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 Post subject: Even More School Woes !
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 9:17 am 
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Posts: 3664
Sorry, but I'm having my next school crisis . :( My DS2 has had a bit of a raw deal since yr1 with depressed teachers not covering the curriculum , endless supply teachers and then no teacher for 6 months ..... I have had to try to fill in the gaps at home and although I think he is where he should be ( he's now in yr 4) , I do feel sad and rather cross that he may have been in a completely better place if there hadn't been this history. The reason I'm worried again is because 5 parents have just spoken to me saying they are worried that the current teacher is having problems teaching , because of lots of boys in the class with issues and coupled with mixed ages and little teaching support ..they say their children have not achieved the levels set for them , particularly in maths and I have noticed also DS2 has dropped slightly in maths too.

These parents are telling me, I think to see if they can squeeze any info from me as DH is a governor so it's a bit awkward, but on the other hand it has got me worried , as I have noticed these things too. I just said to try and do bits and pieces at home , but people seem reluctant to do this and I think instead they are planning to stage a big complaint which I think isn't fair on the teacher as I think she is trying her best under difficult circumstances. I think I should keep out of it , but on the other hand I'm distressed again that my poor son is putting up with a sub standard education.What do you think is the best move ? Sorry by the way, when all my children are at Secondary in 2014...I won't be boring you again ! ( unless there's problems with GCSE, uni etc !)


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 10:11 am 
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I can appreciate that your DH being a governor makes it awkward and I think you're right to avoid getting involved with a big complaint. I don't think going in mob handed works any way. The senior management will close ranks and nothing will get improved for anyone. If you have specific concerns about your own son then maybe go and talk to the teacher about what you can all do to help him - rather than implying criticism of the teacher, who sounds as if she's trying her best in difficult circumstances. Are you free any day to go in as a parent helper? Sounds like she could do with an extra pair of hands.

In my experience, however, children learn precious little in the summer term anyway. :( What's the Year 5 teacher like? That's the crucial year in 11 plus terms.


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 10:24 am 
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Ooh, such a tricky one, I see the problem every way round!! If I were the teacher (and maybe after a tip-off or the first couple of moans from parents) I would at this stage be showing I was doing my best to get the maths levels up and have a concerted effort to up the pace for the more able ones both in school and at home.

I'd be really clear to the parents about what I was covering in maths each week and send home relevant homeworks that would consolidate the learning in class that week. If the parents don't act on this with their kids at home then fine, at least the teacher has done his / her level best to up the ante. If TA support is lacking, asking some highly selected parents to volunteer during numeracy sessions (with a little prior training beforehand) could be good too if there are some parents up to this (e.g. you!!).

I don't know that you can do anything different from what you have done though. I don't think as a governors' wife you should have to talk any differently from them than if you were not a governors' wife.

And as for not much happening during the summer term ........ well, this is the teacher's chance to buck the trend and catch up with them. I'm sure I've read something recently that shows that children make the most progress during the summer term - it does seem counter to many people's experience but it does look this way apparently from an analysis of teacher assessments at the start and end of each term. Sorry I can't remember where I read it - it's on the internet somewhere and relatively fresh, and done in the UK recently.


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 10:31 am 
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My son will have this teacher until he leaves primary as the classes are mixed ! I did use to go into school to help and started off reading, checking times tables, that sort of thing but then it was gradually changed to general dogsbody....photocopying, helping with pe putting up displays, which I didn't really mind doing but I noticed the reading etc was then just dropped which didn't help the children.I'm not critisizing the teacher, by the way... just fed up with constantly being told your child is on a catch up programme due to inadequate teaching somewhere along the line....which is what they tell us ! Just wondering now instead of just putting up with it and effectively teaching my children at home maybe I should be more proactive and complain.


Mystery , just read your post...I always thought the children learnt the most during this term too.Apparently their teacher is struggling...but apart from parents helping, can head teachers not do a bit of teaching ? It just seems unfair yet again on the children.


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 10:47 am 
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scarlett wrote:
My son will have this teacher until he leaves primary as the classes are mixed !

Good grief! My son is in mixed Year 1/2 (which I loved in Year 1 and am quite fed up with now) and we've had experience of mixed Year 3/4 and 5/6 but no wonder the teacher is struggling if she's trying to teach all the age groups at once!

If she is teaching Year 6 as well then presumably keep out of the way until the end of next week. :(

This sounds like an unsatisfactory arrangement all round - poor Scarlett!

Go and talk to the Head (after Sats) - the teacher obviously needs help from somewhere. Why doesn't she at least have a shiny faced student teacher in tow? My kids' school always has one on their long placement at this time of year - they're worth their weight in gold.


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 11:26 am 
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Thanks, PP Mum ,I think I'll wait and see what happens with the other parents as my son seems to be doing ok really and maybe has just plateaued a bit....needs to have an health day perhaps ! I'm a bit annoyed to be honest with the parents....they all descended on me this morning asking what I thought/ should do etc but then pooh poohed all my advice, and are the sort of parents who haven't done anything up to now, just are panicking because of secondary looming perhaps ! I don't really know how it will help speaking to the head , because I know they are aware of the challenge that class is and short of pulling my children out which I would only do as a last resort I think I'll just have to carry on as before . I just find it annoying that so much time is spent for example watching a boy every 2 minutes who blocks the toilet and our lovely children are just left to their own devices !


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 11:34 am 
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Perhaps you could persuade the governors to do a few long-term exclusions?!!!


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 12:26 pm 
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It's last chance saloon for most and the school prides itself ( rightly so ) in turning them around.

If you are referring to The Severe Parent Governor otherwise known as my husband...then I shall have to start honing my persuasive skills because they don't usually work !


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 12:45 pm 
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Yes I agree too it's right that some schools, particularly church schools, do pride themselves in trying to keep children in school and to help them become "model" pupils.

Perhaps as a school they need to share this view, and their methods, more widely with all parents so that parents feel proud to be part of this turn-around process - the parents of both the problems and the easy kids if you see what I mean. There are various peer-mentoring systems etc for school kids where maybe everyone can get a bit more trained and involved rather than feeling that there are the "pains" and the "good kids" and their children's education is suffering because of the pains.

Maybe that's a better one to get your husband onto than scaring the toilet blocker out of the county!!


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 12:46 pm 
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Quote:
Sorry by the way, when all my children are at Secondary in 2014...I won't be boring you again ! ( unless there's problems with GCSE, uni etc !)


Well I intend to stay here after mine have all gone to secondary (2010 - aargh!). I don't often look at the bootom of the index, but I feel I will be moving in there when the time is right! :D


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