Any primary teachers able to help get my DSD up to speed?

(10 Posts)
HopelesslyHopeful87 Sun 08-Apr-18 12:14:32

My DSD, through no fault of her own, is a bit behind at school. She is 7 and in y2. Her school was rated poor by ofsted and then put in special measures but I think it is out of that now - I know everything doesn't revolve around that but wanted to give a clear picture.

She lives with her mum in a town about 10 minutes away from us by car. She previously attended the same school as my 2 dc, but when they moved town six weeks after she started reception they changed her school to their local one.

She never really 'got' phonics in reception but we weren't concerned because the first year is finding their feet and I thought they often just catch up and get there in the end with it. Y1 saw three teacher changes, no communication from school, cancelled parents evenings and just a real lack of effort.

Now she is in y2, her reading age is only just scraping a 6.1y - she is November born so one of the older children so is 8 this year. Her reading words per minute is 50 and school say it should be nearer to 90. She is a year above my ds and has not been taught or doesn't know some of the things he does such as homophones, contractions and basic use of apostrophes, plurals, telling time, use of commas etc.

I know you shouldn't compare children but it's kind of all I have to go on. My dc are 10 and 6.

As she doesn't live with us the majority of out of school learning is done at her home with her mum. Unfortunately her mum doesn't not think reading and home learning to be important even though her y2 teacher has stressed that she needs to be reading at home to improve her fluency and comprehension. Reading books are not being done, homework books are empty. We ask for them to be sent to us when she comes of a weekend but they get 'forgotten'. The poor kid is now in extra help lessons at school but is floundering.

I'm not a teacher and I don't want to try and help and make things worse so I wondered if any teachers here have any links to materials I can use that is suitable for her to try and bring her up to speed?

I don't want this to turn into a step parenting argument or an assumption that I'm bitching about her mum. We just want what is best for DSD. My partner asks for extra parents evening appts but they get cancelled. He emails and calls asking for updates but they take six weeks to reply and by then another term has gone by and she's further behind.

I'd really appreciate any advice as she's now starting to notice that she's getting behind and her work isn't as good as her step brother who is younger and she's making a connection that she should probably be ahead of him and is getting embarrassed.

Sorry this was so long.

OP’s posts: |
HopelesslyHopeful87 Mon 09-Apr-18 08:21:23


OP’s posts: |
QuiteQuietly Mon 09-Apr-18 09:22:07

Not a teacher, but I would imagine the most useful thing you could do it read with DSD when she is with you/her father. If the school books don't make it to yours, read something (anything!) else. Do you have an idea of what book band/reading stage she is on? There are free levelled ebooks on Oxford Owl. Some libraries have an "early reader" section where the approx book level is on the back of the book. Also read to her - which exposes her to more interesting texts/vocabulary and may whet her appetite for reading in general.

Does your DH/DP ever collect or drop DSD at school? That can be a good time to quickly grab a teacher if they are not good at responding to emails. Some schools are better at managing parents who are not together than others. Some schools don't want to have two seperate parents evenings for each child and some don't want to be caught in the middle between two bickering parents so sadly only deal with one. But with or without school's support, you could manage to listen to DSD read and support her to choose some books at the library or online.

WinkyisbackontheButterBeer Mon 09-Apr-18 09:32:49

If you access the oxford owl website you can get copies of the reading scheme books that can be read on a pc or tablet. This should overcome the forgetting reading books when she comes to you.

The ‘phonics play’ and ‘teach your monster to read’ apps/ websites are good for phonics games.

Do you know which phonics scheme her school use? It would be useful to have some consistency.
You can access the ‘letters and sounds’ document that the government published as a scheme for phonics. This has lists of all of the high frequency words and different strategies that you can use to teach phonics.

This video is useful in making sure that you are pronouncing the phonemes correctly

HopelesslyHopeful87 Mon 09-Apr-18 11:16:38

Thanks for the advice.

She's on turquoise apparently but I'm not sure what number that is so I'll check the Oxford site.

We read at home all the time. We have a house full of books and I never have to worry about convincing any of them to read and we all read together simultaneously and separately but even with that I don't really see an improvement.

She needs help with handwriting too and I'm a leftie and have always struggled with helping them all form letters correctly. My two have grasped it and are at an expected level for their ages. Again, with dsd, even with help there seems to be slow or no improvement.

OP’s posts: |
crunchtime Mon 09-Apr-18 11:22:04

*Turquoise book band - recommended reading age 6 - 7
Children can read complex sentences fairly fluently, taking note of punctuation. They use expression and do not rely on illustrations to help them. Usually about 20 pages with 4 or 5 sentences per page.*

I work with year 3 and have a few children on turquoise-it's a bit behind.

Lots and lots of reading. Picture books, any kind of story. Get her really enjoying books and half your battle will be over.You can biuy oxford reading tree read at home books in places like waterstones.

wonderstar1216 Mon 09-Apr-18 11:23:56

Hi I'm a year 2 teacher. I'll add a link to the end of year expectations so you'll know where to be aiming for.
As pp has suggested, those phonics app are great. There's also spelling shed which is 2.99 for common words. It reads out the words and then the sounds are available to put them in the correct order.
For writing, try to have a diary, ask your child to write a couple of sentences and then think about how you both could improve them, is there any punctuation missing? Could an adjective have been used? Writing about personal experiences is one of the end of year expectations.
There are a lot of maths expectations, make sure you teach your child the same methods that are used in their school. For example, partitioning for 2 digit addition
Anything else I could be of help for please pm me or ask away!


crunchtime Mon 09-Apr-18 11:24:04

your partner needs to go into school and talk to the teacher really. If he goes at pick up time he'll almost certainly be able to grab them.

Can he have a calm discussio with his ex about this-about making sure her homework gets sent over to you to get it done?

wonderstar1216 Mon 09-Apr-18 11:25:39

Also is that the school not replying to emails for parents evening appts? That's poor if so. We accommodate parents who have spilt and cannot amicably be in the same room.

WinkyisbackontheButterBeer Mon 09-Apr-18 12:04:44

If she’s struggling with handwriting maybe try some activities to build up fine motor skills, alongside handwriting practice.
Things like threading beads or pasta, picking up buttons with thumb and forefinger, hamma beads etc
There are loads of ideas if you google it.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in