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To wonder why my Year 8 DS has to spend a whole hour reading his book in class

(71 Posts)
thelandslidebroughtmedown Mon 05-Feb-18 11:12:17

Does your DC's secondary school do this?

Four English lessons a week - each lasting 60 mins. One of these lessons is devoted to quietly reading a book brought in from home. Apparently, the teacher listens to a few of them read individually to her but doesn't ask any questions or discuss the text.

They're top set so shouldn't have any problems reading. Is this common in secondary schools or a waste of time?

WickedGoodDoge Mon 05-Feb-18 11:15:43

DC’s school does this as well. Not quite as frequently as yours, I don’t think, but it drives me batty as I think it’s a waste of learning time. Top sets here as well and they already spend quite a bit of time reading their own books at home.

Celticlassie Mon 05-Feb-18 11:16:45

Very common. Sadly a lot of children (even too set!) do not read at home, so this is their only chance to do any extended reading, particularly of a novel of their own choice.

Celticlassie Mon 05-Feb-18 11:17:13

Top, not too set obv.

MumGoneMild Mon 05-Feb-18 11:18:03

Yep, mine is 15 and he has reading as a lesson every term.
Surely 1 hour won't affect his future?

bridgetjonesmassivepants Mon 05-Feb-18 11:21:47

My child's school do this as otherwise most of the children don't read.

You have to have a reading age of 15 to access GCSEs and you'd be amazed how many kids never pick up a book. One friend of my daughters said that the only reading she ever did was the titles of YouTube videos, and this was a nice, top set girl. They have five lessons a week and one of them is a reading lesson. Their choice of books is monitored and the teacher can check that they are reading texts that are challenging enough.

SoupDragon Mon 05-Feb-18 11:23:30

Neither of my DSs would choose to read so this would be the only time they picked up a book. I’ve no idea if their school did it though.

thelandslidebroughtmedown Mon 05-Feb-18 11:25:49

Thanks for replies.

I would have thought that hour would have been better spent discussing and analysing the text after reading for a shorter period.

Greensleeves Mon 05-Feb-18 11:26:02

Same as Soupy, ds2 is top set but isn't a "reading for pleasure" person so this would be the only time he sat and read for an hour.

00100001 Mon 05-Feb-18 11:29:22

OP why don't you go to the school and tell them your idea? I mean you probably have experience of setting school curriculum in English so they obviously will appreciate your contributions.

then come back and tell us what the school said?

LittleTinyPig Mon 05-Feb-18 11:31:38

At least they can read whatever they like. I remember excruciating "class reading" sessions where we had to read the set book, which I had already read from cover to cover and was incredibly boring anyway. I used to put my own book inside it.

thelandslidebroughtmedown Mon 05-Feb-18 11:31:47

If they don't read for pleasure at home, I wonder how much reading - as opposed to daydreaming - they do during that hour. DS reads quite a bit at home, slumped on his bed or the couch. He says lots of the kids get really fidgety during the enforced reading hour and he finds it hard to concentrate after 20 mins in that environment.

Seems a waste of a qualified teacher's time to me.

upsideup Mon 05-Feb-18 11:33:21

DD who is 10 so only in primary school has to do this and she says it impossible to properly read a book during reading time with 30 other children fidgeting and coughing and the teacher typing at her computer aswell as being sat at an uncomfortable chair so most kids just sit there, She does however love reading at home.
I'm going to say in a senior school the children who dont like reading at home are not going to be reading at school and a probably just hiding their phone in between the pages and texting.
Total waste of time, I'd rather they were actually taught at school.

upsideup Mon 05-Feb-18 11:34:01

Xpost, Sorry OP I said almost exactly the same as you

00100001 Mon 05-Feb-18 11:34:51

I'll bet the bigger waste of the teacher's time is classroom behaviour management and then responding parents telling teachers how to do their job.

thelandslidebroughtmedown Mon 05-Feb-18 11:36:33

00100001 - don't be a twat. I'm not about to start mithering a school that I've got a lot of respect for. I'm just discussing it with other parents on a forum. Interested in other parents' experience and views. I wouldn't have a clue how to implement a GCSE but neither did Michael Gove ...

falsepriest Mon 05-Feb-18 11:36:47

Sounds like a free hour of marking time.

ShanghaiDiva Mon 05-Feb-18 11:40:49

I used to help with reading in year 7. Some of the students would read to me and we would talk about the text, characters, what they thought would happen next etc. useful for those students who are not native speakers. I had plenty of students who could decode, but comprehension was very weak.

ParadiseCity Mon 05-Feb-18 11:41:11

My top set DC doesn't really read unless told to. My other dc is a bookworm so doesnt need to spend an hour reading. However if her peers become better readers that benefits her too. So I think it is a good thing.

BarbarianMum Mon 05-Feb-18 11:43:08

Ds1's school does this, except that they only have 3 English lessons a week so it represents a third of their time. I would say the educational value was minimal tbh but ds1 enjoys it and its a bit of a break for him in a curriculum which is pretty intense. There is a recommended reading list (optional) so he's ploughing through Animal Farm, Brave New World, Lord of the Flies etc which makes a change from his usual fare and I do take the time to discuss what he's read with him so there's at least some discussion.

Pengggwn Mon 05-Feb-18 12:02:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nobutreally Mon 05-Feb-18 12:03:23

My dc's school has a single lesson in the library per week. With the librarian rather than an English teacher. They have a reading scheme, with quizzes to complete at the end of each book, each book in the library is graded so they officially at least work up through the difficulty levels. The strongest readers are also given access to a system that encourages breadth of reading across more challenging texts. So, much more structured than your system. Ds did the system 'properly' and was exposed to a wide range of books and genres he would normally not have read spontaneously. Dd (Y7) who ADORES reading is just using it to read the books she loves, but there's time for that to change I suppose. What it did do for both of them is make them very comfortable within the school library space, which is maybe also a good output (although perhaps not worth a whole class a week, I agree)

BarbarianMum Mon 05-Feb-18 12:05:09

Sorry Peggwyn but if thats why schools are doing it why not set between kids who read and those that don't? That way kids like mine would get 1/3 more teaching time.

AnnieAnoniMouse Mon 05-Feb-18 12:10:18

I think, given how little some children read (if at all) , it’s a good idea...on the face of it. However, I think for all the reasons outlined it’s mostly probably a waste of time in reality.

Theclockstruck2 Mon 05-Feb-18 12:12:33

When I taught English I did this once a fortnight and choose a lesson at the end of the day, end of the week if possible when the kids were abit tired and it was lovely. I used to take them to the library if it was free so they could sit on bean bags etc...I used to try and read plenty of kids fiction so I could recommend them things to read and talk about their books with them.

Sometimes it was hard to police it, but often it was a lovely bit of peace and down time in the day (for me and them) and a time when I felt v lucky to do my job!

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