Learning to read in Y1 & Y2

(312 Posts)
learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 19:38:33

How unusual is it for a primary school to focus its attention in YR on teaching the letter sounds, maybe some digraphs, perhaps one or two trigraphs (or maybe not even) and learning (whatever that means) lists of HFW, but not to any great extent turn attention to reading actual books (of any kind)?

And the school thereby, presumably, places the emphasis of learning to read books (of whatever kind) onto Y1 and beyond? And, if one's school has such a system how does one approach it if one's child already reads books quite well and has done throughout Reception? Getting the Reception teacher up to speed with the child's reading has taken a while, but it's getting there. Does one expect to have to introduce every teacher at every early years level to the child's ability to read?

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 19:47:58

No. They do talk to each other you know smile. Although, having said that DS's Y1 teacher gave him a very easy book as his first book. The second book was the same as the level he left YR at and now he is bringing home a selection of books, some a bit easier than the ones he reads at home, some about the same. He enjoys the easier ones and we take longer over the harder ones, interspersing them with our own stuff. As he is reading fluently it's more a decision on subject matter/diffiiculty of comprehension/different styles etc now. I made an appointment to have a chat with his teacher about his reading, and this helped us both get on the same page so to speak. That worked for me smile.

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 20:00:31

OK, thanks, Tgger. I'm kind of worried that it's not so much that they don't talk to each other, more that they have a system of some kind and it expects to deal with "this kind of child." So far it seems to have come as something of a surprise to them to see a child that could read. I've heard it said that it's unusual for children to arrive in Reception already reading. But I wouldn't have expected it to be a shock. And I would have expected the response to have been to give the child books to read. But that's only just started happening, (well, depending on what one calls books, hasn't quite happened yet.) But, yes, I think I might try and have a chat as we enter Y1, just in case it's necessary.

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 20:02:11

Most of DD's reception class are learning their sounds (although the nursery attached to the school did a lot of the basic ones last year - but there will be kids who did not attend the school nursery iyswim).

All of the kids have now got reading books but vary from ORT stage 2 down to sound books. Each child also gets a jolly phonics book with words with a certain sound to practice.

DD has a yellow jolly phonics book to read which is fine (a bit too easy tbh but not alarmingly so) but these books seem to be a series of pictures with several sentences underneath to read but don't link to each other so no story if that makes sense.

The school seem to have a pretty good idea of what DD can do (she is encouraged to take in books from home to read once a week). It seems quite rare in my DC school to have a child starting school able to read well (not on MN though wink). There are 2 kids out of 90 who are good readers (DD is one of them) and the school are very good at differentiating for them, I could not be happier tbh...

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 20:04:24

Forgot to say I also do a work placement in another school in reception and there are 120 kids in 4 classes and none of them can read yet....

ilikenoodles Sat 24-Nov-12 20:09:12

I've been told there is two out of 90 reception kids who can read in my Ds's year, my son is one, I believe they have one or two per year who can ready very well usually

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 20:10:31

Hello, simpson. I fished an old thread out of G&T about children that can already read in Reception for you below in this group. It's got lots of lovely info about series books.

I envy you a little in that your daughter was already in a nursery attached to the school and also has the same teacher as she had in nursery. So it's understandable that her teacher knows what she can do. It's also sensible that they have a system for progressing reading children from nursery, (if they teach them to read there,) even if it involves some overlap. Presumably not all their children come from their nursery. So it makes sense that their system caters for everybody. But the point is that your school seems to have a system for Reception children who can read, whereas mine doesn't appear to. And I'm just wondering what that means if they don't have a system for Y1 children who can read pretty much anything either....

ilikenoodles Sat 24-Nov-12 20:17:00

hmm i wonder that too...

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 20:18:08

In DS's Y1 class he and another boy can read fluently. Then the next group is reading about ORT 6 I think.... (but will probably catch up DS and the other boy by Christmas).

So, you can see that the teacher gears the reading/phonics to the main body of the class. But... at the same time they will differentiate for children who need levels higher/lower. In my experience they are open to chatting to parents and getting it right per child if you can work with them.. and be sensitive to demands on their time etc smile.

Just fyi in YR I was also concerned that DS would get the right attention for his level of reading etc when the class were learning quite simple phonics. It did take a few conversations with the teacher to get him on the right level and I decided myself to plug the gaps in his phonics myself rather than waiting for the class as they were going very slowly (mrz has posted how she teaches the phonics as the children need them, but in DS's class it was slower geared to the whole class so not so good for DS). Perhaps if I had been more chilled out I could have left it to the teacher and DS would be with the rest of the class in his reading but as he was keen and raring to go, trying to figure out the code for himself I decided to do it myself. grin.

The other child in his class reading fluently has a Mum who is Secondary school English teacher......

mrz Sat 24-Nov-12 20:24:59

Most secondary school English teachers admit they know nothing about teaching very young children to read (or any children for that matter)Tgger even some KS2 find it a mystery wink

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 20:26:33

Yeah, but perhaps they love books and manage to teach their child like I did..it's not rocket science...grin. I did learn the phonics alongside DS though.. and I do teach young children music so I know a bit about how their brains work...

TwoHats Sat 24-Nov-12 20:28:24

DS1 started reception able to read (I've not asked if there are others in his year so I don't know), his teacher has been really good at giving him fun books, which haven't been based on the reading scheme levels. DS1 has a lot of work to do to get his writing up to a similar standard to his reading, so he participates in the basic sounds phonic group sessions, but is given a task relating to writing the letters while other groups spend more time practising reading the sounds. The aims in his reading diary have been a mix of comprehension of the story, writing and drawing.

I'm really happy with the approach DS's school are taking, it is a class of 30 but there still seems to be time to deal with the individual needs of each child.

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 20:30:22

LandS - is the thread in G&T??

I think DD and this other little boy are "challenging" the school tbh grin

Deputy Head spoke to me at parents eve and he said he had gone back through the school records and they had not had a child on the level that DD is at (or the other boy before).

She is starting yr1 work after Xmas in all subjects and I am very lucky in that because she is in such a big class (90 in one large room with 3 teachers and 3 TAs) they have allocated one TA just for DD and the other child. She is doing yr1 phonics now. And my concern is that this will not continue through to yr1 (I mentioned this concern at parents eve) as the school have a policy of not letting kids go into higher years for lessons and whilst most subjects can be differentiated in the classroom, phonics can't. So I will wait and see what happens I guess...

TwoHats Sat 24-Nov-12 20:31:00

DS1 started reception able to read (I've not asked if there are others in his year so I don't know), his teacher has been really good at giving him fun books, which haven't been based on the reading scheme levels. DS1 has a lot of work to do to get his writing up to a similar standard to his reading, so he participates in the basic sounds phonic group sessions, but is given a task relating to writing the letters while other groups spend more time practising reading the sounds. The aims in his reading diary have been a mix of comprehension of the story, writing and drawing.

I'm really happy with the approach DS's school are taking, it is a class of 30 but there still seems to be time to deal with the individual needs of each child.

TwoHats Sat 24-Nov-12 20:31:32

Apologies for double post, computer having a funny moment!

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 20:32:40

I don't know. This "they all catch each other up" idea worries me. I don't understand it. If it means "by the end of Y2 they've all learned to decode to a similar level," fine. But if it means they're all at the same reading level then it can't be true because by that time some children have read the whole Angels series, the whole Famous Five series, maybe an Encyclopaedia or two (if they're that way inclined.) Some have read all the staff manuals from NATO. Clearly these children and the ones who are reading about Chip and Biff aren't at the same level even if they can now all decode the word phosphorus.

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 20:36:59

Well DS never got put up for phonics or got any special attention. I think he just does the Y1 phonics like anyone else as he did the YR ones, but it's fine as it's great revision for his writing which has improved a lot in Y1. THat's the main difference I've noticed between YR and Y1 actually, more focus on writing, and DS's writing has improved a lot. Still got a way to go, but he's using his phonics much more and able to write a lot more.

DS's teacher told me she hadn't known a child read as well as he does in Y1... she is lovely but quite young so I guess she hasn't seen that many children and I don't think he's that unusual (from MN posts etc.. there is a percentage of children his age that can read as wel as him etc etc). wink.

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 20:37:11
Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 20:40:49

"they all catch each other up"... well not all, just some..... and sometimes it's a question of maturity as well as how long you've been able to decode. Clearly some children will be ahead, but some who's decoding has only just got up to speed will then be ready to jump straight to chapter books and will have the maturity and inclination (important) to do this independently, and then the world is their oyster grin.

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 20:44:08

Thanks, I just found it.

I do have some of the books actually. DD loves My Naughty Little Sister but is not too keen on Milly Molly Mandy as she is too good and does not get up to anything naughty (her words hmm).

TBH I am not convinced by the idea that they all catch up as I don't think they do. DD loves to read and has been doing it for longer so surely she will be better at it than a child who is just not that into books ?

That is not to say that a child who does not learn to read until after her (age wise) and loves to do it cannot catch up iyswim.

Likewise DD has zero interest in playing football so is not likely to be that good at it!!

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 20:50:10

It's not "they all catch up", but certainly some do, not only "catch up" but overtake and zoom off grin. I've found this with my music teaching too. At 4/5/6 a lot is down to parents. At 7/8/9 the child becomes more independent and those who have the ablility/motivation to will be the readers. These may or not be the children reading fluently at 4/5/6. Earlier is not always better.

Of course I am playing devil's advocate a bit... as I listened to DS read to me tonight I thought how wonderful it was he was enjoying the books he is at age 6 now, whereas his cousin who is 6 months older can't read at all, hence can't read and enjoy.... however... she is very bright, enjoys listening to stories and I won't judge her (she is abroad and hasn't been taught to read).... I would not be surprised if in a couple of years both she and DS are enjoying the same books, and the jury is out on who will be more bookish in the long run...

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 20:50:29

I think it depends on what the child reads.

A child who doesn't read until nine years old and then reads the entire extended set of Encyclopaedia Britannia will know more and be better read than one who learns to read at the age of two but only reads OK Magazine.

mrz Sat 24-Nov-12 20:50:40

In my last reception class I had one boy who could read when school started in September out of a class of 30, some children who knew a few letters but most recognised their own name and that was it. By the end of reception he had been overtaken by 3 or 4 of the children who were complete non readers in September. Not because his reading hadn't improved but because once they grasped the basics everything fell in place.

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 20:55:46

Right, mrz. But are you comparing the newly emboldened readers in your class with yourself at four who was reading an encyclopaedia?

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 20:56:55

I think the fact that DD taught herself to read stands her in good stead (not bothered if other kids overtake her) because she has obviously shown an early interest in wanting to do it iyswim.

The only thing is she is not interested in non fiction at all and only likes books with a story to it (however vague) which is why she hates her school books.

DS could not read until May time of reception and went through 5 book levels between then and the end of the school year and while he is a good reader he would not actively pick up a fiction book (but would read a football magazine all day!!)

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