Does anyone else's primary school not do compulsory homework, even reading.

(43 Posts)
nappyaddict Tue 19-Mar-13 09:31:19

DS' school doesn't and mostly I am pleased about this. However I am a bit concerned about reading. I read to him at home but as he is no where near free reading (only stage 1 Biff, Chip, Kipper books) he can't read any of the books we have to me. I would like him to read most nights but because the school don't send books home he doesn't do any reading of his own at home. He is in year 2. He didn't have books sent home in reception, he had a book sent home once a week in year 1 and none since the start of year 2. I mentioned it to the teacher back in October and she said they don't send books home til they understand the comprehension of it but surely he should have had something by now. At first I didn't mind because it was a battle getting him to read those god awful boring books anyway but now I'm thinking perhaps I should start getting a bit concerned?

Cat98 Tue 19-Mar-13 09:33:11

Mine - though he does get reading books every wkend and a reading record to fill in, though I'm sure it's not compulsory.

stargirl1701 Tue 19-Mar-13 09:33:51

He is in Year 2 and reading Stage 1 of ORT? Is that Stage 1 with no words or Stage 1+? Is it Floppy's Phonics or the original Look and Say books?

I am a teacher. If that is correct, I would be very concerned.

Cat98 Tue 19-Mar-13 09:34:50

Sorry just read your post properly and saw he's in year 2 - I think I would expect a bit more by then, though I know ds's school doesn't give much (some parents want more).

Cat98 Tue 19-Mar-13 09:35:26

Have you had a parents meeting about his reading progress?

seeker Tue 19-Mar-13 09:35:50

I would be very concerned indeed at no reading books. I don't think I've ever heard of a primary school that doesn't send reading books home. Being me,I would be making a fuss with the Head, the governors...........

Can you establish daily reading yourself if the school won't? What about getting him to read his baby picture books to you- my ds loved doing this.

nappyaddict Tue 19-Mar-13 09:40:39

I have asked his round some of his friend's parents today and they are having books sent home (although not being changed very often) so I can't understand why DS isn't.

seeker Tue 19-Mar-13 09:44:02

Hmmm. Ring now and make an appointment to talk to his teacher. Urgently.

nappyaddict Tue 19-Mar-13 10:06:14

He's on the Biff, Chip & Kipper Classic Stories. Not the wordless ones but the first words ones.

PostmanPatsBlackandWhiteCat Tue 19-Mar-13 10:11:39

I think I would make an appointment to see his teacher and explain to the teacher your concerns about his reading.
I agree with Seeker I would be making a fuss to the Head Teacher and The governors wanting to know why no reading books were being sent home.
Do any of the other parents have concerns about the lack. of reading books being sent home. Maybe if a group of parents went to the head or the governors things would change.
My son is in reception and brings home a reading book every day.

Beehatch Tue 19-Mar-13 10:13:20

That would ring alarm bells with me I'm afraid, especially for Y2. Are they at least teaching him phonics? If the school is not being proactive about books could you buy in some phonics readers? The Book People do some great deals on bundles - look for the Songbirds series. Or even the library will be able to produce some phonics early readers surely?

nappyaddict Tue 19-Mar-13 10:56:58

I did discuss it with his teacher back in October at parent's evening when I asked about reading and spellings. She said they don't send spellings home to learn because they don't find it very productive and the children learn spellings better in daily phonics lessons. She said they didn't send books home until the child understands the comprehension of the book which they do in guided reading groups once a week. I asked how often they are heard reading at school and she said they don't do 1:1 reading in school because they find the guided reading group once a week better.

Beehatch Tue 19-Mar-13 11:04:24

It really isn't good enough. He needs to do 1 to 1 reading on a regular basis to develop his own skills. For many children this is done at home. Guided reading develops other skills like interpretation and comprehension, but I think is bugger all use in actually learning to read - especially as your DD is still in the very early stages. How can he develop his own voice while reading in a group of 6 or so?

If the school won't supply books then you will have to, with some urgency. How is his written work coming on - can he even read that back? I would be speaking to the head I think.

Beehatch Tue 19-Mar-13 11:05:39

Sorry, meant DS of course

nappyaddict Tue 19-Mar-13 11:32:13

I have reserved some from the library, so hopefully we will get some soon.

I can't understand why this teacher hasn't sent him any home when his Y1 teacher obviously thought he was ready.

seeker Tue 19-Mar-13 11:36:23

The teacher is correct about spellings, according to current thinking. However, she is not correct about reading. I remember ds's teacher explaining it by saying that it's like learning to drive- guided reading is like a driving lesson, and reading at home is like practicing what you've learned driving round with your dad sitting next to you. One doesn't work without the other.

2madboys Tue 19-Mar-13 11:48:05

When DS was in reception he was getting sent books home, but we also ordered a couple of sets of Biff, Chip, etc from the book people, all very cheap. The school should be doing more, but after 7 years in the system we've learnt that sometimes you have to fill in the gaps yourself hmm

noramum Tue 19-Mar-13 12:14:37

We don't get spelling home, which I think it correct nowadays, we get one piece of homework which is not compulsory but DD loves doing it and a worksheet for maths, again not compulsory, but we as parents think necessary, even if just to keep track what DD is doing in school.

The idea not to send books home it nonsense. My DD was able to comprehend books read to her when she was 2-3. She got books home after 3 weeks in school and is on Turquoise now in Y1.

I would be very concerned if my child wasn't able to read after 2 1/2 years at school. What on earth are they doing in guided reading and phonics lessons?

Bakingtins Tue 19-Mar-13 12:22:11

We have been told the main thing they want us to do as homework is 10-15 mins reading a day. We get a book from school twice a week and since they usually only take a couple of sessions to read we choose something from the library or his own books to read on the other nights. We also have suggested homework for the term related to their topic - usually 10 suggestions, but they are very relaxed about how much of that gets done. We choose to do one piece at a weekend and it normally takes less than half an hour.
I'd be really concerned both by his lack of progress and by the lack of support at school.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Tue 19-Mar-13 12:25:21

I would be concerned because from my experience the time children get for 1:1 reading in class can be very low due to the staff, child ratio.

At home, most of us can find the time each night to read with our children and I think that counts for a lot when learning to read. It also fosters good reading habits.

My dses are older now but they still read every night, just to themselves.

stargirl1701 Tue 19-Mar-13 12:27:02

A child reading at Stage 1+ after 2 and half years of school is a major concern. You need to find out why he is on books that are written for 4/5 year olds.

takeaway2 Tue 19-Mar-13 12:29:49

my DS is 5 and in reception. He's got a book home almost every day (of the songbird whatever sort), and a library book (like room on a broom type) every week.

They read in school everyday (or almost!) and they do that either with the teacher, the reading buddy (an older child), or a parent helper. Plus he reads at home before bed.

He's on Level 5.

takeaway2 Tue 19-Mar-13 12:31:34

this is the link to the oxford reading chart.

You really need to speak to teachers and find out what is going on. That's reception level reading he should have either made far more progress or been put on some kind of plan to help him which you should be informed of. Do not waste any time speak ASAP!!

KindleMum Tue 19-Mar-13 13:01:14

This would bother me enormously. How can a school not be teaching reading to a Yr 2 child? It sounds like some sort of catch 22 situation which is likely to result in your child ending up further and further behind. If they're saying he can't understand the stories read in class, then surely he should be either scheduled for some sort of SEN assessment ( I don't know the terminology, sorry) or be given some extra time reading. A group session once a week is clearly not going to be enough.

FWIW, my DS is in Reception and is expected to do 2 Biff, Chip and Kipper books at home each week. He's on level 7. They have to be signed off in the reading diary by Mon and Thurs each week for changing but if you do them daily, then school changes them daily. They re-read the book to a TA to prove they really have done it, then the book is changed. They also do reading daily in class, 1 to 1 and group.

You can usually get Biff, Chip and Kipper, Songbirds, Project x and other reading schemes very cheaply from the book people online. If the school is taking so little interest, you might need to do this.

Are you reading to him at home? Do you think he has problems understanding stories?

nappyaddict Tue 19-Mar-13 13:06:58

DS does have some learning difficulties so I'm not expecting him to be on level 7 or anything like that. He brought home a book called Floppy Did This in year 1 which he could read at the time. I just found it as a free e-book on Oxford Owl and he couldn't read it. He sounded out all the letters but didn't seem to get the concept of reading the words.

KindleMum Tue 19-Mar-13 13:24:00

OK, so if he has learning difficulties, shouldn't that mean the school should be giving him extra help? Because it sounds like they've just abandoned him from what you've said. My DS has always found reading easy so I've no experience of what schools do with the strugglers but surely they should be helping him? His comprehension won't miraculously improve on its own unless they or you do something.

It seems a shame that he now can't read a book which he could read a year ago, he's losing ground and I'd use that as evidence to the school that they are failing your child.

I am a firm believer in education needing to be built on firm foundations of basic literacy and numeracy, I think you need to start a process of complaining to the school, escalating it to the Head if need be, and get them to start doing their job with your son.

Do look at, their book sets are incredibly reasonable, usually £1 or less per book. They usually have reading schemes on there. If money's tight, you could ask someone to get it as a birthday present.

stargirl1701 Tue 19-Mar-13 14:55:15

Right. He has SN. So, does he have an IEP? Are you involved in setting targets? How often do you meet with the class teacher? The SN teacher? The SENCO? (I assume you are in England)

You should have support to work on his targets at home as well as school. That may or may not be books as such.

MaryZ would be helpful to you as age is a SENCO in the English system I think.

nappyaddict Tue 19-Mar-13 16:26:39

He has a statement and we meet with the class teacher once a term. We set targets once a year, in May.

stargirl1701 Tue 19-Mar-13 17:05:27

Is your role detailed on the IEP? Are you given activities/ideas to support the set targets?

nappyaddict Tue 19-Mar-13 18:25:49

Not really, it's more about what school will do and then I have to sign it to say if I agree with the targets set.

teacherwith2kids Tue 19-Mar-13 19:01:12

Nappy, I am horrified, tbh. A child with a statement, who clearly has significant SEN and has a very low reading ability is not getting, from the sound of it, any 1 to 1 reading at school, nor getting any books sent home for 1 to 1 reading there?? Do you have other reading-related work sent home e.g. phonic sounds?

Where I have taught, all children on the SEN register who have any difficulty at all with reading (obviously some SENs do not have an impact on reading) are read with daily in 1 to 1 sessions, as well as having daily targeted interventions to address whatever the barriers are (e.g. targeted phonics), PLUS specific differentiated reading tasks in class (even if it is only reading the next sentence in the class book when I know it's fully decodeable or the child has support). And that is in a school with 35 - 50% on the SEN register per class.

Unless there are specific reasons why the reading is of loow priority because some other aspect of his SEN needs addressing much more urgently, I cannot think of any good reason why this might happen. Call the school, and ask for a meeting with class teacher + the SENCO, and devise an action plan going forward.

teacherwith2kids Tue 19-Mar-13 19:03:09

(Guided reading is almost certainly a red herring here. I would be surprised if there were any other children at his reading level in Year 2 to form a guided reading group with, and so he should be being read with 1 to 1 by someone, preferably daily but at the very least several times a week.)

teacherwith2kids Tue 19-Mar-13 19:09:17

Sorry, me again. I had 2 statemented children in my last class, both with very significant learning difficulties. Both were read with 1 to 1 daily and both took books home, which were changed every day. You describe your son as having 'some learning difficulties' - one of the two children in my class was mainly on the 18 months or so level of the Early Years profile, so there is certainly no excuse for not really pushing your DS's reading.

ipadquietly Tue 19-Mar-13 19:57:20

What about the phonics lessons? Is he getting daily reading practice there? What type of group is he in for phonics? What stage is he at?
Does he have a full time TA?
I find the fact that they don't send a reading book home very odd.

nappyaddict Wed 20-Mar-13 12:24:21

There is 1 teacher and 3 TAs in his class and about 10 children I think. All the children in his class have SN, some are at the same level as him for reading, others are reading things like Horrid Henry. I have spoken with 4 parents, 2 have books sent home and are good readers, the other 2 have never had one sent home like my son and are at about the same level as him. He has 2 worksheets with lots of words on that come home and every so often they will tick some new words to learn. His reading diary hasn't been written in and no new words have been ticked since January but perhaps that's cos he is not ready to move on yet. I also haven't written in his reading diary because we haven't had any books so maybe they think I don't do the worksheets with him or read books to him at home?

The teacher is off sick at the moment so she is going to call me to arrange a meeting when she is back in.

stargirl1701 Wed 20-Mar-13 13:58:32

Is it a state school? Or private? Is it a special needs school? Or mainstream?

nappyaddict Wed 20-Mar-13 14:46:40

It's an MLD school.

stargirl1701 Wed 20-Mar-13 14:49:18

So, all of the children in the school have moderate learning difficulties?

I think you may find more experienced and specialist support on the Special Needs boards.

boxershorts Fri 22-Mar-13 11:08:26

its a long time ago. But I never did any homework

boxershorts Fri 22-Mar-13 11:09:22

some schools break homework rules by giving excess.

teacherwith2kids Fri 22-Mar-13 16:21:35

I think stargirl's advice is he best one - use the Special Needs boards for the query, as the question of homework in a Special School is a specialised area which only a relatively small subset of parents / teachers will have experience of.

As I have said above, the children I have taught who could have been at Special School but for various reasons were in mainstream DID have reading books sent home, but that is perhaps a different situation as there is an element of 'whole class / whole school policy', which may not be applicable in a MLD Special School.

Yfronts Fri 22-Mar-13 16:38:03

In your shoes I would commit yourself to 15 mins a day reading with your son. Or talk to the SENCO and find out what you can do to help at home as you intend to support him

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