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What do they actually learn in reception/ What do kids actually know going in?

(123 Posts)
RBBMummy Mon 19-Mar-18 22:13:40

My son is Autistic and its given him certain abilities. He starts school in September and hes very excited. However i think hes expecting too much and i want to be realistic with him. He also doesn't understand that other children cant necessarily do what he can, but as hes my only child i don't know what other children can realistically do at 4 academically. If i can start talking to him about this now he should get it by the time school starts. I just don't know what im aiming for?

Kokapetl Mon 19-Mar-18 23:03:21

When he started school, my son could:
count up to and recognise written numbers up to 100
Name all the letters in the alphabet and know roughly how to sound them out
Read a few words
Write his name
Understand about days of the week
Name most animals and a few species of dinosaur

After the first two terms (nearly) he can:
Tell a simple story
Read or work out just about any word he knows how to say and most that he doesn't.
Do simple addition and subtraction
Tell whether a number is odd or even
Write reasonably well- you can understand it but it is far from perfect
Name and understand days of the week and months of the year and know which it currently is.

He is probably in the top half academically.

Was there anything else you were thinking of specifically?

Does your son go to a preschool? If this is at all possible with your circumstances it might be a good idea to send him to one for at least one session a week to help you both to learn about other children. A teacher led preschool rather than a childcare type nursery would be best.

RBBMummy Mon 19-Mar-18 23:37:56

Thanks, thats very helpful! Has he been learning anything about geography or sciencey things? Unfortunately the only actual preschools around here are in the private schools and in his nursery preschool hes mostly with younger children. Oh also anything technology wise?

brilliotic Tue 20-Mar-18 00:06:59

if your DS has some particular interests and knows a lot about those topics, chances are he'll know more than his teachers. Especially if they are somewhat 'niche' topics. This was the case for my DS with dinosaurs. He knew A LOT about dinosaurs, but the teacher didn't even know that flying reptiles and sea reptiles of the time are not dinosaurs. So introduced a song that included words to the effect of 'there are lots of types of dinosaurs, some that walk and some that swim and some that fly' which really annoyed my DS (who was also very put out when T-Rexes in picture books are shown with three 'fingers', when they really only had two). The teacher later 'fixed' the song lyrics.
But when they did dinosaurs as 'topic' in reception, my DS loved it as he got to share his expertise with his friends. So, the teacher seems to have handled it well.
Sciency stuff and geography in reception is very, very basic. It can be things such as recognising that we hear with our ears and see with our eyes etc.

There are huge differences between children in reception. You should probably read the EYFS framework to see what sort of level they are aiming for at the end of reception. Not all children will reach these goals, some will have gone way past them before even starting.

Ojoj1974 Tue 20-Mar-18 00:18:02

Personal at nursery and reception age I would concentrate on social skills above and beyond the academics. Understanding social situations and practicing these will put ll children in a much better place.

applesandpears56 Tue 20-Mar-18 00:30:43

I agree focus on the social side and self care, managing emotions etc

But my 4 year old can read a bit (probably level 3/4 ort), write some letters and words but still gets lots back to front, tell hour time, count to 30/40, do very very simple addition and subtraction, knows about rainforests, dinosaurs, a bit about the body.

applesandpears56 Tue 20-Mar-18 00:31:25

Oh she starts reception in September btw - old in her year

applesandpears56 Tue 20-Mar-18 00:32:39

Geography wise it’s good to get a simple globe and show them where we live and where other countries are

Onceuponatimethen Tue 20-Mar-18 00:46:41

I understand your question op - your clever ds may be on the spectrum but he’s also very academic and ahead in some respects.

Many children will come in with no phonics and vast majority won’t be reading. Numeracy wise many children will be learning one more and one less than numbers to 20.

Do you think your ds will mind going over things he already knows, or will he like being the ‘expert’!

Kokapetl Tue 20-Mar-18 08:00:25

I am not sure about science and geography because these are not mentioned at parents' evenings as much and it is very hard to get a sense of what he is doing from him- he says he plays with his friends! They do have small programmable robots which they use for things. The science they seem to do is things like which things float or sink, mixing liquids (like oil and water) or rolling things down slopes. They had a topic about nature too.

DS is a bit ahead with numbers and with reading so the phonics he has mostly already encountered in his reading but he doesn't seem to mind and comes home excited about having done a particular digraph even though he had been reading it for months!

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 20-Mar-18 09:26:33

ds6 (in year one, with dcd, suspected asd, suspected gifted) came into reception able to do basic addition and subtraction in his head(could do that before nursery) but completely unable to read.
By this time last year he could read anything i can read and was pretty much done with sounding out by feb or march last year.

In terms of science even in year 1 he is doing things he knew in nursery and most displeased that he will have to wait until he is in senior school to do, at school, what he is interested in (atomic table, astronomy, chemistry).

brilliotic Tue 20-Mar-18 09:31:54

In 'geography' in DS' reception year they had a look at our village, what it is called, and what kind of buildings there are - the garage down the road from school, the post office, the supermarket, the train station, the church, the park, .... They had a little school trip down the road to the church, and observed the various buildings they saw on the way.

If your child has an interest, and has developed an 'expertise' in a certain area, it will take a long time for them to be taught anything in that area at school, that they don't know already. Might be you have to wait until secondary.

On the other hand, a good reception class is very open-ended. Children will be taught the very basics only, but there should be resources and lots of opportunities and support for children to follow their own interests as far as they feel like going. The teaching is limited, but the learning shouldn't be.

Also, my friend's DS who has autism is being helped in reception by using his obsessions to engage him when learning other things. Reading and maths are shown to him in the context of his interests.

MinnieMousse Tue 20-Mar-18 09:33:58

Kokapetal's DS would be far and away top of the reception cohort in my DC's school or the one I work in being able to read and write that well half way through reception year. Look up the Early Learning Goals for curriculum expectations. Geography/science etc are well built-in to the curriculum as Knowledge and Understanding of the World but will not be taught discretely as a "science" or "geography" lesson.

KoshaMangsho Tue 20-Mar-18 09:35:09

Ok I have a NT 6 year old. When he entered Reception he could read fluently. He could add and subtract and do simple doubling/halves. He also had some niche interests (despite my suspicions when he was younger it’s clear he’s not autistic now). The school fostered those by asking him to do little posters for show and tell.
DS struggled with the social side of things and has always been quiet and shy. So most of Reception we focussed on that. He’s in Y1 now and doing v well academically (can easily do most of the Y3 Maths) and is enjoying the science and geography they are learning. But much more importantly, he’s got a lovely bunch of friends and is far more settled.
Incidentally, he pestered us to let him play an instrument and it was a revelation. It gave him a different focus and a challenge.

Peanutbuttercheese Tue 20-Mar-18 09:46:40

For sure help him with the social skills side.

I started school having taught myself to read and remember being bewildered by everything. I have never been diagnosed with ASD and it didn't seem to be diagnosed when I was at school in the 1970's.

That feeling of being very different has stuck with me all my life. I think explain to him that children are all different. I remember being really frustrated with how long things took all the other dc and that feeling remains. When sent on training to use bespoke IT packages at work I would be done in an hour and sat twiddling my thumbs on those all day courses.

Peanutbuttercheese Tue 20-Mar-18 09:48:55

When I write different I mean we all have stuff that makes us unique

MiaowTheCat Tue 20-Mar-18 09:55:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

boredofwaitingagain Tue 20-Mar-18 10:03:38

My children are at the league table top state school in our city (far and away top for year 6 sats) Affluent area with interested parents. All children are different but mine started barely able to write their name, able to count to maybe 20 but with no real numeracy understanding and able to recognise a handful of letters. My now 10 year old summer born daughter is top of her class for literacy and mid for numeracy and has a reading age of 15 I think. My 7 year old is just about reaching national expectation and my 5 year old is still stuck on pink books.

But more importantly than any of that they are all engaged children that love learning and come home telling me about their latest topic work. School is far too invested on results rather than making us interesting people with broad knowledge. How many children can name different indigenous tree species any more?

Reading is the most important skill. Read loads to your child and put the time in with letter practise and blending in reception. My daughter couldn't read at all at the start of reception but was free reading Harry Potter (first in her class) by the start of year 2, (chapter books
Like rainbow magic at start of year 1). My year 2 son is only just starting to read Dahl books now and needs encouragement. Parents teach children to read with the resources given to them by teachers in my opinion. School
Life is much easier if they can read easily so focus on that to start and the rest comes easily I think.

KoshaMangsho Tue 20-Mar-18 10:15:55

Yes yes yes yes to the reading. Read to him all the time. And encourage the reading. It tickles all different parts of the brain.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 20-Mar-18 10:19:18

kosha if your child isn’t gifted/HLP I’d eat my hat.

KoshaMangsho Tue 20-Mar-18 11:00:40

He’s fairly gifted for his age. I don’t doubt that. But he’s also an average 6 year old in many ways. He doesn’t like being wrong or making mistakes so I am always trying to be encouraging but also push him into things where he has to fail a bit, or challenge his opinions a bit. But mainly I would like him to have friends, be secure about himself and be a six year old!

RBBMummy Tue 20-Mar-18 14:27:11

Thanks everyone, i think i really need to taper his expectations but somehow keep him excited. Hell definitely have a hard time understanding that all the children wont be able to read coming in. Ever since he taught himself to read at 2 before he was walking properly hes read everything he can get his hands on. His special interest is a little strange like that as his obsessions are puzzles and learning. He needs to know how and why everything works and just everything about everything. Which is why hes so excited to start school but i don't want him to end up disappointed

TeenTimesTwo Tue 20-Mar-18 17:22:50

The majority can't read when entering reception.
The majority can probably count to 10 but can't do any sums harder than 1 more or 1 less at most.
Pencil control is very variable, some can be quite good, and some hopeless. Related to this is drawing skills, some can do quite good drawing, some just scribble.
Some will be good at taking turns, others not so much.
There is generally a lot of free play in Reception.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 20-Mar-18 17:35:11

lol never let your son near a screwdriver.

RBBMummy Tue 20-Mar-18 20:15:24

Oh they've been locked up ever since he dismantled the safety gate on his door when he was 1 shock

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