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Teacher suspects SEN(49 Posts)
My duaghter started full time Reception year in Feburary 2019 when she just turned 5. Prior to this she was going part time to reception class, 4 days a week and going in at 11am until 3.20pm (hometime).
Since she started part time in September (because she found it hard to settle) EYFS lead and deputy head said she could come in at 11 as the mornings were overwhelming her. Fast forward to the first parents evening in November, the teacher literally had no work exmaples to show me that my DD had done. She further said I have no idea what progression has been made because you brong her in at 11 am and all I can tell you is she can count to 10. I was so shocked. I said to what do you mean I bring her in at 11?? This is what your EYFS lead and head have suggested! And I have requested she go 4 days a week to ease her in. She then said well are not aware of this, all the staff in reception always roll their eyes and say DD is not in again or is late again. I was fuming. I said to her so you are saying basically you have no teaching plan in place for my daughter and hence no work has been done with her? I also said regarldess if whether a child is part time or full time, there should be a learning plan in place!! She then said of course I agree we would have had a learning ppan in place but this was not cummincated to us. My DD was given spellings and reading books prior to this that were checked intermittently, not every week as they shiuld have been! I complaoned to the HT, she apologised and aaid this is not the level if teaching we expect at this school. Suddenly that teacher was gone after Christmas break. Come Feburary my DD started full time with a new teacher. This teacher kept asking us to practice writing which we did every day even though I had just had an emregency section and a newborn. My duaghter started real phonics lesrning and writing then! And when she finished reception her report said she was meeting all her expectations.
Now she is in Y1 with a teacher who I feel doesn't know or interact with my duaghter. My duaghter is behind her peers bevause she didn't attend their nursery and started full time in Feb and prior to that they failed her hence why they got rid of that teacher! I approached this teacher in Nov this year and asked for intervention as I was concerned my dd kept saying she doesn't udnerstand some of what is being tuaght in class and I asked the teacher why my DD is getting reading books and homework that is beyond her level (she is band yellow) and it seems ti me there is no differentiation. The teacher said ok I will look into it and she said bevause she had been off for about 2.5 weeks at the beginning of term that she is just getting to know the pupils now. I said but it's mid Nivember!! My dd should have had intervemtion earlier on. The following week on parents evening she ssid yes she is behind but there are other children further behind too and she loves to learn so we will try to give her targeted homework rsther than the general work she is getting now and we will discuss every Friday her progress. I tried to catch her for meetings to get updates on DD's progress but she would say next Monday or I have a meeting, etc. Fast forward 3 weeks afyer parents evening when there is pupil progression updates going on at school she said to me she is very concer ed my DD has SEN because she is on phase 3 phonics and isn't blending and always needs prompting when doing independent work and she seems to remember one day but forgets the next day what we did. She said the reception teacher also agrees.
I said to her but of course she would be behind when all the children in school have come up from Nursery and the school did no real work with her from sept til Feb. She said that doesn't matter. I don't know how to help her and I am referring her to the SENCO! We went to the HT the same day and said hiw can she say 3 weeks prior she is behind but there are others also behind and now she has potention sen issues? None if this was flagged up last year and how can she have met her eyfs goals?? The HT looked perturbed because quite clearly it all doesn't stack up. It's spoilt my xmas I'm just so worried. The way she said it was like life is over for my daughter. She said "She is very different to all the other children and her communication doesn't help either." Last year the staff said her communication was very good and has helped her to make friends and voice her feelings when she is upset or unhappy. The HT told us briefly on the last day of school to count with her in 2s, to read stories and get her to recount sequentially what happens, to do activities such as 1 more than 8, 1 mire than 19, to teach her how sentences are formed (capital letters, full stops). I went in at home time that same day and showed him examples if her doing this at home! He was a bit shocked and said can I hold on to these and show the teacher. I said to him I gravely concerned at the competency of your staff and hiw they are assesing my dd! She can count to a 100 and beyond, she count in 5s to a 100 and beyond, she can count in 2s upto 40! She knows capital lettera for the beginning of a sentence and for names if people and countries and she knows they end with a full stop, question mark ir exclamation mark depending in what is said. This is all what we practiced in the reception year and I haven't revised this since. She remembers it! I have made video evidence of this all to show them.
Where she is significantly behind is her phonics and reading and I'm not denting that but that's because they started teaching her in Feb!!! The HT said she will meet us on the first day back ti discuss everything as this all happened on the second last day of term.
Do I go ahead with this SEN assessment if they push it? I am a secondary school maths teacher and I honestly don't see any SEN in my duaghter. I see their failings and inconsistencies for which they applogsed last year but hiw can the teacher dismiss rhe gaps in my DD's learning from reception as not having a detrimental impact on her learning? What would you do? This teacher is newly qualified as well and I know the parenrs as an entire class last year complained about her to the HT.
Also to add further, when I asked her further what SEN she thinks my dd has, she said she doesn't know. Her assesment consisted of a list of words whoch I wasn't even shown and she said my dd could sound out the individual letters but couldn't blend them and would say something random and just guess and that is her main concern and that she seems to get things one day but not the next.
At home my DD sometimes forgets somethong but when I ask again an hour or 2 later, she does recall it. Again, her number counting in 5s and and 2s and upto her 100s has mot been practiced since reception last year but she recalls it. Stories such as goldilocks and the theee little pigs have not been read since reception last year but she can sequentially recall what happens in order and in fact corrected me when I said whose bed did goldilocks break? She said it wasn't the bed it was baby bear's chair she broke!
I feel like a shit mum because I haven't given her much time as the baby has had lots of feedi g provlems and colic and evenings are so hectic with the little one crying so much although things are settling now so I hope i can give her more time to practice blending because she is able to blend cvc words and words like chip and chop and will and jill etc. She does do idnependent writing sometimes too but mostly I have to keep prompting her with what sentence she can write such as I can sit on a mat, I am a girl, I can see my mum and dad.
Seriously op I'd consider switching schools. They sound utterly incompetent and i wouldn't have any confidence in them whatsoever.
This school is in the top 5 in the borough for eyfs and sats results. That's why we chose it. But it seems ti me they can only cater for children who have started from nursery in that school and get them so far ahead and cram so much information in them. Also they're undersubscribed so it's not like their teachers or support staff are overloaded. My dd's class has 22 pupils.
We will be leaving eventually however I dont want them to be saying to the next school in the transfer form that she is behind because if suspected sen etc. Also I want to follow through with these complaints I have made to the governors and DfES and Ofsted.
Please forget the Sat's and stats.
Go and look at other school and chat to the HTs.
This school does not fit your child.
Many children need help in the early stages of primary. They aren't providing it.
Don't worry about the SEN. If it gets her extra help take it.
I know many children who were on the SEN register needing help e.g had speech therapy and extra support and then flourished and didn't need the extra support.
There is evidence your DD has struggled all along. She had an extended admission and "couldn't cope" with mornings. Your DD should have caught up by now from that mess, especially with your intervention. Now she is struggling with blending sounds and telling you she doesn't understand what they are doing in class. The communication in school was obviously poor but I don't think it has legs to keep ascribing all this to some kind of incompetence.
You sound incredibly defensive and as if any issue your DD may have is a reflection on you and on her. It really isn't. Let them get her properly assessed and get a proper support plan in. How can it possibly be harmful? On the other hand you insisting there is nothing wrong could be harmful, as she could miss out on early support for reading and spelling which she sounds like she may need.
Go ahead with the SENCO and whatever they suggest. Your DD won’t be diagnosed with anything if there are no issues.
Tbh, the fact that she struggled to cope in Reception and needed to reduce her hours is kind of a SN in itself. Not that I’m saying you shouldn’t have done it, you absolutely did what was best for her. I would also stop blaming her slow progress on not having attended the school nursery.
Try not to panic too much and try not to attribute too much blame. I think you should wipe the slate clean with the school and move forward with the attitude that you’re going to work with the school to improve her progress. She’s so young still and can catch up. But I think it’s important to have an open mind to the possibility of SEN too. I known you said you don’t see any SEN in her, but it’s hard for us as parents to see it sometimes (I’ve been there).
The school does sound a bit chaotic. On the other hand I don't think it makes that much difference they she didn't come from nursery or that she missed a few months of reception. I would definitely follow up with the SEMCO - they won't give you a diagnosis (DD is probably too young to be diagnosed with a learning issue anyway) but can offer advice about how they can help. It does sound like she's behind but there's a lot of variation at that age and it could just be down to immaturity. I wouldn't discount that she may have SEN though - the difficulty settling and the trouble retaining information could point to something going on. If there is something it's definitely better to find out and act on it. If not no harm will be done.
I would go forward with a SEN assessment also.
My Eldest has severe dyslexia and exhibited similar traits at the same age. One thing that can happen with dyslexia is inability to blend sounds in the phonics based teaching.
BUT dyslexic children are also usually higher IQ than average and can be talented in both oral recall and maths/music.
The assessment tests done on my child at age 7 (Yr3) showed an oral recall equivalent to Yr13 (off the charts) and maths at Yr6.
There is no blame to SEN, it’s like being born left handed. Dyslexics are weak in reading and writing, but have strengths in usually oral and maths/music. My brother is dyslexic and owns his own IT business doing complex network solutions. With the right support, your child can accomplish anything.
I think and SEN assessment would be good so that she can be properly assessed and then hopefully taught in an appropriate way.
I do see signs of possible SEN in what you describe, most kids would have caught up having started reception in February. I don't think you need to view an SEN label as a negative. As PP have said many SEN's are associated with above average intelligence and exceptional ability in some areas. It's just kids with undiagnosed SEN have a tendency to underperform because they're not being taught in a way conducive to their particular style of learning. If she's simply immature and will catch up the SENCO can help with that too.
I KNOW she is behind in phonics and reading I AM THE one who raised this and the teacher seemed to have no clue until I raised the concern. Then 3 weeks later is saying she thinks she has sen. However, I feel like she hasn't had enough practice with blending and how can she have attained her eyfs goals as expected and nothing was flagged up. It all doesnt add up. I also agree sen is better when picked up earlier however she turend 5 at the tail end of August and I'm not sure what they can pick up accurately at this age as if she has learning difficulties it's not an obvious one. The SENCO briefly said to me at home time she doesn't think she has anything to be concerned about based on what the teacher said but she will put an individualised learning plan in place when we go back in the New Year.
She loves school now and I don't want to move her out. She loved it last yesr too, we just felt she was too young to start full time and asked for 4 days, she was finding the morning drop off hard and would cry when I left but did settle within 2 weeks.
My concern again is hiw are they assessing her abilities because I collated video evidence of much of the stuff they say she is behind in (coubting numbers, counting jn 5s and 10s, number bonds to 10, simple sentences) she can do all of this so how are they assessing that she can't.
Maybe she is overwhelmed by a school environment and struggles to replicate what she can do at home?
There is a big jump between reception and Y1, I’d expect a child to have caught up by now or at least be showing signs of closing the gap. The guessing instead of attempting blending is also a red flag.
I think you need to be clear about what you want from the school - on one hand you are saying she doesn’t understand her school work and can’t blend and on the other you are saying she can do everything expected and more. I think getting your daughter assessed is a positive thing if it helps her realise her potential as it sounds like the school environment for her is hindering her progress somehow.
My dd didn’t start fs till the January as she was a summer birthday and back then that’s how it worked. It didn’t really make a difference.
She has not got a label of SEN yet if that’s what you’re concerned about, but there clearly is something going on that’s causing you so much confusion between you and the teachers. An assessment can only be a helpful thing at this stage.
* she can do all of this so how are they assessing that she can't.*
Because sometimes a child reacts differently in different environments because they are shy,insecure, don't want to get it wrong or be laughed at, overwhelmed etc.
I had this with DD , they said she can't do certain thing in early years, I knew she could and told them so, but they didn't have any evidence of it. In the end she was assessed outside the classroom by a trusted adult and she also met all her targets and in some areas got exceeding. In a classroom environment though she never put her hand up, answered questions unless directly asked and needed prompting and so on.
A few years on and while she still doesn't really put herself forward,due to tests and her work in books we don't have that issue anymore.
Also I meant to say that just because the school are possibly incompetent and have communication issues doesn't mean that your DD does not have SEN. They are not mutually exclusive.
Go through the assessment, as they won't randomly diagnose if she doesn't have any. Then when you move to a new school you can start fresh if no issues or she will have support in place that you won't have to wait for.
I would be concerned that missing reading and phonics in YR has slowed up learning. The other DC covered work when she didn’t. Going home earlier might have been better. However go ahead with the assessment but I’m not sure I would have gone along with part time in this way.
How are sen assessments made for learning difficulties because the teacher said she has no obvious signs of sen and she may be on the waiting list for a while.
Her peers will not be the whole class or year group but children starting at the same level. Their progress and hers are mapped and compared for progress. If this group is not progressing there may be a whole school issue or approach. If some children are progressing but some are not it may be a SEND need and then you dig deeper. You lose nothing having a check up.
*"Her assesment consisted of a list of words whoch I wasn't even shown and she said my dd could sound out the individual letters but couldn't blend them and would say something random and just guess and that is her main concern and that she seems to get things one day but not the next."*
It sounds like a phonics screening tool which will be used to assess whether your daughter is decoding words accurately. Some children appear to be reading when actually they're just good at recalling frequently encountered words and filling in the gaps by guessing.
I have just done blending woth her with ch and sh sounds and she got a list of 20 right on the first attempt mostly. Chop, chain, chug, chip, check, chuck, fish, bash, shop, shed, shell, ship, rush.
She obviously must nit be doing this in school and her confidenxe is definitely lacking in school.
Does anyone know how learning difficulties for blending will be assesed?
If the school think there may be issues with blending they will look at blending "nonsense" words-particularly as this is something screened for at the end of year 1 in the phonics screening check. So, whilst she can read chip, chain etc, can she blend ipch and aichn? ( ie using the same sounds but in an unusual order!).
If they think there are problems beyond general phonics acquisition, the school might call upon a specialist to complete an assessment. This might be ( depending on the county/school) a Specialist teacher on an educational psychologist-different authorities have different methods of assessing for special needs.
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