Don't feel like my son is being taught well

(29 Posts)
busybreeze Tue 01-May-18 00:32:35

Well my dd started reception at the village school in September in a nice small class sizes of 13 children.
Newly qualified teacher.. nice lady but it's been a dodgy year. TA complained to head teacher about her teaching standards at the end of the first term which resulted in them both going off sick until the next term. Both came back but a new inexperienced TA was appointed in the class. My DD is happy at school... knows all her letters... is taking off reading her first reading books... has built up a really good bank of words that she knows (I've really helped her with reading and bought flash cards and I'm happy at where shes at). Ive really not kept my eye on writing progress until the holidays in March where I sat down with her and was quite alarmed. I feel annoyed with myself for not realising sooner. All letter formation is completely wrong and a very very established wrong! Has a go at her name but the letters don't look anything like they should - unreadable. It looks to me like she's been doing her own thing with nobody there to correct or assist her for a long while. I really struggle to find time to really help her with this. I've just started helping her grasp a few numbers but then shes back in class left to do her own thing at school and back to doing it wrong. I'm really not a pushy parent but I'm worried she'll get to the end of reception and wont even have a few letters she can form correctly. I know this teacher will not be having her contract renewed next year so she'll be gone. There's been too many concerns raised about her teaching skills but for now we're stuck with her till the end of the year. My dd has a great vocabulary. Good reading and conforms very well. If only they could show her the way with forming letters she'd be away! All through the year I've had to chase for a school book again and again we get an empty book bag brought home. Any introduction of a communication app... flash cards, homework, reading record is very short lived and inconsistent... Now we've got to finish the year with a teacher that now knows she's not got a job in September so will probably be even worse! New head teacher admits there has been problems in the class but assures me that it's being dealt with. I feel disappointed! I'm fed up with feeling like I have to be the teacher.

OP’s posts: |
boywiththebrokensmile2 Tue 01-May-18 00:38:43

eugh sadly these things happen and unless you change school there is not alot you can do now especially at this late stage of the year when summer is so close. Would you consider getting a tutor maybe? And in the grand scheme of things she is early enough at school to learn and still progress well with a new teacher next year, there is still loads of time. It really is not as bad as it seems in this very early stage. Well done to you though in working with her, that will make a difference.

boywiththebrokensmile2 Tue 01-May-18 00:44:56

''TA complained to head teacher about her teaching standards at the end of the first term which resulted in them both going off sick until the next term. Both came back but a new inexperienced TA was appointed in the class. ''

you lost me at this bit- how did the complaint result in them both going off sick? where did the old ta go? who took the class when the teacher was off sick? I am a bit lost here.

unfortunateevents Tue 01-May-18 07:52:22

How can your child be left to her own devices in a class of 13 children, with a TA as well? Also, how do you know that the TA complained and it resulted in them both going off sick - who is gossiping about that around school?!

boywiththebrokensmile2 Tue 01-May-18 07:58:51

''How can your child be left to her own devices in a class of 13 children, with a TA as well?''

can easily happen if the class in mismanaged.

LIZS Tue 01-May-18 08:03:07

Ds or dd? ( one on title , different in post? ) It is not unusual for boys to lag a bit behind with writing. You have less than a term to go, let him/her enjoy it and start afresh in September.

stickystick Tue 01-May-18 12:08:41

Wouldn't panic about handwriting yet. Is the Year 1 teacher any good? If so s/he will sort that out in September.

Advertisement

user789653241 Tue 01-May-18 12:17:41

Ime, child who develope reading and writing skills early has a lot to do with how engaged parents are at home, not really to do with school. They need practice. Reading and writing both need extra work at home to get better.

ppeatfruit Tue 01-May-18 12:30:42

Many\most children are not writing 'properly' before the age of 6 and very many can't read either till after that age. In many countries on the continent children don't even START learning academic subjects till 6 or 7 and it doesn't hold them back.

I speak a retired EY teacher and mum of 3. It does sound that the first teacher has not been particularly good but I certainly wouldn't worry about it, you'll stress your child. Formal homework is not necessary. at under 6 you do sound a bit pushy and a worrier . Relax grin

viques Tue 01-May-18 14:18:26

"I'm not a pushy parent" Blimey, you don't have to be a pushy parent to sit and watch your child write, and IMO to not watch your child write from September to March means you are veering much closer to the lax parent end of the spectrum. Do you not spend any time with your child, watching her draw, write her name, pretend to write shopping lists, stories, captions under pictures, cards etc? to say you have only just realised the problem is a bit mind boggling.

And as for only starting to help her with numbers! Most parents count stuff with their kids from babyhood, and also talk to them about recognising numbers from a very early age. Sorry for sounding harsh but you are very willing to push responsibility onto the teacher, maybe you should accept some yourself.

LetItGoToRuin Tue 01-May-18 15:01:30

That’s very harsh, Viques. OP has done loads of reading with her DD, and has been proactive about chasing for weekly reading books, and also seeking reassurance from the Head about the teacher problems. If her DD is not already a keen note-maker at home, it’s no great surprise that OP hasn’t noticed issues with letter formation until recently: others have already explained that it’s a gradual process that will have much more attention in Y1.

As for numbers, I think OP was referring to helping her DD with writing numbers, not counting.

I really don’t think there’s any need to criticise OP here!

BubblesBuddy Tue 01-May-18 15:54:13

Clearly this teacher has failed, or will fail, her NQT year. If she cannot teach 13 children, there is no career for her in the future. I am amazed she got through teacher training! I am also amazed a school can afford 13 children in a single class and a TA. It must be very well off primary school! In addition, the school should have taken action to remedy the poor teaching much earlier. It is not acceptble.

I do not think the OP is pushy at all. Lots of parents have reasonable expectations of teachers and the OP is being very reasonable. My DD could do a lot more than this at age 4 - as she was in YR.

I think, OP, I would start talking to Y1 parents and see if they are happy. Have their children flourished at this school or not? Is your DD going to want to work in Y1 if she has had an easy time in YR? That might concern me.

I am also amazed that this teacher was not closely supervised. All NQT staff must be supervised, monitored and advised and the Head should have got a grip with this situation. It is not up to a TA to whistleblow! Neither is it up to a teaacher to "invent" the curriculum. I therefore, would have great concerns about the Head and the fact that that they have not put interim measures in place to accelerate the learning of the children in YR when they knew there were problems. What has the Head done to help these children and overcome poor teaching and progress?

Therefore, do not be reluctant when asking about plans for Y1. Ask to see the curriculum and, especially, how they intend to get children, who have not been properly taught, up to speed. This is vital or your DD may not access the curriulum in Y1 very easily.

I think I would now want concrete information and evidence about the school on the progress DD has made to date and what she needs to work on to help prepare for next year. Do they have advice for parents with writing and maths for example? Practice over the summer?

crimsonlake Tue 01-May-18 17:01:04

You seem to be deducing an awful lot from heresay? That teacher may well have another post to go to, who says she has failed her nqt year?
Lots of children do not form their letter correctly in Year 1, it is work in progress. There is lots you can do to move your child on at home, the onus does not all fall on the teacher, it is a partnership. You can read with your own child every night as I am sure you do.

paddlingwhenIshouldbeworking Tue 01-May-18 17:25:02

Its reception, calm down a bit. If he/she is your DC1 I understand how this can all seem so important now but really I think forums like this, as helpful as they can be, are fuelling all sorts of neuroses about what are really very very early years.

Its concerning that the school maybe accepting of a very haphazard approach and agree with speaking to parents of year 1 children and those further up the school to see how happy they are. But there's really no need to be quite so upset about a school year which doesn't exist in many many countries. My niece joined Yr 1 at Christmas from overseas, recognised a few letters, could write her name and that was it. She's now coming to the of year 2 and totally caught up. All this angst is not necessary at this age.

Unless you suspect additional needs which would need further investigation (and it doesn't sound like it at all) in your DD let her enjoy the end of reception, have a lovely summer term and watch for how things progress.

Also rule number 1 for school, there will always be a child who is better at writing, numbers, has better handwriting, better at music, sport, whatever. Its not always that the teacher is failing your child in particular....not that I'm saying this teacher's great but keep a sense of perspective.

Pratchet Tue 01-May-18 17:28:17

Today 12:17 irvineoneohone

child who develope reading and writing skills early has a lot to do with how engaged parents are at home, not really to do with school. They need practice. Reading and writing both need extra work at home to get better.

Way to embed privilege. There are enough hours in the school day to teach reading and writing. It should not depend on any outside support.

Gooseygoosey12345 Tue 01-May-18 17:40:47

Just want to add that in a class size of 13 with an incompetent teacher children will fall behind. There are 9 children in our whole school. The new teacher is incompetent and my daughter has gone backwards. Luckily I do have the time to spend with her, and I am lucky! Not everyone has that choice in today's society!! Also luckily, it's my daughters last year before middle school.
OP, I would just spend as much time with your daughter practicing these things as you can. She has next year to catch up and with a good teacher she will. Please don't panic about this. There's plenty of time to turn it around

boywiththebrokensmile2 Tue 01-May-18 18:17:21

''I am also amazed that this teacher was not closely supervised. All NQT staff must be supervised, monitored and advised and the Head should have got a grip with this situation. It is not up to a TA to whistleblow! Neither is it up to a teaacher to "invent" the curriculum. I therefore, would have great concerns about the Head and the fact that that they have not put interim measures in place to accelerate the learning of the children in YR when they knew there were problems. What has the Head done to help these children and overcome poor teaching and progress?''

Not really the heads fault as much as you would think. Even when an nqt is under performing there are policies and procedures to be followed which can often be lengthy in removing them, he cannot just get rid of the teacher as he pleases depending on their contract etc plus if the school has invested in the NQT they have to have shown solid evidence that support was given. And it is not in schools best interests to fail NQTs as it can reflect bad on them. Alot of internal politics here. Plus it can be VERY hard to recruit a new teacher these days. Sometimes schools are stuck with 'bad' teachers [don't like saying that] as there is simply nobody there to replace them. Sometimes it takes up to the full year do remove an underperforming teacher and at the end of the day all the head can really do as well as the mentor is to help and give advice alot of the time to the teacher.

user789653241 Wed 02-May-18 10:00:41

Pratchet, I am sorry if my post sounded unpleasant. I didn't mean to. Just meant from my observations, the children who do excel at early years had a lot to do with parental involvement. But of course there are children do well without. Just that I didn't think reception is the year the school would focus mainly on academic progress, but more on other development. Not even sure what I am trying to say, hope it makes sense.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 02-May-18 10:48:05

I’m not sure how it’s privileged to fit in ten minutes a day reading time with your child when they are at school.

drspouse Wed 02-May-18 11:23:03

Some children just DO have good reading and poor writing. My son is one of them. School are doing loads of work with him but he is moving up reading bands quite happily (if a little slowly) and still has almost completely unreadable handwriting nearly at the end of Y1.

In Reception we set up a (theoretically) daily practice regime at the instigation of school - hard to make him stick to it at home but we've found a workbook now that he likes. It hasn't really helped him but it's not school's fault, as they are trying their best. We now have the OT on board.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 02-May-18 11:25:24

My son has been diagnosed with dcd and they are looking for alternatives to handwriting in year one.

ppeatfruit Wed 02-May-18 12:43:49

Erm is everyone forgetting that children develop AT DIFFERENT ages fgs!!!!!?????? Some children's co ordination leads to reading and writing well before school starts , some won't, be able to, there is scientific evidence that their brains are often NOT READY to read and write and count properly before the age of 6 !!!!

Purleeese everyone stop pushing these poor little kids unnecessarily. It just ends up with making them hate school and who can blame them?

BubblesBuddy Wed 02-May-18 21:24:03

The op has said her DD is happy at school. Who said any child was hating school? The evidence is that the vast majority of children don’t hate school. As the OP has sent her child to school, one assumes she is expecting her to make progress in the EYFS curriculum. It’s not pushing children if most are happy with the teaching and learning that takes places.

Regarding the Head, it is absolutely the job of the Head to make sure the children make progress. It is a fundamental role that they have. The Head must know if children are not making progress and do something about it. The buck stops with the Head. The Head is probably the mentor for the NQT and therefore should be monitoring teaching, along with external advisers maybe. Otherwise how would anyone know if the NQT was good or not?

In this case, it does appear that the NQT is leaving. With a chunk of time off sick it seems inevitable that the teacher has not completed their NQT year. They may be going elsewhere and the NQT year extended of course. Schools can absolutely fail a NQT. They do. It is not a sign of failure by the school to do so. It is making sure children get competent teachers. Obviously the teacher has to be very poor with no chance of sufficient improvement and it’s not an easy decision. The school in this case is letting the teacher go well before the deadline for resignations so I think it’s a negotiated exit but it could be to another school. However if there’s a problem teaching 13, would the situation be improved with 30 in the class?

Bitlost Wed 02-May-18 21:46:20

I could have written your post: no books in book bag (ever!), no consistency and...appalling lack of teaching letter formation. And don’t get me started on joined up writing.

These things happen and will happen again most probably.

I took matters into my own hands: bought books and registered to the Reading Chest, got vocab cards (Mrs Wordsmith), taught number bonds and multiplication tables etc... For handwriting, our school got the Magic Link programme, which works wonders.

And for the past two years, we’ve had amazing teachers. I’m now only doing the bare minimum.

I’m not saying it’s right. It’s not. In such a system, I would have been screwed.

WombatStewForTea Wed 02-May-18 22:56:41

I'd like to know how on earth OP knows all this confidential information about teacher/TA!?! Someone somewhere has very loose unprofessional lips or OP is purely going off hearsay!

Join the discussion

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

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in