Toby's story

An aggressive boy makes a brilliant turnaround in Key Stage One.

The Context

Toby could be aggressive and was achieving well below age related expectations at the end of Foundation Stage. He joined the infant and nursery school in the first term of Year One. Toby's family background was a difficult one: his older sibling has significant special education needs (SEN) and Mum has some mental health issues. Mum had a very poor relationship with a previous school as well as with other parents, and Toby finished Reception working at a low level in all areas. He could also be aggressive with other children.

The Impact of Achieving Early Firm Foundation

Structured conversations with Toby's mother allowed her to share information about the family and her own dyslexia. It also allowed a more trusting relationship to be developed with school. Through this, an agreement was obtained for a referral to be made for mentoring support for Toby.

An understanding of Mum’s reading difficulties meant that his class teacher could ensure she was aware of school activities (e.g. non-uniform days) so that Toby would always be prepared and not embarrassed, an emotion he found difficult to cope with. It was also an opportunity to encourage Mum to hear Toby read, despite her own lack of confidence. She began to do this regularly. At school, additional interventions were put in place to support Toby’s reading and writing. It was apparent that Toby was keen to learn.

Toby became more confident, with much improved self esteem. Mum helped with some school trips and it was evident that Toby really enjoyed her being there. Maths quickly became a strength. By the end of Year Two, Toby was also reading confidently and was willing to try hard with his writing. Toby made strongly accelerated progress working at an age related level by the end of Key Stage One.