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in wanting to cry at parents evening?

50 replies

onanightlikethis · 07/04/2011 17:51

child in yr 2. at the beginning of year 1 was at level p8 for writing. end of yr 1 moved to level 1b. yr 2 moved to level 1a. now mid yr 2 is at level 1c so HAS GONE BACKWARDS. teacher cant expalin why. he should be somewhere around 2b. she talked about a writing group to help once a week. what else can i expect? i knew he struggled, but to go backwards i'm furious. and upset. what can i do to help? or what should i expect school to do. he goes into yr 3 in sept, with writing at level of yr 1 child. i try to do work at home but hes reluctant and often ends up with tears saying i cant do it.
oh and NQT to boot.

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kenobi · 07/04/2011 18:02

This may not but helpful but.... my little brother did precisely this after having been at the top of his class.
He was tested for, and diagnosed with an extreme case of dyslexia. Despite his high IQ my mum was told that he would never get A-levels let alone go to uni - he did both and is now successful as an adult. But he needed A LOT of help. Will your school support you if you test your child?


noblegiraffe · 07/04/2011 18:03

I don't know what it's like at primary, but teacher-assessed sub-levels at secondary school are mostly made up bollocks. How were the previous levels assessed? Or did the teacher just look at the previous level and say, oh, he got a 1b last year, he must be a 1a now?


MillyR · 07/04/2011 18:05

Are his other levels higher? Writing can often improve later than the other areas. DS didn't get his writing levels up to a reasonable level until secondary school, and it hasn't held him back.


onanightlikethis · 07/04/2011 18:11

other levels 2c 2b for numeracy and reading. is it worth getting him assessed independantly?

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gkys · 07/04/2011 18:31

don't panic, as long as he is trying his best, the more you push the more he will resist, he is 7ish? in my experience little boys are more interested in playing than writting, have you got a distant relative? my boys write to their great aunt every week (initally to help with writting now they love it)
it is offen the case that english suffers as maths improves, not sure why but it happens. don't let him think you are cross with him, i think you are jumping the gun re independant testing, see whet the summer term brings, and then maybe seek advice,


loopy11 · 07/04/2011 18:42

Hi. I'm a Year 2 teacher myself. It seems surprising that your child is an average reader but his writing level is so much lower. If he has the phonic knowledge to be able to read words, it usually follows that children can use this knowledge when writing.
It may be interesting for you to know the marking criteria for a 1c in writing to see if it fits with what you know of your child's work:

  • Simple words or phrases are used to convey meaning.
  • Invents own compositions. Writing may need mediation.
  • Pupils produce recognisable letters, words or symbols to convey meaning.
  • Uses meaningful words and phrases some of which express ideas.
  • May use full stops at random. Starts a piece of writing with a capital letter.
  • Uses phonic knowledge to write simple regular words and write some CVC words correctly, initial letters usually correct and some final letters.
  • Some High Frequency Words spelt correctly.
  • Some commonly used letters are correctly shaped but may be inconsistent in size and orientation. Spacing between words and letters may vary.

If I was you I would go back to the teacher and ask why she has awarded him this level. Any teacher (NQT or not) should be able to justify the levels they give any child in their class. For intance, was it based on a one off piece of writing or on ongoing classroom work?
Hope this is of some help.

toeragsnotriches · 07/04/2011 18:58

Was it the same teacher that gave him the 1a? Sub levels are pretty subjective imo.


iamjustlurking · 07/04/2011 19:16

My son is DC3 and yr2 after 2 girls. He does really well in Maths and well in Reading but his writing is the worst in the class :O. His lovely teacher says once she can translate what he has written he uses very advanced language skills.
His sisters are quite a bit older than him. I have learnt they all find their own strengths in time. I really wouldn't stress.
BTW he had awful report end of yr1 as he teacher just didnt "get" him. Yet Yr2 loves his very dry humour.


cat64 · 07/04/2011 19:20

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

onanightlikethis · 07/04/2011 19:38

different teachers, different levels. was assessed on a bit of both an independant piece and observation.
dont feel like tahnking the school re extra help, which will come at best 3 months after they had realized he was going backwards.
and cat 64, i dont make him do an hour of writing, i ask him maybe to help me write the shopping list or whatever.
he cant do the cursive style, its too big and all loopy.

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clam · 07/04/2011 19:50

The main thing is that you are going to have to work with the school in order to support your DS in moving forward. That's what you all want after all.


ongakgak · 07/04/2011 19:56

Talking underpins good writing. If he is in a withdrawal group to help him with his writing, then it should focus around speaking and Listening, not writing.

This is what i would be going in and asking--

What is the withdrawal program they are using?
How is he assessed before the intervention begins/then ends?
How long will it last?
Who is running it and what are the dynamics of the group?
What are his individual targets within this group, how are they followed-through in class?


onanightlikethis · 07/04/2011 20:03

there is nothing wrong with his speaking and listening, i know that, and his teacher said he has some excellent ideas/vocabulary, but cant transfer to paper. am i wrong to be mad that he has gone backwards?

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onanightlikethis · 07/04/2011 20:05

loopy, i agree with the level thay have put him at, just a bit bemused that he could go backwards.

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cat64 · 07/04/2011 20:05

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

ongakgak · 07/04/2011 20:12

Digbert- children who do not transfer their ideas well into writing need MORE S&L practice not less. they need more opportunities to speak at length, construct stories, exchange ideas. It needs to be very guided and very supported but gains are made. It would not be my recommendation for a child with poor writing with NO SEN issues to have extra S&L activites. I am a Educator, with specialist knowledge in this area.

I wonder if his NQT teacher was over zealous in her assessment initially and over marked him?

If he was to construct a story verbally, record it, then transcribe it. I wonder how his "writing" would be then? Letter formation and syntax is important, but the focus some practitioners have on layout, punctuation and so on is a bit misplaced.


onanightlikethis · 07/04/2011 20:14

its all the aspects, how to spell, punctuation, it goes all over the page. school send homework home on the pc, so that does nothing to help him write (i have asked them to stop this)
his letters are badly formed its almost too cursive! he is reluctant to write, so will write one word answers if he can get away with it.
and i was shocked that it hadnt been mentioned before.

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clam · 07/04/2011 20:14

It's not necessarily that he has gone backwards. It's more likely to be that the initial level was inaccurate, or optimistically based on some pieces of his "best" efforts. Maybe this most recent level is based on his "coasting" abilities. Levelling writing is a very subjective business.


Becaroooo · 07/04/2011 20:18

Perhaps a more ergonomic pen/ ds has one by stabilo and school can provide them too.

My ds (7) also struggles with writing but like yours, has amazing vocab and ideas. His performance does not match his ability.

Is your ds on an IEP? This would give you targeted things to work on with him.


clam · 07/04/2011 20:19

I had a child in my last year's class who was levelled by her previous teacher as being a 4C (year 5). Even in September I could see that that was optimistic to say the least. But I thought I'd wait a bit for her to settle and see if she'd pick up. She didn't, so a couple of us checked a range of her work from the previous year and all agreed she was more likely a 3C. her parents however, had been informed via reports that their DD was a 4C and muggins here had to tell them that she absolutely wasn't. They were, not unreasonably, cross. So it happens.


onanightlikethis · 07/04/2011 20:27

so what happened clam?
not on IEP yet, how bad does it have to be for an IEP?

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onceamai · 07/04/2011 20:28

Get him assessed independently. Is the school doing a rigid and inflexible take on cursive writing that is unsupported by anything you can buy that is interesting or helpful?

My dd was exactly the same - left nursery flying and was coasting by the end of reception. Go with the flow at home if this is the case and exert pressure at school - there has to be a backlash against this soon - just like ridiculous partitioning in Maths.

It does little for their confidence at this stage but if it's any consolation DS suffered to some extent and flew when he went indy at 8. DD struggled and struggled and struggled and barely scraped level 5's at the end of Yr 6. In Y7 where they can write how they want to write she is flying and brought down level 8's after two terms. The sad bit though is that she flunked Putney High and I don't think she would have if it hadn't been for this.

Write to educationalists all over the country - it is a national curriculum inspired idiocy and you would think the teachers in charge of schools would know better and see it for what it is.


clam · 07/04/2011 20:34

Well, the Head said I couldn't officially re-level her lower, nor could I diss the previous teacher to the parents as we'd all look unprofessional. So we had an excruciating conversation where I made a half-hearted attempt to justify why she might have performed better the previous term when it was clear to all of us what the situation was as I'd just sat through a parents' evening where half the parents ranted about the previous teacher! In actual fact, although they were cross (not with me), they did acknowledge that they had wondered about it themselves.
I Blush to think about it now, but I managed to move the conversation on to how we were going to move the child on from then on, regardless of what had previously happened.


onceamai · 07/04/2011 20:40

Clam - what a shame the parents didn't complain. We had a teacher like that at the dc's outstanding school in Y1 - two years later it cost the school an "outstanding" yet several parents had very sensible conversations with the HT but were poo pooed and made to feel as though they were questioning the professionals - they were just too nice and discreet to spell it out in writing. The year eventually was described as in the lowest 5% in the country. Leafy suburb, cofe school, middle class parents, low take up of free school meals. The damage one crap teacher can create and there is no facility budget wise to remove them fast. The DS had an idiot of a maths teacher in the equivalent of Y6 in the independent sector - she was gone in a term.


onanightlikethis · 07/04/2011 20:50

thanks everyone.

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