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Am I not understanding this reading lark?

(18 Posts)
NoseyNooNoo Fri 21-Oct-11 20:56:04

DC1 has just started reception. She has been reading for about 1.5 - 2 years now. I agreed with the her teacher that we would 'freeze' her on the green reading level/band so that she could enjoy a breadth of styles and subject matter.

We've had a recent literacy meeting for parents where the head of the EYFS said that children who can read early tend to not have good imaginations.

Today she has got her latest reading books. Everyone else in the class has received their first books of the year. One of the new books is set out as a play rather than a narrative. My DD has enjoyed learning about this new format and I envisage a weekend of different voices. However the second book is a lilac book, Band 0 with no words in it - so that DD can 'try and use pictures to spark her imagination + good language'.

DD was a bit surprised but will give it a go. Personally I don't think my daughter lacks imagination. She creates comic strips and writes short stories. People frequently comment on how articulate she is.

So, is it normal for all children to have to go back 5 or so bands so that they can improve their imagination or is this the head of EYFS noticing that one child is ahead and therefore must lack imagination. If we get the same next time should I accept this or question it?

Feenie Fri 21-Oct-11 21:13:23

We've had a recent literacy meeting for parents where the head of the EYFS said that children who can read early tend to not have good imaginations.

Whaaaaatttttt! shock What a load of codswallop. No, it's not normal. This would really alarm me.

snowball3 Fri 21-Oct-11 21:24:30

We had an EYFS advisor who told us the same. Apparently early readers rely on stories and themes from books they have read rather than developing their own ideas.


themed Fri 21-Oct-11 21:26:49

It's absolute tosh.

I have 4 children and only one was a really early reader. He has an amazing imagination, which needs feeding all the time! That's what SPURRED him to read so early. At school everyone says he is an incredibly imaginative and creative child. All my other children aren't and they were late readers. So a load of rubbish in my opinion!!

Feenie Fri 21-Oct-11 21:31:26

There's no way I could work with a head of EYFS that said that!

NoseyNooNoo Fri 21-Oct-11 21:46:22

So would I be right to go back in after half term and request that we continue with the green books rather than the lilac band 0 books?

Feenie Fri 21-Oct-11 21:47:40

I think that's the least you should be doing!

DeWe Fri 21-Oct-11 21:49:43

Dd2 was my earliest reader. She was reading Famous Five before she started school. Her imagination never stops working. Thankfully she can now take a step back and discover what of the incredible story she's just told me was imagination and what was real, but we've had to work on that.

NoseyNooNoo Fri 21-Oct-11 22:04:59

What I want to do is charge in all guns blazing because the silly cow managed to make me feel almost embarrassed about my daughter's abilities e.g. parents of readers must not mention this to other parents, and certainly not mention book bands lest other parents get upset!?! Well DD is as coordinated as Bambi but I'm mature enough not to mind if other children are in early training for the Olympics!

Thank you for reasuring me that this woman is talking rubbish. The only consolation is the DD's younger brother is benefitting from the tips she gave us on how to teach our children to read. He would definitely be happy to tell her what he thinks of her lilac books next year!

sarahfreck Sat 22-Oct-11 16:31:55

I'd make sure you have a good selection of library books at your dd's reading level too, so that you can supplement when necessary if the school continues to be completely idiotic be under the misapprehension that your daughter's imagination is poor. I've just read the start of an Allan Ahlberg book where he says, this book would not have been possible without Enid Blyton, Arthur Ransome, Raymond Briggs (etc) - ie all the authors that inspired him as a child and an adult! Try accusing him of unoriginality!

Some of the Ahlberg picture books might be really good for your daughter - try the Funnybones series maybe. Usborne Phonic readers might support the phonics she should will be doing and you could also try some old classics like the easier Ladybird read it yourself stories and Dr Zeuss. Also see what your daughter chooses herself in the library and what the children's librarian recommends.

PointyBlackHat Sat 22-Oct-11 19:53:56

Clueless school.

Both my DDs were early readers and both have the most original, active imaginations you could imagine, which comes through in their writing.

The HT of this school is clearly completely stumped when it comes to dealing with children who don't fit the average - I don't blame you for not being impressed. I'd definitely be going back after half term because this so-called strategy is going to turn your DD off school and learning.

angry on OP's behalf.

muffinflop Sat 22-Oct-11 19:59:31

My DS' reception teacher told us the same when he started (now in year 2). As he was my PFB I just took her word for it. TBH DS doesn't really have a fantastic imagination but then he's always been a more practical child and doesn't understand why things need to be imagined when there are so many REAL things to write and read about!

DD started reception this year with a different teacher to the one DS had. DD is the complete opposite to DS and has an amazing imagination and her teacher has already put her on gold band books (ORT 10/11) because she can see she doesn't need to plod through the bands like DS had to.

I think you know your child better than them and, if they're refusing to put your DD on reading books then give her what you think she can read and make sure her comprehension is good before moving her on to something more 'difficult'

camicaze Sat 22-Oct-11 21:03:02

How totally irrational. So reading stories TO your child is good for them (I'm sure the teacher would agree) but if they read them to you its stunting.
I know so many parents with children already reading that have weeks of picture books and then are endlessly put well below their reading level in reading books. Often the teacher says its for comprehension but rarely if ever does the teacher check if the child can comprehend harder books, its just a stock response. ( I also know teachers that are much better)

CecilyP Sat 22-Oct-11 21:14:59

I'd be annoyed at a teacher who could make such a sweeping generalisation. I have also never heard of a child being put back to wordless books when they are already reading.

mrz Sat 22-Oct-11 21:30:24

Personally I only send home wordless books with children who have speech, language and communication difficulties which clearly isn't the case here. I could perhaps understand sending it home in addition to an appropriate level book with words but not as a substitute.

ImNotaCelebrity Sun 23-Oct-11 00:19:41

I don't believe in anyone having 'good imaginations'. What they have is a huge bank of knowledge which they use to good effect, generally because they are avid readers ...
Draw your own conclusions. grin

gaelicsheep Sun 23-Oct-11 00:45:38

There is a basic flaw with wordless books, IME, and that is that there is very very little to talk about. They are so DULL. (We have moved on now but it is still ORT, and only ORT and if anything is guaranteed to put a child off reading for life it is that blardy reading scheme).

montymum Sun 23-Oct-11 09:45:37

Could the lilac book be an oversight, maybe an overworked TA putting the first book in all the other children's bookbags just got carried away? Just a thought. I also totally disagree with the early reader lack of imagiation- every child is different and good readers certainly have more developed story language when it comes to writing in Year 2.

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