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Unhappy with Child's report

(26 Posts)
Mummyteacher123 Thu 19-Jul-18 05:59:21

This is a hard one and not one that I wwould have liked to have found myself in.

My son is a Summer born boy and just finishing his first year in Reception. He can be a little shy but once warmed up he is very confident. I have been on maternity leave this year so I've had the oppurtunity to work loads with him at home. I am an experinced Early Years Teacher who has been working between Reception and year 1 for 7 years so feel I know the framework fairly well. My son is definitely not exceeding in any areas but I would have put him at expected for most of the 17 areas bar writing.

I have attended all parents, evenings, workshops, events, trips and specifically asked his teacher if he felt he was due to meet expected and if he was on track and I have always been told yes. Parent's evenings have been short and I always felt he didn't really talk about my son specifically, we were all handed a generic work sheet. I wasn't too impressed with their record keeping. My son has a topic book, it very generic and you can't really build up a picture of the child from it as there is not one qoute or observation. I presumed there must be observations elsewhere ie 2simple and it would be shared with us at the end of the year. But I was always respectful and made sure we were both on the same page. There never was any concerns about my son other than he can lack in confidence but is improving. His teacher is rather awkward and doesn't really talk to parents and avoids eye contact. I know everyone is different. Again I just brushed it off and presumed his skills must lie in the classroom as it is a reputable school.

Imagine my horror when I read my sons report, it didn't sound like him and he was put in emerging for all area's bar technology. I am in total shock.

My son came into Reception on track. I asked after the Baseline Assessments and was told he was on track. I asked at both Parent's Evenings and told he was on track. I am appauled by the lack of communication.

It's left me asking these questions. Why was this never communicated with me? Has my son had any intervention? Where are his observations?

I feel I have let my son down in some way. I emailed the head straight away and explained the situation. A few days later the teacher has given me letter and explained that it was best fit, he doesn't have the observations to support him getting expected and it was his confidence and independence holding him back. He then said he accidently ticked a few boxes wrong on the report and he actually got the elg for 4 areas including Number . I had my son with me and my baby so I said I want to talk about this in a formal meeting. I frankly feel it is not good enough, I know he has met many of these goals. For example moving and handling. My son can hold a pencil correctly, form letters and write on the line, he can swim 250 metres, ride scooters and bikes, climb equipment and so on. His imagination and creativity is something strangers, friends and colleagues comment on, its very strong. He builds models all of the time using a variety of materials at home and at school. He knows all his high frequency words and with encouragement can read yellow books at home.

I know children can act very different at school but it baffles me the fundamental personality of my son has not come through at all in an early years setting. If there were concerns then why wasn't I told because I would have tried to help him overcome his lack of confidence. It's not even the academic side that has upset me it's everything else. I personally find children can display many of these goals just observing them in the Learning environment.

Sorry for this long message and I thank anyone who takes the time to read it. It's obviously close to my heart and I want to stay professional but what would you do now? Can the data be changed? In my heart of hearts I feel the record keeping has not been good, my son is quiet and he may have slipped out of view. He said there wasn't enough evidence but he was just on the cusp for everything. The TA also told me that he is not actually in Reception for much of the day as he mainly works in yr1 and 2. He had no idea how the teacher did observations.

All in all I know my childs own personality and abilities. I take him to the park and I watch how he interacts with friends. At times he can be shy but has a very lovely nature, very sharing, kind and considerate. He can hold his own if need be but isn't loud like some children. I agree he can lack a bit of confidence at times. But I still feel his report and goals do not reflect him. I wish I could have supported him and worked with the teacher so he could have shined.

All advice welcome

OP’s posts: |
FrayedHem Thu 19-Jul-18 06:54:05

The TA also told me that he is not actually in Reception for much of the day as he mainly works in yr1 and 2.

This really jumped out at me. Are the classes mixed or is he going in to different classrooms to work with Yr1 and Yr 2? Does your DS talk about spending time in these classes? I would be asking how he is tracked when he is working in 3 classes. What happens with work he produces in those lessons. And how often and why is he being put in Yr1 & Y2.

I'd be assuming the feedback system for this has gone wrong somewhere which is why the report doesn't reflect your DS's abilities.

I wish I could have supported him and worked with the teacher so he could have shined.

It does very much sound like your son is shining. The current report may not reflect that, but it doesn't change what he is able to do.

Will your DS have the same teacher for Yr1?

anotherangel2 Thu 19-Jul-18 07:00:59

Do you think your child is only emerging and have not been pushed were he should have been or do you think the report is inaccurate?

Oblomov18 Thu 19-Jul-18 07:10:02

You've emailed the head. What was the response?
You asked for a formal meeting. Have you had it yet?

Did you ask to see the observations?
Put your concerns in writing. Asking for clarification and evidence.

Whynotnowbaby Thu 19-Jul-18 07:18:06

Formal meeting must happen. The teacher needs to produce evidence of observations- it’s no good to say he is not very confident, that doesn’t stop the teacher recording what they see. Also if they really managed to tick 4 boxes incorrectly, they need to go back over every other child’s report to ensure no other data has been recorded inaccurately.

OrgyOfBarminess Thu 19-Jul-18 07:30:03

I'd be going in too, the fact that his teacher has already admitted that she's ticket four boxes incorrectly sounds really fishy. Are they overstretched in terms of staffing? Why is the TA in other classes?

We've just had a similar experience with lack of communication with my DS2's nursery to the point where I pulled him out and moved him to preschool 4 months ago. I've found the preschool to be pretty similar and I'm not sure if it's down to understaffing or whether it's just lack of structure. My boy thrives when he's set to task and given jobs to do.

MinPinPuzzz Thu 19-Jul-18 07:35:07

The communication has clearly been terrible. From my (limited) understanding - if your child is going to get a report stating mostly emerging, you should know long before the report that this may be the case and be working together with the school to improve his outcomes. Shame on them.

I feel that you haven’t failed your son as you will now have a formal meeting and hopefully change practise for your son and future children regarding observations and communication.

It does not change your child’s ability or attainment. As an EYFS experienced practitioner perhaps you can answer me, do the outcomes measured at this stage have any impact on their education? I ask this as it seems you would like the data to be changed, is it the principle that it must be accurate, or because of other factors?

Naty1 Thu 19-Jul-18 07:48:51

Sounds like the teacher needs to be checked up on.
Maybe he ticks random boxes without looking at any evidence he may or may not have.
Possibly other kids came in at a higher level so needed less paperwork in yr r or did better at the baseline stage.
Imo the school reports are not very accurate.
Sb are likely to come out worse due to comparison and they lose confidence.
A tick box where parents can also tick stuff would improve and prevent the schools cheating to improve the data.
Also the variation between bands for expected or exceeding in reading is ridiculous.
All the crap about child initiating it doesnt help either.

MsJolly Thu 19-Jul-18 07:56:22

This is a shock and should be challenged-I'd be asking about the tracking system used in school-whether it is SPTO or whatever and why this is coming up now. And no way should they have ticked boxes incorrectly-at our school once reports are written by the teacher the DHT checks them with the data to make sure everything is right.
Definitely challenge this. As an EYFS practitioner you are ideally placed

HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Thu 19-Jul-18 08:07:07

The TA also told me that he is not actually in Reception for much of the day as he mainly works in yr1 and 2.

Is this referring to your son or his teacher (who I took to also be a male)? I would agree that you need to ask to see evidence of observations and his work. It is not acceptable for a teacher to mark a child emerging in so many areas without discussion with the parents and implementing interventions. Is the teacher new to the school? He sounds incredibly disorganised and I would be worried about how much he knows about the framework and why he has so little evidence for children he's taught since September!

I would try to get a formal meeting ASAP before the term ends, make it clear you have professional knowledge of the situation. Hopefully, they investigate because he honestly sounds like he has not got a clue about how Early Years works and I imagine without the meeting he wont change a thing for next years cohort.

newusername12345 Thu 19-Jul-18 08:59:43

My son is definitely not exceeding in any areas but I would have put him at expected for most of the 17 areas bar writing.
I think a lot of what you are saying doesn't make a lot of sense. According to you he is not exceeding in any areas, but apparently he goes to year 1 and year 2 to do work?? Surely if a reception child is going to year 1 or 2 that child is well ahead??? To make things more complicated this child is now emerging in most areas?? wow this is confusing!

RavenWings Thu 19-Jul-18 09:05:36

To me the following piece:

The TA also told me that he is not actually in Reception for much of the day as he mainly works in yr1 and 2. He had no idea how the teacher did observations.

Means the TA works in other classes, not the child or teacher. It's the TA saying he doesn't know how the teacher does observations.

IStillDrinkCava Thu 19-Jul-18 10:01:26

I'm not sure you need our advice OP. You know this stuff inside out, you know how to frame the questions and you know your own child. You're in a stronger position than 99% of parents to get to the bottom of it. I think you're right to challenge and you will do an excellent job of it.

You haven't let your son down. You advocating for him and engaging with the school on this is absolutely the right thing to do.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 19-Jul-18 10:10:06

My son has a topic book, it very generic and you can't really build up a picture of the child from it as there is not one qoute or observation. I presumed there must be observations elsewhere [...]. But I was always respectful and made sure we were both *on the same page*

If you were presuming things, then you were certainly not making sure you were on the same page. So communication between both of you broke down, that's sad, the teacher didn't do a great job of it, but then maybe you didn't either.

What I don't get though, is why you care? You're disappointed in the report 'cos you think it's wrong, that's a good thing, it means he's achieving well, there's no concerns. So what is your actual problem, 'cos it sounds a bit like it's just the actual report which you don't like, rather than his attainment? What does it matter if the report is wrong, given that you're a professional who can make a correct judgement.

OverTheHedgeHammy Thu 19-Jul-18 10:13:48

As horrible as that report must have been to read, I think you need to take the long view.

Yes, chase it up, because the school has got something seriously wrong. You clearly know what your DS is capable of. You have the professional qualifications to back it up.

But.... in however many years time, will it really matter? As you say, he's summer born. I am in the same position myself with a summer born DS, who has some difficulties. But, the school has recognized that he is very clever, but they have difficulty evidencing that, and so his report doesn't show what he is capable of.

At the end of the day, school is about learning the fundamentals of the subjects, perhaps picking up some sports, and gaining social skills. I have independent tutoring for my DS and they are more than happy with is progress. His report card doesn't reflect this. I'm not as worried about this as I was. With tutoring he's not falling behind, I know that. He's happy, and making friends. We have club sports activities. As far as I'm concerned we've covered the bases. School will continue to work on trying to work out ways of evidencing DS's knowledge. But if he is capable of passing his exams when he's in secondary school in however many years time, I don't much care how wishy washy the reports in primary school care.

With a mother who is a professional who knows her stuff, your DS won't fall behind. Take comfort in that.

noseoftralee Thu 19-Jul-18 10:33:49

If you were presuming things, then you were certainly not making sure you were on the same page. So communication between both of you broke down, that's sad, the teacher didn't do a great job of it, but then maybe you didn't either.

Is it really the parent's job to check up on quality or frequency of observations? Would we expect other parents to do this or just this Mum as she is a YR teacher herself?

OP, it does sound like there are some systemic issues with the collection of evidence against the goals. If I was a cynic I'd say the teacher didn't get to know your DS very well this year and 'winged' it in terms of the end of year evaluations. Although why they would try that particularly risky strategy with a parent who is an experienced EYFS bod is beyond me!

KingLooieCatz Thu 19-Jul-18 10:50:11

I second OverTheHedgeHammy regarding the long view.

Neither I nor DH have the advantage of being teachers or being at home during the day. For the first three years at school, DS was a complete disaster area, struggled to write his own name correctly at age 7. He's flying now at age 9 so don't panic, you are far better placed than we ever were to challenge the school and provide support at home.

Year R is done now. You've asked for meeting. See how next year's teacher is, if same teacher next year, I'm sure you'll be asking for regular formal updates on what support the school are putting in place.

It's early days and you know what your son is capable of and how you can help him achieve. After year R there starts to be more scope for extra-curricular activities that enhance confidence, like drama or sport, whatever suits him.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 19-Jul-18 10:54:29

Is it really the parent's job to check up on quality or frequency of observations?

No, but it highlights that the parent and the teacher were not communicating well in the parents evenings, because one of them at least was making assumptions about what was being said. Which makes it more likely that other things were missed too, perhaps the teacher was assuming they'd made it clear the lack of confidence was impacting the difficulty in gathering evidence.

It seems the communication failed, I'm not at all surprised that a parent who's also a EYFS teacher can get their kid to produce evidence, but that doesn't mean that the kid would produce it in a classroom with a different adult. Most parents can see their kids performing better at home, but do they all assume that the teacher must be crap at gathering evidence rather than the kid not showing it.

noseoftralee Thu 19-Jul-18 11:04:46

a not unreasonable assumption though - I assume my YR kid's teacher collects observations throughout the year, but I don't physically check up on them. OP was told on more than one occasion DS was on track.

I'm not surprised a child with a teacher parent can produce evidence at home, but I wouldn't take it as given that a responsive teacher couldn't get that same child to produce evidence. I do think in a busy class, with 30 kids, with poor data gathering systems a quiet child can be overlooked in terms of data collection. (Aware I'm making massive assumptions about the class here).

CallingDannyBoy Fri 20-Jul-18 06:51:47

I think that if there is such a disconnect between you observe and the teacher has observed plus the teacher has said there are 4 errors it would raise the question of how accurate the teacher’s observations are. If they aren’t accuarate how good is he and how has he been monitored (the teacher) through the year. Raises question of management in the school.

OldBean2 Fri 20-Jul-18 07:44:22

OP, as a Chair, I would be expecting a meeting with the HT after your conversation with the Class Teacher. I would let the HT know your background and your concerns as there may already be issues regarding the CT.

I would not be expecting to see this lack of evidence, I spent a day in school doing book scrutiny a couple of weeks ago along with classroom obs (I am also a retired Ofsted Inspector) alongside our SMT and our recording of evidence is not as perfunctory as you describe. This is very disappointing.

Witchend Fri 20-Jul-18 10:55:07

It's typical that a child performs better at home with 1-2-1 with parents than at school in a year group of 30.
It may be that your ds' lack of confidence means he doesn't tend to produce the evidence. If I remember rightly they have to produce the evidence twice without help or similar. If he's lacking in confidence he may be asking for more help than he actually needs.

I'd ask more along the lines of is the teacher worried that he is going to need more support, and I suspect the answer you'll get it along the lines of they know he can do it, but don't have the evidence.

The ticking the box wrong is strange. To get one wrong will happen, but to get four wrong implies something else. Maybe the teacher felt pressurised to say he'd done better, or maybe he's been pressurised from above to not record anything without physical evidence.

But I don't think making a fuss is going to make much difference here. He's going to a new class with presumably a new teacher who will make their own observations. If he's at emerging/expected/exceeding then having a report saying differently won't change what level he's actually at.
As it won't change any real situation, I'd save making a fuss until you have something that making a fuss will make a difference to.

Hellywelly10 Fri 20-Jul-18 11:04:50

Sorry to hear about this op. The same thing happened to me. Dd was struggeling in phonics. The teacher didnt communicate anything at parents evenings. Its the end of term now. I think you need to arrange a meeting in september to arrange how to move forward next year.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 20-Jul-18 11:41:23

The teacher has broken the cardinal of giving feedback; nothing should ever come as a surprise. Have you been given a meeting yet?

Pennyusifoh14 Tue 24-Jul-18 16:49:34

My son just started a new school this tearm hejust had his report it says less then expected progress in core subjects for writing but on attainment in core subjects he working towards expected standard in writing for both. He in year 3. What does it mean please

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