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Junior/Senior Infants - reading/writing expectations?

(34 Posts)
AppleAg Fri 13-Jan-17 11:10:31

Hi All.

Just wondering if anyone can give me a sense of what your JI/SI kids are or were doing. I have an almost 5 year old in J1 who seems to be getting on grand - I don't have any particular worries and certainly there seems to be no rush or pressure. From reading posts on here, more seems to be expected of kids in reception in the UK - that's my impression but I'm not sure it's a correct impression.

So just wondering what is generally expected at this age here.

phuckingfonics Fri 13-Jan-17 11:16:36

Me SI infant girl (just turned 6) knows all her phonics sounds. Can read phonics based books fairly well. Wouldn't be great at tricky words. She can add and take away comfortably any numbers up to 20 (i.e. 10 + 10 or 15-5 etc). Her handwriting isn't great and she still gets her d and b the wrong way around a lot. Her spelling is hilarious but she's getting a little better. She is very strong socially, loves playing and never fights with other kids.

Aoibhe Fri 13-Jan-17 11:33:05

AppleAg, I wouldn't worry at all. I too read the reception threads on here and am shocked at what level they're at, and what's expected, and they start at 4!

DD is in junior infants and knows all her phonics sounds (c, a, t, = cat) and they've just started picture words (what's the correct term)?, words you recognise but can't sound out, from Len and Jen, such as 'like', 'goodbye', etc.

She can write all the letters but might make mistakes with l and j or b and d. She has a go at spelling things. She can easily write her name and her siblings names (she wrote her own Christmas cards this year), but her writing wouldn't be particularly neat. Her colouring is very neat, but she's extremely careful and takes her time, so as not to go outside the lines 🙈

She has always had a basic understanding of adding and subtracting, from doing things like grocery shopping. I got her the 'shopping list game' for Christmas (it's in Tesco) and she loves it.

I can't think of anything else.

I think it's important that they're getting on OK socially, are confident enough to ask their teacher a question, manage buttons and lunch ok.. Things like that?

Aoibhe Fri 13-Jan-17 11:38:16

I should have mentioned that she's 5.5 (6 in June).

phuckingfonics Fri 13-Jan-17 12:01:40

Aoibhe - my daughters colouring is awful blush Totally slapdash and rushed

AppleAg Fri 13-Jan-17 12:05:44

Really interesting to get these replies - thank you. Yes, I do feel a bit shocked by the reception threads! We had a friend who is a primary teacher in South America staying recently and she was saying reading doesn't start until 7 where she is.

My DC is still not quite 5 so I think is doing very well, lots of friends and I've been really struck by how much Irish she's picked up already. She knows all the phonics sounds too and has just started being able to read the first of the Songbirds phonics books (at home with us, they don't seem to be yet blending sounds in class). Basic adding and subtracting I would say is also fine. Buttons less so but we're working on it hmm

Really, as I say, I think she is absolutely grand, was just curious to hear others' reports as she's my PFB and I do feel a bit clueless!

phuckingfonics Fri 13-Jan-17 12:18:03

I think something to keep in mind as well is junior and senior infants is a 2 year program so different teachers will focus on different things in JI but they'll all get there in the end.

I have heard that 1st class is a big big jump though!

InfinityPlusOne Fri 13-Jan-17 12:31:13

Yes our DS' teacher warned us that 1st class is a big jump too. They start other curriculum subjects then like geography/history etc etc. So less time for play and much more academic. He is in senior infants at the moment and will be 6 in a few months. He knows his phonics and quite a lot of tricky words and can read quite a bit but is a bit lazy about it. Fine with addition and subtraction up to 20 and can manage with bigger numbers if they end in a 0 or a 5 - so he can take 20 away from 60 that kind of thing. Writing not very neat but getting better and can make a decent stab at spelling if the words are phonics based. His colouring in and drawing has gotten much better - I think again he can be a bit lazy and his teacher has pushed him a bit to improve. Socially he is doing ok but is a bit shy and like his mother was at that age bit prone to tears still if things don't go his way grin

AppleAg Fri 13-Jan-17 13:15:42

Do yours get homework? Mine does and it's so far always been very easy and do-able but my dd hates doing it!

phuckingfonics Fri 13-Jan-17 15:55:18

Yeah DD gets 4 pieces of homework a night.

1. A letter to practice or religion or maths
2. Reading her core reader
3. Reading library book that gets sent home every week
4. List of 10 words to read

phuckingfonics Fri 13-Jan-17 15:55:37

Meant to add it never takes more than 15 mins

InfinityPlusOne Fri 13-Jan-17 16:10:00

Yes homework here. 10 words to write every evening, one reader they should be able to do themselves (10 pages each night), one book for them to read with help, a mental maths sheet with quick exercises - count in 10s and 5s to 100/shapes/addition that kind of thing and usually words to practise and/or a game to play. Takes about 20 mins, some days he is happy enough to do it, some days not. He usually tries to go as quickly as he can....

InfinityPlusOne Fri 13-Jan-17 16:10:38

Forgot to add there's usually some religion on a Monday from a workbook and no homework on Fridays.

Aoibhe Fri 13-Jan-17 19:33:40

DD gets a line of letters to write - this week they've done 'v' and 'y', a picture where she has colour the things that begin with that letter, and she has a sheet of words to read.

My friend's dd is in a different school and they get no homework in Junior infants.

Aoibhe Fri 13-Jan-17 19:34:50

grin at your username, phuckingfonics

NassauBeach Fri 13-Jan-17 19:38:41

Watching with interest- ds is 5 and I'm junior infants. He's my pfb so not sure what to expect or what is the norm. He's doing all the phonics and can write his name.

He loves school though so that's the important thing for me! He'll learn to read and write eventually!

NassauBeach Fri 13-Jan-17 19:39:47

Watching with interest- ds is 5 and in junior infants. He's my pfb so not sure what to expect or what is the norm. He's doing all the phonics and can write his name.

He loves school though so that's the important thing for me! He'll learn to read and write eventually!

saoirse31 Mon 16-Jan-17 00:39:25

While my ds is now in 5th year, what u describe sounds v similar to me! I really think our primary schools approach and attitude is excellent.

middlings Mon 16-Jan-17 10:33:03

I'm Irish living in the UK and have a lot of friends in Ireland with children a similar age to mine. My DD1 is in YR (Reception). She's 4.5.

She's in a very good school and I don't think what she's doing sounds that different to what's happening in Ireland. She knows all her phonic sounds and is reading them well. We use Jolly Phonics and she knows all her phase two and phase three tricky words. She's starting to read the titles of her own books and she'll pick out words on a newspaper and advertising and things like that.

In maths, they've just moved to numbers up to 15. Her school takes a maths mastery approach so they spent ages and ages on numbers up to 10. The philosophy is that a really good grounding means they will learn more difficult concepts more easily. There are two elements to the maths - numbers and then shapes, space and measures. She's coming home using terms that I've never even heard of!

Everything is topic based and they change topics every half term.

She doesn't have homework as such but every week the teachers send home a summary of what they've done that week with some resources that we can use to support their learning. For instance, they're learning pre-cursive writing right from the beginning as they're expected to be fully cursive by Y2 (1st class). She can print really nicely but some of her pre-cursive letters need some work. So we've been working on that. Other than that, it's just the two reading books she has each week.

There are 30 in her class and it's the teacher and a full time teaching assistant. There are 90 in her year. That's what I find the most challenging to be honest. I honestly don't know how she's not going to get "lost."

AppleAg Mon 16-Jan-17 11:41:50

Thanks guys! Great to get all the reports. middlings sounds like the broad approach is the same, though it does sound like the pace at your DD's school is a little faster than it is with my DD's school. Terms like 'pre-cursive' and 'phase one/two tricky words' haven't popped up at all yet here. The maths sounds a little faster too.

Otherwise, it's the same deal - 30 in the class, 1 TA. Such a big change from preschool (14 in the class.) She is KNACKERED coming home, even after a relatively short day. Hoping she'll have more energy in the spring.

middlings Mon 16-Jan-17 16:05:01

The day length is the big difference - we start at 8.55 and end at 3.30pm. And it's been like that since the second week of September. She had mid-term in October, less than two weeks at Christmas, she'll have another week next month, just under three weeks at Easter, a week at the end of May and then finishes school in the third week in July. Back in the first week in September.

It's crazy.

Also, even at this stage, you can't take them for unauthorised absences - and that could include a family member. Although, they can't actually fine us for it until she turns five. They will then though.

At Christmas she was WRECKED!

InfinityPlusOne Mon 16-Jan-17 16:43:32

Wow middlings that is such a long day! DS starts at 9 and finishes at 13.40. He moves to 14.40 next year in 1st class.

InfinityPlusOne Mon 16-Jan-17 16:45:06

Similar breaks during the academic terms but finish end June for the summer and back the end of August so usually around 8 weeks I think.

FarAwayHills Mon 16-Jan-17 18:11:00

Remember that in the U.K. they do Reception and then Y1-6 whereas in Ireland it's Junior Infants, Senior Infants and then Y1-6. So in the UK kids do a whole year less in primary school. I think they have a lot to do in reception here and it's not enough time for some kids to grasp the basics, especially as many have just turned 4shock

Also in reading for example the whole class does not read the same book as you read according to your individual level. So by the end of reception you can have those who are just about blending and some very advanced that are reading first chapter books. This creates an awareness of where everyone is in relation to their classmates, hence the many anxious posts about this stuff on MN.

Aoibhe Mon 16-Jan-17 19:39:56

AppleAG, my dd is exhausted too. She comes home so cross and irritable, even tearful. sad We have a snack and a chat and she's full of beans then and apologetic for her earlier behaviour. I know that it's just exhaustion.

I had no idea that the British day was so long shock

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