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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.

OP posts:
DrNortherner · 09/02/2008 22:48

The teacher isn't handling her time managemnet well?!! WTF??? What by giving 1 to 1 attention to a child who clearly needs it and possibly has an IEP.

I think it sounds like she is doing her job properly actually.

I hope to God the parent helpers who do reading in my sons school are not like you.

Let the professionals do their jobs and butt out would be my advice to you.

imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 22:48

CT, I'm not even going to respond to your post.

Northener I was going to talk to the teacher primarily about how little reading time dd is getting.

OP posts:
misdee · 09/02/2008 22:49

dd1 was on an IEP and 30mins a day 'small group' work outside of the class most days.

sounds like they are assessing the lad.

are the class being taught in the 30mins, or left to their own devices?

Heated · 09/02/2008 22:50

No, bright children per se are not treated in this way. Bright children presenting challenging behaviour are a different matter. It does sound like assessment is taking place and whilst this happens it can be rather time-consuming.

However, it's also very easy to say to Imaginaryfriend, 'don't judge' but if she feels her dd (and also other children on the SN register) are not getting a fair deal, it's quite hard not to judge since it has a direct impact.

And it's that aspect that needs focus. What do you want for your dd? That will need to be the main thrust of your talk with the headteacher. Maybe he will be thinking along the lines of additional support to free up teacher time and your raising it will be the prompt, especially for a NQT.

NKF · 09/02/2008 22:50

I'c concentrate on how your child is being educated rather than making comparisons when you don't know all the facts.

In general though, disruptive children do take up a lot of the teacher's time.

colditz · 09/02/2008 22:51

//TotalChaos - yes, he still has a speech delay but seems to have got a LOT of his sounds together since September - the L sound, the Y sound, and the S sound all turned up in about 3 months, and it was like his speech just focused. he was unintelligible to non family members until he was 4!/sorry/

Bubble99 · 09/02/2008 22:51

IF. The fact that Z is having one-to-one time with the teacher, rather than a TA does make me think that the school is hoping to get a statement of SEN. And although his mother would, of course, be involved - I doubt she would discuss it.

ineedapoo · 09/02/2008 22:51

Interesting those shouting loudest are those whos children have been in Zs Mum's position. I am in IF problem my ds doesn't want to go to school because of a Z's nasty comments and behaviour

imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 22:53

Thank you colditz, ineedapoo, and others for the polite posts.

Northener there's no need to be aggressive. I'm being questioning, speculative. This is all news to me. I questioned the teacher's time management because while she might be doing right by Z she's not by the rest of the class. A number of kids haven't had their reading books changed over for 3 weeks the same as dd. It would only need her to skip one 30 min session with Z to ensure that all the kids at least had new reading books even if they didn't get to read them.

You're only seeing this from the perspective of Z, not the rest of the class.

OP posts:
colditz · 09/02/2008 22:54

Look at it like this - once he has been assessed, he will get some one-to-one time, probably out of the class room, in which the teacher can concentrate on the OTHER children. i know with children like Z that the teacher will spend most of her time firefighting if he is not getting the support he needs to be in the classroom.

ineedapoo · 09/02/2008 22:54

sorry bad grammar i meant to say I also have IF problem.

DrNortherner · 09/02/2008 22:55

I'm bowing out of this thread now.

colditz · 09/02/2008 22:55

the one to one time will be with a TA - but they need to get him statemented before the LEA will pay the Ta's hours.

ConnorTraceptive · 09/02/2008 22:56

I'm not in Z's mum's position, never have been. Just think IF would get further if she approached the teacher about her own concerns for her OWN daughters education rather than worrying about other people's kids, scapegoating Z for the time teacher doesn't spend with others and generally shit stirring amongst parents.

ineedapoo · 09/02/2008 22:56

DrNorthener did you but out of your son's education and let the professionals get on with it ???? Why should IF when she feels this is impacting on her DD's education

misdee · 09/02/2008 22:56

do you not do home reading as well?

once dd2 has tackled a book and gets all the words right, then we write down we feel she is ready to change and gets a new book. have never been 3 weeks. normally every couple of days.

sorry, just trying to figure this all out.

cosima · 09/02/2008 22:57

if z's mother is a high achieving, pushy egocentric she's hardly going to be saying that her son is SN. If he is having 30 minutes individual tuition then that is an IEP.

Bubble99 · 09/02/2008 22:58

IF. DS1 (10) is in a similar position in that one child (without a statement) seems to excessively influence everyone else's day at school.

Yorky · 09/02/2008 22:59

I agree with you IF, why do the good kids get left to do their own thing and the noisy/disruptive/difficult ones get rewarded for not doing their own thing obediently.
I can understand Z's mother saying he needs to be challenged/stretched/entertained constantly - being bright myself(!) I know bright kids have as many special educational needs as the ones at the other end of the scale and it is lovely of the teacher to give Z extra time like this, but she can't single him out. Surely once a week should be adequate.
I also think Z's mother has a severe case of PFB! It is quite sad that she "doesn't rate" the teacher, and if she has said anything like this when her son has been listening he may be testing the teacher to prove his mum's theory. As for her comment about his bruised shins no wonder her son isn't very tactful

TotalChaos · 09/02/2008 22:59

I agree with cosima. I strongly suspect that Z's mum is brazening it out with all this talk of extension/giftedness etc. And fair enough, if she doesn't wish to discuss SN issues with the other parents.

DrNortherner · 09/02/2008 23:00

Of course I did not butt out when it concerned my son. I communicated with the school to discuss him

I did not criticise the teacher for the amount of time she spent with other kids, slag off other parents and par take in playground gossip concerning other 4 year old children.

Of course it is totaly normal to be concerned about ones old child at school, but to resent any time/help offerred to another kid?

Not on imo.

imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 23:01

misdee they are having 'carpet time' with the TA. Z is in the corner of the same room and they can all quite clearly hear him doing maths. Does that sound like the sort of thing that happens with an assessment? How do they usually do assessments? I really do think that if they are assessing him his mother doesn't know about it. She talks to me a lot and is very open.

(by the way for someone who asked earlier if I'd spoken to Z's mum, yes, many times, but she is just hung up on this line that if he's not challenged enough intellectually he misbehaves, she has never once ever acknowledged his misbehaviour as anything other than a reaction to unstimulating surroundings / the influence of other disruptive children).

Heated, thanks for that. I will be talking to the teacher about dd's experience of school, I wasn't planning on mentioning Z. She needs help with speaking up, she needs general encouragement and just basically some time. I haven't spoken to the teacher ever about anything so far so I hardly think I qualify as a busy-body mum.

OP posts:
DrNortherner · 09/02/2008 23:02

own child not old.

Apologies for crap typing.

Bubble99 · 09/02/2008 23:03

DrNorthener. I don't think IF resents the time being given to Z. It's the fact that the rest of the class seem to be left in limbo while this is happening which is concerning her.

colditz · 09/02/2008 23:04

If a child has an IEP stating that they should have 30 minutes one to one a day, the teacher is legally required to give him that. Yorky, you don't know what the other kids need. It is really hard to get a child extra help in the classroom, he wouldn't be having it if he didn't need it, and if it was cut back my bet is that z's behavior would deteriorate to the point where it would be impossible to either teach or learn in that room.

Some children CAN'T do their own thing obediently. Sorry if you don't like the idea, or don't believe me, but sometimes it is NOT about naughtiness, it's about ability, and until you have read a child's Statement of Needs, you don't know what that child needs.

If a child's needs are interfering with the rest of the class, then more time needs to be spent with the class, not for time to be taken away from statemented children. How the Hell do you know once a week is 'adequate'?

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