You know you’re onto a loser with the boy when before you even start talking to him there is a frown across his brow. You just know that there will be incessant interruption and use of the word “BUT” at some considerable volume.
It matters not the time of day or the subject, if he’s decided he doesn’t want to talk about it, you’re in for an uphill battle. The latest uphill battle involves his school report.
I’m struggling to say it’s a bad school report, because i) he’s in reception and that’s hardly school- he’s not tried to burn the place down or cut anybody’s head off, so that must count as a plus; and ii) the actual report whilst being euphemistically negative in places (“working towards” a target? doesn’t that mean he’s failed to reach the target?), is so vague and woolly that we’ve got no real idea what’s going on one way or the other.
It’s sort of a rock and a hard place really. I’m not sure I’m completely comfortable with the school system assessing and regimenting children against a set of criteria such as those found in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) from such an early age, but if they do, they should do a better job of it than the recent school report evidences. The EYFS has a considerable number of targets/milestones in each of the categories that schools assess the children on. This should make it relatively easy to pinpoint exactly where a child is in relation to the EYFS. After all, you could simply mark the ones the child has achieved off with a highlighter or something. Some vague selection of words put into the semblance of a sentence isn’t really any help to anyone when it isn’t backed up by metrics, something it appears the EYFS has pretty much built in.
So if the school are going to start streaming kids for learning, I for one would rather know exactly what we need to work on the boy with at home, rather than left to read between the many lines in a report that, apart from the name on it, could probably have been given to two thirds of the boys in the class, it’s that general.
And so we shall once again be branded the ones causing a problem at the school, in an attempt to find out what we should have been told in the first place. It’s enough to make me grit my teeth, especially since on the innumerable times we’ve spoken to the school during the year, apparently everything has been fine.
It’s doubly frown-worthy because the boy more or less likes going to school now, the biggest hurdle to an education out of the way in happy attendance (or if not happy, then at least fatalism has set in early). I do get the distinct impression that he will like the tools school is equipping him with- reading particularly- once he has them since he’s got a very inquisitive mind, it’s just the slog of getting them that appears to be the issue.
I don’t think I’ve got this across at all well but if you want to read more, have a read of wifeys Tiger Mother post.