Bittersweet – Mon 13th July 2015

By | July 13, 2015

We’ve received D’s school report and confirmation of the teaching staff for September today.

D’s report is always extremely detailed and makes for lovely reading, she’s now at the end of Year 6 and it’s hard to remember that little, scared girl in mainstream who found the whole environment totally overwhelming.  We have a confident (if she’s totally happy with what she’s doing), smiling (ditto) young lady who will go upstairs to her classroom by herself, turn at the top and always give me a wave with a “bye Mumma” – unless she’s over anxious about something, in which case I go up with her and mention it to her teacher, whilst D gets ever more nervous and shy.

But on the whole, she’s doing fantastically well in the most appropriate setting for her.  T wouldn’t have achieved as much as he has in an SN environment, it just goes to show that every child is individual and should be treated as such.  Sweeping statements concerning autism (oh, we are SO familiar with those) just aren’t appropriate.  

The one thing that always brings me down a bit (and I know it has to be done) is the ranking within Key Stages according to the nationally expected standard.  

For T, it is always above and beyond, for D, it’s low, lower than “below the nationally expected standard”.  It is always a sharp reminder that, whilst she is doing extremely well by her standards, it’s way, way below her peers in mainstream.  But then, she’s happy, she loves to read, she’s learning to play the flute (which she loves) and virtually everyone in school describes her as a “lovely girl”.  Which she is.

A pride-inducing section in the closing paragraph:
“D is a polite, friendly and hardworking member of the class who always sets an excellent example for behaviour both inside and outside of the classroom.  It has been lovely to see her come into school with a smile on her face daily …. It has been a pleather to see D grow in confidence this year and I hope it continues into year 7”.

We couldn’t really ask for more.

Smiles from D today too as we received confirmation of who’s class she’ll be in from September.  She doesn’t know the two teachers but knows the TAs very well, one is in her current class, one from a couple of years ago and her and D have a lovely friendship.   

One thing causing D slight concern is who will be with her pupil-wise, hopefully not the child who calls her “ugly” or the one who says “ignore D, she’s mean” but if that’s the case, we’ll work with the school on confidence-boosting (something that is an ongoing issue) but at least D has the advantage that she doesn’t arrive by school bus, her Mumma (moi) will always “have a word” needs be.  They can hate me as long as they leave D alone!

I’m going to put those rankings out of my mind, it gets me every year.  She’s settled and happy and that means more to me than any number against a national standard.


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Silly Mummy on 15th July 2015 at 11:29 am.

Those rankings have always existed so that schools can be put into league tables, not because they have much value in what they tell us about children. Particularly on younger children, they are the most ridiculous assessments, and easily skewed both by the attitude of the child on the day & the way teachers administer them. It was never a good idea to rank schools by their results in tests like these, and it is even less of a good idea to judge children by their performance in them. Even if the assessments were not flawed, what really is the point? It is a very limited assessment of a certain type of academic ability. So what? Everyone has their own talents and abilities, and they are not all in that narrow academic range. Which is good. Where would we be if everyone could attain level 10 in English but no one could plumb a pipe, for example! No one with sense would believe that achieving at or above the national standard in the key stages is of greater value than being a child ‘who always sets an excellent example for behaviour’. You’re entirely right: D has done brilliantly and is settled, and that is what counts. #SSAmazingAchievements


Jeannette on 26th July 2015 at 4:17 pm.

Thank you, agree totally. I’d much prefer a happy D who’s going at her own pace, comfortable in her educational surroundings, than an over-stimulated anxious child who is too over-whelmed in mainstream to participate.
Her smile every afternoon (well, nearly) is enough for me 🙂


Erica Price on 15th July 2015 at 12:54 pm.

Sounds like she is doing really well and it’s all about D doing her best and achieving as much as she’s capable of. The rankings are really for the school more than anything.


Jeannette on 26th July 2015 at 4:15 pm.

Very true Erica, thanks for reading and commenting x


An imperfect Mum on 15th July 2015 at 7:22 pm.

Well done D. Agree totally with this post. We simply can not make blanket statements about autism. As parents we do simply what is best for our child. The focus on academic achievement can be unhealthy. I am so glad she has had a good year. Happy summer holiday! #SSAmazingAchievements


Jeannette on 26th July 2015 at 4:15 pm.

Thank you, it’s all started very well but we are in early days yet.
I tend to read those numbers and then ignore them, until next year anyway 🙂


xOjox on 16th July 2015 at 6:53 am.

Oh I know this one well. My two have had similar reports. R is hitting above and beyond, A is far behind. Thankfully all I can see is my children, the happy/grumpy/sometimes annoying boys xx


Jeannette on 26th July 2015 at 4:13 pm.

Very true, same here xx


Jane - Our Little Escapades on 21st July 2015 at 5:56 am.

I know it’s easy to say but don’t look ;0). I didn’t notice that chart in Ethan’s report, there was something on his parents even report but I haven’t worked that out yet. D is doing an amazing job, and it really does sound like she is in the perfect setting for her. I hope she has nice classmates next year, it sounds like she is very happy with the TA’s.

Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)


Jeannette on 26th July 2015 at 4:12 pm.

Thanks Jane, it’s great to know that already she’s happy with arrangements for September onwards 🙂
I think your E is in Foundation ATM so there might not have been any rankings, but as he moves into KS1 and then KS2, they’ll appear.
Hope your weekend went well x


alison on 21st July 2015 at 8:21 pm.

I can understand why the rankings would get to you, but what really matters is how happy and confident she is. Focus on that, and never mind the rest.


Jeannette on 26th July 2015 at 4:10 pm.

So true and thanks, she’s so happy and settled 🙂


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