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Could you help me to get a grip re my expectations from primay school ? (Sorry very long)

(50 Posts)
Pitchounette Fri 15-May-09 10:31:04

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Pitchounette Fri 15-May-09 10:32:37

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smee Fri 15-May-09 10:58:44

Does he like being there - ie socialise, have friends, etc? That's as important as learning in terms of future educational success at this stage. Also there could be other reasons for him not progressing. For example could it be that he's worried he'll fail? I know my DS doesn't try sometimes because he's worried he'll get it wrong - he would never ever admit that though, so tells me it's boring instead. Also when my son says he's bored by school, I think it's often because he's not the centre of attention all the time. I don't have a problem with that, as I think it's important for him to learn to be part of a group and I know he's getting lots of positive attention from very good teachers. It is a balance though, so you need to investigate. Talk to the teacher and mention your concerns. Also yr 1's not far away and is more work based, so he might like that better.

smee Fri 15-May-09 11:00:32

Forgot to say, but is he an Autumn baby? If so he might well be genuinely bored, as the teachers tend to try and get summer babies up to speed, so Autumn births who've already reached a certain level can be ignored a bit. It shouldn't happen, but it does in some schools.

Pitchounette Fri 15-May-09 11:37:24

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Pitchounette Fri 15-May-09 16:02:59

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Hulababy Fri 15-May-09 16:28:06

Don't forget that Foundation stage, which is what Reception still is, is all about learning through play. They are not supposed to be doing the whole sit down and learn like this stuff.

However it is fair to say that whereever possible teachers should try to challenge.

Not everything your child encounters in school may be interesting to him. Some topics int he NC may not "float his boat" but he will need o develop strategies to become engaged with them, and to take a bit more time with them. Interesting and challenging are very different things often.

Our school gives children stars and wishes for their work. A star comment says what the teacher really likes about the work. The wish is what the child could do next time to make it even better. The wish will depend on each individual child and the topic/tye of work being done. Does your DS's school give similar types of work assessment?

A lot fo children do go through stages of plateau, esp in the early years of education. This is quite norml, but it normally picks up again soon after.

smee Fri 15-May-09 16:38:45

If he's a September birthday it makes more sense that he's bored, as he's almost a year older than some of the other children and that's a huge gap at this age. Still though as Hulababy says, there's lots about the Foundation Stage that isn't about the more traditional learning goals. Is he fitting in and happy with friends, as that's as important in many ways.

Pitchounette Fri 15-May-09 16:55:19

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Pitchounette Fri 15-May-09 16:56:25

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posieparker Fri 15-May-09 17:02:06

I think the school should have the answer really and should know which buttons to press to inspire and excite him.

Hulababy Fri 15-May-09 17:02:29

I didn't really mean formal assessment as such, more comments (verbal or written) on things he has done.

Sounds like he is getting a lot of praise, which is very good - essential infact at this stage of education. Does he have targets to work on - such as learning such and such a sound in phonics, or learning xx in maths?

Pitchounette Fri 15-May-09 17:03:47

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Pitchounette Fri 15-May-09 17:05:53

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Hulababy Fri 15-May-09 17:10:42

I guess the next step is to talk to the teacher about giving your DS specific targets, say in literacy and numeracy, to work towards. He will probably start having these from Y1 anyway. I would also see if they can look at how he can apply himself mor with the activity tables things you talk about - can they give the children a target (a WALT - what we are learning today, or a WILF - what I am looking for) of what they should be looking to achieve from the table activities. This might help your DS focus more of the details that you say he is happy, at present, to skim over.

Children are often quite negative about their own work. They can be ther biggest critics in the classroom. I wouldn't worry too much about that. They gradually learn to look for their own stars/wishes type comments (or whatever words your school uses). We do a lot fof work with Y1 on looking for the best things in their work, to get them to give themselves positive feedback because of the negativity children can have over their won work. We really push the feeling proud of their own work bit.

ahundredtimes Fri 15-May-09 17:14:34

I don't interpret what she says as 'he doesn't apply himself' to be honest, well not in the way you mean it. I don't think it means he's never going to learn the value of hard work, or the thrill of discovering something new. He's very young still, he probably isn't even aware that he's learning iyswim. Not at this age, especially if things come easily to him.

I'd take it at face value I think. He does what's expected of him, the immediate challenge, and then moves on without thinking it through any more or being all that curious about what he's presented with.

I think smee's bored / attention comment is a good one. I wish someone had pointed that out to me when ds1 was in reception.

I'd hold out until year one, make sure he has loads of fun and interesting things to do at home, encourage his friendships and sense of fun, enjoyment of school which isn't based around work.

ahundredtimes Fri 15-May-09 17:15:37

And I definitely emphasize all the things I just said as I see you've got a perfectionist on your hands. grin

Pitchounette Fri 15-May-09 17:20:39

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Hulababy Fri 15-May-09 17:30:58

I think that is where the whole stars/wishes can work. You could do things like that at home with your DS to see if it works. If it does, suggest it at school.


Star: I really like the way you have used the sh and th sounds corrently in your writing.

Wish: Do remember to leave spaces between your words to make it easier to read.


Star: You did really well at sorting the action pictures into push or pull

Wish: Do make sure you label your pictures clearly underneath

Pitchounette Fri 15-May-09 17:32:06

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Pitchounette Fri 15-May-09 17:36:27

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ahundredtimes Fri 15-May-09 17:37:58

He probably finds the praising insincere or patronising. My ds1 was like that. So was ds2. Actually ds2 had a real downer on his foundation teachers in that respect, in other respects he loved them. dd actually did a brilliant impression for me of a prospective head teacher who came to take an assembly at her infants school, she sort of clapped her hands and bent down and said very fakely and cornily 'ooooh children, you do know lats and lats.' Was v. funny and insightful, I knew exactly what she meant.

ahundredtimes Fri 15-May-09 17:39:32

I don't think you have to do anything tbh. I think you might be over-worrying on the work front. I really don't think it will mean that he is sent the wrong signals about what is expected at school. I think he'll like moving up to year one though.

Hulababy Fri 15-May-09 18:26:14

Pitchounette - I see it more as a joint effort. Both of you working together to find out what best works for your child. I have always been happy to discuss ideas with parents, when I was teaching. Still am when parents talk to me in my role as a TA.

Pitchounette Fri 15-May-09 18:30:59

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