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Literacy for a very able Y3 child,

(16 Posts)
lljkk Mon 22-Jun-09 13:32:58

DD is very good at literacy, I would like the school to stretch her more; she sometimes talks about being bored, though, and some of the work obviously is too easy for her. Bored especially since she was moved from working in a mixed Y3-Y4 group to working with other Yr2s 4 months ago (preparing for Y2 SATs).

Next week for parents' evening, I want resolved in my head what school could/should do about her literacy work.

I have 2 minds about the situation for Y3.
DD can continue putting up with some boredom by staying with the top (to be) Y3 set, which includes her best mates and might give her more scope for creativity given how easy the actual 'work' would be for her. Or I could ask the school that for literacy only, she works with whichever ability group she can work with, regardless of age. That might even be the top ability room of Yr4-5s, which is slightly awkward as her brother is in there and he might resent her presence. But she could do the work and would enjoy stretching herself, I'm pretty sure.

WWYD?, or
What did you do, If you've had a Y2-Y4 child who was quite good at literacy?

DadAtLarge Mon 22-Jun-09 17:14:26

Being bored occasionally is something she'll have to learn to cope with. Being bored all the time is something you'll have to learn to resolve. If you don't it may not cause her any permanent damage. On the other hand, it could.

Have a read through the National Strategies guidelines, ask your local council for information on what they require schools to do for G&T and ask the school for their written policy on G&T.

Unless you have that you won't know what you should and can ask the school for.

GeneHunt Mon 22-Jun-09 18:27:38

My youngest son worked with year four for literacy and numeracy when he went into year two. It worked out well for him. He is going into year six knowing all the work required already but will be set extension work that follows his interests.

I think he was lucky that his school recognise that an engaged student is much quieter than a bored one. grin

roisin Mon 22-Jun-09 18:39:28

I wouldn't ask for her to be accelerated, because tbh a lot of the nat curric literacy stuff is pretty dull/tedious in any year group!

How about instead asking if she can have an ongoing project to work on. Maybe researching and writing a travel guide to a different country, or writing a novel herself. Then from time to time when the teacher has got some work which he/she feels isn't going to challenge dd, then she can be allowed to work on her project independently?

Generally though we haven't encountered the same difficulties with literacy as with some other subjects, because if they are 'writing a poem' or 'writing a letter to the Governors to persuade them...' or whatever the task is; a more able student is simply able to access this at a far higher level.

spudmasher Mon 22-Jun-09 18:43:23

I agree with roisin. It is about broadening their experience rather than pushing it higher and higher at this age. The teacher should be able to differentiate for all abilities with a rich, stimulating focus. It is not uncommon to have to cater for everything between P levels and a level 5 in one classroom in one way shape or form.

Feenie Mon 22-Jun-09 18:48:27

"a lot of the nat curric literacy stuff is pretty dull/tedious in any year group!"

I completely disagree with Roisin. What a load of bollocks! It's as iiteresting/tedious as the teacher makes it.

Agreed, spudmasher - I have that exact breadth of ability in my class, and am used to teaching this way.

roisin Mon 22-Jun-09 18:59:42

Well yes, absolutely Feenie.

But the yr3 lessons are not necessarily going to be more exciting/stimulating than the yr5 lessons.

I work in secondary, but recently spent a day in primary and observed a wonderful, inspirational yr6 literacy lesson, using the Ros Wilson: Big Writing strategies.

lljkk Mon 22-Jun-09 19:06:07

I like what Roison said, that's very helpful, especially about writing reports. DD would enjoy that if she had latitude to choose her subject matter. Sorry, Feenie, but "tedium" describes well how my DS feels about literacy in Yr4. That's partly why I'm thinking about sending him to an alternative type school.

Feenie Mon 22-Jun-09 19:08:38

I am a huge Ros Wilson fan, and we have also implemented her strategies.

I would agree with your main point, yes - if anything, Literacy is one of the subjects where it is easy to extend and widen learning. Both Y6 and Y2 study report writing, for example, but the outcomes would be vastly different.

Also, higher Literacy ability would not necessarily mean advanced maturity. The subject matter I've shared with some boy heavy Y5 and Y6 classes wouldn't be suitable for a Y3/Y2 child.

Feenie Mon 22-Jun-09 19:11:49

lijkk - I have never had a child say they didn't enjoy Literacy in my class. I am also Literacy co-ordinator and regularly survey the children's views for my school, both by chatting to the children and anonymously - negative comments are extremely rare.
Time for a new school, maybe, but don't dismiss mainstream entirely.

cory Mon 22-Jun-09 21:09:50

I would understand it more if it were maths tbh, but ime a lot of literacy is creative writing- so it is entirely up to the child how much they put into it. A report can be a few basic stumbling words- or PhD level, depending on who is writing it.

Of course, having a bad teacher can make any subject boring (but then probably equally boring for everybody), but otherwise there should be so many ways for a gifted child to stretch themselves in this particular subject, make their metaphors a little bit more interesting, put that little bit extra into their poem, make sure their report is perfectly structured.

lljkk Thu 09-Jul-09 18:57:36

Ooh!! DD won 1st place prize (20 quid in book vouchers) today, for all of KS1, in a story-writing contest -- their Activities Week this year was all about StoryTelling. Not so good for some, but perfect for DD.

Preening Mother Alert, but I had to declare it somewhere!

cory Fri 10-Jul-09 08:39:59

Congratulations!!! Well done her!!! Preen on- you're entitled. smile

cory Fri 10-Jul-09 08:41:04

And it's good news for you: once she's got into storytelling she'll have a source of pleasure that never ends.

fembear Fri 10-Jul-09 08:43:02

Aaawww. Well done lljkkDD. I hope she is pleased with her prize. DS got his end-of-year prize the other day and is not plesed. They usually get money but this year it was a voucher which can only be spent at WHS and only on Proper Studious Stuff.sad

lljkk Fri 10-Jul-09 12:15:58

Ah, ta blush .

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