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Despair. Yr1 DS academic disaster zone. Is this SEN territory?

(12 Posts)
miljee Mon 18-Jun-07 17:11:51

DS2 is just 6 and 5 weeks from the end of yr 1. Having panicked about DS1 in yr 1 and 2 and now seeing him managing perfectly well in yr 3 I fear I may have been taking too much of an "It'll be alright/all in his own good time" attitude to DS2 but I cannot ignore the fact that tonight's homework was m/ap, l/ap, sl/ap, fl/ap all with a 5 word sentence per page (forming a simple story) and the 'ap' remaining constant (sort of lift-the-flap), and DS2 could NOT grasp the fact the 'ap' remained constant and sounded the same EVERY time! I mean, this is surely mid reception stuff? Not necessarily reading the story but being able to change the beginning letter's sound to make the next (rhyming!)word? He's learning jolly phonics and has completed the 'additionsl help' (PIPS) club. He's reading ORT 3.

SO we moved onto maths. I wrote down the numbers 1-20. Could count up (reading them) no problem. Struggled to read them backwards and said 'twenty' for 'twelve' EVERY TIME. He cannot differentiate 13 and 30, 14 and 40, happily naming them the same even though they were written side by side. He's NOT dyslexic (he was tested by the school in yr R to make sure they were looking at 'another slow boy' rather than a real problem) but I mean, surely by this stage he should be able to count up in 2s and 5s? As opposed to being barely able to count at all?

I need to take action, don't I?

LIZS Mon 18-Jun-07 17:17:23

It does sound concerning but not sure he should n't complete the Jolly Phonics before doing the ORT reading, he may be getting confused between the systems. He may not be dyslexic in the classic sense but may have some auditory processing (so that thirty and thirteen sound the same) and/or sequencing issue which affects how he reads and uses numbers. Has he had a hearing and vision check recently?

eucalyptus Mon 18-Jun-07 18:23:51

ORT 3 sounds at the lower end of Year 1, but a lot depends on the teaching. if he is doing PiPs that is a very slow phonics scheme and not really synthetic phonics as it should be taught based on the new Literacy strategy (PipS has now been withdrawn). ORT 3 has lots of words that are not decodable until full code knowledge is known so encourages guessing which is especiallly bad for boys.

the l/ap etc is onset and rime which is very old fashioned and discredited these days. Can you try and work with him yourself and do some proper phonics work - get the Joly Phonics stuff yourself (DVD, CD and finger phonics books should be enough with some proper decodable books eg Jelly and Bean) and work at blending through the word i.e /f/l/a/p/ so he hears the separate sounds and does not need to memeorise lots of different blends (/ap/ as well as /a/ and /p/) which is confusing and unnecesary

The maths does not sound so far behind my own just 6yo dd.

Have you talkked to the teacher about your concerns?

singersgirl Mon 18-Jun-07 20:35:15

I agree with Eucalyptus and LIZS about the Jolly Phonics. If he has it mixed with ORT, he is probably getting confused and has not grasped that he can work out how to read all words, not just guess at them and hope he remembers their shape.

I'd second getting hold of the Jolly Phonics manual yourself and some of the early flap books and going right back to basics with him.

jennifersofia Mon 18-Jun-07 23:05:20

It depends. In my Y1 class, I have children who can quite happily count in 2's and 5's, and others who really aren't even close. The same goes with the phonics. Many children (even the ones who are adding beyond 10, adding more than 2 numbers etc) still have number confusion when asked to read numbers independently. Sometimes it can be quite difficult to shift a child if they have it in their heads that 12 is 20 and so on. He has got the idea that the 'tw' goes together, the 'th' go together and the 'Four' goes together (twenty / twelve) and so on, so I can understand why he is doing it. Out of curiosity, how is he with 15 and 50, 16 and 60?

I wouldn't immediately assume it is SEN territory. I must say, many of my children in at this sort of level are mainly young boys.

Good advice from others re: Jolly Phonics.
Certainly talk to the teacher about your concerns.

fedda Mon 18-Jun-07 23:24:17

I wouldn't start talking to the teacher because some teachers just get the 'ideas' from concerned parents and your child might get into SEN category because you raised your concerns (I hope I'm not upsetting you saying it so strongly but I had many situations when I'd regret asking my questions). I think the best thing to do is trying to develop him at home, find everything you can to make him interested. When kids are interested they learn better. Boys often learn slower then girls but once they start there is no stopping them. Good luck!

cat64 Tue 19-Jun-07 00:01:42

Message withdrawn

jennifersofia Tue 19-Jun-07 06:56:57

But being put into the SEN category is not a negative thing - children are assessed and put there so children can get the help that they need. If a child is properly assessed, and needs the help, wouldn't you rather s/he be getting it than floundering on their own, not able to keep up with others?

oxocube Wed 20-Jun-07 19:25:01

thats how I feel about my own kids, jennifersophia. My eldest son is doing well in school (yr 6), my daughter (yr 4) is in the SEN program for language - she finds spelling a nightmare and her reading in general is behind her peers and my 5 yr old is repeating Yr1 at my request but his teachers were in total agreement, because he is simply not ready to move up. I am really glad my kids are receiving the extra help they need and certainly don't think of it as a 'stigma'

jennifersofia Wed 20-Jun-07 20:42:51

That's nice oxocube - always good to feel that everyone is all pitching from the same side. Your school sounds a good one, and quite unusual to let someone repeat a year.

oxocube Wed 20-Jun-07 21:20:55

Thanks jennifer! Just an example - my daughter (aged 9) is doing a project in school about the Romans. She has done all the work, researched it as best she can but because of the difficulty she has in writing and spelling, she worked with the SEN teacher today to finish typing up her 'presentation' so she would be ready to present it on the same day as the rest of the class. The SENCO knows my daughter really well and recognises her strengths and weaknesses and was able to tailor an hour's lesson to her needs. I think we are really lucky to have this kind of help.

miljee Thu 21-Jun-07 14:58:23

Thanks everyone, I think I will go forth and get the Jolly Phonics manual. There's no doubt about it that whilst the early ed has generally been good (it worked for DS1) I do think some basics have been overlooked with DS2. Their schemes are a bit neither Arthur nor Martha, iykwim. I think what I will do is some work with him myself (he's NOT a keen homeworker but one CAN sometimes catch him in a receptive mood!) and I will alert his new teacher (he's going into a Y1-2 mix in Sept) to the 'issues'. I agree one may have to careful with the SEN labelling thing in some instances but I feel confident that a low-grade SEN alert will be useful so he can't 'slip between the cracks' as it were at school. He had his hearing tested in yr R as standard- I'm not too worried about that as he can hear the rustle of a Malteser packet at 100 yards...

Anyway, in some ways, I pleased it's almost the hols as I can get a bit of a 'program' going. Nothing hardcore, mind! 20 mins a day perhaps? Lots more questioning and answers, lots more getting stuck into a topic that grabs their attention. Lord, I sound like a home-schooler!

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