School are holding my daughter back when it comes to reading

(95 Posts)
cakebake Wed 28-Nov-12 14:19:35

I know theres been quite a bit of discussion on this, but I have a 6 year old who is a very advanced reader. Towards the end of the last school year her teacher admitted they didnt know what to do so were going to hold her at the level she was at (she was a 2a). At the time this was fine, but now I'm regretting saying it was ok.

She has moved up to year 2 and hasn't had her reading level changed since July. Her teacher and TA keep telling me that she is a level 3 reader, but that the stuff they have at her level isnt age appropriate, The chapter books they are giving her she is reading (and understanding) in an average of 2 days, but she is only getting one book a week. They have as good as admitted that they are holding her back.

As a TA myself I have some idea whats what and as a mum I know that my daughter has really good comprehension and understanding of what she is reading. We are finding books at the library or buying them cheaply, but I dont know where to go from here.

To make matters a bit more complicated I volunteer in school and dont want to upset anyone, but I dont want this happening to my youngest who is turning out to be as good as her sister.

I'd appreciate any suggestions on what to do next.

Theas18 Wed 28-Nov-12 14:28:48

I expect ls of people will be along go tell you to haul teacher over the coals etc.

I'm not....

No idea how school think the can " hold her at a level" lol. If she's reading and comprehending she is learning -all the time and you can't really stop it ! However iirc level 2a at the end of year 1 is wll within what is expected. at the end if year2 (ks1) when my kids where there years ago and the formal testing still happened they got 3s - the highest they measured iyswim. So any ormal school would take a child at 2a at the nd if year 1 and take thrm to level 3 by the end of year 2.

You want encourage progress in literacy - take her to the library pck some books, let her much her wa through nd digest those. Then get more !

Chopstheduck Wed 28-Nov-12 14:31:51

tbh I wouldn't really worry about sats levels much. Does she go into a new school next Sept, who might have more appropriate material? I think what they read at school at this age is such a small part of it, and I pretty much dropped the school reading scheme by year 2 and the boys read tons of books at home, we go to the library, they read children's newspapers, and pretty mcuh anything else that is laying around, and I think that is far mroe important than the school book they are reading.

orangepudding Wed 28-Nov-12 14:32:37

Get out library books or buy some from charity shops, don't focus so much on the books she is getting from school get your own. I did this with DD1 at the start of year two as she found the school books boring.

LittleRedBonferroni Wed 28-Nov-12 14:41:53

I supply all dd's reading books for school myself (she's now yr3 and it has got a lot worse I warn you!). It's disappointing to have to do this and I would have liked some input and support. But there it is and I think there are many parents doing the same.

I spent some time looking into the kind of books that would suit her age and level (not easy) - actually there were a number of book threads on mn that were a great help.

Chopstheduck Wed 28-Nov-12 14:51:29

the local library should be able to advise too. Ours are great for finding new books to inspire my hoard.

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 14:55:41

There are two easy things to do, ask for another book a week from school if you think that is beneficial (maybe, maybe not?), or just do your own thing. It doesn't really matter where they come from as long as she's reading some good books that she enjoys. I can see some schools are hesitant to hand out books they normally give to more mature readers to KS1- I think they are worried about the level of comprehension etc rather than being able to cope with the decoding by this stage and ere on the side of caution sometimes.

I think this age is difficult to fit sometimes so doing your own thing at home is probably the easiest until school buy their new books/someone at school knows your daughter's reading ability, habits and interests as well as you do. I hope in Y3/4 they will be more up to speed as more of the class will be getting into the richer books.

We focus on other books for DS now (Y1 but 6 already) and the school ones are a bonus. He's getting a steady supply of yellow banana chapter books from school, which he reads quickly if he likes and a bit more slowly if they don't interest him so much.

PolkadotCircus Wed 28-Nov-12 15:08:45

Errr how exactly is school holding your dd back?confusedIf she is on paperbacks get thee down to the library and just check out more books each week.

I pretty much supplied all my dc's books from year 1(they didn't much like the dog eared dry paperbacks they could choose in school).

I'm staggered how many people seem to think the only books their kids can read are those provided by school.

At home read what you want,when you want-comics,books,cereal packets,cookery books etc.

yellowsubmarine53 Wed 28-Nov-12 15:14:09

In addition to what other posters have said, do you mean that her reading level hasn't changed since July, or her SATS level?

If her SATS level, then not progressing a sublevel in half a term is completely normal so not to worry. If reading level, do you mind me asking what level your dd is reading? If she's reading white/lime or above, then it doesn't really matter if the school keep giving her these, as there's so much else she can access from the library etc.

I think that part of moving to a level 3 is being able to use reference books and dictionaries independently - this might be something you could work on at home.

BeerTricksPott3r Wed 28-Nov-12 15:15:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

take3 Wed 28-Nov-12 15:16:34

I understand that the school is 'holding her back' - because school is meant to be providing her with a suitable education - and they are not in the area of reading. 1 book per week is hopeless and that amount of literature will not help her to progress at the rate which she should and would be progressing at...

The trouble is, that in a class, it is totally impossible to cater the curriculum to each child, however outstanding the school is - and reading is a very individual thing and every child has individual needs. This the reason why everyone is saying that you need to take it upon yourself and sort it by buying good books or visiting the library often. Yes, the school should be doing it, but they can't look after every child in this way, so the children at the top get neglected.

I would just get on the case yourself and give her a pile of books!

learnandsay Wed 28-Nov-12 15:21:06

The OP did already say that she goes to the library and to second hand books shops.

I think where she's got an interesting point is, if the school is not supplying her daughter with appropriately challenging reading books then they are clearly not differentiating work for her. They are not challenging her. They are not stretching her.

If they're doing none of those things in her reading how is her writing coming along/being directed? How about her comprehension and higher order reading skills? (Are the school falling down on the job there too?)

There's more to a problem like this than owning a library card.

redskyatnight Wed 28-Nov-12 15:38:46

Is this a stand-alone infants school? Asking because my DD goes to an infants, sounds to be at a similar reading level to yours and they genuinely don't have many books for readers at this level. And quite a few of the ones they have are often not appropriate or not of any interest to DD. However, the school have openly told me this and actively suggested I supplement her reading with home books/books from library. So we seem to be in much the same position of OP, perhaps just with more of a feeling that we and the school are on the same side grin

cakebake Wed 28-Nov-12 16:49:42

Thanks, She will stay in the same school until the end of year 6. She has has a library card since she was a baby.

We have been providing our own reading books for her since she started to read in reception, because I could see her progress yet her reception teacher refused to and accused me of pushing her far too hard, thankfully someone else took over and put her on an appropriate level.

She has been reading at lime level since she finished in July and that is what they are still giving her, they weren't going to give her the chapter books at this level until the new year until I pushed the issue.

Thank you learnand say I think you have managed to say what I was trying to say and have raised a point about the things connected to the reading that I hadnt really thought about.

Should I try and meet with school to look at the books they say aren't appropriate and try and reach a solution, or should I plod on providing my own stuff and hope it changes next year

SoupDragon Wed 28-Nov-12 16:55:22

She's not hugely advanced* so I really can't see why this would cause the school any problems. It doesn't make sense. It can't be a problem they've not come across before surely? I wouldn't have thought the content for books at her level was that much different to the level they're holding her at.

* I don't mean this in a negative way smile

sweetkitty Wed 28-Nov-12 16:57:42

I'm in Scotland so don't understand your KS1 terms etc at all but DD2 is 6, last year she was benchmarked and has a reading age of 12+ she basically reads like an adult BUT there is no way she comprehends what she is reading. Comprehension wise she's about 8-10. Getting books for her is a nightmare but I would rather she read age appropriate books that are too easy for her.

She also loves non fiction and is found most nights tucked up in bed with a dinosaur or snake book. She loves Secret Seven those type of books.

The school give her 2 books him, the book the class are studying and another harder read, for now that's fine by me backed up with her library books.

plainjayne123 Wed 28-Nov-12 17:09:19

Yes I also dont understand this occupation with reading levels and school books. I am a pushy parent but I have not taken an interest in reading levels, my child chooses her books at school, not sure if they are levelled, she calls them chapter books, she's yr 2. School books are a minor part of what children read, it doesn't matter. They are expected to read at home and don't do much reading on their own at school.

mrz Wed 28-Nov-12 17:20:47

Firstly lime books are level 3 so the school is correct she is reading at level 3 ...and they are providing a chapter book not a book with 16 pages with one sentence per page so I'm not sure how you imagine they are holding her back. She needs to read widely but that doesn't mean the school is responsible for providing her with everything she reads.

PatriciaHolm Wed 28-Nov-12 17:26:03

It does sound odd - the school library should be chock full of appropriate books! It's not as if she's reading many years above her age, and she won't be the only one in the class at that stage; by this point in DD's Yr2, she and about 10 others on the year (60 kids) had passed lime level onto chapter books. There will also be loads of Yr3s at this level. They should have loads of books appropriate for 6-8 year olds. I would have another chat and try to get to the bottom of why they won't let her have them; maybe she hasn't fully demonstrated to them that she understands and comprehends the books (children do different things at school and home!)

redskyatnight Wed 28-Nov-12 17:27:00

OP- if your DD is getting lime chapter books they sound appropriate for her ability?
Don't know the system at your school but at DS's school the level after lime is longer chapter books and aimed at children who are working at Level 3A/4.

I don't think you can deduce from her reading books what the reading teaching in school is like!

Floggingmolly Wed 28-Nov-12 17:34:08

When my dd progressed beyond the ORT series she was simply given free run of the school library for her reading books.
Does it actually matter if she has free access to books at home, or do you just want the glory of an "advanced" child.
(I second SoupDragon, actually, she really isn't that advanced).

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 28-Nov-12 17:36:30

Do you have any books at home she could read?

Scoobyblue Wed 28-Nov-12 17:36:42

I would just read lots of other stuff outside school. You can get lots of books from the library or very cheaply from school fetes and charity shops. My dd was a very advanced reader and she loved First News which comes every Friday and gives them a bit of current affairs knowledge too. My ds preferred reading the football pages of the Guardian (???!!!). It doesn't matter what it is - just that they are reading and enjoying the subject matter.

anothercuppaplease Wed 28-Nov-12 17:48:35

There is more to levels than just reading fluently though. There are a number of criteria that a child has to achieve to go up a level. DS (5yo) is reading well and fluently, and he has progressed really well in the 'colour' codes at school (starts with pink in reception, then white, yellow, blue, orange, black, peach and then library books, I think) and he is on black.

But he has to be able to achieve certain criteria in reading (such as all the phase 5 graphemes and say the phonemes) and in understanding (such as retell in sequence what he has read, say what he thinks about the characters, understand and use a 'contents' page, Glossary and Index). And many more criteria to move him from level 1b to 1a. His reading book 'level' has gone up quite quickly, but his actual curriculum level has been just above average.

At home, he reads chapter books such as 'Magic Tree House' series and 'Flat Stanley'.

In my opinion, I think that the school is not holding your daughter back, and you need to find a way to work with them, whereas you sound as if you are working against them at the moment...

We have a note in DSs reading record about their current reading levels, what criteria they have to achieve to move to the next level, and the teacher will write the date that the criteria was evaluated and completed (For example, I can read the Tricky words in Phase 2, 3, 4 and phase 5 (oh, their, Mr, Mrs, looked, called, asked, could) achieved on 12th Nov and 21st Nov. Etc, etc. There are 11 of those criteria.

learnandsay Wed 28-Nov-12 17:49:27

People who are posting about the child being relatively ordinary are missing the point. The point is that bright children need to be challenged and this is clearly not happening.

anothercuppaplease Wed 28-Nov-12 18:05:49

But sometimes, learnandsay, a child will not be as good as the parents think, or they might be 'performing' certain things at home and not at school. Or sometimes, the teacher cannot see evidence of what the parents are saying. If a parent think that her child is super bright, but the child is showing little evidence of that at school, then what is a teacher supposed to do?

As far as I understand, reading levels are achieved by being able to perform a number of specific 'tasks'. A child might be very good at reading but still not check all the boxes in terms of comprehension, for example. I wouldn't expect a teacher to give a child a higher reading level grade if the child is not actually achieving that grade. It would be counterproductive.

mrz Wed 28-Nov-12 18:05:49

If you check ORT KS2 books they are usually book banded Grey KS2/Lime KS1 the difference is the teacher would expect the level 3A/4C child to display many of the higher order reading skills whereas a younger child may not have the same level of technical and social understanding which often comes with maturity and experience.

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 18:11:34

Perhaps you could just ask for more variety/ some longer books from school if you are not happy. I don't actually know what level DS's books are. They are chapter books, fairly short still with illustrations. This suits him well and means he can get on and read his own stuff smile

learnandsay Wed 28-Nov-12 18:17:07

The problem is that we're discussing two sets of levels, the curriculum levels and the lime reading level. I don't think parents should be trying to affect the national curriculum levels, how would a parent know how the teacher and assessing process was being handled? But the reading book? That's different. If the parent thinks these particular books are inappropriate for this particular child she way well be right/she probably is right.

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 18:19:23

At which point a brief chat with the teacher might help?

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Wed 28-Nov-12 18:19:41

Wait till they have got to Y4, and have read every book in the school library, when you live a bus journey away from the nearest public library, and that bus journey costs you £10.


Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 18:21:12

You won't upset anyone by looking out for your child but go with listening ears smile

juniper904 Wed 28-Nov-12 18:23:50

Most of my year 3 class came to me as 'free readers', which means they are above lime (which, as Mrz pointed out, is a 3c level). We have 4 more levels after lime and it follows all the way through to year 6.

Why can't your dd go up to a year 3 classroom and get the next book band colour if she is capable of reading it? I have the scheme up to year 6 in my room.

mrz Wed 28-Nov-12 18:41:07

"The problem is that we're discussing two sets of levels, the curriculum levels and the lime reading level." no we aren't learnandsay lime book band is roughly equivalent to National Curriculum level 3 (providing the child is able to demonstrate the required skills not just the mechanics)

learnandsay Wed 28-Nov-12 18:50:43

That's not what I meant. The OP wants the book changed not the overall assessment of her child.

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 18:57:22

It's interesting how many schools level the books all the way through to Year 6 now. I remember mrz saying that too, although plenty of "normal" books are included in the levels. I guess this helps track children's levels as the NC demands.

There seems to be divided opinon here. Many people say "it doesn't matter, read your own stuff," and then there is the "well it shouldn't be that difficult to give her a harder/more complex book so why don't they?". If you feel passionately about the latter then I would talk to her teacher. See if it is appropriate for her to get some books from further up the school or if there is a reason (that you can question if you feel it is incorrect) that she should stay on the books she is on.

juniper904 Wed 28-Nov-12 19:04:55

I level all the classroom books too. Horrid Henry, for example, is a level above lime. Some Roald Dahl books are the same, whereas some are in the 'year 5' book band. We have ORT but, by year 3, it's only a handful of kids who read them, and not exclusively; we have a mixture of books.

mrz Wed 28-Nov-12 19:05:28

Well learnandsay if the overall assessment indicates the books given to the OPs child are appropriate then I'm not sure what you or the OP think the school should do.

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 19:08:33

Ah interesting juniper. Well, DS is still happily reading HH. I think he may be priming himself for mastermind specialist subject on them smile. What would Jeremy Strong be? Similar?

LittleRedBonferroni Wed 28-Nov-12 19:26:56

I feel your pain CouthyMow. Not all schools have a library - or enough books in the older years to share with the younger years. That's how it is at our school.

Houseworkprocrastinator Wed 28-Nov-12 20:51:46

How are books the next level up not suitable for her age? i would have thought if it is ok for a 7 year old then its ok for a 6 year old. im guessing there wont be and strong language or scenes of a graphic nature. grin

sweetkitty Wed 28-Nov-12 20:53:18

What age is Year 3, is that 7?

learnandsay Wed 28-Nov-12 20:54:36

They're not suitable because the librarian says "if your name's not on the list, you're not commin' in..."

simpson Wed 28-Nov-12 21:20:32

Sweetkitty - yr3 is age 7-8.

The top 2 tables are free readers in my DS's class (yr3) according to him.

The rest are still ploughing through ORT and other scheme books.

The books DS came home with were soooo dull, I provide his reading books. Could you ask to do the same???

sweetkitty Wed 28-Nov-12 22:29:46

That's Primary 4 here. DD1 is P4 she's reading Horrid Henry's just now

DD2 is P3, her class is on Limes I think, she could read a Horrid Henry in half an hour (and frequently does probably just to annoy DD1)

I often wonder how going to school a year early affects English children's abilities. DD3 would be at school now if we were in England but she not start until next year at 5.

simpson Wed 28-Nov-12 22:44:30

God, DD would be a nightmare at home until 5!!!

She is 5 in jan and was soooo desperate to start school!!

But then it goes the other way as DS is 31st August birthday and started school when he was 4 yrs and 2 weeks (and not ready IMO and struggled till may of his reception year)...

sweetkitty Wed 28-Nov-12 22:48:21

Nursery is quite structured though but you can see then start to get bored last term. DD2 was 4y 6m when she started school that about the youngest they can start here, 5y 6m the oldest.

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 22:52:19

A lot of it is just in a name methinks. Nursery/YR/Kindergarten.......... and both mine are Autumn birthdays so were very ready for YR, however I think I wouldn't have wanted a Summer born starting, nice to have more freedom for a bit longer smile.

simpson Wed 28-Nov-12 22:52:38

DD's nursery year (attached to the school) was structured for the last term (phonics lessons etc).

Most kids start at 4 but if their birthday is 1st sept onwards (before term starts) then they are 5 already...

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 22:53:36

Well, DD hasn't started YR yet of course.. will be ready methinks, just turned 4 now and read "cat" and "dog" to me today- cute grin. Absolutely not teaching her to read though.....she's just joining in with big bruv........may eat hat....

simpson Wed 28-Nov-12 22:55:15

Tgger - I wish I had had the option to keep DS off for a bit longer tbh.

He was born 31st Aug, 2 weeks early....

I feel for parents who have a prem baby and still have to send them to school before they are ready (and yes you can defer but then they go into yr1 which is more formal).

simpson Wed 28-Nov-12 22:56:55

Tgger - that was my thinking with DD grin

Schools job to teach them to read, don't want to do it wrong and all that!!!

She had other ideas grin

<<be prepared>>

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Wed 28-Nov-12 23:01:01

use the bookpeople and get her books?

sweetkitty Wed 28-Nov-12 23:02:04

If we have a Jan or Feb birthday we can defer for a year, a friend did that with her Feb birthday daughter, she spent another year in nursery and is the eldest in her year now, started school at 5y 7m. It's good to have that choice as a parent I think.

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 23:02:13

Hmmm, yes, DD is quite strong minded so I think she'll decide........ grin.

Wouldn't like to think of DD being in YR at all at the moment (just 4 now).... shivers.... I know it's not such a biggie, they learn through play etc etc, but it is a biggie being in a classroom with lots of other children, with behaviour expectations etc etc....... so nice to just be 4 and do what you like (up to a point..!)

simpson Wed 28-Nov-12 23:28:58

Yes I sad when I dropped him off on the first day blush

I do think it's a good thing to have a choice for your child, I just wish it was like that here. Having said that DS is now in yr3 and doing well....

<<sorry for hijack OP>>

In your case I would speak to the teacher and mention your concerns, I have been where you are as DS was kept on the same level for the whole of yr2 and the teacher and TAs were too busy to go to the junior building to get more books...

learnandsay Wed 28-Nov-12 23:38:50

Sorry, simpson, my dear, ds2 kept on the same level? Level (colour of reading book) or same national curriculum level...

I tried following the debate but missed the important bits.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Wed 28-Nov-12 23:51:58

It depends on her comprehension. If it's good, request that they move her on and give her more books. You are not asking for the earth, just something quite basic.

OR start ordering books online on your county council website. You can just find a great author and have all his/her books delivered to your local library.

simpson Wed 28-Nov-12 23:56:04

Sorry, yes same reading book level. He finished yr1 on a 2c and finished yr2 on 3c...

But IMO books were not given to him at the correct level and even more importantly were not changed weekly (one time he went 6 weeks without it being changed) tbh I think KS2 are protective of their books and did not want to give any away to KS1 but I would rather the school were honest and then I could have plugged the gaps (which I did anyway but am reasonable and if the school had been honest it would have helped) DS's yr1 teacher (who was fab actually) did say to me he did not want DS to get too ahead with reading because otherwise he would have nothing for yr2, hence my concern for DD...

simpson Wed 28-Nov-12 23:57:23

And can I add, DS whilst good at reading was no where near where DD is now...(in reception at the same age/class iyswim)..

juniper904 Thu 29-Nov-12 00:03:36

Op, your dd ended year 2 on a 3c, yet 'school are holding your dd back'?

To me, it seems like they are

juniper904 Thu 29-Nov-12 00:04:35

Bloody phone.

... Pushing your dd to the correct level. A 3c is good for year 2. What were u

juniper904 Thu 29-Nov-12 00:06:43


... You hoping for?

This message brought to you in three parts, due to my phone's stupidity. Sorry.

yellowsubmarine53 Thu 29-Nov-12 07:28:49

The issue seems to be that OP's dd only gets one book a week from school which she finishes with good comprehension very quickly.

OP says that dd also reads lots from the library/books from home.

The majority of posters agree that this is the best way forward.

<quivers in a corner before this thread runs to hundreds of posts too>

SoupDragon Thu 29-Nov-12 09:11:22

Is your DD bothered about it? Is it putting her off reading?

I think I have a slightly different view of reading - provided they are learning how to do it, I'm not concerned; I want my children to learn to love reading, not see it as a chore.

Thankfully their primary used no graded reading scheme with levels, the children chose their own books from the class library (sometimes with guidance from the teacher). If my child is coming home with a book they want to read, I'm happy.

learnandsay Thu 29-Nov-12 09:33:04

soupdragon, from an initial reading of the OP's posting that doesn't seem to be the case. Hers seems more of a query about the appearance of a wasted opportunity in that her daughter seems to be stagnating at school as far as literacy is concerned. But since she goes to the library, buys second hand books and clearly is an involved mother as far as reading (and probably writing) are concerned, then as one would expect, overall her daughter probably isn't suffering that much. But....

a) a school shouldn't allow its more able pupils to stagnate.
b) a parent might not be this involved (for a variety of reasons.)
c) a parent might not have the ability to enhance her child's higher order skills.

The school should do more. If allowing stagnation puts any children off it's wrong and a great pity.

cakebake Thu 29-Nov-12 09:45:19

I take on board the comments made, and would say that she has been a lime level 3 reader since the end of year one, and she finds them very easy to read and comprehend.

I'm not interested in being able to say "i have a very bright child", I'm worried that I have a little one who loves reading but get bored easily. I dont want her to lose that love for books and reading.

She has read over 50 books since september of which 40 were provided by us, either bought or from the library, all of which were written in her reading record. I have tried to work with the school I've not complained when it has taken them 2 and a half weeks to change her reading book, and not read with her when they have changed it. I've just carried on providing more.

Maybe it is time for one more chat with school, and if I get no where then just stick it out and provide our own. What worries me though is that I mentioned in passing that the last book she had must have been pretty easy because her little sister (5 yo) and read it as well and the reply from the TA was "there's no point in her reading them because she will have nothing to read in year 2"?

redskyatnight Thu 29-Nov-12 10:01:09

I don't see how your child will lose the love of books and reading if you are giving her books at home. My DS was pushed up the reading levels pretty quickly. If anything, this caused him to LOSE his love of reading - so many of the reading books he brought home were frankly dull, and even duller to have to read aloud (as required by the school).

My Y2 DD is also on lime level. she also reads and understands them very easily. At home she is at the moment reading the 1st Harry Potter book. She's also read many Roald Dahl stories and Horrid Henrys (all of which would be in the level above lime - the only higher level that exists at her school). She sounds very similar to your DD? However I am not bothered that she is not being challenged. Her teacher has openly said that at this stage the children can basically read - and we are not to get hung up on the reading scheme but encourage DD to read a variety of things at home. She also mentioned using the school and public libraries.

We still read her lime books at home still, but use them to look at use of language, inference, discuss character development, discuss vocabulary used - things which are "hard" concepts and easier to look at in an "easy to read" book. So I consider her school book to be a "learning" book and her home books to be "for enjoyment" books.

At school she is doing guided reading at an appropriate level.

I think you need to be clear what your concerns are. If you'd like your DD to have another ((or several others) banded reading book in the week, that sounds reasonable. But not having this extra book is not necessarily holding her back in any way.

SoupDragon Thu 29-Nov-12 10:11:50

learnandsay I'm not sure you understood what I meant. I believe that "stagnation" means little if the child is enjoying reading the books they are given. IMO it is only an issue if it is putting the child off reading.

The top skill level of reading is the same whether you reach it at 7 or 15. Learning to love reading for pleasure is far more important than whether you read The Lord of the Rings at 5.

LaQueen Thu 29-Nov-12 10:27:08

I don't think reading at a Level 2a at the end of Yr 1 is going to be enough to make the school sit up and take notice, and pull out all the stops to challenge your DD more.

I would assume they have noticed she is a very good reader, and is probably reading with the top group, and they will check (through Guided Reading) that her comprehension and reading levels are progressing at the right speed?

To be honest I don't think they can/will do much more?

Both my DDs were very strong readers from an early age - but, in order to hone their ability I realised I would need to work with them myself. They both already read with the top group, and were progressing at the right speed - so I didn't see why/what more the school could do?

But I saw (and their teacher's acknowledged, especially in DD2's case) that they were capable of going even higher and faster if I wanted them to. And I did, so I made it happen.

They each read their one school-book per week - but then would read several other books at the same time, which I supplied.

DD1 is in Yr5 , and DD2 in Yr4, and they both now have the reading ability of your average 15 year old (not that the national reading abverage is all that great, I know).

LaQueen Thu 29-Nov-12 10:28:48

Agree with Soup I always said to my DDs that each time they pick up a book, any book, there is a whole new world hidden inside its pages smile

Every book has something to tell.

Tgger Thu 29-Nov-12 12:15:56

I would be a bit shock at that comment too, re the "no point" comment as I think this is definitely the WRONG attitude- if that's exactly verbatim what the teacher said. It's great your younger child wanted to read it and did smile.

The other points re 50 books, 10 from school, 40 from home doesn't sound so bad. Just checked in DS's diary- he's only Y1 but similar level. He has read 16 school books since start of term. He's enjoyed some of the easier ones more than some of the harder ones actually grin- I think some of the "harder" ones he is not that engaged with the story lines, perhaps not mature enough yet. He doesn't ever seem bored or refuse to read the books, just I can tell when he is excited and wants to read on or is happy to stop after a few pages!

Moredofbumsnet Thu 29-Nov-12 14:07:30

I have dc2 who is 6 in y2 and is on 'juniors' which means anything they fancy from the library if the teacher okays it. She reads only about one school book a week but tons of others that I don't really keep track of. The reason she only reads one school book a week is that she is supposed to read aloud to me and I ask her questions and meanings of words. I wouldn't have time to sit through more than one Steve Cole or M.Morpurgo a week as dc1 also reads the same sort of thing aloud to me. I think one paperback a week is fine. About one chapter a day.

mrz Thu 29-Nov-12 16:28:35

Why do people believe that books have to be provided by the school?

SunflowersSmile Thu 29-Nov-12 16:49:56

My ds year 3 enjoys reading and mainly ignores school books [which are not pushed at all with him] and puts own book/ library book whatever in his book bag. He is read with rarely and as he 'can read' I think that is fine. He has guided reading still [I think].
He is allowed to pick any book from school library and last week came home with a simple flap book! Who cares- he wanted something fun and easy...

I have to confess to being more stressy in Reception with ds1 and I am much more relaxed with child 2.....

PolkadotCircus Thu 29-Nov-12 16:53:48

Exactly Mrz I don't see how school is holding the op's dd back with just 1 book a week. Sometimes it's quality not quantity and there are 101 places for a child to get reading material from.

Having said that re these early readers I do think more could be done but it isn't a case of sending more books home.

I think schools need to send book lists of recommended reading material coupled with reading targets and questions/focus to concentrate on for parents when hearing said able reader read.

I also think schools need to up their game re reading material in schools(but it costs money)and have more involvement in what able readers read.At our school you're just left to do your own thing which is fine for me but not for parents who have zero background in literacy.

yellowsubmarine53 Thu 29-Nov-12 18:08:05

I'm still not sure what the teacher is supposed to do.

Sounds like your dd is doing great, OP.

BeerTricksPott3r Thu 29-Nov-12 19:23:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GobHoblin Fri 30-Nov-12 10:08:36

My opinion in the 'why are parents so hung up on reading books and levels' is that it is usually the only thing that comes home that we have any guide to how our children are getting on. So some parents unfortunately get fixated on it.
I can sort of understand the OP's frustration, but as she is getting a variety of books etc through you at home, i really think you are in a good place and i would simply carry on doing just as you are.

choccyp1g Fri 30-Nov-12 17:49:49

Mrz, to answer your question, my son was a v.good reader at KS1, but would never have chosen to read a fiction book of his own accord. At home he would pore over Top Gear annuals, Dinosaur books, football comics.
His fiction skills (the inference, guessing what's going to happen next, characters feelings etc) came from reading the school reading books, which he read grumpily, and never admitted to liking them, but sometimes he would get engrossed.
That's why I would have got cross if the books weren't changed regularly, and moved up the levels when he was ready.
He does read a bit of fiction now, though not as much as I'd like him to.

mrz Fri 30-Nov-12 19:00:59

Did the school not teach the higher order reading skills in class through the study of literature choccyp1g?

pinkpeonies Fri 30-Nov-12 19:23:39

At the school my DC go to children change their own books as and when they need/want to. They are trained to do this in YRec and it continues. They have a book bag in which their home link book is kept at all times. Books are kept centrally and teachers have magazine type boxes in their classrooms which they keep stocked up with the various colour banded books appropriate for their cohort. Children know which box to select from and simply pop their old ones back and select a couple of new ones. Colour banded targets both for decoding(tool box type) and suggested inference questions are glued into the children's books to aid parents. The teacher writes very little in the home link book unless their are issues or they are moving them up a level. They are heard routinely in guided reading anyway teachers keep meticulous notes and obs during these sessions anyway. I don't know why more schools don't do would take so much angst away from the parents at the gate who routinely check book bags as soon as a child leaves school.

LatteLady Sat 01-Dec-12 00:12:34

When I was in the first year of juniors... Yr 3 to you youngsters, I was given a school prize... The Magic Primrose, I was insulted, I read it through by the end of the prize giving... it was so puerile. From then on, I ignored whatever books the school gave me and just raided my local library, I read so quickly and so much. OP your child will read to their level regardless of what the school does, they will pay lip service and move on without them.

choccyp1g Sat 01-Dec-12 00:36:40

Yes Mrz, that's why I say he learnt from reading school books, and from school lessons, guided reading etc. What I am getting at, is that if he hadn't learnt it at school, he certainly wasn't going to learn it at home, despite that fact that we have a houseful of books and go to the library.

I think in his case, school could have "held him back" from achieving his potential by keeping him on a lower level or working with lower level groups. However her daughter is reading a variety of texts at home, so she will pribably do fine.

choccyp1g Sat 01-Dec-12 00:37:49

oops probably and I mean OPs DD will do fine.

Moredofbumsnet Sat 01-Dec-12 14:20:48

OP are you happy that the school is pushing your dd forward in other areas of the curriculum ?If it is only reading that she is being held back in maybe they feel that she is excelling and doesn't really need pushing.

mrz Sat 01-Dec-12 14:32:01

Can someone explain how the OPs daughter is being held back?

ThePlatypusAlwaysTriumphs Sat 01-Dec-12 14:41:33

Haven't read the whole thread, but I had the same thing with dd1 at age 6. The teacher told me "its important notto let her get ahead of herself"- eh?? I politely asked how she suggested I hold her back- did she want me to take away her books at home?

The next year they conceded that she needed extra stimulation and gave her extra comprehension homework, which she loved. Coincidentally this coincided with a school inspection, and was never followed up subsequently.

I let her read what she wants (well, obviously not 50 Shades etc!) What we did was to read them chapter books- dd1 would read on ahead, and then when we read to her the next night she could ask about words she didn't know, or any comprehension issues. That worked quite well.

Tbh, I don't expect the school to cater for my kids- I've always felt far more in control of their reading material than the school. The stuff they get from school they read for duty. The books we all read at home are for pleasure, and their reading is probably well above average, but I don't really know or care.

Llareggub Sat 01-Dec-12 14:56:27

I don't really understand the problem. I see school scheme books as providing my children with the tools for reading. The books they read at home are for fun. We write about both in the reading diary.

yellowsubmarine53 Sat 01-Dec-12 21:27:28

OP's dd has read 40+ books since September.

In no way, shape or form is she being 'held back' or 'stagnating'.

learnandsay Sat 01-Dec-12 21:40:33

There's a difference between "the school is holding my daughter back,"


my daughter is flat-lining in her reading. (The difference might actually be me and my library card.)

But the school shouldn't be letting her coast.

yellowsubmarine53 Sat 01-Dec-12 21:43:48

It isn't, from the information that OP has supplied.

Tgger Sat 01-Dec-12 21:51:16

You beat me to that comment yellow. If said child is not enjoying any of the books she is bringing home (rather than just reading them pretty quick), then there is a case for asking for different books or not bothering with them.

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 10:06:37

I kinda saw what happened at school as a sort of loose framework which the DDs followed, just to tick the requisite boxes.

Their real reading happened at home - supported by DH and me, with the books we provided. But we also encouraged to them to read magazines, TV sub-titles, posters, menus, anything really - just to give them as much variety as possible.

We've ended up with two extremely strong readers on our hands - but their teachers don't especially revere them for it or anything - it's more a case of 'Phew, well that's one child I don't need to worry about.'

It's never really bothered me - I knew they were good readers, so didn't need it regularly confirmed by school. And, it's probably more fair/better that their teacher's time be spent aiding the children who aren't strong readers, and who don't have much parental support.

CecilyP Sun 02-Dec-12 10:45:21

Yes, I can't see the problem either. From the OP, you would think that school was the only source of reading material. If she reads the book sent home from school in 2 days, there are 5 other days to read books of choice. You don't even have to buy them when they can be borrowed from the library and, these days, there is an abundance of books for young fairly fluent readers.

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