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What should I expect for ds who is quite ahead of general reception curriculum, what's best practice?

(54 Posts)
themumfromdelmonte Wed 14-Oct-09 22:59:38

It's a naff question I know. I've even name changed for this.

Ds is in reception. He can read at about ORT level 2. He is at about level 6 in reading on the EYFS stage early learning goals, spells stuff, level 8 for numeracy (can add, subtract, count to 200, 1 less than, 2 less than a number and all that)

Writing is about average and not his thing and I don't persuade or push him with that as it's ok.

So other than writing and having a lovely time playing unless there is some form of differentiation he isn't going to learn much new that's academic this year at school. I know he will learn social stuff and general life stuff and how to be at school (although the latter comes naturally to him as he is quite mature according to the staff).
There are no reading books being sent home. Tehy are doing first phonics slowly.
He's having a lovely time playing, isn't bored at all.

Some of you will say that's all that is important. I am not a pushy mum, really I am not. BUT if all children are meant to matter and progress in reception, even if it's via play, how can I ensure my ds progresses too?

What works well at this age in this situation?

Mixing in with year one for some lessons? Differentiation in the classroom (and how can this realistically be done in a way which is more than an extra question for ds and his type - I assume he isn't the only one who is at this level).
Accepting he won't learn much in literacy and numeracy at school?

SolidGhoulBrass Wed 14-Oct-09 23:04:01

I can't offer any help I'm afraid as am in a similar position, so waiting to see what anyone else can come up with...

ChasingSquirrels Wed 14-Oct-09 23:05:15

I would want his writing to improve.

Writing is the one thing that ds1 couldn't do when he went to school, and now (just into yr 2) is something that is still really behind the rest of his abilities and does hold him back.

In reception he did;
-reading: books selected from the yr1/2 class
-phonics etc: went into the yr1/2 class from half term
-numeracy: was going to go into the yr1/2 class but no one else to go with him and decision made that he wouldnt be comfortable (probably correctly).

Generally the teacher should give him work to his ability, but in your position I would monitor it and discuss with the teacher if you feel they aren't.

HuwEdwards Wed 14-Oct-09 23:05:31

Ask his teacher, I expect all schools will deal with progressive learners slightly differently

cat64 Wed 14-Oct-09 23:17:43

Message withdrawn

alwayslookingforanswers Wed 14-Oct-09 23:22:37

not in reception -but DS2 has just gone into YR1 - and it turns out he's a bit of a maths freak.

"Average" (roughly) on everything else but flying miles ahead in his maths.

What they're doing with him - and a few others that are also streets ahead is 2 numeracy lessons a week they're going off with one of the part time teachers to be moved "ahead" and activites are set out during the other 3 numeracy lessons for those children to get on with which are based around what the others are doing, but gives them more freedom to explore/improve their skills in those area.

It wasn't picked up in reception (well I think it may have been, but I didn't push it as I wasn't sure whether he was just "ahead" of his peers because of his interest in it, or whether he was "ahead" because he's good at it).

He coped fine in reception, even though most of the others were still learning the "basics" of numeracy in preperation for YR1.

As Huw has said I'd ask his teacher as I think most schools will tackle it in different ways.

pipWereRabbit Wed 14-Oct-09 23:28:33

Please don't write off Foundation Year as an oppurtunity to learn for your DS. I think that there are probably plenty of other areas in the 13 EYFS Assessment scales where your DS will be able to progress alongside his class mates (and not just in writing). So I'm sure there will be lots of new things for him to learn this year.

Speaking to his teacher woud be a very good place to start, as she should be ensuring that he is being given appropriate goals, even if it means he is starting to do Y1/2 work. You may find that she is taking her time to verify the assessment levels passed to her by his nursery setting. It would be unfair on him if the nursery had been assessing him inaccurately - especially while they are all so small and still settling in to an unfamiliar school set-up.

My DD was given a variety of different tasks and targets to help her progress, and was assessed as being at scale point 9 in all areas (except 'Shape, space and measures' where she was at scale point 8) by the end of Foundation.

The trickier bit seems to be keeping the momentum going as they enter the (slightly) less flexible learning environment in Y1, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed....

cory Thu 15-Oct-09 07:51:55

My experience of Reception is that they learn quite a bit of academic stuff that is not just literacy and numeracy. Academic is so much more than that. Natural sciences, local geography- all that sort of thing. Growing a plant from seed or studying your local environment is no less academic than learning the times table. It isn't just social skills.

piscesmoon Thu 15-Oct-09 08:33:03

I think they will be learning quite a lot that you are unaware of-ask the teacher.

Honeybarbara Thu 15-Oct-09 08:49:50

ORT Level 2 is not exactly advanced!

themumfromdelmonte Thu 15-Oct-09 10:43:48

I'm not saying it is super advanced Honey. His numeracy is probably further ahead than his reading. I'm not claiming he is G&T or a genius but clearly there is a huge gap between what he can do at the moment and what the class is doing (they have done four letter sounds so far) and I don't see why he should wait two terms for them to get to the same level he is at at the moment.

I fully understand that the whole class work will be geared at a general level and not just designed for my ds.

However, as I hope I explained in the OP I think every child should get the opportunity to make progress in most if not all areas at a relevant level.

He will of course learn lots of wonderful stuff about geography and the world around him in reception but if others are doing literacy and numeracy relevant to their stage, I think he should be too.

Anyway I'm probably being defensive and going on a bit.

I will wait and see what the teacher says at parents' eveing (next Monday) as she might have a great plan lined up for next half term onwards and understandably hasn't had chance to tell me about it.

I think the school has been talking generally about mixed year groups for some subjects e.g. the stronger ones in year one joining year two's 'weaker' ones - my language not their's.

The reason for the thread was I wanted to 'educate' myself around what is reasonable and what approaches other schools/ teachers take. Any more info on this is welcome

norfolklass Thu 15-Oct-09 10:59:07

I think it'd probably be a good idea to have a chat with the teacher at the parents evening and see what she has to say.

My DS also started reception in september and is definitely being pushed in terms of what he can do compared to some of the others so I think its entirely reasonable for you to want your school to do the same thing.

For example they are doing the JP and they have the sounds being sent home every week...I would say probably 75% of the class are still on the first 5 sounds but his teacher has worked out he knows them so he has been sent home with nearly all of them now so we are doing OO,SH,TH etc. They also have a word wall on the go as well and DS is now on the 3rd one (with 9 words on each!)...whereas most of the others are still on the first one. We have books as well although not ORT as yet but ones with simple sentences which he is loving reading.

All of this is his teachers doing and in my opinion is exactly what should be happening. My DS is no genius, far from it lol! But he does know some things that some of the others don't as yet so like you I would want him to be being "pushed" as much as the others are being. He also loves school and playing etc but at the same time is really enjoying finding out new things and learning new words etc and I think that enthusiasm should be encouraged!

That probably hasn't helped at all has it!

themumfromdelmonte Thu 15-Oct-09 11:20:50

It has helped Norfolk. It's great to know what other's teachers do so I know what's reasonable to expect.

I have been pretty patient so far this half term and not said anything at all as the school's approach seems to be to simply get them all settled in first so hopefully the teacher won't think I'm unreasonable wanting to gently discuss the plan.

thirdname Thu 15-Oct-09 12:44:20

I'm with cat64! This is reception,never bothered about dc whatever they did as long as they were happy.(both 2 dc are now older and have done numeracy/literacy with higher classes.)

Zoya Thu 15-Oct-09 12:53:11

If you're getting such detailed feedback from the school about what level he's on for various things, then that strongly suggests to me that they know what he's capable of, and will be paying attention to what he needs to do in order to develop. That's way more info than we've ever had, and generally I think our school is very good on communications about how the kids are doing. Presumably one reason they work all that out is precisely to inform their differentiation strategies.

Cortina Thu 15-Oct-09 13:36:18

Out of interest did you do a lot with him pre-school?

Am interested as wonder if I am doing enough with mine. You say he can count and knows numbers to 200, how? Sorry if an obvious question but honestly wonder if I should be doing more with mine.

Zoya Thu 15-Oct-09 13:45:26

Just came back because I meant to pick up on your post of 10:43:48 - geography, science etc are not completely separate from literacy and numeracy. By doing them, his literacy and numeracy will benefit while he is learning about the world. For able kids, this is surely better and more fun than the utter dreariness of the literacy hour-type approach.

themumfromdelmonte Thu 15-Oct-09 14:16:50

Zoya - not had any feedback yet from school as we haven't had parents evening yet. The levels were from me looking at the EYFS goals/ framework as I'm familiar with it from my work (I'm not a teacher though so maybe wrong).

I have had two or three snippets at picking up time about things he'd done which seemed to have impressed the teacher so I'm hoping he has shown her roughly where he's at and I'm sure they have done some informal assessments on them all. Also had an informal chat with the teacher at our home visit but didn't want to go on to her about all ds could do as didn't seem appropriate - teachers need to see things for themselves anyway.

ChasingSquirrels Thu 15-Oct-09 15:38:38

not pushing them because it is only reception is sort of missing the point though, despite the "extra" my ds1 did in reception he was in no way stretched - and DID NOT really enjoy reception (apart from playtime, his fav time of the day) as it did not challenge him at all.
In yr 1 he was in a mixed yr1/2 class and worked mainly with a yr2 group - and just flourished.

Zoya Thu 15-Oct-09 16:37:28

So you worked out all that stuff about levels yourself? It is quite unusual IME to be so preoccupied so early in your child's educational career with a particular set of measures of progress. I'm assuming this is your first child to go into school? you could drive yourself nuts with that stuff, you know. Measuring pigs doesn't make them grow!

If he's happy and having a lovely time playing, he WILL progress, that's how it works. Are you familiar with the huge research base that shows that countries with a play-based curriculum up to age 7 (Nordic countries, e.g.) have better outcomes for achievement of literacy etc than we do, with our focus on formal literacy and numeracy at an early stage? You didn't respond to my point about literacy and numeracy being integrated across the curriculum, and your messages do rather give the impression that you are very focused on the 3Rs as all that matters about early learning. There are lots of ways to skin that particular cat, though.

There is nothing in what you say about the school to indicate that he won't learn much in literacy and numeracy. But there is a lot in your posts that suggests to me that you don't know much about (or perhaps are not much in sympathy with?) the way the school handles Reception. So I really do think it would be helpful to both you and your son if you could talk to them, and try and get your head round what they are doing, how differentiation might work for him etc. For instance, there is so much more to differentiation than an extra question for the bright kids - that is pretty unlikely to be how it works, tbh.

If you want him to progress, though, the best thing you can do is to encourage him outside school - lots of maths of everyday life, reading to him, creating fun situations in which he can practise his writing etc. He'll carry that over into school with him, and everyone will benefit.

jobhuntersrus Thu 15-Oct-09 16:59:02

I really think you need to bear with it a bit. Wait until parents evening and see what the teacher says about how he is getting on rather than making your own assumptions that he is ahead of everyone else. I don't doubt that he is doing very well but in my experience with my own children learning is not a straight line. They make big jumps and then stay constant for a while and then suddenly something clicks and off they go again. I guess I am just saying you have to trust the teacher. NO harm in doing extra bits and pieces at home with him if you want to though.

mrz Thu 15-Oct-09 17:18:25

As a reception teacher he doesn't seem that unusual many children will be on similar levels.
All my class have covered 28 sounds and most of the class know the sounds they have been taught about 10% are spelling and reading and the PSRN (maths) scales are very basic... and I teach in a very deprived area.
To be honest children learn lots more important things in the reception year so I wouldn't worry.

mrz Thu 15-Oct-09 17:20:16

Just noticed you worked out the levels yourself...well done! lots of teachers spend hours soul searching and agonising over the criteria for the scale points.

thirdname Thu 15-Oct-09 18:26:43

well chasingsquirrels, if he/she is BORED in reception and enjoyed things more in year 1 because of more "challenges" fair enough.

DC2 is top in reading but enjoys reading the same baby books as her little sister, but obviously also reads more advanced books.
dc1 definitely misses the playing from earlier years and would happily go back a year (academically he is top).

Just want to say that I think that as long child is happy I don't really care in the early school years

ChasingSquirrels Thu 15-Oct-09 19:25:23

I agree, IF they are happy. And some aren't. I'm not saying all aren't by a long shot, AND it might have been a personality clash with the teacher.

But to say "it is receptio why push them" misses that point, ds1 isn't being pushed he is now being given work which is suitable for him and is getting alot more from it, and would have got more from the same in reception.

But all people are different, and what my ds1 needed isn't what another child needs.

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