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Is this a normal thing to happen in Reception? (disruptive boy given extra attention) long-ish post

344 replies

imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 21:49

I'm going to try to get this in a nutshell but it's quite complicated.

Dd's in Reception with a little boy, I'll call him 'Z' just to make things briefer. Z is a reasonably high achieving boy, he's in the 'top' group at the moment along with dd and 4 other girls, all at roughly the same level (I do parent reading with them once a week so I'm fairly confident about this). Z is an extremely disruptive boy despite being very bright, he's taken up to the Headmaster many times, sent into the 'buddy room', up and down the behaviour ladder. He does some pretty unpleasant things like telling the Muslim girl in the same group that all Muslims are going to go to Hell, telling a physically disabled boy that his built up shoes look 'stupid' and that because he's in a wheelchair he's going to die early. The list is as long as my arm. Dd's always coming home with new tales and Z's frequently the topic of upset for many of the mums whose kids have been physically hurt by him.

So he's a difficult character. The teacher has been giving him one-on-one time for 30 minutes after lunch to 'extend' his literacy and numeracy, a luxury that none of the other children get. Dd, for instance, has had one-on-one reading time with the teacher only once since starting in September when her parent reader was off sick. Z's mum says this is because his behaviour is so bad because he's not challenged enough and he 'plays tricks on people' when he's bored. She believes he's extremely gifted and the school isn't meeting the challenge of his intellect. She has frequent meetings with the teacher to discuss what they can do to give him more yet so far I don't see any change in his behaviour at all.

I, and a number of other mums, are beginning to feel a bit miffed that he gets so much attention when his behaviour is so appalling and that our own children get so little in comparison and I wondered if the teacher's decision to give him this extra tuition was a typical move with a disruptive but bright child. And if so, is it known to work?

I've been wondering whether to see the headmaster about the situation, especially given that dd's parent reader has been away for the last 2 weeks so dd hasn't read to anybody at all for 3 weeks now apart from the group guided reading sessions she does once a week. It seems unfair that the teacher can find 30 minutes once a day for one child and leave others with no time at all for weeks on end.

From what I can gather this is the teacher's first class as she's only just qualified as a teacher.

What would you do? Grin and bear it or go and speak to someone?

Z's mum is very 'pushy', she turns a blind eye to his behaviour problems and is genuinely convinced that it's the school's fault for not keeping him challenged. She said to me the other day that she 'doesn't rate' the teacher. I mentioned that she's getting quite a good deal, especially when there are some children who barely speak English (I listen to the lowest achieving group read and I really feel they could do with the teacher's direction rather than my completely unqualified one) who get no time with the teacher.

It seems to me to be a rather sad condition of our times that the worst behaved child gets the best and the quieter ones who are just getting on with school and doing their best are penalised.

Help me put this in perspective? I've made an appointment to see the teacher next Wednesday and I'd like to go in and say everything in a fair but clear way.

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ingles2 · 09/02/2008 21:55

This is a difficult one, and probably one I'd keep well out of unless you are absolutely sure of the facts. Are you sure he's getting extra help to extend his literacy etc and not to assess him for SN's? If I were you, I'd probably go and speak to the head and just mention what you're not happy about with your own dd, ie no reading for 3 weeks

cat64 · 09/02/2008 22:08

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

DrNortherner · 09/02/2008 22:13

So you resent the fact that thsi boy has 30 mins individual time a day with his teacher?

Jeez, I'm glad your kid is not in my ds's class.

And I would be very suprised if it is to extend his literacy or numeracy. Sounds like this kid has an IEP imo.

imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 22:13

Ingles, no he's definitely not being assessed for SN. He's really quite bright and his mum is always bragging about his academic talents.

You're right, I wouldn't talk to the teacher about him, just about dd. BUT I have considered seeing the Head about what's happening in the classroom in general because a lot of people are very upset about Z's behaviour and the teacher's treatment of him.

The amount of gossip surrounding him at the moment is pretty huge though. The mum of the disabled boy was telling me today that Z's bullying of her son has been so severe that if he continues, according to her ds' care worked, Z will be expelled (do kids of this age ever get expelled??). However Z's mum seems to be totally unaware of any of this. She talks to me quite a lot because dd and Z are in the same group.

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imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 22:18

Ok, I expected some flack.

cat64, so far it doesn't seem to be doing anything to curb his behaviour. The teaching assistant is in charge of the rest of the class when the teacher is doing the 30 mins with Z.

Northener, your post really pisses me off. I resent the fact that all the other children in the class have a miserable time because of this boy and lose out on valuable time with the teacher. You would be right to say you're glad this boy isn't in your ds' class rather than my dd. She hasn't done anything!

This boy doesn't have an IEP. He was assessed and 'shadowed' in nursery. There are, however, children in the class who have definite educational needs as I mentioned before, including 5 children who barely speak a word of English and who are relying on 10 mins reading with me a week as the only one-one-one time they have.

Those are the things I resent.

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DrNortherner · 09/02/2008 22:18

And this gossip thing pisses me off. 'Z' could habe been my ds last year (without the hurtful comments granted), we had a shit time, his teacher was on his back, he was always in teh head masters office, he was disruptive and naughtty and always fighting. The gossip from the other parents was an absolute nightmare and made my life hell, and shitty and going to the school playground an awful time. I'd say his mum is putting on a brave face. Give her a break.

FWIW, my ds is now in Year 1 and a different child, and it has becoem apparant to me that lots of kids in reception have different areas of need - some are extremley shy, some scream when they have to leave mum, some need speach therapy, some have autism, some have no self confidence. It';s just that the 'naughty' kids are very ovbious others and it is so easy to be smug and criticise.

DrNortherner · 09/02/2008 22:21

My comment about your dd not being in my ds's class was referring to you as her mother as yuo would also resent the extra time my sd got from his teacher. Nothing against your dd at all.

And how do you know this boy does not have an IEP? You have no way of knowing at all.

iheartdusty · 09/02/2008 22:23

yes, children can be and are excluded from reception.

also as I'm sure you are aware children can have special needs and also be very bright.

I can fully understand your reasons for being concerned, but it sounds as though the school are engaged with Z and the problems he causes for other children. If his behaviour needs sorting out, then he needs attention for that to happen - it's not a 'reward'.

if you think the reading group you hear need more 'teaching' then no harm in raising this to see what the teacher has in mind for them.

DrNortherner · 09/02/2008 22:24

Children are very rarely excluded from reception. An exclusion is seen a failure byt the school - not something they like to do.

Heated · 09/02/2008 22:24

There is a letter from a teacher's perspective in this month's NUT magazine on this very issue.

Not sure what the answer is though, apart from additional ta support for the boy to allow the teacher to do more whole class work, but if he's not SN may be difficult to allocate resources.

imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 22:26

Northerner, you don't know the situation at all. The mother is a high-achieving woman with bag loads of self-confidence and pots of money. She's currently discussing taking Z out of the school and enrolling him in a private school because this school can't meet his educational needs except, she says, state primaries need high achieving children to keep the standards up. This is a family with no lack of ego.

Incidentally, when the disabled boy was using a walking frame Z's mum asked his mum if she could get him to be a little less clumsy with it as Z kept coming home with bruised shins.

As to gossip, I'm not a fan either and often you can't see the wood for the trees. Having known Z at a childminder (who had to refuse to have him any more after he knocked 2 of her dd's teeth out), at playgroup, for 2 years through nursery and now in Reception, I know what I'm up against. And dd handles him fine. I'm just getting fed up with his behaviour taking over and the amount of attention he gets while other kids seem to suffer as a result.

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colditz · 09/02/2008 22:31

my son is in reception and (yes I am going to shake my Mumsnet thang) he has to be sent to the yr 1 class for his reading books, because he has cleared the Reception stock of books. He is fucking fantastic at maths too.

Sounds great, yes?

I am in the process of having him assessed because of his complete lack of attention span. His lack of social skills means he is often inappropriately behaved. He is on the SEN register.

In the playground, I look like Pushy Mums Inc. i am constantly talking t the teacher - to find out what he has done in the week, because he has a speech and language delay, and not enough concentration to listen. He doesn't listen.

The 'buddy' room is a frequent occurrence in ds1's week. As is time out. As is lots of time with the teacher, because actually he is struggling with a LOT of the social 'rules' of school. But all the other mothers see is a little boy who gets his reading books from a year 1 class, how much help could he need?!

Don't judge, you haven't a clue what the situation really is.

imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 22:31

Honestly if I thought there was any possibility he was SEN I wouldn't have a problem with the teacher's time. He's been assessed though, he was assessed in Playgroup, in Nursery twice (and shadowed for 2 weeks). I don't think he's been assessed in Reception but I do know that all the children in the class know that he gets extra maths time with the teacher each day and that he says it's because he's the cleverest boy in the class. A fact mirrored by what his mother says.

One of my questions here was to ask if this was typical of what happens in Reception with bright children?

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DrNortherner · 09/02/2008 22:35

I don't think it happens just because a child is bright. But it does happen beacuse the child has other ereas of need that require 1 to 1.

It really does sound like this kid has an IEP. My ds has one and is not SEN.

imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 22:37

colditz, but what would you do if your ds wasn't getting the chance to go to Yr1 because the teacher wasn't available because she was dealing with another child? It's all very well talking from your point of view but what about the kids who have nobody to even notice what's happening with them because the more demanding cases are taking over? There's a boy in dd's class whose mum is terminally ill and his dad is really disappointed that the teacher hasn't taken a bit of extra time out with him.

Does your ds's teacher neglect time with the other children to accommodate your ds? If so I do have a problem with that. Every child has a right to the teacher's time.

Z is in nowhere the league you describe. His reading isn't that advanced in any way, nor his numeracy. And he does have a reasonable attention span and ability to understand rules.

And I'm not judging. I'm questioning.

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imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 22:38

Northener, can you say more about what your ds's IEP is? And what does he get as extra from the school to accommodate him?

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mysonsmummy · 09/02/2008 22:39

maybe you should imagine for a minute that Z was your child and see how you'd feel then.

also, how can you possibly know so much of what goes on in the classroom from helping out once a week. sounds like far too much gossiping goes on than is good for anyone.

have you told Z's mum your feelings about the situation?

Bubble99 · 09/02/2008 22:41

IF. It sounds to me as though the school may be trying to begin the statementing process. The behaviour you've described at nursery will have been reported when he transferred to school. It sounds as though he's at the 'school action' stage which will hopefully progress, for everyone's sake.

colditz · 09/02/2008 22:43

the teacher doesn't take him, the TA does.

I honestly don't know who deals with him on a day to day basis, I know the SENCO does a fair bit.


Ds1's school has a high needs intake. In reception alone (20 children) there is a child with Autism, a child with Down's syndrome, and my ds1 - and I don't really know what or if he has anything tangible going on with him, but his behavior is NOT 'NT'. This is a faily average intake per year - they had 53% of children with an IEP in 2007. They are used to dealing with children like this. They are VERY experienced at spreading their time effectively.

Maybe your daughter's school are not very experienced at dealing with children like Z and they are erring on the side of caution?

ConnorTraceptive · 09/02/2008 22:44

If you are concerned about your DD's progress in school speak to the teacher but quite frankly it's none of your sodding business why this boy is getting any extra time or attention.

You seem adament you know the full picture but you don't. Why are you taking it upon yourself to worry about what is happenin/not happening to other people's children in class. Sounds like you're having a merry time winding up all the other parents about this.

DrNortherner · 09/02/2008 22:44

My ds ha an IEP to help with his behaviour, partic the dominant/competetive side of his character. He gets individual time from TA and teacher to help with this.

I don't see how you can say anything to your dd's teacher. She is doing well. That's all you need to eb concerned about sureley?

imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 22:45

That's such an unhelpful post mysonsmummy. Does Z's mum sit and think about how she'd feel if she had my dd? It's just not the point.

I'm not going to be made to feel guilty for having concerns about what happens to my dd's education when the teacher isn't handling her time management well.

I help out in the class once a week and I talk to Z's mum and to other mums. My post was not about idle gossip but a genuine question about how this case is being managed.

Z is an extremely popular boy with the other boy classmates, he's invited to every party and is seen by most to be the 'alpha male' of the group. He's also the boy they love to hate. The scapegoat, the brunt of much gossip.

That's not my point. I want to know why my dd who is extremely shy and reserved can go totally unnoticed, coming home each week on her 'reading day' really disappointed. She needs help too, she has low self-esteem and so easily just slips off into her own world. Is it only the loudest kids who get noticed? And why is it so wrong to be pissed off about that?

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ineedapoo · 09/02/2008 22:45

IF I would also be concerned his behaviour sounds very disruptive

TotalChaos · 09/02/2008 22:47

imaginary friend - I strongly suspect this boy does have SEN - IMHO it's not in the normal range of things for assessment/shadowing etc to take place, and equally there is no reason that the teacher/mother would disclose this to anyone else. I am slightly surprised that the individual time is with teacher rather than TA, but hey, I'm not the professional here. If you feel that other kids in need are getting a raw deal, then complain about that by all means.

/hijack. Colditz - lovely to hear how well your boy is doing with reading and maths etc - v. heartening as DS (3.11) has a major speech delay. Hope that you make progress with his listening/attention issues.

colditz · 09/02/2008 22:48

I do see your point about your daughter being overlooked, and I do think you should raise this. My son's teacher is very good at making all the children feel special. (And all the mummies, as we were discussing in the playground yesterday)Perhaps all you will need to do is gently point it out that your daughter is being overlooked (and I can imagine that does happen, in children who are quiet and diligent and well behaved)

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