My DD is nearly 8, in Y4 (in a French-English bilingual school) and a free reader (happily reads several chapters of eg Charlie and The Chocolate Factory to herself at a sitting and can read it aloud fluently and with expression to me if asked).
School insists on her reading on the reading scheme - currently ORT stage 12. The books are easy and dull for her. Is there any educational justification for making her read them?
I want to talk to her teacher but I want to be completely sure that there are zero reasons for giving her these books (and I just checked - the ones she has been given are classified as Lime Level - she was on Lime Level and it was too easy a year ago... grrrrrrr).
My DD is a very able reader, but does not have masses of time for reading in English as school is mostly in French. I cannot bear the idea of her having to waste her precious English reading time on books that cannot help her progress!
I'm in the same boat with DD2, now Yr5. She's reading ORT TreeTops level 16 (which I'm told is Pearl) and while the books are not too bad, they don't challenge her at all. At home she's reading Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising sequence, the latest Percy Jackson and all kinds of stuff from the library.
Her teacher knows what she can do, but they have to provide evidence, and it's easier to do a quick check on things like inference, voice, comprehension etc. from a book out of a series - after all, the teacher will know this book. The other alternative seems to be making them write endless book reports on what they've read, which I wouldn't be happy with except as a way of turning them off reading for life.
We just live with it and make sure that DD has enjoyable books to read at home.
I think it's really about teacher workload, Bonsoir though of course in an ideal world teachers and parents would ahave it otherwise. To be fair DD's teacher loves talking about books with her, and that includes non-scheme books. They share recommendations with each other quite a lot .
The ORT Tree Tops books are bearable and there's the odd one that is quite good - DD is reading a modern retelling of the Cinderella story which is nicely ironic.
That's really depressing, bonsoir but it looks as if under the new system in the UK, all differentiation will disappear too. Instead of levels we're getting skills to be learned by certain ages - and instead of able children being allowed to forge ahead, the emphasis will all be on 'breadth'. So basically if your Yr5 child is ready to begin algebra, you're stuffed.
And still Michael Gove bangs on about wanting excellence... I despair.
Mine's a free reader but I thought the stage 12 books were quite good in that there were lots of history/general knowledge books which she wouldn't have chosen to read. Sort of broadened her knowledge a bit. And the range of vocabulary just isn't there with the paperbacks she chooses to read which are largely about puppy/kitten adventures.
marbles I think it does depend on what your DC is reading, but speaking for bonsoir and myself, our DCs are most definitely reading challenging material at home - and this makes engaging with the reading schemes very difficult.
And that is only going to get worse under the proposed new primary curriculum...
Is this part of the change to the national curriculum? My little boy has just gone into Y4 and has been a free reader for over a year. Assessed as Level 4c at his last school and in his new one he started this term. It appears all children are being encouraged to read at home from a book from the reading scheme for 20 mins each day. The books are not challenging him in the slightest in terms of reading words accuracy but I suppose it is not just about that. It is about tone, punctuation, comprehension etc etc etc.
I agree bonsoir that is madness. And I don't understand why advanced readers should read from a scheme, unless it's the challenging levels of a scheme, if they can demonstrate that they are being provided with reading material that will broaden their vocabulary and their understanding. I do ask my children to read out loud to me so that I can hear they are understanding what they are reading, can add appropriate expression etc. I also still read to them every night so that they see what reading out loud is really all about (and because I love it!)
But my DD2's Yr5 teacher does not hold her back, and I don't see why any teacher would want to do so. If they have genuine reasons for believing that a child is not as advanced as their parents think, they should say so and provide evidence to support this. I honestly believe that most teachers want the best for the children they teach - certainly my DDs' teachers have always provided very useful concrete feedback on what they needed to work on next, in practical terms that I could do something with at home.
I also listen to DD read - I'll get her to read her a chapter of whatever she's reading and then I'll read a chapter to her. We also talk about whatever she's reading on the journey (on foot) to school and she is very good at recounting stories, talking about different characters, anticipating the plot etc.
Yes, and that stuff is fun to do. And I recognise that there are many parents out there who don't do these things, for whatever reason, but that can't be used as a reason to hold back bright, well-supported children who really want to learn .
Anyway, I think we are seriously thinking of a change of school for next year. There are lots of good reasons, and we will get a sibling priority spot at her brothers' school. There won't be any English, but at least she won't be forfeiting 6 hours of French for nothing - and it's a better school, with a much bigger reputation.
Wow, I'm shocking to see that Treetop stage 12+ are given to kids in Y4 and Y5! My DD in Y1 has been getting Stage 12+ every week since September and It seems like it's becoming too easy and quite dull for her. My DD's case is not as bad as some others' then!