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I think my son is going to be labelled as failing, from now on in. What to do.

(49 Posts)
LucyMinter Fri 10-Jul-09 17:36:04

Ok, I never really understood the whole SATS thing, and I'm not even sure if they do it in yr1. But we've just had ds's report and it seems he is way behind, below average, just as he was in January or whenever we last had a PT meeting.

I don't understand. He has always, I mean always been really advanced - walking, talking, creating amazing things from a very early age - everyone commented on his huge vocabulary (not showing off, just so confused - so I have to give some background) but suddenly here we are in yr1 and he's got these 'grades' which label him as being very far below average sad

It is upsetting for me not because I want him to be super-academic-achievement boy, or better than the rest of the kids, but because he is really smart and bright and I am terrified he is going to get labelled as a failure. He's not good academically - he has huge problems writing and reading, but has improved loads recently. His dad is dyslexic and I've been asking them about this for over a year, but the answer is 'Oh we don't consider that till yr 2' - so great, he might have an actual learning disability and they expect him/me to take these grades and not be at all, well, disheartened?

It makes me angry. It's almost like grading someone who can't see very well on their eyesight. I've not told ds about his grades and don't plan to. But what eejit created this system and who exactly does it benefit? More to the point what can I do?

BoysAreLikeDogs Fri 10-Jul-09 17:39:40

Is he in yr 1 or 2 ?

An eye test and a hearing test might find a problem that is non-obvious to you

LucyMinter Fri 10-Jul-09 17:41:21

Thanks BALD - yr1, just finishing it.

He had perfect hearing/eyesight test a couple of years back before reception. I suspect it's dyslexia - he has a lot of the markers. Why they can't see this I do not know.

LucyMinter Fri 10-Jul-09 17:42:07

Or do you reckon maybe things could have deteriorated, in this time since his last tests? I hadn't thought of that.

mrz Fri 10-Jul-09 17:42:09

They don't do SATs in Y1 so it will be teacher assessment against National Curriculum levels.
The standard response is children can't really be tested for dyslexia (SPLD) until they are 7 (basically looking for a child 2 years behind their age).

Northernlurker Fri 10-Jul-09 17:42:30

They don't do SATS in year 1 - sounds like they've done some form of internal testing though. You are absolutely right not to tell him - why discourage him at this young age? hmm

I think you've most likely got issues with the school. You need to get in there and ask them:

What they will be doing starting in September to address the question of dyslexia?

What you can do to support him over the summer and continue the momentum?

What they will do to encourage and support him to continue to improve in reading etc from the first day of next term?

When can you meet with them next to discuss progress - I would have thought 1/2 term or before!

If you're not happy with the answers then move up a level of management till you are happy. This isn't your fault, it isn't their fault, it isn't his fault - you've just all got to work as a team so he can get the most from school.

Curiousmama Fri 10-Jul-09 17:43:00

The dyslexia rings alarm bells for me. Is there an online society who can help? Sorry about this labelling I think it's awful to do this to someone so young. DS2 isn't as bright as ds1 and was labelled too but in YR3 has come on leaps and bounds.

onebatmother Fri 10-Jul-09 17:43:00

Lucy, that is very painful - poor ds, poor you. In a rush so can't offer much and don't have any experience of dyslexia, but it sounds as though the school is being totally arse. If he's going into yr 2 next year, I'd make an appointment now with the head to put your concerns to her about the disjunct between 'actual' ds, and his report, and get a commitment to some investigation as SOON as next year begins.

good luck my dear.

LucyMinter Fri 10-Jul-09 17:43:01

Really? So it isn't just ds's school. He has to wait another year struggling then, Oh poo.

I wish there was something I could do.

LucyMinter Fri 10-Jul-09 17:43:23

Sorry x posts. Will read!!

BoysAreLikeDogs Fri 10-Jul-09 17:45:31

yy am thinking of a deterioration

how does one go about getting an assessment? Is it via Dr or through SENCo at school?

Perhaps someone can advise?

Also, Lucy, how are his motor skills?

LucyMinter Fri 10-Jul-09 17:47:50

Thankyou for being so kind, Onebat, Northern, Curious and Mrz.

I'm not too concerned that he catch up, as it were, or anything, but the fact he's being judged so unfairly when he;s really really bright and great at loads of things - just not the ones they want.

The HT hates me already but will have a word with his teacher as she is a bit better.

I find it all so pointless. They get him there, do all this stuff, make him try as fucking hard as he can and then say 'sorry mate youre just a bit crap' - and short of going down a year, it's not likely to get any better is it - unless like yours Curious, he suddenly picks up. I just remember the less bright kids at my primary staying disadvantaged right the way through.

Sorry will pick myself up in a bit and do something about it. just needed to be miserab;e for a moment. smile

LucyMinter Fri 10-Jul-09 17:49:41

Boys his motor skills are Ok - fine are great, gross not so - he's a bit clumsy and can't ride his bike yet.

He builds intricate little circuits and models all the time, lots of fab lego stuff, creative all the time. Little delicate drawings and so on. He was holding a pencil correctly when he was two. (apparently!)

But big stuff is hard for him.

mrz Fri 10-Jul-09 17:50:30

Do you know how he is being taught ...what reading scheme they use?

BoysAreLikeDogs Fri 10-Jul-09 17:50:45

he sounds so lovely Lucy smile

LucyMinter Fri 10-Jul-09 17:52:17

<weeps> Thanks Boys

It's ORT I think. Biff, chip, kipper etc.

LucyMinter Fri 10-Jul-09 17:55:30

That is he ahs several books at a time, but one is usually this scheme. He is on 4a. I don't know how bad that is really.

ShannaraTiger Fri 10-Jul-09 17:57:01

Lucy I would try and have a word with the SENCO before the end of term. Their are loads of websites and books on dyslexia that offer loads of advice and support.
Good luck, hope your sons school has a good SENCO.

LucyMinter Fri 10-Jul-09 18:01:48

Ok I will do that then, I know her as a sort of ex neighbour and she is lovely but completely bonkers smile

We also have a family friend who does one to one tuition with dyslexic kids so have left her a message - hopefully can get some more info.

Thanks for all your support and ideas.

smartiejake Fri 10-Jul-09 18:03:38

Level 4 ORT doesn't sound that awful for the end of year 1 TBH.What level do they say he has achieved?

If you are concerned about dyslexia and can afford it I would take him to be assessed at your local dyslexia institute (google it and I'm sure you will find the one closest to you.)
One of my friends had her son assessed at the end of year 1 so I know they will see kids that young- it's schools who are always reluctant.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 10-Jul-09 18:09:45

He might just be a 'late developer' you know.

I thought DD might be dyslexic in yr1. not much better in yr 2. then suddenly in yr3 - whoomph. DH wasn't suprised, he'd been the same.

No harm in talking to your friend, but yr1 is very young... some continental kids won't even have begun proper school by this age.

LucyMinter Fri 10-Jul-09 18:11:58

No looking at the expected levels it seems to be just a bit behind, so that's confusing...

they said he has made 'steady progress' in both, with several good bits like 'much improved blending' but other stuff such as he can't do digraphs.

It says they think his literacy is 'about to take off' but I'm not sure what that means.

It's all 1bs and 1cs.

Smartie why do you reckon schools don't want to assess for dyslexia? I'd have thought it ould be in their best interest but I might be wrong.

LucyMinter Fri 10-Jul-09 18:13:35

Thankyou Grimma - there's hope then! But tbh it makes me feel awful for the other kids being marked down as well. It's not just about him - it's the whole divisive system really. I was lucky at primary - usually ahead of the others, but I was the eldest too. It seems so unfair and unnecessary.

InTheseShoes Fri 10-Jul-09 18:28:01

Hello Lucy
I've taught Y1,3 and 4, and have "followed" a cohort of children through those years (ie had a class in Y1, then again in Y3 and the other class in that year in Y4) and what I can tell you is that children progress at astonishingly different rates, and for one or two, evenY4 has seen a sudden startling change in them. The children who are the "bright" ones in Y1 are not necc the "bright" ones by Y3 and 4 and vice versa. Boys in particular can take their time progressing, and if he is a summer birth that can be an issue at this stage also.

However, I can understand your concerns given his Dad's dyslexia, I am the SENCO at my school, and I do understand why they don't assess at Y1 - it would be almost impossible to differentiate between dyslexia and youth. A couple of things you could do are to see if putting coloured plastic folders over books helps him read better, and write in colored pens for him. I wouldn't say 1b is bad at this stage at all, the government aim for SATS in 2b at the end of Y2 and a level in a year is not unachievable. Again, this depends upon what value you place on SATS as an indicator- really they are a reflection on the school, not the child. If he isn't improving, they will want to do something as it's in the school's best interests to improve their SATS levels, so I can't see them just ignoring him if he doesn't progress.

Although I understand what people are saying about going in now and speaking to SENCO etc, I wonder if it might be better in September - this is a horrendous time in schools, and staff are frazzled and exhausted - you might find that after summer might be better, but that's entirely up to you. We use an NFER dyslexia screener test on children we suspect have tendencies towards dyslexia, and I have used that on Y2 children as it is age appropriate.

Is he on an IEP? Has he done something like ELS (Literacy Support Programme) It sounds like these could be something that you could ask about too.

He sounds smashing by the way grin

LucyMinter Fri 10-Jul-09 18:39:59

Thankyou for posting all that, InTheseShoes, it really is very helpful.

He's not had any kind of one to one or special help, afaik. I've asked about it before and they just said they are all helped in the classroom.

I didn't know he could have an IEP at this stage - how would I go about getting that done? (when you have a moment, sorry!)smile

I'm glad level 4 isn't too bad.
I will try the coloured plastic thing and the pens and see if it makes any odds.

Thanks again - he is a smashing boy smile

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