National Reading Average - is it very low?

(128 Posts)
Crouchendmumoftwo Mon 11-Nov-13 10:43:26

My son is in the top reading group in his year one class - he is on level 6 blue book band. I looked this up and it says its is a level for year 2. I'm not sure if this is the case. To be honest he is aged 6 and he isn't a free reader and his reading is quite slow and laboured. We think it should be a lot better for his age and he should be reading more confidently . We are thinking the national average must be very low, the school must have very low expectations or not be pushing the kids much. He is at a good state school but I guess the question I'm asking if the state school national average is very low as well as their expectations.

We get him to read with us just once a week and wonder if we should be doing more - pushing him harder. I know there is no rush. We have parents evening this week so I can find out more.

pimplypoppet Mon 11-Nov-13 11:16:47

Not sure re his actual level. To me blue band is level 4 following on from pink red and yellow. In my DDs class at the end of yr 1 there were 2 free readers a hand ful on levels 9 upwards and most on blue, green or orange. I would say blue is about average for starting yr 1. I help out in my child's class, so this is where I'm getting this info from. I would however say, listening to your child read once a week is nowhere near enough at this level. It should be a min of 10 mins a night every night (in my opinion...I'm sure others will have different opinions!).

columngollum Mon 11-Nov-13 11:19:07

I think all schools manage their reading policies differently, some vary wildly from what seems the usual relatively slow plod through the ORT scheme. My personal instinct on this subject is (if your child is doing well, and reading Dahl/Potter/Blyton at home and some unspeakable rubbish at school, then by all means ask for school to chivvy the unspeakable rubbish to become progressively less unspeakable and show the teacher finished Dahl books.

But be prepared for her to smile, nod, not listen to a word that you've said and shove another piece of mindless drivel in your child's book bag.

If, on the other hand, your child is plodding along with his reading then by all means do listen to and read all the things that the teacher says, but also take your son to the library and speak to the early years coordinator on the library staff. Go to the large central library if your local library does not have such a person, appointments permitting. Also, reading doesn't have to be done from books. A child might thrive on reading Airfix model instructions or antique railway timetables and still struggle the the bilge that school brings.

PastSellByDate Mon 11-Nov-13 11:19:15

Hi Crouchendmumoftwo

Here's a link for book bands and NC Levels: www.kingswayjm.herts.sch.uk/downloads/BookBandingLevels.pdf

This is from a hertfordshire school - and they have ORT (Oxford Reading Tree) blue band as Level 4 and NC Level 1b, which isn't particularly high for Year 2 (see Mumsnet info on progress through NC Levels: www.mumsnet.com/learning/assessment/progress-through-national-curriculum-levels

Or if you go to 'Bug Club' www.bugclub.co.uk/ - and click blue Parent Help button and then click underlined Book Band Levels - you'll see that they have blue book band as intermediate Y1/ Y2 level.

So I think you need to see which scheme you're school is actually using.

I've found is if you go to the book trust website - you can find out more about the reading age (in terms of chronological age) of books - link here: www.booktrust.org.uk/books/children/ - if you type in the name of the book under the icon pictures where there's a search box - you'll usually get the book and if you click it you'll see a picture of the cover underneath that they have reading age (chronological age) & reading interest (again chronological age). This is a real help - especially with books off reading schemes. Book trust also has lots of good reading suggestions - so useful to know about anyway.

HTH

PastSellByDate Mon 11-Nov-13 11:20:12

sorry that should be which scheme 'your school' is using...

Periwinkle007 Mon 11-Nov-13 11:21:46

I think it is just that - an average.

Some children will pick up reading very easily, others will struggle, some will be supported a lot at home, others won't, some will be learning English etc.

PERSONALLY I think it does seem quite low for children to be expected to be red or yellow at the end of reception/start of yr1 and I think there can be a sense of surprise if children are much higher than this. I think from people I know though that pretty much all the children we know are above this level at that age, perhaps with the extra focus on phonic schemes things are improving?

The recommendation is to read to them every day and to get them to read to you every day, not for long as it is quite tiring for them but they need to practice the skills. Imagine learning to drive a car and having a lesson every 3 months. in between each lesson you would forget what you had learned in the previous one. So yes I think if you read with him more it would help him but if he is on level 6 then he is doing fine.

HoratiaDrelincourt Mon 11-Nov-13 11:45:06

I looked up the book band levels when DS1 was on blue and the reading scheme itself estimated blue as mid-Y1.

I think the range of normal is so huge at that age to be nearly meaningless.

noramum Mon 11-Nov-13 12:35:59

DD reads to us every day, we started this in Reception as soon as she got books home. If she finishes her book in one setting she reads one of her library books or own books to us.

This is what the school stressed to us parents from day one.

In addition we read to her at bedtime each day, a book normally 2-3 level above her own.

If blue is average - I don't know. DD read turquoise in Spring term of Year 1 and from what I gathered she was in the top 1/3 of her class.

But I know each school is different. Her best friend is at a higher level but I feel DD reads a lot better, more fluent and with more expression. So "average" can mean anything or nothing I fear.

For me it would be important to see regular improvements and growing confidence. But this comes only with practice, practice and practice.

I'd say the important things are - is he progressing, both in fluency and understanding?, and does he enjoy books? If those are both true, then he will continue to improve at whatever speed.

But, when DS was in school we were encouraged to get him to read to us every schoolnight, and I do think the regular practice helps. I also read to him at bedtime so he could experience stories above what he could read himself, which I think encourages them to see the point of getting better at reading.

It's not about 'pushing him', but even 5 minutes each day will do more good than an hour once a week.

mrz Mon 11-Nov-13 18:02:00

It isn't an average band for Y2... blue would be within the range of levels for children in KS1 but so would be green, orange, turquoise, purple, gold, white, lime and brown. I would be providing additional support for a child on blue band

mrz Mon 11-Nov-13 18:11:49

In theory blue book band in ORT should be the same as blue band in Big Cat which should be the same as blue band in Bug Club which should be the same as blue band in Ginn 360 which should be the same as blue band ... (you get the picture) because that is why the book banding system was devised (although it doesn't fit well with phonic books).

4Fags Mon 11-Nov-13 18:23:42

I would question the idea that getting your son to read is about 'pushing him'. I read to my child every night and also had him read to me up until the point he was a fluent/free readers. Even now I still check-in that he is properly pronouncing words. i know that the children in the higher ability reading group all have parents who do this, or similar. But it's not really 'pushing': it's just sharing stories. It's fun... and it's left him with a real love of stories and books.

I also feel that teaching the children to read is my responsibility, not the schools. It's like learning to play the piano or speak a foreign language: it's the daily practice, and not the lessons, that makes the real difference. This is borne out in the classroom: the children who are struggling are the ones who are not doing daily practice at home (or so says their teacher...).

ClayDavis Mon 11-Nov-13 18:25:27

Are we talking about the IoE bookbands though or something else? Blue would be level 4. Level 6 would be orange and roughly where I would expect children to be at the beginning of year 2. It could be the schools own colour scheme or they might be using 1 set of books so don't need book bands.

PastSellByDate Tue 12-Nov-13 10:21:58

mrz:

Crouchendmumoftwo said her DS is Y1 - but you seemed to be talking about a Y2 child - so just wanted to raise that in case you wouldn't be intervening if a Y1 child was on blue (ORT).

In terms of book schemes - some schools around here (ours included) decided to move colours about a bit so that parents wouldn't be so tuned in to reading levels. Indeed our school refuses through KS1 & KS2 to discuss reading performance against NC Levels even though they do in great detail for writing & for maths.

I remain mystified why - but presume that this is a such a source of competition in infants (YR - Y2) with some parents and a source of worry (as in my case with a very slow starter in DD1) that they try to obscure the colour coding to allow time & space for children to develop at their own speed (which I can see is a good thing).

HTH

mrz Tue 12-Nov-13 17:19:29

Pastsellbydate she said "My son is in the top reading group in his year one class - he is on level 6 blue book band. I looked this up and it says its is a level for year 2." which is why I said that blue - Lime and beyond is within the range for children in KS1

mrz Tue 12-Nov-13 17:21:13

and yes I would intervene if a child was on blue ORT in Y2 (I'm giving additional support to all my Y1 children who are reading below orange level if that helps)

ClayDavis Tue 12-Nov-13 21:06:40

Orange at this stage in the year or towards the end of the year? That seems quite a high level to be needing additional support at this stage in year 1.

mrz Tue 12-Nov-13 21:11:41

That's why orange aren't receiving additional support just those below

ClayDavis Tue 12-Nov-13 21:26:45

Sorry, that was badly worded on my part. blush

I meant orange as being the cut off point for not needing help at this point in the year. I would have thought blue or green would be OK at the moment. I would definitely be keeping a close eye to make sure they were making enough progress to be very secure at orange by the end of the year but might not provide intervention at this point.

mrz Tue 12-Nov-13 21:36:12

We don't use book bands ClayDavis so aren't using them as a cut off point but as it works out all the children identified as requiring support (based on standardised scores) are reading below the equivalent of that level.

ClayDavis Tue 12-Nov-13 22:17:05

That makes sense. You're using Dandelion readers aren't you?

I have to admit that when I think of the lower level bookbands these days I tend to think of them in terms of phonic phases rather than how they were originally intended so blue/green roughly equates to phase 5 in Phonics Bug and blue level would be equivalent of phase 5 in CBC.

Either way, neither of those would be 'average' or anywhere near for a child in year 2.

littlemiss06 Tue 12-Nov-13 22:25:09

What sort of support do the children get Mrz? Just curious as my year 3 child has only just moved on to orange band this last week not even sure what level she should be on just know its quite low for a almost 8 year old, although on SA she receives no extra help in reading only monitoring literacy.

mrz Wed 13-Nov-13 07:20:43

Yes we use Dandelion as our main early reading scheme but slot in other phonic schemes.
Extra phonics and daily 1-1 reading we believe in picking up possible issues early before children fall behind.

confusedabouted Wed 13-Nov-13 08:09:55

Does it really matter how quick;y they learn to read as long as they can read (and enjoy it)by the time they are older?thats the only aim here really.

columngollum Wed 13-Nov-13 10:05:18

I'd struggle with a doesn't much matter when they learn approach. I think it matters lots. It's no good sitting your driving test when you're 85 if you want become a taxi driver. If nobody around the child has any use for reading then I suppose when the child learns doesn't matter so much. (Perhaps the people live on a Polynesian island somewhere and live entirely on fish.)

KuppiKahvia Wed 13-Nov-13 10:46:18

He may well be in the top group in his class, however in many Yr1 classes he would be middling, at my dd's school he wouldn't even be in the 2nd reading group, although this year's yr1's are particularly good readers. Reading ability varies wildly in this age.

I am truly shocked that you are only reading with your child once a week!!
I feel guilty that I only manage 5 days a week official school book reading with my children. Listening to your child read every day is the best support you can give, it isn't pushing it is supporting them.

Out of interest what does your child's school ask you to do regarding reading?

confusedabouted Wed 13-Nov-13 10:53:11

It doesnt matter if a child learns to read at 5 or ten though,i think its more important to enjoy reading rather than to push them to reach any kind of level. They will reach the level they need to naturally if you keep the enjoyment there.

KuppiKahvia Wed 13-Nov-13 10:53:22

Pastsellbydate - the school can obscure book bands to their hearts content - the children will still know where they are in relation to their peers and an involved parent will be able to judge their child's ability.

I don't get the competitive parent book level thing, I have a good reader and have been subtly questioned several times. I've found that saying that I think she is doing well but feigning ignorance of actual level works.

However if it makes them involved and supportive of their child's reading then it isn't all bad.

KuppiKahvia Wed 13-Nov-13 10:58:37

Confused - children need to be able to read to access the rest of the curriculum independently.
How can they understand a maths question or research a historical figure without being able to read? Those who can't read fluently are going to need a whole lot more support.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 13-Nov-13 11:08:14

I definitely think you need to read with your Ds more. Blue band is level 4 I thought but even level six it's still quite low for year two. If he's top then I think that there's a problem with the teaching in general as that's a low top level to have and considering some kids leave reception free reading it's hard to believe that there's no one any higher of that makes sense.

Yes they all learn at their own pace but you can't have that attitude really in yr 2. The curriculum and homework get pretty heavy so they need to be able to access it.

Bonsoir Wed 13-Nov-13 11:09:37

My DD is in the equivalent of Y5 in a French-English bilingual school in Paris. 75% of the DC in my DD's school are plurilingual and many of them have French as an additional language. Reading is taught initially in French.

In DD's school there are five parallel classes. In the equivalent of Y2 (the first year of primary in France and the official year in which DC are taught to read) there was one class reserved for DC who could already read. You would have honestly thought that admittance to that class was going to guarantee admittance to Oxbridge or Harvard, there was so much wrangling to get a place and so much smugness was generated among the parents if those DC who did.

Three years later it is apparent that there is no correlation whatsoever between those "early readers" and top performing pupils. So I think it is probably best to take a reasonably relaxed approach to learning to read and to support literacy at home in many and varied ways, but gently.

wonkylegs Wed 13-Nov-13 11:11:52

I would focus on getting your child to enjoy reading.
I think it's worth remembering that children can develop at very different rates and as long as they are progressing and enjoying it then that's half the battle at this age.
I only started school the term I was 5 and couldn't read until sometime after that but by the time I was 8, I was a prolific reader and at 12 I ran out of children's books in the library and moved on to adult books. I progressed because I loved reading.
This is what I want my child to do, so we read every night, not always loads every night but always something.
My sons school has a wide range of readers and many kids from backgrounds that mean they get little support from family, these are the kids that struggle with reading.
If you have a reluctant reader try incentives such as books on subjects they like (lego, star wars, angry birds - the literary contents not great but it'll get them reading), bribery - if they read a certain number of books then they get a prize, charts so they can see themselves how they are doing, online reading screens - reading on the computer sometimes is more attractive for this generation.

PastSellByDate Wed 13-Nov-13 13:22:45

Hi KuppiKuhvia:

Yes, I agree children will twig (although it can depend on age/ verbal ability) where they are in relation to other children. To be honest my girls weren't hugely aware until they started KS2.

I didn't have to worry too much about being competitive about reading ability because DD1 was the slowest in her class to 'get' reading - so everyone could say they were doing better than her. DD1 wasn't that bothered and we just quietly kept plugging away. DD2 just got rolled into the extra work with DD1 and they kind of learned together.

I think one of the underlying issues CrouchendMumoftwo raises is that it is incredibly difficult as a parent to understand where 'notionally' your child should be at a given age. This is the information that parents desperately search for and need. Certainly in England schools have been going for at least a century now in most communities - and frankly you'd think by now basics like when roughly should your child be a free reader? really ought to be generally understood.

Bonsoir Wed 13-Nov-13 13:25:04

"Certainly in England schools have been going for at least a century now in most communities - and frankly you'd think by now basics like when roughly should your child be a free reader? really ought to be generally understood."

I wholeheartedly agree. Why is there still so much uncertainty, and lack of readily available information, surrounding the process of learning to read?

mrz Wed 13-Nov-13 17:54:42

confusedabouted if a child doesn't learn to read until they are 10 they aren't able to access any of the curriculum and they are going to be playing catch up so unfortunately it does matter

mrz Wed 13-Nov-13 17:56:27

"free reading" is a concept for schools to impress parents and for parents to boast about ...completely meaningless!

sheeplikessleep Wed 13-Nov-13 18:06:26

One on one reading is the key really. I see school as teaching the theory and the individual reding at home is where the child learns how to read.

Plus it's lovely hearing them read!

columngollum Wed 13-Nov-13 18:13:02

I see school as teaching the theory

occasionally the words Grandma and eggs come to mind.

Bonsoir Wed 13-Nov-13 18:23:23

I don't think "free reading" is a meaningless concept.

mrz Wed 13-Nov-13 19:37:02

So what is your definition of "free reading" Bonsoir? Personally I don't believe there are many primary school children who are capable of reading any book they may encounter.

mrz Wed 13-Nov-13 19:39:38

in general it seems to mean "we have no books at your child's level so they can pick what they like until they move into the next class" or "we don't have many books so just pick one"

LittleMissGreen Wed 13-Nov-13 21:03:20

Surely free reading is a meaningless term for general comparison as schools use it in so many different ways.
I'm sure in some schools DS2 (yr2) would be a 'free reader' as he has moved past lime level books, but our school have reading books higher up the reading scheme that he studies with year 3/4.
In other schools he would be a 'free reader' as he is free to choose which books he wants to from the boxes of reading books. But our school let them do that from very early on - he was certainly choosing books at some point in reception.
In DS1s first school I never even heard the term free reader (he left in year 1) but from the end of reception he was taken to the neighbouring junior school for reading books (above lime level).

DS1 was still reading reading scheme books in school (along with other books - Treasure Island etc) in year 6, he came out with top marks in the Welsh reading level tests but technically wasn't a 'free reader'. Now in year 7 they are still reading set texts, so still not technically a 'free reader' but he is perfectly capable of reading most things put in front of him. But there are still words he comes across when we are reading together that he doesn't understand.

Bonsoir Wed 13-Nov-13 21:06:36

My DD, who is just 9, can read a page of anything in English I put under her nose - as I do every night, as I make all my family read a page of something after dinner and then correct their pronunciation and expression and we have a talk about content (which often is a follow-on from a previous night). Her reading skills are good but not exceptional - she is, after all, at school in France and does most of her education in French, not English. I am not putting a page of Shakespeare under her nose - it's more likely to be an article from The Economist or a scientific journal, if not a page of modern English literature. I would call that free reading and that doesn't seem to me very controversial.

mrz Wed 13-Nov-13 21:13:20

Does she understand the page from the scientific journal or the Economist article, could she understand author's purpose if you did give her a Shakespeare sonnet to read?

Bonsoir Wed 13-Nov-13 21:35:35

She can definitely understand the scientific journal (I don't choose topics that are not of general interest and/or relevant to the DC) and The Economist but we do discuss the underlying ideas. I wouldn't expect her to analyse them on her own!

I don't give my family anything that is not contemporary language because the purpose of the exercise is to improve their general use of English. She loves poetry though - maybe I could try Shakespeare?

LittleMissGreen Wed 13-Nov-13 22:19:50

Impressed a 9 year old can understand scientific journals. I'm a scientist and some of the involved techy language from areas slightly outside my field goes over my head grin.

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 07:00:32

"(I don't choose topics that are not of general interest and/or relevant to the DC)" so it isn't "free reading" it is selected by you the adult.

Bonsoir Thu 14-Nov-13 07:41:44

I don't understand the "free" qualification as meaning "freely chosen by the reader" and I would suggest that that is not its meaning. I think that is why you don't like the term!

PastSellByDate Thu 14-Nov-13 11:04:37

mrz

I do get your point - but have to query are you willfully missing mine?

By free reading I mean that a child is capable of reading and generally comprehending vocabulary for their age.

So has a reading age of a ten year old and can cope with books intended for a ten year old.

Of course I do not mean that a ten year old can read Shakespeare in the way a PhD candidate might at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham.

It seems to me bizarre in the extreme that an open goal of getting all Y6 pupils to read at their chronological age is entirely absent. I'm sure teachers have their reasons (as in that might involve a lot of work especially for children from less well supported homes) but...

and I'm not trying to go to war with you mrz but I believe you have claimed that you get all your Y2 pupils to read the Hobbit ....

if the end goal was that by age 8 your child should be able to read x, y, z books and clearly explained to parents year by year - don't you think we could then all be working together to achieve it.

It's the fact that some parents clearly understand where their child should be and others have no clue that is the problem here I feel.

I genuinely think most parents would help if their child was struggling - what annoys me is that I have had children struggling, been in no doubt there were problems, and the school has fobbed me off with 'they'll develop at their own speed' and 'it's more important they develop a life-long love of reading/ maths/ etc...' - they have even chosen not to inform me about interventions (even though parent volunteers were doing extra work with DD1 to help her & the parent volunteers told me about what they were doing).

I don't hold you responsible for this in any way mrz. And I think it's brilliant that all Y2 pupils with you can read the Hobbit by the end of Y2 - I'd be first in the queue to have my DDs join your class if I could have the time back again - but my reality is a school that claims great things and endlessly starts initiatives and then time after time fails to deliver. These are some of the highest paid teachers in this LEA - and I can assure you for us parents (and we all work) having to work and then come home and teach grates. Seriously grates.

PastSellByDate Thu 14-Nov-13 14:00:01

Hi all

found the famous mrz quote about how all her Y2 pupils are reading The Hobbit etc...

mrz Sat 16-Apr-11 12:20:28
Mine are reading Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, the Hobit and Shakespeare in Y2 - link here: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/primary/1194780-Learning-to-read-seems-to-be-no-structure-to-it/AllOnOnePage

Maybe it's true maybe it isn't but I think it's this kind of thing that depresses parents and deeply confuses them. It is that old postcode lottery thing. In principle it shouldn't matter where you live - teachers are meant to be professional and you should be able as a parent to send them along to primary school with the confidence that your child will be taught well, as well as any other school.

Unfortunately, that's kind of where things go wrong...

There are brilliant schools & teachers out there - don't get me wrong. But unfortunately it isn't universal.

Just for the record DD1 is in Y6 and is now up to reading the Hobbit. (but again context is everything - did mrz just mean read the words out loud and not understand a lot of meaning? - again are we all just speaking at cross-purposes?) I don't doubt mrz is fabulous and great teacher - I just wish I could sincerely say the same for teachers at our school.

PastSellByDate Thu 14-Nov-13 14:06:20

By the way DD2 is reading a copy of the Hobbit we purchased because as it turned out the school library does not possess a copy. (this is JRR Tolkein's home town by the way - I admit I'm foreign and a guest but that just horrifies me and I've got to believes he's spinning in his grave).

last year DH read first 1/3 of book (our rule is you can't see the film without reading the book first) - and now DD1 and sometimes in small bits DD2 are reading to DH (and with some help from DH when they're tired he takes over) so that they've read enough for the 2nd installment of the film trilogy. However, DH was mad about this book as a little boy - so he's rather reliving his youth I fear.

LittleMissGreen Thu 14-Nov-13 14:45:57

Mrz said that children from her class freely chose to read Harry Potter/Hobbit/Alice/rewritten Shakespeare from the library, at the end of year 2.
I don't find that all that hard to believe. DS1 read Harry Potter easily in reception. I have no qualms that DS2 will have read it before the end of year 2.
Can't remember when DS1 chose to read the Hobbit, probably year 3. Think he re-read it in year 6. Not my cup of tea, but he enjoyed it.

They haven't freely chosen Alice to be fair... maybe the 'girly' name in the title put them off grin.

Bonsoir Thu 14-Nov-13 15:45:44

The "free" in free reading means "free from impediment" ie fluent, not that the material was freely chosen by the pupil.

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 17:37:19

Where did you find that definition Bonsoir ...it isn't one I've seen used in any school.

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 17:51:10

"found the famous mrz quote about how all her Y2 pupils are reading The Hobbit etc...

mrz Sat 16-Apr-11 12:20:28
Mine are reading Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, the Hobit and Shakespeare in Y2 - link here: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/primary/1194780-Learning-to-read-seems-to-be-no-structure-to-it/AllOnOnePage"

and I wasn't telling parents their children were free readers because they weren't ... they were still reading apprentices.
I find the idea that a four/five/six/seven/eight .... year old with age appropriate reading skills and understanding should be regarded as "fluent" or a "free reader" insane to be honest

columngollum Thu 14-Nov-13 18:21:36

insane or inane?

As a scientist upthread (who gets out of her depth quickly when reading remote fields of scientific study) implied, none of us, adults included, are actually free readers. We're all tied to what we can understand readers.

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 18:51:29

insane as barking mad

LaQueenOfTheDamned Thu 14-Nov-13 19:03:51

I was pretty shocked when I realised that the average Reading Level for a child leaving primary was only a Level 4c. And, that the really aspirational, gold standard Reading Level was a Level 5.

I can only assume this is why we're so very far down the league tables, internationally, when it comes to Reading/Literacy sad

columngollum Thu 14-Nov-13 19:19:27

I think the greatest part of the problem is the rationing of sensible school reading books. When you or your child go to the teacher and ask for a vaguely meaningful school reading book (a) the answer is no and (b) the child's reading abilities are tested commensurately with the abject drivel that has been meted out via the dreaded book bag. Forget a race to the bottom and start researching black holes!

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 19:29:51

A level 4C is a reading age above the child's chronological age (actually above the reading age of many adults) a level 5 is the expected level for the end of KS3 (14 years of age)

LaQueenOfTheDamned I'm assuming you are referring to the PISA rankings which have been somewhat discredited of late

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 19:30:46
columngollum Thu 14-Nov-13 19:31:40

Anyone who can read can read better than many adults.

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 19:38:35

"I think the greatest part of the problem is the rationing of sensible school reading books."

I think the greatest part of the problem is the status parents give to reading scheme book band colours.

columngollum Thu 14-Nov-13 19:44:51

That could be true (although I don't know what you mean.) I haven't yet seen a Roald Dahl, or Blyton's Famous Five book regardless of what its colour might be. Although I have seen some of Aesop's fables with all the Aesop and most of the fable stripped out. What the point of mangling a perfectly good story like that is I have no idea. (We just read Aesop's versions instead.) (--accepting the age old argument about who Aesop was/wasn't.)

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 19:47:10

then your child doesn't attend my school

columngollum Thu 14-Nov-13 19:48:38

Do you have correspondence children?

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 19:52:04
mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 19:53:53

although last year my more able Y1 children were reading these

LaQueenOfTheDamned Thu 14-Nov-13 20:27:18

Mrz even if they're slightly discredited, the UK still doesn't come anywhere close to the top 10.

And, I still think that a Level 4c is low for an average - and I don't think a Level 5 is all that impressive either. Certainly not for the end of KS3 shock

LaQueenOfTheDamned Thu 14-Nov-13 20:35:14

"I think the greatest part of the problem is the status parents give to reading scheme book band colours."

I totally agree with you there mrz - I know parents who used to obsess about reading scheme book band colours. I always totally ignored them.

My DDs always dutifully read whatever book their teacher sent home with them - but once at home, they had access to a huge variety of books, from simple board books to 'What Katy Did to 'The Hobbit' to 'The Hunger Games' trilogy - anything and everything, really.

I was determined that my DDs would read to a very high standard, so just carved my own path with regards to their reading - and never got bogged down with the school reading schemes, or book bands.

I'm also not impressed/swayed by young children reading quite complex books...when in actual fact they are just de-coding the words. If they can also chat comfortably about themes in the book, and context, and relationships... then I will consider them to have actually read the book.

averywoomummy Thu 14-Nov-13 20:35:19

4Fags the children who are struggling are the ones who are not doing daily practice at home (or so says their teacher...).

That is a very sweeping statement to make. My DD is struggling with reading and I can assure you that I read with her everyday, I read to her every day and we also do word games/chat about phonics etc.

I do not think it is fair to say that a struggling reader = a disinterested parent!

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 20:39:32

Actually LaQueenOfTheDamned they came SIXTH when the playing field was even.

LaQueenOfTheDamned Thu 14-Nov-13 20:46:40

Past I think you should be reassured that people need to differentiate between a child reading 'The Hobbit', when in fact they're just de-coding the words...

...and the child really reading 'The Hobbit' and confidently being able to discuss it in context, and be aware of the themes running through the books, to understand and discuss the interwoven relationships...to be able to fluently explain and understand the concepts of, say, honour, loyalty, heritage, despair, pride.

Now...I don't know about the Yr 2 children in mrz's class...but, I do know that my DD2 could have de-coded 'The Hobbit' when she was in Yr 2 - because she did. She patiently de-coded about two thirds of it - but, she only understood it on a very superficial level e.g. some dwarves and a hobbit, travelling, some fighting, some spiders, some magic, a battle etc.

Whereas, my DD1 recently really read 'The Hobbit' towards the end of Yr 5 - as in properly understood about 90% of it, and could discuss it, and its themes in context, and understood much of the sub-text. A few weeks later she passed the 11+, and scored very highly on her verbal reasoning paper - so she's no slouch smile

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 20:50:09

When I say read I mean read not decode LaQueenOfTheDamned.

columngollum Thu 14-Nov-13 20:58:20

I'd like to know how the playing field was evened out in the PISA tests. But I digress.

The best reason I can think of for trying desperately to climb the bookband colours is the distant speck of hope that you'll find a book written by a proper author before you and your child lose the will to live.

LaQueenOfTheDamned Thu 14-Nov-13 20:58:57

Well in that case you Yr2 class must be all be stratospheric mrz because I know what my DD2 was assessed at for her Yr 2 SATS, and a few other independent tests - and her results put her in the top 1%, on a national level.

But, she still only understood 'The Hobbit' on a simplistic level in the way that a 7 year old child (with just very advanced technical skills) would.

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 21:05:00

and they did understand it on an age appropriate level LaQueenOfTheDamned and when they revisit it at 10 or 11 or 12 they will understand it at another level just as when your daughter revisits it at 11 or 12 or as an adult she will understand it at another level.

The playfield was levelled by using the same test rather than different tests as the PISA does. In addition some of the high achieving PISA countries admitted they did not include SEN pupils in their returns

HoratiaDrelincourt Thu 14-Nov-13 22:02:03

I agree with that, column. We let DS(5) "free read" from his bookshelf at home for the sake of everyone's sanity. Usborne non-fiction is his go-to.

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 22:06:50

Why wouldn't you let your child read what they want at home ... school books are for teaching but they shouldn't be all a child reads

mrz Thu 14-Nov-13 22:12:13

is it all part of the mystical quality endowed to reading scheme books by some people

LaQueenOfTheDamned Thu 14-Nov-13 22:19:08

Ah, I see, I'm sorry mrz I thought you meant your Yr2's really read & understood 'The Hobbit', in the same way that I would assume an older teen/adult would.

Yes, in which case I do agree with you that a technically skilled child certainly could read The Hobbit in Yr 2, and understand it in an age appropriate way.

HoratiaDrelincourt Thu 14-Nov-13 22:50:14

mrz as in we don't make him read the school books at all most days. He is bewildered by their crapness, and I'm a firm believer that a love of reading will get him further than a rigid adherence to artificial bookbands.

I can see why reading schemes exist, of course, like different colour runs at a ski resort or different spice levels at a curry house. But that's an artificial educational tool rather than a life skill.

NorthernShores Thu 14-Nov-13 23:04:43

Oooh I like your reading scheme books mrz! We're at the other end, reception and just begining to use phonetically plausible books. I can't wait until she can read something a bit more interesting.

PiqueABoo Thu 14-Nov-13 23:27:18

"And, that the really aspirational, gold standard Reading Level was a Level 5."
--

They have L6 now and not many children pass i.e. just ~2000 this year. Given how much drilling/coaching/tutoring goes on outside school I imagine that really does represent some kind of age-based natural limit.

Then again forensic literary analysis skills measured by the tests aren't the same thing as reading and understanding a book.

mrz Fri 15-Nov-13 07:12:12

LaQueenOfTheDamned don't you discover new things every time you revisit old favourites and develop new understanding ...
Of course a 6/7 year old hasn't the same level of maturity or had the same experiences as a child twice their age, so what they bring to the book is age appropriate and no less worthy.
HoratiaDrelincourt that's exactly it ...reading scheme books are teaching tools not great literacy works.

columngollum Fri 15-Nov-13 07:28:14

Having black, red, blue, green and baby ski slopes is all well and good. But restricting people to the baby slopes until they are 18 in Europe and 21 in America and then mandating three years minimum as a restriction to each colour before progressing onto the next is the equivalent of some school's behaviour with reading schemes.

In that case you would have youth championship skiers still being taught to snowplough on the baby slopes for several years after winning their medal.

And as far as I can see only primary school teachers can't see what's wrong with such a setup.

simpson Fri 15-Nov-13 10:45:10

DD (5) has point blank refused to read her school book for the last couple of weeks. So we just read one of our own books instead.

To be fair to her teacher, this weeks school book is actually very good but DD is very near the end of a book she has been reading for a while and she wanted to find out what happens at the end smile

As Littlemissgreen said, my DD read Harry Potter a couple of months ago (her choice I would rather she waited a bit). She understood it at a very basic level, found some parts v funny (Dudley being described as a "pig in a wig") but only knew what was going on in a age appropriate way. She still enjoyed it though smile

LaQueenOfTheDamned Fri 15-Nov-13 11:06:12

mrz yes, obviously as you get older I think you appreciate books in a different way, and see new things.

But, I'm not really sure how much a 7 year old child would get out of 'The Hobbit', really? I think the majority of it would just skim over their heads, to be honest.

PastSellByDate Fri 15-Nov-13 12:46:21

Well I think mrz & LaQueen have beautifully illustrated the 'we're talking at cross purposes' point.

mrz means by having her Y2's read The Hobbit - that they would understand it as a 5/6 year old would and can read (decode) the majority (?all) words.

an example passage from the hobbit here: www.education.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/5664/band3_hobbit.pdf

What I remain deeply confused by is that DD2's Y2 class (possibly as late Y2) would mostly have been able to tackle that passage. But DD1's class probably would have been late Y3/ early Y4.

Why the discrepancy?

50% of pupils in KS2 have siblings like we do in DD2's Y2 class. So sure a large part can be more clued up parents and an established reading at home routine (which many eventually adopt after they realise books just won't be coming home regularly).

What I remain deeply astounded by as a parent given I'm endlessly told how professional teachers are is why there is no agreed target that say really all Y2 pupils should be able to read this and if not, support will be provided to help support reading skills.

DD2 got help eventually - in Y4. Why wait so long is another question - but there you go...

columngollum Fri 15-Nov-13 12:57:23

There were agreed targets in the form of NC levels and statutory amounts of progress at various stages. OK, not targets on the level of this book title and that book title, but close enough. The government, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to scrap this rather useful notion in favour of an every school can make it up as it goes along policy. (Which I'm sure will have the stated aim of being easier for parents to understand, especially when moving from one home-brewed grading system to another school's home-brewed grading system.) I see no problems there at all.

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 15-Nov-13 12:59:15

Every time I re read a book which isn't often I always find new things out I had not noticed before.

I agree Coloumn about loosing the will to live over the book schemes.

I hate the name Biff?! Does anyone actually know a Biff? Why Biff? Why Chip?

I have developed a huge library for DC at home, I can't stop myself buying books.

simpson Fri 15-Nov-13 13:04:47

DD hates reading scheme books with a passion and won't read them although luckily has no gone beyond Biff et al.

DS (yr4) adored Biff books and refused to read anything else confused

IMO reading scheme books have their place but should not be the only/main books a child reads.

columngollum Fri 15-Nov-13 13:06:09

There is an explanation about the character names stemming from the author's actual children, as infants, being unable to pronounce the name Christopher, or somesuch. But who cares? Unspeakable rubbish is unspeakable rubbish regardless of how the so-called-"author"'s children spoke as infants.

maizieD Fri 15-Nov-13 13:25:05

What I remain deeply astounded by as a parent given I'm endlessly told how professional teachers are is why there is no agreed target that say really all Y2 pupils should be able to read this and if not, support will be provided to help support reading skills.

1) A number of teachers still believe that reading is a developmental skill and that children who don't pick it up straight away will 'get it' sooner or later. (and, to be fair, some do)

2) Children who struggle to read at what might be considered an 'age appropriate' level are often regarded as either cognitively deficient or 'dyslexic' (fault with child, not with teaching)

3) Teachers are not always well enough trained to teach good, sysyematic structured phonics and many have a tendency to mix phonics with 'other strategies' , so weakening the effect of the phonics instruction. This works for some children but not for others, who are then labelled as at 2)

4) You will never get all children reading at exactly the same 'level' at a certain age, particularly if they are checked with a 'standarised' test.* There will always be outliers, though, if properly taught there would be far fewer underachievers than there are now.

5) Identifying children needing extra support with foundational skills is precisely what the much maligned Phonics Check was set up for.
I really don't think that you have to worry about children not getting support with comprehension skills; teachers are very hot on comprehension, just lukewarm with phonicssad


*Roughly (there may be someone who can explain it better than I can..): standardised tests are compiled by testing a large sample of children of the same age and scaling it according to how many of the sample got items correct. There will be a point at which the maximum no. of chn. got the maximum no. of items correct and that will be considered as the 'age level' score. Tests can be re-standardised up or down according to the over all ability of the cohort tested. So a reading age of 8 after a re-standardisation may represent a different level of achievement from one obtained before re-standardisation.

Whereas something like the Phonics Check works on what chn. are expected to have learned by a certain time and the knowledge required to achieve the 'standard' remains the same from year to year.

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 15-Nov-13 13:30:01

What did people born in the 70's read, was it john and jane ladybird books?

LittleMissGreen Fri 15-Nov-13 13:30:07

Thanks for the link PastSellByDate having read that I think DS2 might enjoy the hobbit (I remember being uninterested as a child and hadn't tried it since).
So after a bit of digging, as I have little knowledge of the Australian system, they use the literacy test you gave at the equivalent of the end of our year2-end our yr3 level.
I think DS2 would be able to answer most of the questions, although would struggle with the one to do with the phrase "The Bagginses
have lived in the neighbourhood of The Hill for time out of mind,".

As to reading scheme books, I think they have their place, but they certainly shouldn't be the only reading material a child is exposed to. I think that there is too much hang up by parents about what level their child is on. I appreciate that sometimes teachers may appear to get this wrong, but it is quite possible there is an underlying factor - DS1 would happily read Harry Potter aged 5, but his teacher only realised he could read at the end of reception as he was to scared to read to her before that.

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 15-Nov-13 14:07:40

DS1 would happily read Harry Potter aged 5, but his teacher only realised he could read at the end of reception as he was to scared to read to her before that

But if you told the teacher that he could, wouldn't you expect that teacher to give him something more like that level to try in class...

LittleMissGreen Fri 15-Nov-13 14:18:13

In his case - no - he spent his entire first two years at school hidden under desk! (He has Autism - at that point undiagnosed). Took a move of schools and a new teacher to entice him out and start learning properly, so although I told his previous reception teacher that he could read it made no difference in school as he couldn't/wouldn't demonstrate it in any way.

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 15-Nov-13 14:32:36

oh well then!

Huitre Fri 15-Nov-13 14:46:20

DD would be able to read the Hobbit with ease (she's 7), but there is no way she would actually read it because it would absolutely terrify the life out of her. Maybe she'd understand it a bit too well?! grin

Finding appropriate reading matter is actually quite difficult as although she has the ability to read most things she comes across, she can even find books aimed at youngish children pretty terrifying because she tends to think too much about what is going on and how she'd feel about it.

PastSellByDate Fri 15-Nov-13 15:06:44

Hi MaizieD

You've raised some great points:

1) A number of teachers still believe that reading is a developmental skill and that children who don't pick it up straight away will 'get it' sooner or later. (and, to be fair, some do)

Absolutely agree, and indeed ultimately that is the case for DD1. Being foreign and coming from a system where school age is a year later - I have to admit that I wasn't overly concerned at first - but year on year the gap between DD1 and higher achieving pupils in KS1 grew - they were clearly reading well and DD1 was struggling to sound out 'ST-A-ND' - it was pretty obvious there was a problem and that had me concerned.

I think the HT telling me 'what I needed to understand was DD1 was just a bit dim' just killed any respect for our school & its staff I may have had. DD1 was struggling and reasonably asking for help/ suggestions was met with extreme hostility. In the end my brother (who teaches in the US) and friends from ballet (who teach here) provided ideas/ resources/ support & encouragement to me to just do our own thing at home. Help didn't come from the school until after I formally complained to OFSTED during an inspection, with documentation.

2) Children who struggle to read at what might be considered an 'age appropriate' level are often regarded as either cognitively deficient or 'dyslexic' (fault with child, not with teaching)

As I said above DD1 was written off as 'dim' by school. She's now been selected to sit L6 in English. I suspect work with me, my brother (during summer vacations) and English teacher from a local senior school (who worked with DD & friends in prep for 11+) and lots of reading (made possible by parental support - school rarely sends books home) made the difference. I don't think DD1 was 'dim' - I think she was slow to get it and needed help, inventive ideas to make decoding words understandable and practice. Attending a school where books rarely are sent home after Y1 was a huge hindrance to this.

What I remain deeply concerned about is that for years most of the class was doing way better than DD1 and now they are doing obviously worse - why was that allowed to happen?

3) Teachers are not always well enough trained to teach good, sysyematic structured phonics and many have a tendency to mix phonics with 'other strategies' , so weakening the effect of the phonics instruction. This works for some children but not for others, who are then labelled as at 2)

Again if teachers are 'professional' then basically this is no excuse. You wouldn't accept a doctor saying s/he wasn't well enough trained to cope with your excema or broken leg. Where are management? What is the Head of English doing in terms of oversight on intervention with struggling readers? There is 1 TA per class and a huge library of books - but the books stay on the shelves and mainly parent-volunteers (largely untrained) seem to be teaching struggling pupils how to read (well reading once a week with them).

4) You will never get all children reading at exactly the same 'level' at a certain age, particularly if they are checked with a 'standarised' test. There will always be outliers, though, if properly taught there would be far fewer underachievers than there are now.

Fair enough - and hey I wasn't asking for that. I'm asking for an organised system that has a threshold - let's say all Y2 can read that bit of hobbit text I posted. If someone can't - that flags up a problem and help is provided fairly quickly thereafter. Waiting until Y4 (basically after I documented situation with OFSTED during inspection) given all signals were present that there were serious problems with literacy skills for DD1 and as parents we were requesting help at parent/ teacher meetings seems a pretty slow response at best.

*5) Identifying children needing extra support with foundational skills is precisely what the much maligned Phonics Check was set up for.
I really don't think that you have to worry about children not getting support with comprehension skills; teachers are very hot on comprehension, just lukewarm with phonics*

Phonics check came in after DD1 left Y1 - so I fear she suffered from bad timing yet again.

But I hasten to add Phonics checks were imposed externally on teachers by government - and with opposition (at least here on MN by teachers). So my impression is that nationally (well England & Wales) the government didn't think teachers were monitoring progress against agreed targets well nor were they agreeing that by a certain point if skills weren't there help needed to be provided.

I'm glad - if the introduction of the Phonics Test means that things like my DD1s progress through KS1 & KS2 lower - struggling to read with little or no help from the school are no longer possible. Fantastic! I just remain amazed that any 'professional' could behave that way toward a child desperate to learn and willing to try hard (as she has done for us at home and with parent volunteers at the school, who have confirmed DD1 works hard).

maizieD Fri 15-Nov-13 17:10:01

Again if teachers are 'professional' then basically this is no excuse.

I don't altogether agree with you here. Some teachers don't know what they don't know, and, the influence of their university tutors can be very strong. If you have a tutor who is rubbishing phonics all the time and insisting that children learn in different ways and need different approaches to learning to read then you are likely to trust that what they are saying is well evidenced and true.

No teacher who understood how to teach phonics well would use the old ORT books for beginning readers but it is very clear from mumsnet threads here that ORT is the most commonly used reading schemes. It is heartbreaking to read (as I have on a couple of recent threads) that children are turned off reading, and think they are stupid (5 - 6 y olds!) because their first reading book is ORT and they can't read it. Heartbreaking and infuriating because one of the commonly chanted anti-phonics mantras is that 'phonics turns children off reading'. Huh!angry

if the introduction of the Phonics Test means that things like my DD1s progress through KS1 & KS2 lower - struggling to read with little or no help from the school are no longer possible. Fantastic!

Don't get your hopes up! There is a sizeable resistance to the Check from educationalists; backed by teaching unions and the influential UK Literacy Association (which backs 'mixed methods', essentially Look & Say with some incidental phonics).

Feenie Fri 15-Nov-13 18:11:23

I have to say I agree with all of PSB's points in the above post shock <faints>

LittleMissGreen Fri 15-Nov-13 20:03:09

Great post PSB smile
Is the sticking with ORT a familiarity thing though/not enough funds to buy new books/lack of understanding that there are better phonics based alternatives/general dislike of phonics so only sticking to the curriculum half heartedly (especially as government are as likely to change off and champion something else in a couple of years type attitude)??

mrz Fri 15-Nov-13 20:10:00

remember the Rose Review & Letters & Sounds were produced by a labour government

HoratiaDrelincourt Fri 15-Nov-13 20:16:16

ORT is because of lack of funds at our school, definitely. But the head has found match-funding for capital expenditure on books so with any luck the bulk can soon be mothballed.

mrz Fri 15-Nov-13 20:25:48

£3000 of matched funding has been available for two years to buy books

simpson Fri 15-Nov-13 20:30:34

My DC school used the match funding for new books, but still did not throw away the old ones confused

Having said that, the books are much better than when DS was on school books.

HoratiaDrelincourt Fri 15-Nov-13 22:09:06

He's new. The old head presumably had different priorities.

Actually come to think of it, perhaps the capital funding was the new bit, topped up by PTA and then the total matched as you say. I was baffled by jargon at that point.

LittleMissGreen Fri 15-Nov-13 22:10:23

£3000 matched funding? Wow! Is that just England?

maizieD Fri 15-Nov-13 22:37:28

With regard to teacher training, this series of 'blogs' by trainee teachers has been flagged up on another forum:

languagedebates.wordpress.com/category/the-phonics-versus-whole-language-controversy

Reading the 'blogs' it is clear that the students are citing books from their reading lists in 'evidence' and it is equally clear that not one of their reading list books gives a clear and coherent account of synthetic/linguistic phonics teaching. How are students supposed to find out that there is another side to the 'debate', or what phonics teaching really involves, when all they are steered, by their unis, towards sources that are essentially 'anti-phonics'? Where is the Jeanne Chall, the Marilyn Jager-Adams, the Diane McGuinness, the Keith Stanovich, Kerry Hempenstall, to name but a few (and all the cognitive science research)?

maizieD Fri 15-Nov-13 22:39:12

P.S. Matched funding is just England (and is about to cease) because Scotland & Wales have devolved funding which they spend as they wish. I don't know what the situation is in N Ireland.

simpson Sat 16-Nov-13 00:17:47

Maizie - my DC school seem to employ a lot of teachers from abroad ie New Zealand, Australia and Canada etc who don't have phonics training which does not help. One teacher (yr2) admitted he did not "know phonics" <<sigh>>

PastSellByDate Sat 16-Nov-13 07:55:06

thanks Feenie

I agree - it's the first I can remember you agreeing with my views! smile

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 08:11:21

simpson most English trained teachers don't have much phonics training either

NorthernShores Sat 16-Nov-13 09:48:26

Whether or not you think rwi is the best resource or not may vary, but at least all the teachers delivering it have been on training courses and are centrally moderated. I've been around the school during literacy hour, been to the 'phonics' talk for parents etc and they are very much behind a proper phonics approach.

The school has a below average intake and produces average results, so does really well with its cohort.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 09:55:48

Untrue NorthernShores I know quite a number of teachers who are delivering RWI with no training

Feenie Sat 16-Nov-13 10:31:18

There's a first time for everything. grin

NorthernShores Sat 16-Nov-13 10:49:22

Oh I believe you mrz - I meant in our local infant school, didn't mean every school following it would be.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 13:50:19

often as staff leave new staff are just expected to "pick it up" but many schools just buy the resources and try to go it alone

columngollum Sat 16-Nov-13 17:18:15

To be fair to the schools, though, reading has been done before. It's not as though it's only just been discovered.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 17:35:40

True columngollum for hundreds of years reading was taught using phonics then along came a philosophical theory that suggested children should learn to read as they learn to speak ...an experiment that lasted a few decades and left thousands illiterate

columngollum Sat 16-Nov-13 19:48:45

Well, time will tell, I'm sure, whether the latest method is the silver bullet that reading needs. I suppose you're referring to some American idea. It's usually the way with these things. But Maria Montessori seemed to have avoided whatever educational plague you're complaining about. Her children could always read, and still can. Personally I'm never too keen on this fad or that one. They're all as bad as each other, I think.

thegreylady Sat 16-Nov-13 19:57:29

My dgs school uses dandelion Launchers in yrR and they seem to be grat confidence givers.My older dgs started with ORT [same school] but they switched this year and the difference is remarkable.
I have lived [and taught] through so many methods of teaching reading since I qualified in 1965.Look and Say, Phonics, ITA, Whole Books from Janet and John via Billy Bluehat to Biff and Chip. I can honestly say that, whatever the method, most children will read fluently by the end of year6.I found the biggest help to reading was a home with books in it where parents read for pleasure. Add a daily bedtime story and the opportunity for dc to own a range of books and reading will become a natural, developmental stage to be increasingly enjoyed, especially as it is a 'home' thing and not just a school lesson.
I know I am old fashioned but I find myself despairing of each new initiative which perplexes children and can frustrate teachers.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 20:07:33

^"Well, time will tell, I'm sure, whether the latest method is the silver bullet that reading needs.^" well the latest idea was Look & Say /Balanced Literacy/Three Cuing system and it certainly hasn't been a magic bullet which is why teaching has returned to the tried and tested method ...phonics
" I suppose you're referring to some American idea" ... yes whole word /Look & Say was an American import as was Balanced Literacy where it was equally damaging

maizieD Sun 17-Nov-13 00:03:06

Montessori taught 'phonics'; very easy with Italian children as their alphabetic code is far more transparent than the English one. If you read her account of 'her' children learning to read it seems that they started with writing rather than reading.

As far as I am aware, modern Montessori schools still teach phonics.

mrz Sun 17-Nov-13 07:30:21

Yes MaizieD Montessori schools do teach phonics
A quote from the Montessori Society www.montessorisociety.org.uk/article/synthetic-phonics-new-approach
"The recent claims that ‘synthetic phonics’ hold the key to transforming literacy levels in the UK is far from news to those familiar with the approach to language found in a Montessori Children’s House."

maizieD Sun 17-Nov-13 13:38:30

Yes MaizieD Montessori schools do teach phonics

I was pretty sure that they did but didn't want to make a sweeping assertion only to be shot down in flamesgrin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now