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 Post subject: Suggestions needed
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:45 am
Posts: 19
Hi there. I have only recently found this website. Which has a lot of great information.
3 nights ago my ds1 who is 8 years old burst into tears asking why he is in the bottom class for everything. I found this heart breaking to hear. I tried to find out how he was feeling at school but my son was in so much tears he cried himself to sleep that night.

He has told me that he really wants to get into the middle group for all his lessons and he tries to work hard but sometimes finds it difficult to understand what is required of him. I have told him that I will do my very best to help him improve in school.

The next day I went to see the teacher to find out how he is doing at school. I must admit that his main teacher who he also has for maths was great. I have explained to her that my son is very shy and he will be more than happy to just sit in the background so that he doesn't draw any attention to himself. We did have a good talk about my son and I have told her that I would be very interested in knowing how I can help my son out of school.

Now the other teacher who he has for literacy was very different. I am not sure why she was slightly unhelpful. I was only there to see why he is not doing so well in her class. The teacher told me that he does sit next to a little girl in his class and they tend to talk a lot and do their work together, (which is not much). I tried to ask her what does she do about it , but she really didn't take to me for some reason. Now if my son is talking to others and not paying attention, I have no problem if the teacher moves my son elsewhere. I don't know if this is possible.

Anyway, my son seems to get very distracted in her lesson and he did tell me that the teacher talks alot. My son just wants to know what he has to do and then get on with it. He seems to shut off after a long conversation.

I just wanted to know what I should be doing next? I have been to the school and feel as though that he will be forgotten about by next week. I have told them that he has said that he wants to do well and is willing to put the work in, but he does need help when he doesn't understand.
He is currently below average in literacy I think the teacher said something like 2c. I just feel like every year they say he will catch up, but now he seems so far behind and no one is addressing this when I am willing to support my son and the school to get him on track. I just don't want him to go into year 5 and still be behind. I now want him to improve on his work this year.

Any advice would be helpful. I am not looking to do anything with 11plus as yet I just need him to get to a good stage before it is too late and he ends up leaving with nothing and then looking back and wishing I had done something sooner.

Really sorry for this long first post. I am just so heartbroken to see my son so upset over this.

Thanks in advance if anyone managed to read this far :)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:15 pm
Posts: 253
Location: Birmingham
Hi learningmum( aren't we all?)

I was upset to read of your son's distress and his eagerness to improve his sets. I do think you need to get a clear idea from the school on how they plan to address your concerns and help your son achieve. You say the maths teacher was more helpful. That's a good start but I'd want to know in detail what steps they plan to take and I'd then see the teacher again in a week or two to see if things are changing.
With Literacy .. perhaps raise this with his class teacher if you feel a barrier with the subject teacher. If that fails perhaps the Key Stage Co-Ordinator. You don't say what year he is in... year 3 or 4? How did he perform in yr 2 sats and was this ever discussed with you?
Are you in a position to support him at home? Reading with him and discussing the books would be a good start. Perhaps getting some maths workbooks or looking at the curriculum for his age group might help as you could then identify his weak areas and target those.
My son struggled with maths in year 3... he was on the 2nd table and about to be moved down to 3rd. I spent a lot of time and effort with him and boosted his confidence and he never was moved down and now is on top table.
If you're not able to help him at home is there someone else who could?
I wish you and your son the very best... don't give up on the school but persist with your concerns until you are satisfied they are being addressed.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:45 am
Posts: 19
Hi Clarendon (I live in Birmingham too.)

Thanks for your response. My son is in year 4. I can't remember what his sats were in year 2. It may have been just below average. I was told to not worry about it, but now he seems so far behind.
I just can't see that they are trying to do anything to help him, they just keep saying he will catch up.
I was told that his maths isn't that bad, but he is still in the bottom group but sits on the top table. He doesn't want to be in that group at all.

I will be getting some workbooks for both maths and literacy and I have had a look around this website which has recommend where to look regarding what stage he should be at. I will keep looking and reading around, there is so much to take in.

I wasn't told of any support my son would get whilst in school. Parents evening will be in a couple of weeks. I will see if any changes happen by then but not to sure if that gives them enough time.

I think if I am still not happy with school I will have to speak to someone else. Not sure if there is a Key Stage co-ordinator. There was a newsletter sent out on Friday and it did say that they will be trying to help those that are struggling. I really hope that my son is not missed in this.

I am going to try and arm myself with as much info as I can so that the school knows that I really want things to improve.

I will have to support my son at home as there isn't anyone else. I do work from home so I just try to re-adjust things so I can spend more time with him. I was thinking of taking him to Kumons but with what I have read on here I am sure if I put my time and effort into it and have the right books things can change.

Thanks again


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
When I felt that I had exhausted all other avenues, and I was still concerned that Ed was stagnating in his primary school, I moved both my children to another school.

If necessary, could this be a possibility for you?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:41 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:51 pm
Posts: 2237
I agree with Ed's mum that if you can't get anywhere with your current school you should consider moving schools - but it's not always easy to find an alternative and it certainly won't be a panacea (we moved ours during Y2, we solved some of his problems more or less immediately - notably literacy issues, but at the cost of some behavioural problems, although they were embarrassing rather than serious).

If your son is aware enough of his position to be worried and upset about it then it doesn't really sound as though he should be in bottom sets. If you can afford it (and if you're thinking about Kumon then you probably can) then I recommend you get an educational psychologist's report which will tell you exactly how your son should be performing in literacy and numeracy. While the school may well have an accurate idea of his ability it's by no means certain - certain types of able boy can very easily be misidentified as academically weak in primary school.

Be warned that the school may not place much importance on an EP report - it's more to help you understand what you're dealing with than with the expectation that the school will do anything about it if they turn out to have the wrong idea about him.

Whatever the outcome of dealing with the school or the results of an EP report, I think it's well worth considering things like extra work at home, Kumon and other types of tuition; school is obviously not doing his sense of self-worth any good at all (a terribly damaging thing for a child), the extra attention alone will give him a huge confidence boost quite apart from what it does for his learning.

Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:45 am
Posts: 19
Thanks both

If I am not able to get anywhere then I may have to consider moving schools. I am not sure how my son would deal with this. He is a very shy child and I think him moving would unease him. Maybe over time if this is what needs to be done he may be more than happy for a change.

My son was asking this morning about what work he will be doing after school. He is now really looking forward to it. It is quite shocking really.
He just keeps saying that he can't wait to move up to the middle group. It does tell me that he is ready to put the work in. I have tried so hard to keep putting positive thoughts into his head. For a while now he has been such a negative child and I couldn't understand why. I now think it may have something to do with how he feels he is doing at school.

I will have to look at how to get an educational psychologist's report. Is this done through the school or can I get one done outside of school?

I had taken him to Kip Mcgrath last year for about 6 months but he hated it. It was a real struggle trying to get him to do the work.
I will contact the Kumon centre today as they have a 2 week free trial on. If he doesn't enjoy it then I can always try something else.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:00 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:51 pm
Posts: 2237
It's worth trying to organise it through the school on cost grounds alone, but if they don't think there are likely to be any special needs they may not think there's any point - and getting anything done through the education service is likely to take several months which isn't ideal when you want to see things happening quickly.

You could try this:

http://www.educational-psychologist.co.uk/edpsychs.htm

I don't know anything about this site but it looks as though you would be able to get information about costs and perhaps get some sort of recommendation.

Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:43 am
Posts: 118
I think you will be able to help him move up as he wants to work which is the hardest hurdle.

Has he got a good grasp of times tables? If not then I would recommend that you concentrate on these first as they underpin the rest of the work.

Literacy -Does he read much? Reading to you and to himself daily , a variety of genres.

Work with him .little and often.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
play lots of word games like scrabble, boggle, upwords

also look at this site

http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk ... /index.htm

they have a good maths page too.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:45 am
Posts: 19
I will try and see if the school can do an educational psychologist's report if needed as this does seem to cost a lot. If I have to end up paying for it then I will.

DS1 knows some of his times tables but I think he does need to speed up a little. He is reading more. He now reads to DS2 who is now in reception and enjoys looking at books. He loves ds1 reading to him and ds1 loves playing parent.

We were able to go over the use of speech mark, exclamation marks, commas and capital letters. He is also doing this in school. He seems to be enjoying it so far, but this is day one. We were even doing it whilst waiting in the dentist waiting room yesterday. I think it is better for him to do little and often as he seems to be now taking it in easier and not getting bored with it. I'm even learning stuff too which is an added bonus.

I have ordered a few books to help him with both subjects and I have downloaded work from the links off this website. I now have to have things prepared for him way in advance as he keeps asking what shall we learn now.


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