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re reports: what would you think if the general summary was quite negative - but then the specific areas comments said your son has achieved everything there was to be achieved for his age?

(18 Posts)
mamserafina Sat 12-Jul-08 16:26:45

because this is what has happened to ds, just turned 5 in reception.
General comment says that he's very imaginative and gets lost in his own little world , only asks questions when interested in the subject, has only just began getting changed on his own etc etc...
However the specific area comments are all very positive, including the social part where it says he's very good at taking turns and understands right and wrong etc etc, Personal Development is also excellent as it says he's indipendent and doesn't need any help in getting changed and personal hygiene (I guess it means he can wipe his bum hmm )

This has left me very confused and I am not sure I should speak to the teacher about it...

mamserafina Sat 12-Jul-08 16:28:03

I mean - would you thing they made a mistake and just copied and pasted the specific areas from somebody's else report and forgot to change them????

castlesintheair Sat 12-Jul-08 16:30:15

I don't think that sounds negative for a Reception child. I also do believe a lot of cutting and pasting goes on.

mrz Sat 12-Jul-08 16:33:23

The comments you have posted don't contradict each other IMO. A child can get lost in their own world and still understand right from wrong and take turns. The development comment says he can get changed while the general comment makes it clear this is a recent development. Not sure why you think there is a problem.

somersetmum Sat 12-Jul-08 16:35:56

All reports are written in a 'copy and paste' fashion these days. There are lists key achievement requirements for each age group and, as they are achieved, the teachers have to state each one and use specific terminology.

It is a dead giveaway when you see "heshe has achieved..." and they haven't even bothered to amend it to he or she.

Unfortunately, this means that most reports from the same class/age group will be very similar.

mrz Sat 12-Jul-08 16:46:47

I'm a reception teacher and don't have to use specific terminology when writing reports for my class. In fact many of my parents wouldn't understand if I didn't write in plain English. Reception teachers have to report against the child's Foundation Stage Profile achievement but this doesn't mean they have to state each one. It sounds very much as if your school is using the e profile which produces this type of impersonal report somersetmum.

Twiglett Sat 12-Jul-08 16:51:06

they have to be positive though .. it's all double-speak, you really don't get a good idea of how they are behaving in school from the written reports IMO

the general comments don't seem negative to me though, they seem quite normal and realistic for a 5 year old tbh

somersetmum Sat 12-Jul-08 16:58:06

mrz, what we actually received was a one page report written in english by the teacher and then five pages of gobbledegook written in the aforementioned terminology. Thanks for clearing it up
By the way, as you're a reception teacher, can you please tell me what it means when it says "the stepping stones goal" and the "early learning years goal", which is mentioned about a dozen times in the gobbledegook. tia

mrz Sat 12-Jul-08 17:38:55

The old Curriculum for the Foundation Stage was split up into "Stepping Stones" and "Early Learning Goals". The Stepping Stones are the things the children need to know or skills they need to have developed before they can work on the Early Learning Goals (slightly more advanced skills and knowledge). In the Foundation Stage Profile the first three points in each area (Number, Writing, Personal Development, Knowledge and Understanding of the World, Physical Development etc) are Stepping Stones and are usually achieved by the end on nursery the next five points are Early Learning Goals and the final point is a child who is working above this level.

I don't do the five pages of gobbledegook because it means very little to anyone who isn't a reception class teacher.

somersetmum Sat 12-Jul-08 20:37:07

Thanks for a very clear explanation

AbbeyA Sun 13-Jul-08 08:44:40

I don't see the general comment as negative. Being imaginative and getting lost in his own little world is lovely! So is asking questions if he is really interested.He sounds a delightful little boy to have in any reception class. I wouldn't worry about the getting changed -he will speed up when he gets older.

foofi Sun 13-Jul-08 08:54:51

I agree that the general comment at the end isn't a particularly negative one. If there was any real concern the teacher would have spoken to you about it I'm sure.

(Yes, of course there is an element of cutting and pasting in reports produced on computers, but as long as the comment is relevant to your child, I don't think it matters if the same comment appears on someone else's report too. This must surely have happened in the days of hand-written reports too. Having said that - I bet a lot of paranoid teachers are clicking on this thread to see if it's something they've written...)

mamserafina Sun 13-Jul-08 10:04:47

thanks all for your replies.

I realized that I have missed in the OP the comment that really bothered me. Maybe I am in denial ;)

The teacher says that ds has struggled making friends as doesn't know how to approach the other children. This has improved though throughout the year.

We have had long conversations around this mostly prompted by me as ds didn't want to go to school at a certain point so I asked said teacher what was going in.

Now the general comment aknowledges that, however the specific areas says that he's great at making friends and talks to adults and peers with confidence and blah blah blah.

Would you be confused????

I am....

mamserafina Sun 13-Jul-08 22:56:59


AbbeyA Mon 14-Jul-08 07:27:58

I still wouldn't worry. Young children may be with other children but often play separately with no idea of 'making friends'. Girls are much better at interacting and finding out about other people. My middle DS, in particular, took at least a term to settle into school.It sounds as if your DS has grown in confidence while he has been there. I would leave it for now, but if you have niggling worries go in and see his year 1 teacher when he has been back for about 3 weeks and ask how he is settling in and if he gets on with his peer group.

mamserafina Mon 14-Jul-08 08:22:51

thanks AbbeyA, my concern are more about how to take the report than how ds is doing.

I know he's much more settled as he now goes to school with a smile on his face.

But I do wonder who writes the reports?
I mean, the general comment is definetevely ds and his teacher has written it - I am 100% sure.

But what about the specific areas? Are they just the same for everybody else and they just have to write according to the level the children have achieved in general?

AbbeyA Mon 14-Jul-08 11:50:30

I hate reports these days, as a parent the general comment is the only interesting part. A lot of cut and paste goes on.I can't really comment on individual schools or teachers as it is impossible to know how much cutting and pasting they have used. I would speak to his yr 1 teacher fairly early on next term.

tortoiseSHELL Mon 14-Jul-08 12:03:16

I think that if you have concerns then you should ask to speak to the teacher to discuss the report - you can say 'I don't really recognise my boy in this', and then see what the teacher says.

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