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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:33 am
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Hi,
Can anyone give a little advice. My DS is year 5 and has 4 sublevels between his writing and his reading. I have a parents evening coming up in the next couple of weeks and I need to discuss with his teacher but wanted to know what they can do from their end and what I can do over the next year to improve this? He doesn't have any learning difficulties as far as I know, more of a reluctance to put pencil to paper and get on with it. He can write beautifully when concentrating in terms of handwriting and does know all the punctuation rules but just kicks up a huge fuss when asked to write more than a couple of paragraphs. His vocab is pretty good verbally and reading is well above average but adverbs, adjectives seem to be missing when he writes, stories seem to be very basic, not complex sentences and lacking good connectives (however, instead, eventually etc etc). He does have a tutor but she has been concentrating on getting his maths up to speed first, so it's really down to me at the moment to work on this at home.

Any suggestions or similar experiences shared would be gratefully received?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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Have the school not requested an assessment for SEN? I would have thought that should be the first thing that is looked at with that much gap. My youngest was a very lazy writer when he was younger - we encouraged him to write a few lines in a diary every day - if he did that all week he got some sort of reward - as he wrote more and more he got bigger encouragements. If his language skills are good, it may be the physicality of holding the pen etc? Could he have a scribe to help him? I would ask to see the SENCO and request that dyslexia assessments are carried out. Not much help but I really feel for you!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:28 pm 
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Possibly dyspraxia/dysgraphia - The signs can be pretty subtle- i also suspect some children just don't have the motor skills when they are 4-6 and trying to teach them to write so early might be counterproductive. My DS made a big improvment with a 1 to 1 tutor for a few months when he was 7 and then a small group writing class at school though that did take a bit of pushing to get him included in the class. There is time for his writing to improve - both my children changed massively in their writing output from the start of yr 5 to the end of yr6.

ps DS was level 2c at the end of KS1 for writing level 3 for everything else.
at the end of KS2 he managed level 5b writing


Last edited by DC17C on Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:48 pm 
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All three of my children had a huge gap between writing and everything else. They just prefer maths and science type subjects and hated writing stories. I didn't worry too much as , like your Ds, their reading, spelling and telling stories verbally was good. It seemed to catch up and the ht ds1 had did tell me it takes a bit longer with boys....she felt into secondary. Don't dismiss any niggles you have but I'm sure it will all come in time. I found it really hard to address this one as it's not like maths practice, but there are some good books out there to help.

P.s ds2 was a level 1 in year 2 for writing and left a solid 5....he wrote a war story recently at school and it was so thoughtful and imaginative it left me feeling really choked. There is hope!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:17 pm 
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Yes - I think you need to take the NC level with pinch of salt and see whether you yourself are concerned with the writing and with which aspects. Just saying level 3b or whatever isn't that much help to you. At our school they have a test session of writing once a term or so when they are allowed no help or discussion. This is then used to grade them and it's quoted back to us on reports etc. If you have a bad morning for some reason, or the topic doesn't take your fancy, or you don't hit all the buttons on the level xy mark scheme for that particular genre you've had it. Without a better look at it all yourself I wouldn't get to worried straight off about the reading - writing gap. I don't quite know why they are expected to be little Shakespeare's at primary school and written off if they are not.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:09 pm
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My son was just the same. If your son likes reading and is good at spelling ,the rest will come. I think boys are generally notoriously bad at putting pen to paper. My son got his act together around term 3 of year 5. I gave him some topics for creative writing and asked him to make a beginning, then I did a middle and he did an ending. Sometimes we didn't compare at all until the end, apart from to choose characters! Although lots of the stories were plain daft, it got him writing. Also we would make up silly elaborate sentences, I.e The amazing, wonderful, glowing, radiant, stunning sunset made all the happy, jolly, people jump for joy. I know it sounds crazy but he seemed to like it. He still prefers maths and science and probably always will, but his writing is on a par now. Although the levels are important, not everything comes at once. Don't worry, he'll get there!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:25 pm
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My son is similar, he's just more into maths and science. He loves grammar and reading, OK with comprehension, but just hates writing. Although he can be pretty good at it - if it's for the teacher - doesn't matter, he still doesn't like it and tries to get away with a few lines.
Once he got a note with big red letters DID YOU EVER WRITE MORE THAN THIS? in his homework-book, since than he makes an effort.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:37 am
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LouLouD wrote:
Hi,
Can anyone give a little advice. My DS is year 5 and has 4 sublevels between his writing and his reading. I have a parents evening coming up in the next couple of weeks and I need to discuss with his teacher but wanted to know what they can do from their end and what I can do over the next year to improve this? He doesn't have any learning difficulties as far as I know, more of a reluctance to put pencil to paper and get on with it. He can write beautifully when concentrating in terms of handwriting and does know all the punctuation rules but just kicks up a huge fuss when asked to write more than a couple of paragraphs. His vocab is pretty good verbally and reading is well above average but adverbs, adjectives seem to be missing when he writes, stories seem to be very basic, not complex sentences and lacking good connectives (however, instead, eventually etc etc). He does have a tutor but she has been concentrating on getting his maths up to speed first, so it's really down to me at the moment to work on this at home.

Any suggestions or similar experiences shared would be gratefully received?


We have almost the same issue. Ds attained 5 for reading and 4b for writing. He is not a reader and this is one thing we are trying to address. Only reading will improve his score. However, getting him to read is like pushing water uphill. Failing that I have a book of model essays he can pour over.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
DD had similar.
Wasn't reading at start of year 1 let alone writing. (Suspect mild dyslexia, but as she has improved we haven't had it formally assessed. Yet.)
End of year 2, 2c for writing, 3b for reading (she started reading for pleasure big style half way through year 2).
Writing has slowly progressed, given time she can write some wonderful stories, but when given a theme and time pressure, she still struggles and primary school didn't really help. They told her to plan her story but never how to in a way that she would.
Her spelling is good when it comes to a spelling test, grammar and punctuation also good, if that's all she in concentrating on. She can write some excellent descriptive sentences. It's just putting them all together. :(
End Year 6, 5c for writing, 5a/b for reading. So it's sort of caught up. (Not helped by a not so great year 6 teacher tbh)
Seems to be coping at GS so far, but although it's one of her favourite subjects, I'm not sure it will be her best by a long way. (This week it seems she is an ICT geek. Still, worse things to be.)
Unfortunately, as I'm dyslexic and I suspect DH is too, we aren't best placed to help her. I just hope English teaching will serve her better at GS. So far so good.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:13 am
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Based on my experience, most of the boys have this issue. They like to read, have decent vocab but shy when it comes to creative writing (and you may see tantrums, tears everything...).

Some don't write while others write few sentences which are beautiful Shakespeare stuff but in super-selectives like Olave's, it is expected from them to write 2 pages in 30 mins (not 1-2 para). It is a big learning curve compared to what they do in a typical state school and take my words - it is the decider between who's in and who's out.

The primary school is not geared to teach stuff required for Grammar school exam so don't waste time in expecting them to raise the bar. In my ds's school, the headteacher has not even said "Well done" to the boys who got into Olave's. All what he was worried is attendance. :(

Back to how do we solve this problem? IMHO, not an easy one to crack. It took us over 6 months with careful structured planning including strategies around reading, building creative writing framework incl brainstorming on over 60-80 topics. I can only give limited information due to time constraints and forum rules.

I guess your tutor should sort that out and that's what they are paid for. Teaching Maths, NVR and VR are the easy bits.


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