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Is it normal for a child to learn nothing in reception?

118 replies

Aloha · 14/06/2007 10:22

Because I don't think my ds has learned anything at all. He doesn't hate it. Most of the time he enjoys it. But I don't think he's learned anything.

OP posts:
bakedpotato · 14/06/2007 10:25

I know from your other posts that DS is very bright. Do you mean that reception has gone too slowly for him, that he is too far out in front?
My DD has learned lots this year...

Enid · 14/06/2007 10:25

Hmmm. He is very bright though aloha. IME it hasnt been until Year 2 (dd1) that they 'do' the kind of school I remember.

Enid · 14/06/2007 10:25

dd1 is not very academic. But she learnt a lot about confidence and sociability during the first 2 years. Proper work seems to have started now in year 2.

LIZS · 14/06/2007 10:28

Depends what you mean , in academic terms possibly not, as he sounded pretty much there already when he started, but in social, personal and physical ways he should. Have you discussed the Foundation Stage Goals with your ds' teacher yet ? It should demonstrate where they think he has progressed across a variety of criteria , many of which have nothing to do with academics.

spykid · 14/06/2007 10:30

not all learning is academic

socialising and learning to love school are just as important in rec imo

foxinsocks · 14/06/2007 10:31

Yes, in terms of actual school work. Would agree with enid about that all starting in yr2. (Think most of YR and Y1 is spent getting them reading and writing).

Both mine learnt loads about friendships, how to handle the playground that sort of thing in reception.

Marina · 14/06/2007 10:31

Ds learned to read and write aloha, but I think your ds already could? I agree with others that more was apparently "learnt" academically in Yrs 1 and 2 but as a grounding for life in full-time education socially and psychologically Reception was key for him.
He has learnt that school is enjoyable, from what you say - that to me is a fabulous outcome and one that not all children achieve

Aloha · 14/06/2007 10:31

I am really just wondering if it is normal. I am concerned that he might be bored or lose his enthusiam. Yes, he could read and do number work when he started (he is also quite old for his year) but I actually suspect in some ways he is doing less, and I don't want to push him at home, especially after tiring day at school. I think he has made some social progress, aside from the normal maturing process that would have happened anyway, which is obviously good, though there have been problems there too.
Will he get the chance to learn more in Year 1, do you think?
What have other children learned? Maybe there is stuff I haven't noticed.

OP posts:
spykid · 14/06/2007 10:33

year 1 will see a more formal curriculum

if your ds is happy to go to school and is talking about it positivley at home I think that is a successful rec year

Aloha · 14/06/2007 10:33

Oh, and whenever I ask about what he is learning, they sort of do a kind of 'ha ha!' at me, as if to say, 'well that's a silly question', and refuse to answer. I am NOT a pushy parent at all, I do nothing with him except read and he goes to a 30minute after school french class once a week, but he seems less interested in learning to me (he is very self-directed, like most kids with Aspergers) and that doesn't feel right.

OP posts:
katelyle · 14/06/2007 10:34

They might learn a bit academically. But they also learn how school works, how to manage a lunch box, how to sit on the carpet, how to deal with lots of different sorts of people, how to sit in boring assemblies, what it's like to be told off by someone who isn't their mom, what it's like if mum's a little bit late to pick them up, how to climb wall bars, what its like if you're naughty and go a bit too far, what to do if someone says thay don't like you, how to deal with not being invited to a party.....the list goes on. Years and years left for academic stuff!

ThomCat · 14/06/2007 10:34

What did he know before?

The most obvious things my DD has learnt are to walk and she has a wider vocab and can now read a few key words without the aid of visual prompts. Those are the obvious things that I see at home. She's probably learnt more than that but it's not so obvious and she can't really tell me. She's learnt about beong in a classroom with others, learnt that bad behaviour can't be tolerated etc.

What was his reading leverl like before and how is it now?
Has he learnt new social skills?

bundle · 14/06/2007 10:35

dd1 has learned a lot this year, in year 2. but i spose she did do lots last year - got to grips with reading (I'd deliberately held off this, only doing eg her name which is v easy to spell before she started when she was 4.5). there's quite a step up in terms eg of learning about history, science etc in yr 2, which might suit ds more aloha

frascati · 14/06/2007 10:35

Well both of my children were good readers by the end of Reception. Could write and do basic number work (sums).
My ds's concentration improved immensely too.

spykid · 14/06/2007 10:35

p[ossibly teachers being a bit defensive???

as a former rec teacher myself, you get used to parents challenging you with....well they say they h=ave only played , playing isnt learning etc......

guessing they may have been used to batting this off???

tortoiseSHELL · 14/06/2007 10:36

I can only speak from ds1. When he started reception he could read a little, and could write his name.


Learned to read fluently, learned to write, including letter formation and building words up phonetically (i.e. working out spellings himself).
Project work on various topics - eg mini beasts, including some literacy, some science, some dance etc etc
Plus lots of play, socialising


Continuation of reading, writing.
Maths - learning times tables, telling the time, manipulation of bigger numbers (35-10, 17+8), they were doing about friction and pulleys this week
Spanish, lots of singing, more project work (sea, homes etc), lots about their community and the international community

Obviously lots more as well - Yr1 did seem to be a big step change away from the play based reception.

popsycal · 14/06/2007 10:36

DS1 is an AUgust birthday and I feel he has learnt a lot. He can now read - knew his letters at the start of reception. Knows lots of words above and beyond the 'key words'. Can do number work. Has leanrt about 'things' eg plant life cycles for example.

But if your ds could do a lot of that before reception then I can see that he may not have....

morningpaper · 14/06/2007 10:37

AAARGH I am terrified of this happened when DD starts school in September (she is October baby too so old in her year)

She is reading a lot already and doing quite complicated maths in her head etc etc (she just picks stuff up)

The thing is that her nursery is really good on "academic" stuff (goes 2 days a week) and has learnt loads there - they have an emphasis on "learning progression" there and say things like "Ooh she's learnt all the basic shapes so her next target is to recognise octagons!" which is fine with me, she loves going that sort of thing.

But the school curriculum is basically nursery rhymes for the first year. Eek. I got a form that said things like "What colours can your child recognise?" Is that NORMAL? How can a child starting school NOT know about colours? It's all making me twitchy.

Aloha · 14/06/2007 10:38

He does have friends now, but then he had a couple of friends at nursery. I am not at all sure that his social skills have really improved. I don't know really. I mean, he's nearly a year older, so there would be some change anyway...
He learned to read at home in a snap, loved it. If you give him a concept, like multiplying hundreds, he gets it. He loves the idea of languages. I suppose I hoped he'd get that sort of thing at school and I think I might have just not understood how little is really done in reception and am struggling a bit with it.
They have gone on some lovely trips!

OP posts:
ThomCat · 14/06/2007 10:38

Each week on a Friday we are given an !A4 sheet which shows what the children will be doing in school the following week.

Then in a box underneath it suggests ways we can support this at home by doing x, y, z.

Solast week they learnt about Plants. So they suggested we go to the park or go round the garden and discuss the leaves, petals, stem and roots with our DC.

The week before was under the sea. So they suggested watching certain films, suggested certain books from the library. Gave us helpful suggestions to do over the weekend.

And so on. If this isn;'t the sort of thing your school have in place perhaps it is something you can suggest either at the next govoners meeting and also direct to youyr DS's head of year etc?

spykid · 14/06/2007 10:38

i also dont know anything of your ds, but maybe he will surge forward more in year one when the learning will be more directional and focused.

LIZS · 14/06/2007 10:38

I don't think that the drive to learn is necessarily constant, nor shodul it be. He may not seem as keen atm but it may simply be his attention is elsewhere and he is developing in another area.

Enid · 14/06/2007 10:39

do your school have a book where they keep examples of your children's work - invaluable IME to see how their handwriting etc has improved.

I'll just mention Year 2 again , dd1 now has recognisable topics, a boon for nerdy mums who can then look out books about the Seashore etc or bore their children for England about Samuel Pepys

spykid · 14/06/2007 10:39

aloha, LOADS is done in rec!!!!! just not all in an overt way that can be produced in results or text books

morningpaper · 14/06/2007 10:40

Ahh am more reassured by some of those last posts!

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