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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:
Heated · 09/02/2008 23:05

Also from a teaching perspective it is quite common for NQTs to sometime focus too much on their more challenging students, since they loom large in their minds. A more experienced teacher will deploy LAs/TAs more effectively and make all the children in their class feel valued. Sometimes just a bit of guidance early on can help, which is why I do think the IF should speak to the head about her dd being overlooked & hopefully the head will start making some supportive moves.

DrNortherner · 09/02/2008 23:06

Of course she resents it. If he had SEN she wouldn't have a problem with it - she has said that herself.

So because she is an expert on Z she knows he does not have SEN/IEP and is simply naughty so she resents this extra time he gets. But if he had SEN it would be OK.

imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 23:07

Yorky thank you so much for your post. It's a bit mad that I'm being criticised here and people are not picking up on things like Z's mum's criticism of the teacher.

Bubble that sounds very like this situation. I really don't think Z has SEN and I don't think it's a case of his mum keeping it quiet. She keeps very little quiet! He's an aggressive, large, physical boy who seems to lack social skills and empathy but I think all the assessing has been done.

Northener I wish you wouldn't bow out, I need to hear your perspective.

CT I wish you'd bow out though.

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imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 23:08

Northener, presumably if he had SEN he would be being provided with extra help from someone other than the teacher 5 days a week? It's a class of 30 kids with only a teacher and TA and none of the other kids in the class who do have SEN get that time with the teacher.

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Heated · 09/02/2008 23:09

the IF?? Sorry! There should be a word inserted there but too tired to work out what it once was!

LadyMuck · 09/02/2008 23:09

Ds1's teacher has only just qualified, and from what I can see she is mentored, monitored, observed and micro-managed to an unbelievable extent. So if she is actually spending 30 minutes every day with one child, then I would be fairly certain that this is known about and approved by the Senior Management Team at the school.

If you are unhappy about your own dd's reading then I would talk to the teacher. But I wouldn't raise Z unless there is a significant incident directly impacting your dd.

FWIW, yes in reception the teacher will end up spending more time with the more disruptive children regardless of their academic abilities. IME this balances out in Yrs 1 and 2 and thereafter, as many of these children will have settled down, or have plans in place to give support.

colditz · 09/02/2008 23:09

It sounds like he's being assessed.

bunnyhunny · 09/02/2008 23:10

IF - how do you know he gets this time every day, and it's always doing numeracy/literacy?

I think its a bit odd tbh. Personally, if I had a disrauptive child (and they often are the bored, intelligent ones), I wouldnt give him half an hour 1:1 every day to the expense of the other kids.

There must be something else going on. IEPs are confidential (at least so in our school) so there is no reason you would know about it.

But by all means, discuss with the teacher that your dd has missed out on her extra reading time.

dinny · 09/02/2008 23:11

what is an IEP?

wannaBe · 09/02/2008 23:11

firstly, it seems apparent from your posts that you know a lot of this from your time in the classroom, time that should be spent helping the teacher/ta/children. It is highly inappropriate that you go into the class, in a position of trust/confidence, and take what you have become aware of there into the playground. How would you feel if other parent helpers that went in were discussing your dd's behavior in the same way?

Secondly, it seems likely that this child is being assessed in some way. Just because he is bright doesn't mean he can't have some kind of sn. Children with ADHD and Asbergers for example, are commonly known to be extremely bright. SN does not = thick.

And if this mother is a "high achiever", it's entirely possible that she is in denial, or that she just doenn't want other parents to know that her child may have sn. She herself may be finding it difficult to come to terms with this fact, and that may be why she's telling everyone he's having one-to-one time because of his intelect, as opposed to his behavior.

Instead of complaining about the amount of time this child does get, I would be more inclined to approach the teacher and query whether it is possible for your own dd to get some more time to help her with her confidence/to ensure that she is reading regularly etc. It is none of your concern how much other peoples' children are getting, your concern is your dd.

And frankly if you can't go into the classroom without reporting back to the masses, then I would seriously consider not going into the classroom at all.

misdee · 09/02/2008 23:12

'He's an aggressive, large, physical boy who seems to lack social skills and empathy but I think all the assessing has been done.'

does that actually sound normal though IF?

unfortunatly the teacher cant dedicate 30mins one 2 one with each individual child, but it does very much sound like he is being assessed or is on iep or similar.

you said earlier that one of the boys in the class mum is terminally ill and the dad is upset that his son iasnt extra time as well? i know when dh was in hospital the girls were treated extra sensitively, and the schools were very aware of the situation. dd1 could go and stay in the SENCo;s room at lucnhtime to do colouring in if she didnt feel like socialising.

bunnyhunny · 09/02/2008 23:13

individual education plan - a way top address a childs needs when they aren't being met in the usual day-to-day teaching. such as behaviour issues, dyslexia etc.

all SEN kids in our school also have an IEP.

Bubble99 · 09/02/2008 23:14

Hmm. I see what you're saying, Dr Northener.

What I mean is that if IF could see that there was an end in sight to the rest of the class losing their teacher to this one-to-one time with Z it would be easier. ie. He is being assessed, he will hopefully get a statement and his own LSA.

All in all this thread illustrates that more teachers and TAs are needed in classrooms.

DrNortherner · 09/02/2008 23:15

IF - it depends on what his SEN are. If it is speech you see SALT, if it's low self esteem you see a physcologist etc etc.

It could be the teacher/TA if it's to help with his concentration/temper/agression etc etc. It does sound to me like school action/school action plus which comes with an IEP, the next step if not resolved would be a statement.

Look, apologies if I have been agressive. It is just very close to my heart after my ds's turbulent 1st year in reception which was bad enough without the other mothers chiping in with the gossip and being all judgy judgy.

These kids are 4/5, and you have a happy dd who is doing well at school. Z's mum and Z sound like they are having a tough time at teh moment and I bet it's not easy.

ConnorTraceptive · 09/02/2008 23:15

Good post wannabe

colditz · 09/02/2008 23:15

IEP are for behavior, social, communication or education difficulties - for all those little things that don't get covered in the lesson plan.Ds1's lists things like sitting upright on the carpet and coming straight back after going to the toilet (they lost him).

imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 23:16

Hello dinny

I know he's getting the time because his mum told me. And dd mentions that he gets 'special lessons' because 'he's so clever.'

colditz, would the assessing happen in the classroom though with all the other kids just feet away?

That's interesting LM.

I've said a few times that I'm going to speak to the teacher primarily about dd and I was wondering whether I should mention the situation with Z. This thread has definitely encouraged me not to.

OP posts:
Yorky · 09/02/2008 23:16

My, aren't things getting warm around here, I put my layman's tuppenny worth in, to support someone who sounds like a concerned parent, and feeling as I imagine I would in a similar situation and she's getting all guns lazing. wouldn't how on Earth have been emphatic enough?

cosima · 09/02/2008 23:16

it seems to me that z needs more attention, and it seems that the school is tackling this problem well. if he is SN then as a result the school will have got some funding and maybe this has been spent on more ta hours. I think you should bring up your concerns about your dd not having a new reading book, but be happy that you child is in a school where individual needs are being met. I know it must seem unfair to you, but you are speculating. this child z is being labelled by the other mums andkids, it seems to me as a terror . I teach in a secondary pru and i so wish that problems were picked up in primary school instead of resulting in total delinquency by year 11.

imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 23:18

FGS WB and everybody else who seems to think I'm a gossip-monger, I do not, ever go into the class and 'report back to the masses'. The gossip goes on all around me and I often don't have anything to say as dd has very little contact with Z at school, it's the mums of the boys that have all the tales to tell.

I didn't start this thread to keep having that same insult thrown at me.

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colditz · 09/02/2008 23:19

I don't know where it would happen, to be honest - but I wouldn't take a 5 year old's word that all the teacher does is "Extra maths cos z is so clever" - that may be what the teacher says she does, but she is hardly likely to announce that she is assessing his behavior and level of concentration. It could be that he needs to be near the class, to improve his concentration in the class.

Don't mention Z to the teacher, she's not allowed to discuss his needs with anyone because of confidentiality, but definatly mention that your daughter's reading is not being kept up with.

stuffitall · 09/02/2008 23:20

Haven't read whole thread but sounds like the squeaky wheel gets the grease, iykwim.

I sympathise, especially on the reading.

DoodleToYou · 09/02/2008 23:20

Message withdrawn

colditz · 09/02/2008 23:22

no, 'how on Earth' wasn't my choice of words, i am aware of the term and did not think it as apt as the one I chose to use instead. I notice, Yorky, that you chose to pick at my choice of words rather than answer my question.

I am supporting IF too. But I am not supporting your suggestion of taking time away, because if the time is already being given then it has already been decided that the time is needed.

imaginaryfriend · 09/02/2008 23:22

cosima, my problem is that individual needs are not being met.

Northener, my dd isn't particularly happy at school. She's bored and unfocused a lot of the time. She talks continually about nobody listening to her and that the teacher being too busy to look at what she's done.

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