It is appropriate to revise letter sounds and letter formation during the first two weeks of a new school year.
Even if the child is 'more capable' there are several reasons why a child might be asked to practice sounds or letters in Year 1, 2 or even 3.
- Baseline testing
- Revision because six weeks off school results in significant backsliding for many students
- If it's whole class work, the modelling of the capable peers is valuable for those less capable
- The child is actually not doing what they should be doing eg. letter formation is incorrect and while the parent may not think this is important/thinks it is fine for the child to write an 's' backwards, it has a huge impact on fluency and fluency has a significant impact on comprehension in reading and on spelling and sentence formation in writing
My DS had been at kindy for 2 days (he's 3 turning 4) and when I picked him up his teacher was quite rude and said he was not listening or following instructions. I asked what had happened and was told that during dance time he was too boisterous so he was told to sit out. When he went to sit down he decided to lay on his back rather than sit properly. She told me he was naughty and needed to change his behaviour. I thought it was a little OTT but didn't say anything. I asked him what had happened and he said the teacher was yelling and it hurt his ears. I felt pretty sad for him as he was so excited to be at kindy. I should also point out that I find it very hard to understand the teacher as English is not her first language. I assume my DS may have trouble with her accent also.
I have found that sometimes when a person, including a teacher, has English as an Additional Language Dialect they struggle sometimes to find the 'best' word. 'Naughty' is one of these words. A teacher with English as their mothertongue would easily find a more appropriate word to use. Many new arrival teachers I meet initially struggle to locate the more 'nuanced' words. However her requirement of having him sit out and not to loll about on the floor (safety aspects, especially if they are dancing) is not OTT.
Therefore the only thing I would bring up at this stage is that your DS indicated the teacher was yelling. However I don't see that this would be why he became boisterous enough to sit out of dancing. That's not a response
my DD2 (age 5) has spent the entire week colouring in, playing with play dough and learning the alphabet.
This is entirely age appropriate ways to engage with the curriculum. What was she colouring in? Often it is stuff that reinforces the learning. During the colouring in the class talks about the concepts or a display is made about the learning that has taken place. Play dough is an effective fine motor skills task and is part of the Arts Curriculum - it's sculpture. Creation of and appreciation of other's work is part of the Visual Arts curriculum. Learning the alphabet is a normal thing for 5yos to learn at school. For some it's new, for other's it's division and it takes a surprisingly long time to consolidate letter sounds and names. In the first week it is reasonable for the children to work on alphabet tasks as a whole class to support peers, get a baseline set of data and to revise.
My DD1 (age 6) is in Yr 1 split with Yr 2's. So far this week she has been learning 25 sight words and the book for the year is tracing out letters of the alphabet and learning how to write them. She learnt this in Term 1 at pp and is asking me why she can't practice writing sentences and stories and reading proper books. DD1 is not gifted at all - she was progressing at the normal rate for her age I thought. My concern is that Yr 1/2's should be learning more than this?
Year 2s *will* learn more than this. But it's the first week (second in some places?). You don't mention which sight words they are, sight words in Year 2 are appropriate. In any case, they may not be on the exact sight words in the first week. It might be a generic lot until the records have been reviewed/testing done.
I think you need to make an appointment in a few weeks rather than race down there immediately. Most schools have a meet the teacher night or parent-teacher interviews at some point in Term 1. What they are doing is age appropriate and appropriate for the first 1-2 weeks of school.
You can access the curriculum at http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Year2