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Underachievement Of Boys


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Morning all!

Got out FSP data back from the Borough yesterday in a format which, for the first time ever, I could understand. Had a look through and got a really bad shock. Our boys are lagging behind the girls in every single strand and by a significant amount. Our school is pretty much on a par with other primary schools in our group and just under national averages.

We do operate free flow in Reception - the children are free to play outside or in any of the other Reception classrooms after the first forty minutes in the morning. We plan for the indoor and outside areas and the learning objectives are the same in both but we knew anyway that the girls are always keen to work with the adults and be near them whilst the boys like playing their own games - pretty much regardless of what we set up for outside. I know the advice is to take the learning to where they are but that seems so much easier said than done. We do make sure the boys take part in the focused activities but it is all the less structured ones they are not going to. I also know we need to improve on our observations because there is a case that good use of language (for example) could be going on but we are missing it because we can't get the obs done because of staff absence and PIPs testing (don't get me started again on that...).

Any advice, good ideas would be very welcome!

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This is quite usual, although you may find boys ahead in areas of Maths, KUW and PD. We know that boys develop language processing parts of their brains later on and our curriculum (especially the emphasis on reading and writing) is girl friendly (ie we value things more that are generally better done by girls at this age).

If you want to do a bit of analysis of your data, is the difference between the girls and boys similar to your family groups schools, or your LA? This would tell you that you're not looking at something exceptional to your own practice. The its worth looking at the ages are the children who are doing less well also summer born? What have you defined as a significant amount (are we looking at % who achieved 6+). Sometimes that data looks worse than it is, eg te boys might have scored 5 so are actually not really significantly behind, and if you can work out where they are not scoring and the girls are, you have the start of an action plan..

Hope that makes sense at this early hour after another sleepless fireworky night!

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I have also just had the data and we have seen the same pattern as you described. It is reasuring to see others with similar results. Thanks for the links given in this post as I was beginnning to panic!

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Thanks so much for your replies. Mundia, our percentage differences are much larger than those of similar schools or the national average but it was good to read what you had to say about summer born and boys with 5 FSP points (haven't looked at that possiblity yet). Thanks too to JoA for details of the booklet (which I will definitely be downloading) and to 1979TP - good to know there is someone else in the same boat. We are going to have a long hard think about what we are going to do with your suggestions in mind. Many thanks.

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Thanks for that..

 

Will print it off and have a read....

 

Currently having that discussion about boys too.... but also about why very few of our children score point nine.... we are below county average and below schools similar to us...... just can't win can you....

 

L

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Hello

We too have identified a general underacheivement amongst our boys, so this year we are having a real drive to develop their overall independence - anything from putting on their own coats to working in problem solving groups in the construction area. It does seem to be a general trend, and I'm sure we'll crack it between us!

MaryW

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Some thing weird is happening in our school. For both FSP and end of KS1 results boys have out performed girls! And quite significantly as well. Does anyone have any ideas for how to improve girls scores?? I know that's not the normal question that is asked! We haven't done anything special, it just so happens that the majority of boys in last years cohort were bright when they came in so we went with it. Who knows what will happen this year!

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its nothing new about boys under achieving initially against girls after twenty years of teaching i have seen this trend year after year. It usually is year 2 that they catch up some even needing year 3, but they then tend to overtake the girls. Have read the booklet supporting boys achievement and it really makes good sense, i think also ros wilson's techniques for writing really help boys too. What i have also seen is that boys vocabulary isn't where it used to be and generally more SALT children or referrals which have sometimes altered the outcomeof sats results in both ks1 and ks2

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Year on year we find that our results show a dip in boys achievements especially in writing. This year it is part of my action plan and performance management. I have always had a writing table but this year I am making a concerted effort to encourage the boys to use it. I want to use Bob the Builder tool belts with pencils etc and I have created a writing box specific to boys interests. I also make a huge fuss when the boys use the writing area or when writing in the role play corner. I also take photos for our learning journey display.

 

My LA adviser for the Letters and Sounds programme has told me that through the CLLD project they have found that boys respond really well to the programme as the activities are short but offer an immediate challenge. So far I have seen an increased interest and confidence in phonics, including oral blending and segmentation. We also provide daily opportunities for the children to access fine and gross motor activties as I find that boys pencil control needs extra support.

 

Lastly I introduced our Beat Baby last term and the emotional response from the boys was significant, coupled with the use of rhythm and beat, I feel that this too will have an impact on their writing etc.

Research has shown that August born boys are the cohort of children that consistently underachieve, that is a real worry and one which I am monitoring this year.

Munch

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I have just been on the link and looked at some of the publications about boys, and I now feel completely demorolized! Lovely ideas, that I completely would love to do in my class and can see the benifits of immedietly, but when is there time to do it! The main thought they all get to as far as I can see is to allow more time for child initiated play and for adults to support this play. I would love to do this!!!! However I can't see how it can be fitted in properly due to pressures of literacy mostly. Our planning is "marked" each week so If I write "supporting independent learning" negative comments are made!

I know its really important and actually have a class as a whole who really need me to be doing this more and more.

 

Is it possible to do this in reception effectivly? If it is, how do people manage it?

 

Amanda

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