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Are most primary schools crap with kids who are not very academic ??

(32 Posts)
NervousNutty Fri 11-Sep-09 19:27:01

I was discussing this with my mum today, as Ds(6) hates school and is behind with various things.

His school has a reputation for not giving a toss about these kids and only being interested in the ones that are capable of doing really well, and so far i'd have to say they are living up to that rep.

We had a detailed newsletter thing last week about what changes and improvements were going to be made in each area. There were several areas listed, inc gifted and talented but nothing listed for SN or those who are struggling.

My mum said that as far as she can remember schools have always favoured the bright kids and mostly left the not so bright kids to it.

The school has served both of my dd's very well, but then both are bright, eager and love learning. Ds is bright and eager in his own way but doesn't seem to fit the schools mould.

hercules1 Fri 11-Sep-09 19:29:24

No, not at all. Teachers I know work very hard to help less able pupils probably far more so than more academic ones.

LyraSilvertongue Fri 11-Sep-09 19:29:27

Our school does everything it can to help those who are struggling. There are lots of support workers and special groups that the struggling can go to (during lesson time) to help them catch up.

NervousNutty Fri 11-Sep-09 19:34:37

Yes ds has extra support, but I had to insist on it and I am not sure they always stick to the agreement either.

I was considering changing his school, but my mu said in her opinion it would be the same anywhere.
Obviously she is basing this on when we were at school, but it made me wonder if she was right.

Podrick Fri 11-Sep-09 19:37:36

There is not enough budget to support all the kids who are struggling at our primary, and the value system is based around ability at maths and at english - nothing else is particularly valued. Makes me angry

seeker Fri 11-Sep-09 19:39:47

If that's what's happening - in real life, not in hearsay-land, then maybe you need to think about a different school. But I would talk to your dc's teacher first.

NervousNutty Fri 11-Sep-09 19:43:48

Well I have ds's IEP review at the end of October and it is a new Senco who I know well as she taught all 3 of my dc in reception.

I will see what she thinks and what her plan is for ds first I think.

My worry is that Ds will not cope in yr 3 when the workload and level of work increases. I know thats another year away but it has always been a concern.

All of ds's teachers love him as he is funny, but what happens when he gets a teacher that doesn't think he is funny.

mrz Fri 11-Sep-09 19:47:11

No!
We pride ourselves that all children are supported to reach their potential and have a very good reputation for working with SEN children.

piscesmoon Fri 11-Sep-09 19:49:16

Absolutely not! The school was fantastic with my dyslexic DS. If they are not supporting all DCs to reach their potential you should change schools.

Podrick Fri 11-Sep-09 19:50:42

What dyslexia provision did your school provide? mine is crap {sad]

piscesmoon Fri 11-Sep-09 19:55:44

He should have an IEP Podrick-to be reviewed half termly. Mine had a lot of one to one work and small group work.

cory Fri 11-Sep-09 20:33:50

Ds has had lots of extra support and I am very pleased with it. Absolutely no sense that he is less highly valued because he is not academic.

(admittedly, dd had problems at the same school, but that was under a different head, and dd is highly academic, so nothing to do with that)

If the school has not detailed any changes made to its SN provision, could it be because that was already deemed good and it was in other areas that changes needed to be made?

Goblinchild Fri 11-Sep-09 21:12:02

Check their last OFSTED report, SN is one of the areas looked at. Ask to see their policy on SN
I agree with seeker (yet again) in that if you are unsure, you should be asking the school rather than relying on hearsay not backed up with evidence of a non-anecdotal nature.
We put time and effort into every child as an individual in my school, and we're by no means exceptional.

NervousNutty Fri 11-Sep-09 21:16:04

I don't think so Cory unfortunatly. We have just had a new headteacher and she is giving everyone the impression that she thinks the schol wasn't being run properly under the old head.

Plus when I say that there was a list, I meant that the list included every other area of schooling, even if it only had a tiny comment next to it and nothing to improve.

I will check their ofsted report but i think it is quite old as they are due to be checkd this year.

It may be that this new head will shake things up a bit and children that need extra help will be identified quicker and given help, but if that were the case I think she would have included it on her list.

cory Fri 11-Sep-09 21:34:24

Shame if it isn't the case, Nutty, but I would say that ime most schools do try hard to include children with learning difficulties and lower academic abilities, so I don't think it's the norm.

jennifersofia Fri 11-Sep-09 22:22:28

No, definitely not. We were criticized in our last Ofsted for not catering to our high ability children enough.

1dilemma Sat 12-Sep-09 13:06:26

I'd agree with most other people on here and say it is exactly the opposite.
But TBH my experience is fairly limited!

ICANDOTHAT Sat 12-Sep-09 13:34:49

Nervous It's not in the schools interest to concentrate on the bright kids. They will achieve, probably no matter what. However, the little ones who struggle (my ds included) will get more attention to help bring them 'up to scratch'. When they sit their SATs in yr2 their aim is to have all the kids at the right level and the only way to do this is to help the 'strugglers'. I know lots of teachers and they are truly committed to helping kids who find it tough and get real pleasure out of their achievements.

Clary Sun 13-Sep-09 00:30:18

No nutty, this is not my experience.

The schools my DC attend are in a middle-class area and a lot of the children achieve well - but I have seen lots and lots of effort made (eg small groups taken out, special work set, IEPs carefully monitored, small sets for lit and num for least able) for those who achieve less well.

I would expect most children to want to help the strugglers achieve a certain level tbh.

piscesmoon Sun 13-Sep-09 06:44:26

'Nervous It's not in the schools interest to concentrate on the bright kids'

It shouldn't be a question of the 'school's interest' (this is why I hate league tables)-all that matters is in the child's interests, and the school should be getting the very best from the child whatever their abilities.

elliepac Sun 13-Sep-09 07:33:10

Not in my experience. DS's school were so consious of SEN that they gave him an IEP in nursey at the grand old age of 3!!!!

I was a little shocked at the time because he was so young (late august born). They kept him on it until about 2/3 of he way through Year 1. He has had extra intervention by way of small group work and extra help in class. I was always quite sure that one of the main reasons he seemed behind was because he was a year younger than some in his class and, voila, by the time we got to the end of Year 1 he had caught up and was taken off it.

ICANDOTHAT Sun 13-Sep-09 13:51:03

Piscesmoon Yeah, I agree, it shouldn't be a case of that at all, but I think my comment has an element of truth based on reality. Most teachers I talk to feel under considerable pressure to ensure the under achievers are bought up to scratch iyswim. I didn't mean that they didn't want to help bright kids too, just that their ability to teach effectively is reported in league tables taken from SAT results. Personally, I think it's pretty shite to expect teachers to constantly assess, complete miles of paperwork, plan lessons, mark work and present lessons - how the hell do they get it all done?

piscesmoon Sun 13-Sep-09 19:08:11

They get it done by doing an hours work outside the classroom for every hour in the classroom!
Of course schools look to the league tables-if they have got DCs who are just below a level 4 they are going to put the extra effort in to get to that level. I think that the tables should be abolished-all DCs needs should come first.

ICANDOTHAT Sun 13-Sep-09 19:48:45

Totally agree .... but what to do? Until SATs are abolished, 'target teaching' will be a massive influence of both the curriculum and teaching. If I feel this frustrated about it, imagine how any good teacher must feel. Makes me want to grab my kids and run sad

piscesmoon Sun 13-Sep-09 22:25:36

Hopefully SATs will be abolished and we can get away from teaching to the test and get on with educating the DCs!

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