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What do teachers do with children who can read when they enter reception?

(59 Posts)
iamnotreallyhere2 Mon 20-Jun-11 19:33:56

My daughter is starting in reception in September. She has learnt to read alongside her older brother, and is currently quite able to read books in the Oxford Reading Tree level 4 - I daresay she'll be reading level 5 or 6 by the time September comes. Waah - what a boastful mother I am! ;) She's just a keen bean who will get my son's phonic books out to work through them on her own. And she's been a big fan of for a while now.

Anyway, I'm just wondering what other's experiences are of having a child who is a confident reader when they go into reception. I'm almost certain that she will be the only reading children in her class at that point. Obviously I will ask the teachers what they'll be doing with her and how they plan to stretch her. But have other people found that that their reading child is given something else to do during the times when they the rest of the class is being taught phonics formally?

SingleDadio Mon 20-Jun-11 19:36:19

When you say reading well do you mean decoding or is she understanding everything she is reading?

GrownUpNow Mon 20-Jun-11 19:40:57

We worked on writing, keeping up with reading for fun and gaining understanding and just generally social skills, since mine is a bit of a loner like myself.

mrz Mon 20-Jun-11 19:40:58

put them in a cupboard until July? hmm sorry couldn't resist

Does she know all 180 grapheme /phoneme correspondences? because if she does she should be reading much higher levels than 6

mrsravelstein Mon 20-Jun-11 19:41:46

i don't think it's especially unusual to get already reading children in reception... my ds1 wasn't one of them but there were quite a few kids (maybe 5 or so out of 20) in his reception class who had already learned to read at nursery, so i imagine schools can cope with it pretty easily.

Littlefish Mon 20-Jun-11 19:47:24

I would strongly suggest that you stop giving her ORT books to read. Take her to the library and give her the opportunity to read (and have read to her) books in a wide range of styles and genre.

I agree that it's not terribly unusual to have children starting school reading. In fact, I've only taught one Reception class (out of about 6 or 7) which didn't have any readers at the beginning of term, so please don't worry.

woolleybear Mon 20-Jun-11 19:48:54

I'll be finding out come September! I don't think its that unusual, my dd will be very nearly 5 when she starts so one of the older ones, and certainly not the only one from her Nursery moving up who can read.

I don't know what ORT level she reads to, but she is perfectly capable of reading most of the books we have at home for her (lots of Peppa Pig at the moment!).

magicmummy1 Mon 20-Jun-11 19:52:31

My dd was reading well when she started school. She certainly wasn't the only one, and it wasn't really an issue. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you.

pfbornot Mon 20-Jun-11 19:52:38

In DS's reception class (he couldn't read when he started school), all children had to do the phonics, regardless of whether they could read.

mrz Mon 20-Jun-11 20:01:24

because phonics is important for writing too and reading at a higher level
We teach phonics in Y6

for example all /sh/ phonemes but all different graphemes




megapixels Mon 20-Jun-11 20:01:40

Mine I think will be the oldest in her class (September baby) and she's taught herself to read too. I don't know what level she is in as she hasn't read any ORT but to my surprise I've found that she actually reads simple chapter books by herself and will recount the story for me. Easy ones like Amelia Jane and My Naughty Little Sister series I mean. I think it is very likely with second or subsequent children to teach themselves to read because they have a variety of books of all ages for them to pick up and learn. So I don't think it'll be that unusual.

However I should hope that she is not "taken to do something else" while the rest of the class is doing phonics! Why would you want that, I'm sure most of the fun of learning is doing it with the other children and chanting those silly phonics songs grin. Don't worry about "how they plan to stretch her" too, (this is the kind of thing I thought about a lot with my eldest but have relaxed since!) you can make sure she has a steady supply of good reading material at home for her. In Reception class it's all about making friends and settling in to school life, not actual learning.

pooka Mon 20-Jun-11 20:04:42

In DS1's case he still joined in with the carpet time phonics sessions and enjoyed them, even though he was already a good reader.

Our school does differentiate and there are 3 or 4 reading, writing and numeracy groups out of the 60 reception children. He has a September birthday and is one of the oldest, and so he had a term where there were only 30 children and 2 teachers (2 point entry here). When the January starters arrived they were assimilated into the appropriate groups.

The school have really worked on his writing, because there was initially a massive disparity between his reading ability and his writing. He refused to even hold pens and draw anything really until he started school. You can't stop him now, and he is using punctuation pretty accurately (including colons). They didn't bother with the word box that dd had had, since he already knew the reception words. Ditto with the phonics homework. However he was given more writing practice than others, in terms of letter formation and also sentence writing (got him writing about his reading books).

He chooses books from the year 2 library, and tends not to read ORT/Rigby/Ginn now. Understandably, because they are rather boring.

If I were you I'd be ignoring ORT and getting lots of library books out.

Nearly the end of the Reception year for DS1 now - and I've been so pleased with how he has found it. Was worried that he would be bored since he could already read, but all unfounded concerns. He has improved socially no end, and is happy, and that's all that really matters to me. Stretching can come later if he shows signs of restlessness IMO.

mrsshears Mon 20-Jun-11 20:08:01

I hate to be negative but do not get your hopes up about any form of differentation!
my dd started reception last sept already able to read well(she could read ort level 4 with ease) she was started on band 3 when the school first gave out reading books,at about christmas she was moved onto band 4 which she was kept on for an age even though she was reading them fluently with great comprehension,dd will finish reception on band 6 even though she is reading much harder books than this at home,dd also had to sit through all the jolly phonics etc which she found really confused as she really didnt get why she had to do actions when saying letter sounds,it really didnt make sense to her.
sorry to sound so negative and its really a whole other thread but in my experience i feel dd's school is letting her down (much bigger issues than just the readng)and my experience with gifted/bright dc and differentiation in state schools is not a positive one.

dixiechick1975 Mon 20-Jun-11 20:08:15

I'm sure most reception classes have children starting who can read - I know my DD's class did. Don't worry about her being the odd one out.

pooka Mon 20-Jun-11 20:11:33

DD and DS1 go to a state school - which most certainly does differentiate. Sorry that you've had such a negative experience Mrsshears - our (not so great in ofsted/SATS, bog standard) state school has been excellent in that respect.

magicmummy1 Mon 20-Jun-11 20:12:07

yy mrz - my dd's spelling came on in leaps and bounds as a result of all the phonic work she did in reception. It definitely isn't just about reading!

JemimaMop Mon 20-Jun-11 20:13:04

Both DS2 and DD were reading fairly well (roughly ORT Level 2/3) by the time they were about 4.5. The Reception teacher just gave them harder stuff to read! There is still a long way to go after the first couple of ORT levels grin

DD is just coming to the end of Reception and she is in a reading group on her own as she has progressed faster than the other children in her class. She goes to the Year 1/2 class to get her books. I would imagine that most (good) teachers would differentiate in this way. She still joins in with the whole group phonics etc lessons, I don't think it does her any harm.

So don't worry just yet!

magicmummy1 Mon 20-Jun-11 20:16:38

Just to echo what pooka said, our school has been excellent at providing differentiated work. It is a "good" state primary.

smellyeli Mon 20-Jun-11 20:17:53

DS could read when he started - not brilliantly, but a bit - he is also a September birthday. He is now in Year 1 and can read anything (including newspapers, dodgy adverts, obituaries) The differentiation in his (state) school has been fantastic and I agree with other posters - it's not just about the reading, it's about the 'talking for reading' and the 'reading for writing' (I'm sure I've got those wrong, I'm not a teacher!) and all the preparation they do, as well as the topic work around various books. The teacher will be pleased to have an able child, I'm sure, but if they are good (which our experience has been) they will find ways to stretch her without excluding her from group activities such as phonics.

mrsshears Mon 20-Jun-11 20:18:18

ours is "outstanding" (or not imo)

Thingiebob Mon 20-Jun-11 20:19:06

Dunno but I could read before I started school. That was back in the eighties. I remember I was pulled out of class and sent off to the library or reading corner to choose my own book. Great for me but also served to single me out and turn me into a freaky outcast/geek for most of primary school.

I got severely bullied because it and would have preferred to have sat joined in with the other kids,

Kewcumber Mon 20-Jun-11 20:19:32

Mrsshears - thats a shame. Our very nice but fairly normal state primary also differntiates. DS (in reception) is only on level 2 (but progressing well. His best friend is currntly on level 6 and skipped level 5 completely.

They all do carpet time phonics together and that seems to work fine for everyone.

mrz Mon 20-Jun-11 20:19:36

did you pick it because it was outstanding?

mrsshears Mon 20-Jun-11 20:22:12

no its our catchment school,i'm hoping dd may move to a "good" smaller school as there are 30 in dd's class which is a factor i think

Kewcumber Mon 20-Jun-11 20:25:02

There are 30 pupils in DS's class - don;t they have a TA as well? surely a good teacher can assess a reading level and give approprite books confused it doesn;t take any longer to give out iappropriate books than appropriate ones (providing they are hearing the childrne read of course)

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