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Anyone got a small dc who are capable of far more than they let on at school - not pfb btw!

(16 Posts)
Orinoco Fri 10-Oct-08 21:40:57

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singersgirl Fri 10-Oct-08 21:56:39

Are you worried that she won't get extension work that would benefit her? Is she unhappy or bored?

Maybe the tests they gave her didn't give her a chance to show what she can do. Maybe she's not interested yet. Many school tests are quite limited and don't allow a child to demonstrate a wider intelligence or general knowledge.

DS2, now in Y3, is a little like your DD, in that he's confident he's 'clever' (his word), so why does it matter if his teacher knows it? He used to have a kind of "Well, duh, I've known that for ages, so why would I bother to write it down?" attitude. We had to point out to his Y1 teacher that he would never show what he could do if he wasn't forced or challenged. He's become a bit more switched on as he's got older and a bit more willing to demonstrate what he knows.

Orinoco Fri 10-Oct-08 22:08:43

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MollieO Fri 10-Oct-08 22:09:13

I've had this issue with my ds. Does heaps more at home, easily, than he does at school or gets for homework. He was assessed as working at a level significantly below his ability even though the school had an accurate profile from his nursery. I assume they have to see it for themselves.

He also had behaviour issues at school which were completely out of character for him. He slowly seems to be settling so I hope it will change. In the meantime we do more interesting work at home and I don't force him to do his homework - he will only do it if he thinks I'm not looking!

I'm hoping it is just a phase that he will grow out of.

singersgirl Fri 10-Oct-08 22:16:20

We had that all the time in Y1, Orinoco. He would say that he wasn't learning anything, that he knew it all already. It wasn't strictly true - his maths wasn't all that great, but he understood the concept of the maths they were doing and just couldn't be bothered with the nitty-gritty of arithmetic. His favourite subject was Circle Time.

It's really hard to talk about to the school if she's not demonstrating it. Is there anything that she will show eg reading or spelling? DS2 was always a fab reader so the school cottoned on to the fact that he was quite able. Does she write little stories at home or anything you could show?

Y2 was much, much better, but that's not a great deal of help to you now.

singersgirl Fri 10-Oct-08 22:20:06

In fact I started this thread about it back then.

Orinoco Fri 10-Oct-08 22:28:52

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singersgirl Fri 10-Oct-08 23:14:52

Do you think inspectors would really do that? hmm As long as she could do the harder work, what would it matter what the assessments said? Surely the inspectors must realise that not all little children co-operate.

It's really tough; I remember worrying a lot about it. Maturity is what's helped DS2. His Y2 teacher said at the start of that year that sometimes he just wouldn't do something if he didn't want to; I think that's much less of an issue now.

I'm sure teachers are, understandably, slightly cynical about parents saying that their child can do more than they're showing; it's very frustrating when you know it's true, however.

roisin Sat 11-Oct-08 08:53:00

ds2 was exactly like this in yr1 - annoyingly so. He never put his hand up to answer questions, and if he knew he could easily do the work set he would hardly attempt it and would generally muck about and get into lots of trouble.

The teacher (not terribly bright herself, bless) thought he was just very weak ability-wise and that the report from reception was completely wrong!

We had endless chats with teacher and spoke to him at length about the fact that he knew he could do it because it was in his brain, but the teacher could not see into his brain, and he had to do the work/answer the questions to prove to her that he could do it.

We also agreed with the teacher to put him on a report book after Christmas, so she would write in it every day if he'd been good and if he'd worked hard - mainly focusing on the positive, but with space to report the negative if necessary.

This approach worked very well for us/him and he started demonstrating his potential at school. By Easter the teacher was saying to us "Do you know, he's very bright you know? I only just noticed how clever he is. He's really come on this year, as he was really struggling in the Autumn term." Bless her!

foxinsocks Sat 11-Oct-08 09:28:40

wow it's funny reading old threads like that isn't it <waves at singersgirl - how is ds now>

dd now in yr4 and still incredibly dreamy - I think some children are just like this. She didn't have a great yr3 but yr4 seems to be shaping up ok.

We don't have the same issues ornioco but I don't think there is much you can do. What I have noticed is that some teachers just seem to understand certain types of children (like the underachievers, the dreamers, the feisty) better than others and the good years at school for my two have coincided with them having teachers who seemed to have got the measure of them (iyswim!).

Also yr1 a difficult year as the ability range is still v large (so you have v capable readers and children who are still not reading and non writers and fluent writers, I would say not necessarily anything to do with intellect) so the teachers seem to focus on getting the basics right (as they should). You may find yr2 is more to her liking.

singersgirl Sat 11-Oct-08 10:51:42

Hi Foxinsocks! I remembered the thread when Orinoco said her DD2 said she hated school and wasn't learning anything, but couldn't remember what was on it. The not bothering with easy work that Roisin's DS2 did was very true of my DS2 at that age, too. I think you're right about Y1 - there is such a vast gulf between different children's reading and writing capabilities at the start of the year.By Y2 most of the children are reading and writing, and a lot more of them are reading and writing well, so the teaching can become more interesting.

DS2 had a really good Y2 with a very experienced teacher who understood him and just started off the first parents' evening by saying "Obviously he's very bright". At the end of Y2 I asked him if he liked school one day and he replied "Of course, I love it!" He still says he knows a lot of what they do at school, but I suspect that's more to do with his vast unhidebound intellectual arrogance than with reality. Waiting to see about Y3 - he has an NQT this year, so I hope she gets his measure.

DS1 is more dreamy, perhaps more like your DD, and he 'woke up' a lot in Y4 and Y5 (your DD is an August b/d too, isn't she?), particularly in maths. Now in Y6 he's doing really well, I think. Still unpredictable and a bit eccentric, but that is what makes him charming.

hatwoman Sat 11-Oct-08 11:11:51

we've had this. (hope we aren;t going to get flaming types - I'm just being honest...deep breath) dd is a bright little thing. my mum, a teacher, was stunned by what she could do maths-wise at a very young age. but she's a quiet thing, doesn;t put her hand up much, not one to do show and tell, always complained (to me not school - she wouldn;t dare) about being bored - couldn;t see the point of doing 10 easy sums after she'd done the first 2 or 3. I kept saying to her that unless she showed the teacher she could do them the teacher had no way of knowing and wouldn;t give her harder stuff. for a couple of years it didn;t really work, and we muddled along. we had one teacher who hardly ever said anything about her abilities - just kept saying that she needed to praticipate more in class, to the point where it really riled me that she only picked up on this one negative and said hardly anything positive, which made me cross - because I think she had a slightly one-size-fits-all approach. in year 3 she had a teacher who got the size of her a bit better and saw the positives in being quiet, and just seemed to be a great teacher who dd adored. now in year 4 she's doing well - lovely comments in her work books, lots of what our school calls "fast track" work.

the conclusion I;ve come to is, that assuming you don;t want to pack your child off to university aged 14, you just want them to enjoy school, enjoy learning, and acheive well then I think you have to take a long-term view. I don;t think it matters if their year 2 teacher doesn't get the size of them and thinks they're average when they're not, they;ll have goodness knows how many teachers over the years, goodness knows how mnay subjects to study (one will grab them); parental support at home - museum trips, books, walks in the countryside spotting wildflowers, whatever it is you do. they'll be fine. they'll find their levels, it will all work its way out in teh wash. unless you have serious behaviour issues and need to nip something in the bud I honestly think you can support them at home, talk to teh teachers, and let them find their own feet. they're still an awfully long way away from adulthood...there's plenty of time. all, of course, imvho, and based largely on dd smile

hatwoman Sat 11-Oct-08 11:15:38

smile at roisin. one of our battles was "jottings". not sure if this is a standard term but it's where the child is meant to show how they worked out sums - using little diagrams. the same teacher who harled on about dd being quiet used to go on and on about her not doing jotings. dd just got incredibly cross (again, not to the teacher, but to us at home). she could do it in her head, what on earth was the point of doing a jotting. that's a battle we never won, but it never really mattered...

Orinoco Sat 11-Oct-08 16:06:51

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foxinsocks Sun 12-Oct-08 18:32:34

oh that's hard orinoco, if she has the same teacher throughout the whole of infants. If that's the case, I'd be tempted to see if you think it's persisting next year and then maybe say something but I'd certainly wait till year 2 as she's still quite little.

foxinsocks Sun 12-Oct-08 18:33:27

(also, let her do stuff to her own ability at home, like reading books she wants to read....)

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