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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:43 pm 
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I had a parents meeting at my dd's school.

Some background: My dd is currently 13 with an april birthday. She was bullied by a group of girls in year 5 and 6 in primary school, so did have low self confidence but in year 6 she left school with level 4's in maths, science and english.

We thought she would not be suitable for our local grammar school, so didn't enter her to sit the exam and chose a much smaller independent school with 300 children. She was very shy when she started but she only has 16 girls in her class and her head teacher commentated she has done well and is becoming more confident and speaking out more. She has done well with maths going up from a 4c to a 6c in year 7 to currently working at a level 7 in year 9 -her last three test scores have been above 80's but at her teacher mentioned that sometimes she can be slow in picking up concepts and won't understand things the first time round and needs more explanations but once it clicks she's okay. He suggested getting a test carried out by an Educational Psychologist but her slowness was also mentioned by her languages teacher. i was told to contact another teacher who could provide me with more information but she had already left.

My dd who was with me was on the verge of tears, has anyone had any experience with having an assessment done?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:03 am 
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I have not had an ed Psych report doen for my ds but he has been through an OT assessment for dypraxia. I can only say that we found it helpful as it explained the difficulties my ds was having in certain areas and perhaps helped us accept his quirks and enabled us to work out strategies to make his life a bit easier and allow him progress with his learning.

It may be your dd has a particular learning style and a greater awareness of this would make it easier for teachers to give her the support she needs. Hopefully someone with more knowledge will come along soon!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:12 am 
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Your poor daughter; it sounds as if the teacher was a little insensitive in the way he communicated this information to you. I think for a teacher to suggest an Ed Psych test in front of a child is very poor, and if a child is having problems to the extent that a teacher thinks this is needed, the school ought to have been in touch with you before, in a more appropriate setting.
I have two suggestions here - one is to move this thread to the SEN section as it might be that someone will pick up on it there, and the other is to try and speak to the SENCO at school and find out what is going on and why it was raised in this way.

Best wishes.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:56 pm 
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Geez I agree with Amber what a dolt.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:56 pm 
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I have to say I agree with Amber and DC17C

There seem to be a number of issues here:

1 - If your daughter is achieving is there really a need for a full EP assessment?
2 - As Amber says, if staff are concerned it really should not have been raised in the first instance in front of your daughter. To a lot of people not used to talk of Psychologists the mention of seeing one can make them jump to upsetting, inaccurate conclusions about themselves. Unfortunately it's all too easy for people used to dealing with EPs and the like to forget this.
3 - It would be much more appropriate to meet with concerned teachers and the SENCo to discuss the concerns more fully and make an agreed action plan if that is felt necessary.
4 - If the action plan includes getting an EP assessment everyone involved should have a clear understanding of what the desired outcome is - in other words, what question/s are they hoping an assessment will be able to answer for them?

I don't know how it works in the independent sector - do they expect you to organise and pay for the assessment yourself rather than the local authority in the state sector? Do they have an EP they have worked with in the past? If you are to find someone yourself, make sure they are a properly qualified - anyone can call themselves a Psychologist although Educational Psychologist is a legally protected title. Check they are registered with the Health Professions Council. Are they on the list of Chartered EPs on the British Psychological Society website? If you are organising the assessment (and even if you're not) have a chat with them first - even if they are properly qualified do they have experience in assessing children such as your daughter? How will they build rapport with your daughter? How will they explain the purpose of the assessment to her? After they have finished will they just send you a report or will they meet with you (and school?) to explain the report and its implications? I think it is really important to have a follow up meeting so that all parties can be sure they have understood the assessment findings. (I don't mean to imply that you might not understand, just that I've read very clear, well written EP reports and some written so poorly that the recipient was very upset at what they thought the report was saying. The distress could have been avoided by the particular EP writing more clearly, or at least having a follow up appointment to explain what he was saying!)

I'm sorry, I'm working and am rushing so I hope this reply isn't adding to your stress. On the whole I think EP assessments can be incredibly useful for helping understand an individual's pattern of strengths and relative weakness, and understanding how this impacts on their learning. Based on this understanding you can develop strategies that utilise an individual's strengths and help support areas of relative weakness. So if there really is a good educational rationale for having an EP assessment it may well be worth it. Based on the findings teachers may be more able to meet your daughter's learning needs, and one would hope this would lead to a more positive educational experience for her.

And it really is very important how this is all explained to your Dd. Explained in a sensitive and low key way the whole assessment process is really quite painless. I would want to check my Dd hadn't developed any unhelpful beliefs about why she was being assessed, address any worries etc so that it doesn't become a negative experience for her - when really it needn't be.

All the very best


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:56 am 
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Was it just two teachers that made this comment?

I once had a headteacher make exactly the same comment about my daughter's maths as your maths teacher. The identical words .... Apart from the fact she did not do it in front of my child and did not recommend an ed psych.

I was incensed at her judgemental nature - this was year 2 - and also the very idea that a maths teacher would expect all new concepts to go in first time round without further explanation. What do they think is the point of a teacher I wonder?

Your daughter's maths teacher sounds like a complete idiot. Fancy saying all this in front of her at parents' evening - whether correct or not.

The end of my tale - I used an ed psych just to be sure my view of my child was not distorted - I personally thought she was likely to turn out fairly strong in maths. Now in year 5 she appears to be ahead of the children who were feted as maths genii for several years. The head is not very good at maths and even worse at teaching it I have discovered.

The maths teaching overall in the school is not great. My daughter's maths could be a lot better. So could everyone else's. Maybe something similar at yours? Blame the child when they are not getting the results that a better teacher might get? Has your daughter's progress slowed and he is on the defensive but using an attack approach? Horrid.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:36 pm 
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How awful for teachers to be raising this at a public meeting and in front of your DC.

Despite this I would investigate further as an EP report might be helpful if , as explained as above, it helps to see if there are any things that teachers could be doing to help with your DD's learning style or ways that you can support he learning at home.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:05 pm 
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KB wrote:
How awful for teachers to be raising this at a public meeting and in front of your DC.

Despite this I would investigate further as an EP report might be helpful if , as explained as above, it helps to see if there are any things that teachers could be doing to help with your DD's learning style or ways that you can support he learning at home.
Just to offer the opposite view: if it were me I would definitely not go to an EP at this stage. There was a thread on the Everything Else section recently in which you can see a range of views about going to a psychologist. viewtopic.php?f=38&t=35707

I would need some convincing to take this route under the circumstances you describe: it is expensive, you risk finding a 'problem' where there isn't one, and you can't 'un-see' it once it is done. I would talk to the SENCo and some other teachers first, as well as your daughter herself to see if she thinks action needs to be taken.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:36 pm 
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For my tupenny worth, why is a child who picks things up first time called bright, and a child who needs clarification called slow. Where does "normal" lie?
She obviously retains the information after clarification to get 80%, so where is the problem? As she gets older she will simply go hone and log into bbc bitesize for herself. The saddest thing is she certainly won't be asking her maths teacher for explanation now he/she has basically told her it is an abnormal thing to do, which is a giant teaching step backwards.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:57 pm 
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As someone who has taught adults maths in the past, I wish I had a pound for everyone that said to me.

'I had a teacher who wouldn't explain it again if we didn't understand the first time'.

You only need to have one teacher like this for one year for it to potentially have a big impact. You miss out something fundamental and it hinders your understanding of things that rely on it.

My DD understands most maths concepts straight away. However for some reason ratios were a blind spot she just didn't get. Thankfully she has a mother who has been able to explain it for her in a way she could grasp.


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