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Tapestry

Year R/1 Summer Dip


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I wonder whether anyone has experienced the summer dip as my class has this year. I had a third of my class being able to write sentence independently by the end of the year, but now in year 1 they cannot even write CVC words. They were working on Letters and Sounds Phase 4 and starting to use this in their writing - we did a lot of changing stories to make them our own or writing diaries of Ted Bear or bean planting as well as writing in role play areas. The Year 1 teacher is now tearing out her hair as even this group cannot write CVC words or think up rhyming strings. Looking at their books I would not have thought this was the same group of children. She does not suggest what she is expecting them to be able to do or any ideas on whether I should change my approach. Has anyone else experienced the summer dip? My HT is suggesting that we start more formal work at Easter to get over this, but I think this would cause more problems than it will solve. I feel I have failed. Moderation went well and agreed my assessments, so I do not think I was mistaken. Any thoughts?

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Hello.

Whilst I do not have any practical thoughts for you really as I am from nursery, I am wondering if this isn't just the dip after being away from school for a long summer break and heading into a class where things are new and different.

 

We are only 3 weeks or so into the term, surely the year one teacher hasn't given up yet?!!!

 

Maybe, and of course I don't know, because I don't know your children or either of the classes, but maybe the children aren't being excited by the year one teachers approach? Or, are they in a very formal set up now having just exited the reception class with it's play based curriculum?

 

I am not saying this is how it is, of course I am not but our year ones have suffered this term because we had someone covering for 2 weeks that had no early years experience and her expectations were horrific!

She was trying to get them to write from the line WITHOUT a line, maths work with no practical applications, trying to get the whole class to paint at the same time. . . We had children too upset to come in for a few days, children who had loved nursery and reception class and then been dropped into a class with such hideously formal expectations from ay one!

 

I suppose maybe I am wondering if the children are not to blame here. . .

Edited by Scarlettangel
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The dip will in all likelihood have occurred between yr2 and yr3 as it typically does, yet I bet the yr 2 teacher isn't tearing their hair out or being asked to be even more formal etc.....I hear the same thing from yr6 to yr 71 it's a continual moan!!! What the children could do confidently in a secure environment is not necessarily going to be what they produce immediately in a new, uncertain environment.

 

Their Eyfs outcomes are their previous best. they are capable of doing this and you will hopefully have samples of independent work still in your records to show this skill to the yr1 teacher.

 

Including yr1 teachers in moderation activities is a very good way of reducing this as it becomes a shared school agreed outcome rather than just yours, so this may be a pratical solution for future work??

 

cx

Edited by catma
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I get to keep a significant chunk of my reception children as year 1s and yes they have 'dipped' a bit after a break away from school. I always aim to start further back than I 'know' they are capable of e.g. we started at the beginning of phase 4 rather than in phase 5. One thing my school is trying this year is that we started their new books in the second half of the summer term rather than in September so that both the children and their next teacher had visible evidence of what they were capable of.

 

I too though have had, in the past, the other Y1 teacher complaining about how little the children can do. Very hard to listen to, sometimes I do end up feeling a little like I'm meant to have taught them all to write perfectly punctuated and spelt sentences in immaculate handwriting before they are 5!

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I get to keep a significant chunk of my reception children as year 1s and yes they have 'dipped' a bit after a break away from school. I always aim to start further back than I 'know' they are capable of e.g. we started at the beginning of phase 4 rather than in phase 5. One thing my school is trying this year is that we started their new books in the second half of the summer term rather than in September so that both the children and their next teacher had visible evidence of what they were capable of.

 

I too though have had, in the past, the other Y1 teacher complaining about how little the children can do. Very hard to listen to, sometimes I do end up feeling a little like I'm meant to have taught them all to write perfectly punctuated and spelt sentences in immaculate handwriting before they are 5!

 

Thank you for your replies - am sure it is not the children's fault Scarletangel.... unfortunately we have sent all their work home - always do in Yr R as it is their first year and they are so proud of it. But will definately moderate with Year 1 teacher next summer - in fact school will be doing this as a school throughout the year, so that should help. Maybe I gave them more help than I thought. They certainly are in a much more formal environment, so that may be making them feel insecure and they may not be sure of the teacher's instructions. Their sentences were indeed not perfect, not always using punctuation and letters not all formed correctly, but perfectly readable. Will not let it get me too depressed - they WERE doing some lovely writing and I am sure they will again! I like the new books idea too.. thank you.

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