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 Post subject: Communication ?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
Posts: 3664
Just wondering if I am right to be a bit miffed . Have sorted out dd after finding out she was supposed to be learning spellings for a weekly test which no one told us about.Am now learning these with her etc.Have now found out today that the year 4 have been identified as needing spelling intervention ( problems for the past 2 years with no teachers, only supply ) and they too were supposed to learn spellings every week. When I spoke to the teacher she was really abrupt and said it was ds2 responsibilty to tell me, learn them etc.I agree it is, but if they don't tell us or inform us of the wrong day etc then that ultimately means they won't learn the spellings ....can't they just send home a 2 sentence slip saying your child has a spelling book , new spellings every week for a test.I'm cross because I would be quite happy to do these with him and now it's nearly the end of term , especially if his class have been highlighted as needing help with this.


Sorry to go on again...I've no more children to moan about, after this one !!! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Communication ?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:14 am
Posts: 938
Scarlett I'm not surprised you're upset. It seems such a shame that you've only just found out about it, especially if they have been identified as needing more intervention. The teacher should be pleased to have such parental support and utilising it!
I think it's always a sensitive area knowing how to approach teachers, but communication about your child really is the key.
At our school in the first term DD's Reception teacher was brilliant at sending home a sheet explaining exactly what topic they'd be doing and suggesting supplementary activities that we may like to do at home. Then in the second term she forgot and we hadn't a clue what was going on. Eventually I plucked up the courage to ask for one, basically saying how useful and what a good idea it was of her to do the first one. :)
The embarrassment came a couple of weeks later when I approached her again to ask if there was any chance of one as she'd seemed so receptive. It transpired they'd be given out when DD was off sick. :oops: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Communication ?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:58 am 
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Posts: 3664
There was a brilliant teacher who taught ds1 in infants who gave out the topics and worksheets and was so receptive and patient..she was an old school teacher if you know what I mean.I just feel an important opportunity has been wasted for goodness knows how long and I only found out because ds2 was stressing because he couldn't find his book.I do wonder where my children might be if at a different school but I am grateful at least that they look forward to going to school, have lots of friends and do fun things there ...never mind that they can't read or write. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Communication ?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:51 am
Posts: 1161
How annoying when you are a motivated parent and this could have been a chance for you to help the child and the school!
When my dd2 was in yr 5 that year focused on spelling and whereas they saw it as the childrens responsibilty to bring home their spelling book - the day of the test and when other homework was due in weekely was outlined in a start of term newsletter. I would help dd learn the spellings but she just has a natural ability to be dreadfull at spelling :lol: so she would get 9 or 10 out of 10 and the next week wouldnt remember half of them! :shock: i have come to terms with this now she is at secondary school and just accept she will never be good at spelling.

Another little story regarding dd1 who has always been a great speller. Many years ago when she was in year 4 she bought her spellings home - her and a few others would get extra tricky ones because of their level so once copied from the board they would give their books to the teacher to tick or correct before they bought them home to learn. I would chase dd1 to learn them herself as she could do it so quickly - then would test her using the book. Well one week we did this and dd1 used to routeenly get 20/20 - when she bought her book back home she had only got 15! i then took a look and realised that she had incorrectly written down 5 of the spellings in the original list BUT the teacher had marked them as correct! I was not a happy bunny! Agreed dd1 had copied them incorrectly but the teacher should have noticed this - she asked to check the books after all. When i spoke to the teacher about it she replied
oh well - your dd thrust her book in front of my face when i was busy so i just ticked them
I was happy however when that teacher popped off after that year to have a baby and dd2 missed having her!
And if you are wondering how i didnt realise the spellings were wrong when i first tested her - well dd2 has to get her dreadful spelling ability from somewhere! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Communication ?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:52 pm
Posts: 737
Scarlett - yes, you are completely right to be miffed. Even in secondary school parents are supposed to be informed what homework has been set - let alone Year 4!

I think spellings and tables have been a victim of poor communication throughout my DCren's time at school. When DD was in Year 2 learning tables was purely optional and children had to ask to be tested on them! Many parents did not even realise what tables their children could or should be learning and were shocked when the end of year report came out telling them that their children were struggling in numeracy. DS had a tables test every week in September and half of October (he's in Year 2) but hasn't done tables at all since - he says he doesn't even use them in school!

Spellings have been an issue for DS in Year 2 largely because they are taught in groups rather than by their own class teacher and the spelling books seem to appear and disappear and spend half the week sitting on a shelf somewhere rather than handed out to the children. Last week DS got 9/10 on a spelling test (he has always got 10/10 before now - he's one of those freaky 'natural' spellers) because he never saw the list before the test and misheard the word 'crumple' for 'crumble' (or vice versa) - another very bright child got 0/10 because he spelled all the words ending 'el' rather than 'le' - a mistake he would not have made if he had ever got to see the list!

We should get a termly letter saying what topics will be covered (and mentioning spellings and reading aloud) - but, come to think of it, I haven't had one for either class since September - maybe we should both go ask for one, Scarlett - I'm sure you should have got one too.

When I was a child I had fun and played with my friends at the weekends and had a miserable time learning to read and write during the week - maybe the situation has just been reversed in this generation. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Communication ?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
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Well, I've made an appt to speak to the teacher and I know she will just harp on about it being his responsibility..that's the story of my life at this school you just get told off for wanting to know what is going on and then told off when you don't do it ! Apparently none of the children learn their spelling, the teacher told me :shock: Well, I'm not interested in the other children, but if that's the case, don't you think you should review your communication ? I thought...but didn't say ! It was mentioned moons ago about times tables and making sure you learn the divisions too, but that was a verbal comment to me at parents evening, there are plenty of parents who may not know that and I remember being told they should know all their times t by the end of yr 4.

When I looked through DD spelling book half her spellings were copied down wrong too, I was just going to make her an appt with the optician when she announced she was told to copy them from xxxxx book who is older but obviously can't spell either !

I think that is why I'm worried about ds1 keeping up with his new peers at secondary because they've probably all been to brilliant schools.


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 Post subject: Re: Communication ?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:22 am 
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scarlett wrote:
I think that is why I'm worried about ds1 keeping up with his new peers at secondary because they've probably all been to brilliant schools.

I completely understand - just remember he got in, so he should be on a level with the others - and quite probably brighter than some of those who have come from schools that have been 'Grammar grooming' for the last two years.

My niece, who went from a rather poor primary to a selective school 18 months ago had caught up in everything (including French which some of the others had been learning for 4 years) by Easter year 7. Her form tutor said that they were aware of what the different Primary schools were like and kept an eye on them accordingly (He pretty much said what I did about the 'Grammar groomers' as well). She was also the niece who took the 'health days' - in fact missed about 1 day a fortnight after SATS - her mum took her round the museums in London - and got her started on Latin and Science. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Communication ?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:28 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:51 am
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scarlett wrote:
I think that is why I'm worried about ds1 keeping up with his new peers at secondary because they've probably all been to brilliant schools.

I wouldnt worry scarlett - he scored highly in the kent test so will be fine. Most grammars do CATS in the first term then use these to set targets. My dd for example is expected to get grade A in science and english assessments as these are her strong subjects but in a weak area her target is a C for assesments - if she gets above that she get merits etc - to encourage her to try harder in this area.


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 Post subject: Re: Communication ?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Yep it's pathetic. And as for kids copying them down to learn them that's bonkers too unless the teacher has the time to make sure they are written down correctly.

There's not much evidence that weekly spelling tests of this nature help with spellings that much anyway.

What I have asked for is to be able to see my child's exercise books from time to time so that I can build up a list of her own personal spelling weaknesses for her to work on over time.

Guess what the answer is? No.


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 Post subject: Re: Communication ?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:36 am 
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I'm astonished Mystery. I wouldn't have thought the school could refuse point blank to let you see your child's exercise books. :(


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