thing in the world.

sirfredfredgeorge Mon 13-Nov-17 13:15:53

I'm not sure that report is really meaningless robinR it seems to tell exactly where the teacher places the child's current ability, and the next steps for them to work on?

I think the real problem is the disconnect between what the parent wants (feedback saying the kid is doing great / bad) and the feedback being given (the current state of knowledge).

I don't actually want a report about if the child is doing great against some age related norms, I want to know the status of what's being learnt, but I can see why people want the other.

Witchend Mon 13-Nov-17 15:46:38

Sirfred I get what both the Op and Robin are saying.

If my dc (secondary) comes home and says "I got 90% in a test" one of the things I will ask is how they did in comparison to everyone else. Not because I want proof that they're the best, but simply it gives me an idea whether to say "That's brilliant" (someone got 91% but most people got down in the 60%) or "oh dear, shall I help you go over the wrong questions" (only person who didn't get 100%).

The problem with the "They do this reliably and need to move on to doing that" is that it doesn't give a parent an idea whether that's good for their age, or whether it is poor, or about average. In some ways you can say it doesn't matter, but ultimately they will be assessed relative to other children their age.

I find the "they did this and are working towards this" type reports often pretty meaningless. I often know from things they've said, or bits of work I've seen, what they're doing. And I can usually guess the next step, so it's not telling me much I don't know.

irvineoneohone Mon 13-Nov-17 16:04:19

But, Witchend, children are not assessed relative to others in the class. Yes, where they are in the class may determine whether they are top, middle, bottom table in class, but not actual attainment of the child.
They are assessed against NC, aren't they?
So, knowing weakness and strength of the child actually help parents to help their child, rather than knowing how good they are doing relative to the class, imo.

applesandpears33 Mon 13-Nov-17 17:36:49

I agree Witchend, I find the school reports my DC have had in primary school very frustrating. I talk to my DC so I have a good idea about what they have been doing at school. What I would like is an objective assessment about how they have been performing and what the areas of weakness are that we should be working on. A bland "he has been doing x and will be doing y next" tells me nothing about how we could support our DC. In Scotland we have no national standards that children seem to be measured against in primary so are left asking our kids which maths and reading groups they are in to get an idea of where they are in a class. Thankfully, the High School reports give more information (and can be brutally honest).

Norestformrz Mon 13-Nov-17 18:14:53

*“*^*You are not allowed to write anything other than bland, boring statements.*^*”* Not true

Norestformrz Mon 13-Nov-17 18:20:12

*If my dc (secondary) comes home and says "I got 90% in a test" one of the things I will ask is how they did in comparison to everyone else. Not because I want proof that they're the best, but simply it gives me an idea whether to say "That's brilliant" (someone got 91% but most people got down in the 60%) or "oh dear, shall I help you go over the wrong questions" (only person who didn't get 100%).*

The problem with this is you don’t know the test so it could be aimed at older or younger year group, or the overall standard of the class. Getting the highest mark in a low ability class or the lowest mark in a high achieving class doesn’t tell you anything useful.

Notintheframe Mon 13-Nov-17 18:26:14

Irvine, I don't think it is that straight forward. He effort is considered above average so if he is putting above average effort and achieving average as you imply, then I should be very worried.

This is why giving parents a more rounded assessment rather than broad, non-committal language is important.

I also do not think the only or even main thing that matters is how a child is doing relative to their potential. That is important but equally important, if not more, is how a child compares to their peers. Knowing this enables a parent to make more informed decisions about what's best for their child.

I do not think we live in a world where attainment and education success is merely a matter of how you are doing relative to your potential. It would be fantastic if that's the way the world really worked.

Notintheframe Mon 13-Nov-17 18:36:05

Irvine, thanks for the link. Very useful. If I understand it correctly, these assessments relate to end of Yr1. He only started Yr1 in September.

Norestformrz Mon 13-Nov-17 18:45:29

They do relate to the end of the year but remember there are no national expectations for the end of Year 1 so every school can set their own. This means good in one school could be low in another.

Notintheframe Mon 13-Nov-17 18:51:42

That's true, Norest. His school is an outstanding school, though with high overall attainment.

Is there a similar document that tells you what they should be able to do at this stage ie, by the end of term 1?

I do find it frustrating and think a school report ought to be clearer.

irvineoneohone Mon 13-Nov-17 19:48:59

Whole mastery assessment is what is expected by the end of year, so there are many things he hasn't covered yet. But you can check against what he has already covered, like add/sub, counting in 2s, 5s, etc.

Norestformrz Mon 13-Nov-17 20:05:51

Actually it isn’t Irvine. There are no national expectation except in Y2 and Y6.

Norestformrz Mon 13-Nov-17 20:08:27


robinR Mon 13-Nov-17 20:11:22

True in my school mrz

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