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School purposely holding child back

(17 Posts)
PinotAndPlaydough Tue 26-Mar-19 21:35:36

I want to start by saying I don’t actually think my daughter is gifted but I thought this might be the best place to ask for advice. She is bright and ahead of her peers but I don’t think gifted (I work with children around her age so know where she should be and what she should be doing).
She is/was a precocious reader, she started reading at about 3 she’s now 5 and in reception. At home she is reading (and understanding) chapter books.
At school she is on orange band (so where they would want her to be at the end of year 1), I spoke to her teacher saying that she finds these books easy and kind of boring. The teacher confided in me that she is aware of this but that the head of early years and the deputy head (not quite sure why she’s involved) have said that they don’t want to move her up any more because however far ahead she is at the end of reception they expect her to maintain that through out school. If she doesn’t then their results drop and it looks bad on them!
I’m not quite sure where to go from here, she loves to read and wants to stick to the school rules of reading books 3 times a week but these books are killing her interest (she was reading some of them at home a year ago). Do I go back and say I want her reading level looked at again? Do they even have to listen to me? Do I just encourage her to chose books from the library that she actually wants to read and hope that the boring reading books from school don’t put her off too much?

Chocolateisfab Tue 26-Mar-19 21:37:58

Time to find a new school. Both my dd's were on free choice of reading at an early age. One had her own desk to do her own work for part of the day. She worked 2 years ahead. Still does at secondary school. Never been an issue.

PinotAndPlaydough Tue 26-Mar-19 21:47:14

It’s not that easy unfortunately, my eldest child also attends the same school, they have special needs and moving them would be very distressing. There is no way I could manage two school runs (can’t drive, no family help and already run ragged trying to juggle home and work).
I guess I just want to know if a) this is normal practice and b) will they listen if I challenge them?
I don’t want to be “that” parent that marches in shouting that their little darling is extra special and is the next Einstein but equally I don’t want her held back because it makes life potentially easier for them in the future.

LondonGirl83 Wed 27-Mar-19 08:58:02

It’s totally inappropriate that the school is gaming the tracking system to manage their value add assessment.

Try to again nicely and if that doesn’t work, insist. Speak to Ofsted if they don’t listen. This kind of gaming of the system at the expense of a child’s education is really appalling!

Spudina Wed 27-Mar-19 09:05:18

I agree that you could try bringing it up again, maybe with the head. But equally you could just ignore the banding and let her read what she wants. My DD1 is in year 2. She's not gifted but she loves to read. We have been ignoring the banding all year and reading our own books. Every now and then we will read a school book. Her teacher is totally fine with that.

GinUp Wed 27-Mar-19 10:44:41

I don't think it's normal practice.

DD was an early reader. When she was in Reception she bypassed the reading scheme and was just given normal books to read instead, eg books by authors like Julia Donaldson and Jill Murphy. They were still easy but a lot more interesting than the usual reading scheme.

The Year 1 teacher took a different approach and put her back on the reading scheme. DD just read them quickly so that I could write in her reading record book and then read books that she'd chosen for herself.

When the books were really boring and she'd read them several times before, we used to make them a bit more interesting by just using the pictures and making up an alternative silly version of the story. Not all of them were suitable for repeating at school. blush

SoyDora Wed 27-Mar-19 10:52:37

We have a similar ‘issue’, DD is in reception and on Gold level books which are too easy for her.
I’m not too bothered to be honest. She reads the books quickly, I fill in her diary and then she reads the books she actually wants to read!

LetItGoToRuin Wed 27-Mar-19 13:07:49

It's not uncommon, sadly. I'd just let her whizz through the weekly school books, to tick that box to keep them happy, and meanwhile continue to provide suitable books yourself - and list them all in her reading record so there is plenty of evidence that she's at a completely different level in 'real life'.

Is it only in terms of the reading books that they're holding her back? My DD (also bright, early reader, but IMO not 'gifted') is now in Y3 and has had a mixed time at school. Her experienced reception teacher had no difficulty in challenging her, but it was less good in Y1, great in Y2 and less good again this year. Some teachers aren’t ready with the extension work, so there can be a lot of helping others or reading when the tasks are finished. There has been no artificial holding back though.

RomanyQueen1 Wed 27-Mar-19 13:13:31

If it's only reading I'd just let her read what she wants when she's at home, fill a bookcase full of children's literature, classics, and modern authors. I did this from a charity shop and they served 3dc and soon a gc. grin
As for school books, if they are easy can she not just wizz through them and take them back the next day?

If it was other subjects too, I'd look at changing schools, and did.
This was because no school in our area could provide for dd needs.

PinotAndPlaydough Wed 27-Mar-19 13:37:34

On not sure about other areas to be honest, her spelling is brilliant (she joins in with my daughters year 2 spellings and always gets them right) and she can do simple addition, subtraction and couting in twos, fives and tens. There seems to be such a big push on phonics at the school that I’m not getting much feed back else where. They say she’s bright and very capable in all areas but don’t back it up. I know she has done different maths challenges 1:1 while her class were in assembly but that’s only because she told me.
I think I’m going to have to go back and have a chat. Great idea about writing what she reads at home in her reading record by the way!

SoyDora Wed 27-Mar-19 13:50:57

Yes we list the books she’s read at home in her reading diary, just so they can see what level she’s at. For example she read James and the Giant Peach last week. Actually her teacher asked her to read a chapter of it to the class one day!

Helix1244 Fri 29-Mar-19 08:08:24

I agree it can be all about their stats.
Dc could have read the brown/grey band in yr r. Instead on orange. Finally a free reader in early yr 2. After having been reading chapter books well over a year.

I would say by yr 2 many are free readers at dc school.
I think i should have done more maths though in yr 1 as that does get'difficult' more quickly.

Even writing in reading diary what they were reading made no difference (possibly because the teacher only read with them maybe 6 times a year! )
One child i know of did manage to get onto chapter books in yr 1, her mum was one of the reading volunteers.... Maybe more opportunity to realise how good thir dd was and to ask teachers tomove them up. I dont doubt the kid was good, but others probably were too. Also i really feelit is a bit rude to expect parents to waste time with their dc reading extremely easy stuff, it may mean they dont have time for other books and chopping and changing.

FamilyOfAliens Fri 29-Mar-19 08:12:09

The deputy head might be curriculum lead for English. Ours is for maths. I wouldn’t attach too much importance to the fact she had a view about your DD’s reading.

jackparlabane Fri 29-Mar-19 08:12:29

It could be simply they're trying to ensure everything is covered, via their reading scheme. Dd reads loads for pleasure and the school know that, but she still gets books to read so she can practise reading out loud with inflection, etc. They take about two minutes each so hardly a problem.

SoyDora Fri 29-Mar-19 09:13:37

Also i really feelit is a bit rude to expect parents to waste time with their dc reading extremely easy stuff, it may mean they dont have time for other books and chopping and changing

It’s only a couple of minutes a day, and actually I think children benefit from reading all sorts of material, whether it’s challenging for them or not. They can practice the correct intonation, fluency, comprehension etc.

Helix1244 Fri 29-Mar-19 10:19:36

i think it would have been ok if i was talking about weeks/months, but im talking about 2yrs at the wrong levels!
Im so much happier now we are free reading. But i do think even at this level occassional set books would be helpful to have different genres etc.
I think the reasons dc are on the wrong level vary.
Teachers rarely reading with dc
Statistics and progress
Easier to just move from band to band or stay on band for the TA rather than check with techer.
Keep kids together easier to teach no point having them really far apart if they only do guided reading.

In the long run it makes very little difference. (Though pushing through with the reading has meant i know dc can read the KS1 sats English paper easily in the time, whereas other parents are concerned the dc cant read that volume quickly enough. ) If perhaps that dc had been moved up the bands quicker possibly their speed would have increased due to more practice, otherwise say 2 gold books a week is maybe not building up the speed.
Targeted work is much more useful than busy work

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 02-Apr-19 09:37:57

We had the school books levels lower than my daughter's own chapter books in reception. We just read minimal school ones (actually generally we lied and didn't read them but skimmed through them) and then she read what she wanted at home and just didn't write it up. The school books are SO boring (for parents too)

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