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High Expectations For 4 Year Old?


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A parent approached me today whose child began school in September.

She is concerned that the workload given to her daughter since starting school is too much xD

 

From the first week of attendance (she is part time attending am's only until January) she has had to learn 3 letters per week. This week she has to start writing messages to be used in class :o

 

I must admit that i think this is too much, i was under the impression that the FS continued into reception and that while there would be more emphasis on the learning of letters/numbers, it would still be within a play based environment.

 

The parent has attended a parents evening but just found that "this is the way the school does it".

 

The child still attends our nursery during the afternoon and appears to be worn out.

 

This concerns me as, if this is normal practice i feel our pre school children are not prepared and we need to review our planning and routines to ensure they are able to cope with the workload.

 

Any of your comments or advice would be great :D

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That is the standard amount of work (possibly a little less than some) :D but I wouldn't expect any of my part-timers to go on to nursery after school!

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Lucy, please dont do that!

 

You should not have to prepare your children for the next stage, although an awareness of it is always useful but you should be tecahing, providing activities and experiences for your children to allow them to develop from where they are now.

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Yes I entirely agree with you Susan we should provide activities for children to do for the stage they are at not what they should be doing next year.!!!!!!

Apparantly parents choose my pre-school because they say we prepare children for school. Yes I do, I ensure each child has good self help skills, can share, listen, be confidence and be kind.

We, like you Lucy provide play based learning activities so children learn without realising it and I think this is the way to be. Some of my children do recognise sounds and words can count 26 children at register time but every child is different and they are all at different levels.

Most of my children thrive when they go to school but unfortunately there is always the odd one that takes longer to settle or needs a less formal curriculum.

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Hi Lucy,

Did you write a record of transfer for this child when she started school? At what FS level was she in the curriculum area of "writing"? This should be where the school starts from. We are just 12 weeks into the academic year, allowing time for settling in PSE adjustments etc and the fact that she is only part time (which would equate to just 6 wks of full time education) What do you think her "next steps" should be?

 

I think it is sad that the parent hears the message "well, this is the way we do it" ( even though this might be a misconception on her part) Hopefully the parent is able to talk to the teacher and let her know that she feels her daughter is struggling with the expectations and that this may cause stress and possibly a dislike to "learning" the joys of writing for a purpose.

The ELG for writing (to be achieved at the end of Reception year - Summer Term 2006) requires children to write their own names, labels and captions and BEGIN TO FORM SIMPLE SENTENCES ( ie: messages to be used in class).

 

As we know each individual child is different, maybe Mum can support her daughter at home by making writing fun, inspire her to learn letters and words which interest her - primarily her name for example, and give her opportunities to feel a sense of achievement.

 

Please don't change your curriculum to help children "get ready for school". I think most teachers ask that we do prepare them by developing good attitudes, confidence, self help skills, as mentioned.

 

I have children aged 3-4 who attend my preschool 5 full days a week, ( 8:45 - 15:15), they all follow the FSC and are not too tired in the afternoons, they learn, and have the freedom, to rest when they want to. I also have children who come to the preschool after a morning at school, this is not ideal, especially the travel logistics, but they do enjoy their afternoons with us and still access the FSC with enthusiasm.

 

I Hope this issue is sorted out for the child's sake.

 

Peggy

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Yes I just worry for children like this because my granddaughter was one of these children she absolutely dreaded school because she was a young 4 year old and disliked school so much that it took her 2 years to settle in. This caused much distress to her family as she used to dread getting up on school days she didn't learn much because she hated being there She is now enjoying school

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Yes Peggy I also have have children that stay all day or join us in the afternoon after school and like at yours children can rest a while if they wish but they soon perk up again because the activities are exciting for children and they can't resist joining in. I also thought that all settings were following the F.S.C.

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Hi

 

As a reception / nursery teacher I feel that too much is being asked of your little girl. If she is not ready for three letters a week then she is not ready and there is little point of pushing the child in this way. I strongly feel that children are pushed beyond what they are capable of sometimes and the fun and enjoyment are lost. It saddens me that parents are made to feel that their children are not achieving at such an early stage in the FS currciulum (bearing in mind some children will continue to develop their learning and skills into Year1).

 

Please reasure the parent that she is right to ask questions and needs to go back to the reception class teacher with her concerns and hopefully get a reply that will reassure her. Perhaps you might have some early literacy leaflets that you could share with mum (I was thinking of the type from the that we get at the beginning of the school year explaining early literacy/ numeracy skills, but have also seen some specific to LEAs)

 

I have previously stated that we follow a sound a week for those children that are ready in our unit with differentiated activities for those who are ready for more than one sound/ less than one sound, due to the very low levels on arriving in nursery. We were advised to follow three sounds a week with no success just a sense of frustaration at being expected to push children in this way.

Again you need to know your children and plan, play and work accordingly.

 

At the moment we send home a little flyer each week to parents stating the sound of the week that we are focusing on as a whole class and encourage children to bring in an item/ picture etc for a sound display (supplememting what we have stashed in the class).

 

Hope this helps, its scary how play and fun get lost in identifying a specified number of sounds a week without looking at the individual child. I would suggest that this is an overview that is aimed for (hopefully) and that the class teacher is realistic, pragmatic and enjoys the learing that the children achieve whether or not its three sounds a week.

 

love Lisa

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From the opposite end of the subject ............ Today I had the parent of a nursery child (3 years old) approach me (reception teacher in a foundation stage unit) to ask my help to teach her child to form 's' correctly as they are having difficulty with the formation. i could only tell her not to worry as this didnt in any way mean her child was 'falling behind' :o

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From the opposite end of the subject ............ Today I had the parent of a nursery child (3 years old) approach me (reception teacher in a foundation stage unit) to ask my help to teach her child to form 's' correctly as they are having difficulty with the formation. i could only tell her not to worry as this didnt in any way mean her child was 'falling behind' xD

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I wonder if she can hold and use a knife and fork yet :(:o

 

Peggy

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