We found out that Son is either staying the same in all key areas or improving slightly. His teacher has no particular worries, says he is gaining in confidence, but still melts into the background for Literacy. I told her Son knew this was his weak point and his low self-esteem meant that he was backing away from tackling it. I was roundly told that there are no weak points, just areas that need support. Yeah, like I said, Literacy is his weak point.
As for Daughter, we found out that she is slipping in two key areas, despite the support she is getting, that she was wetting herself when away on the residential course, that she is sometimes spiteful to her friends and hits them, but that her teacher thinks it's fine because she 'knows her background'.
So there you go, pretty standard Parent's Evening stuff. Oh, wait....
Daughter's falling behind in Year 6, wetting herself and hitting people? But her teacher thinks it OK because of 'her background'?
Her teacher also thinks that Daughter not being able to spell basic words like 'does' 'could' and 'point' is OK too, in fact she's 'not bothered' so much by Daughter's inability to spell as her writing having no 'fizz' (she means 'adverbs', people, she wants 10 year olds to put more adverbs in their work but isn't bothered that they can't spell ). I pointed out that adverbs are useful in literary pieces, but in most jobs decent spelling is generally seen as more important. 'Jobs' you know one of those things all of us have to get when we leave school, unless we become a teacher.
I don't even know where to start with this. I've given up with the School's Learning Mentor, who, not to be too unkind, is nice but thick, the Inclusion Manager appears ignorant. I don't even just want another meeting with Daughter's teacher. I've only spoken to her twice and twice I've had to hold back from quickly (adverb!) and lightly (adverb!) slapping her annoying face.
The Headteacher is an competent woman and was helpful when we approached the school to try and get our children places there, but I don't know. Do you go straight to the Head when your child has holistic problems and you don't know what you want done? The other option, which I feel a bit more comfortable with, is to speak to a woman I respect in the School Office who is not a teacher, but who is obviously quite high up the school hierarchy. She was there right at the beginning helping the kids into school, so she knows them and me. Thing is, she's got a fancy-dan school title and I don't know what her remit is.
And I don't know what to ask for, I don't know what Daughter needs.
It's all smoke and mirrors. Sometimes when I look at Daughter I see someone who is worryingly dysfunctional, heading towards mental health problems, and in need of serious professional help. Other times I see a girl who is damaged but doing very well considering, who will be OK as long as I hold her hand.
It's a really good school and I have no doubt that if I speak to the right people if something needs to be done, it will be done. But does something need to be done? Am I making too much of everything?
I'll have to sleep on it all.