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DD not meeting age appropriate levels(16 Posts)
Not really sure what to do here, just got DD's year 1 report and she is only meeting one age appropriate level (in reading). Everything else is below. DD is in a small private school and we know gets lots of support in class. She is young for her year and struggled in Reception. We did an Ed Psych review, speech and language, but nothing came back with anything clearly an issue. She has had private OT sessions for a year and we spend lots of time doing various activities focused on her areas of development. We had thought she had made bags of progress this year, particularly in writing and confidence, and a meeting in February this year also seemed to be on track. We've also had good feedback since she returned to school, so this has come as a bit of a shock. We're not rich and private school, plus OT, plus the tuition they had suggested over the summer is a huge financial commitment. I just feel so dejected today, I feel like we're putting her and ourselves under tons of pressure, but the gap between her and her peers is only getting wider. On the other hand if we put her in state school, I assume she'll continue to flounder. Has anyone had a kid that got passed this ?
What were the OT sessions for?
She has difficulty making transition from right to left (so was ambidextrous for a while, hence the slowness in writing)
I feel like we're putting her and ourselves under tons of pressure, but the gap between her and her peers is only getting wider. On the other hand if we put her in state school, I assume she'll continue to flounder.
Or the new school without the pressure of expectations, with other kids at a similar level and with more money available for further extras might really help. Or maybe even further along having money to invest in other less academic things that she might want to pursue that help her future but aren't covered in an academic school.
She is still young, but a school which has just outsourced everything back to you doesn't strike me as the right school, especially when you're paying them for not doing that.
It shouldn't be a shock, I'd be arranging a meeting with school to discuss and find out what exactly the issues are. Not at age appropriate standards is quite broad, is she close to peers, is the gap increasing or narrowing? I wouldn't dismiss state sector, I'm state school SEN, in a mainstream secondary, and we have children in our school whose siblings without SEN are in expensive private schools, but we are able to offer better provision for SEN than local private schools.
I'd also say if you weren't worried, there may be nothing to worry about, many countries don't state formal school until 7, summer born children sometimes take longer with academics. My son is summer born and in year 5. I've always thought him bright but immature and he is now starting to catch up with peers, I'm optimistic he'll be on track by the end of year 6.
I'm just torn, we did a taster session at a state school with her before she started reception and it was horrendous, seemed to massively drive up her anxiety. She loves current school, and I do think she gets lots of support, but whilst she seems to make loads of progress to us, it's clearly on a different trajectory. We do lots of activities and extra classes with her, obviously not recently and she has really missed these. I just feel like I have run out of ways to help her.
DS1 refused to mark make and didn't engage in much schooling until yr 5. There are SEN issues, we now know he's autistic and dyspraxia and a list of other diagnosis as long as my arm.
He's yr 11 now, got mostly 9s in his mock GCSE's.
Not every child can sit on the age expectation line. For the average to exist some are going to be below and some above. Sometimes you need to go with your gut instincts. Your summer born DD has been developing, you've seen improvements, you felt things were going along quite well. The whole world is a bit topsy turvy at present, it's hard to work out how accurately a child could be assessed at this point in time when they've effectively been deschooled and need time to re-engage.
My mum was a head of early years. Pushed really, really hard. The effect it had on me was for me to dig my heals in and be turned off learning. That's my fear for children pushed very hard young. But you know your child best, you're this advocate, you are the one who can see what's working and what isn't. Some people thrive by being pushed.
In the early years learning is all around. Reading books before bed, after school every day. Doing weights and measures making meals/ snacks. Playing shop. Play dough and/ or Lego everyday for that all important fine motor skill building to help with handwriting.
personally i would want to separate the writing issue from knowledge.
is her pencil use preventing the teacher from accurately measuring what she has learned? she could be perfectly fine except for the fine motor skills.
Writing is much harder than reading. You need to be able to think ahead, remember what you are trying to put to paper and control the pen.
She has changed hands and this will impact on her levels.
She may have made a lot of progress from her starting level.
Try some computer spelling and grammar sites. See if it is the physical writing that is the problem rather than the sentence formation. Then look at dysgraphia and speak to school.
Children don't learn at a steady rate. They plateau while they take on information and peak when they have mastered it.
If you assess a child just before they peak the level will be lower. Two weeks later it clicks and they peak. Depends where she was in this process.
My dd1 was very bright summer born before starting school.
She did very well at reading. Years ahead. In yr 1_ meeting everything but maths. Which tbh gets very hard for a 5yo. Writing was meeting. Yr2 sats exceeded reading and met other 2. Still couldnt really add up because of the stupid jumping rather than proper sums. Antway all thats fine now at 8yo. If she hadsat the SATs now no doubt would have exceeded across the board.
Private schools likely have much higher targets and moee able students, pushing summer borns back.
Dont move to state now basically they cannot help all the kids that need it. I taught dc to read and i brought her up from not met in maths. 30 to a class and several SEN kids per class or kids needing more help they literally cant help everyone.
Dc writing to be fair is something they work on in school. But i stil cannot get her to use capitals and full stops. I think it's a combo of not enough input at the time when learning it (she knows the rules) and beinv young.
It may just not be the right school for her. Expectations in some schools - private and state, especially in London can be very high.
We moved our daughter to a more relaxed school and she’s thrived / our first prep kept mentioning ‘processing issues’ when in fact it was a combo of poor teaching, too high expectations and immaturity.
I’d have a look at some other options and consider moving at end of year 2. Incidentally, if you are in London, prep schools outside the capital are generally more relaxed.
My gut instinct is that she's being pushed too much and that it's not the right school for her. I'm shocked that your paying for so much extra.
Often state schools are better than a 'pushy' private school for late developers with or without SEN.
I feel as if she needs to have fun and develop at her own rate.
Sorry if that sounds harsh. Good luck.
I do think some children just take time (and others have clear SN which needs intervention). DD3 wouldn't read and was on red band books right into year 1 - I think they only moved her up to yellow band because it was getting a bit ridiculous. She didn't like making mistakes, so just wouldn't sound out the words. She's just finished year 6 and is graded beyond expectations in every reading domain, despite still not reading for pleasure.
If you genuinely think your DD has a SN, I'd get her into state school ASAP - they are much more geared to dealing with SN. If you don't think she's got SN, I'd move her into the state system because your current school is trying to push her through their expectations
Sorry, that might not be too helpful, as I'm saying 'state school', but I do have 3 DDs - one has SN and goes to special school; one has ASD and needed a lot of individual provision to get her to the point where she could learn - all provided as part of her normal day, without any EHCP or formal SEN plan (her ASD dx came through in Secondary); one is academically very able but had her own sensory quirks, which all the state schools have been amazing at dealing with.
The people to answer your questions are her class teacher and the school Senco. Working below Age- Related Expectations covers a huge range and may or may not be concerning.
You need to find out:
— whether she is just slightly below or a long way behind
- how much progress has she made, is she catching up or falling further behind
- what interventions the school will be putting in place
- what you can do to support her
Children often don't make equal progress in all subjects and the difference between reading and writing may due to her fine motor difficulties
What are her difficulties in Mathematics? Is it accuracy in calculation, working memory and holding onto numbers, understanding the language so doing the right type of calculation?
It does sound like the school may not be the best fit, but if you jump schools every time she encounters difficulties that will also impact her academically and socially. A more natural place to change schools would be the end of key stage 1, so this time next year, by which time you will have a better idea of whether or not her needs are resolving or if you're simply throwing your money away. It also gives you time to research which schools have strong special needs provision if she is going to need it.
Just out of interest, seeing as you refer to the handedness difficulties, was she born prematurely? There is increasing evidence that this can lead to long-term difficulties, e.g. with executive function which can impact particularly on Maths, but it's not widely recognised in schools yet.
I doubt very much if your daughter is that much behind other children. Schools are expected to point out everything, they will always strive to get more out of a child. I wonder if it was the school who suggested the occupational therapy; there's nothing wrong with being ambidextrous, she would have worked out which hand to use for writing eventually - or both - without any pressure. OT for that at such a young age seems drastic.
Maybe the school is not the right one for your daughter. In fairness, schools are pressured by parents so they have to be seen to be doing all they can to get children to achieve. It's all about results. The other extreme is a school where all the kids are told they're doing fine, even when they are not, and there's not the slightest pressure!
However a different school may have a better approach for your child, who is an individual, so a change is worth looking into. Please do remember though, she is only at year 1.