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STARS in Y2. Anyone had experience?

(13 Posts)
BertramBertram Tue 09-Oct-12 11:04:36

DS is in Y2 and is struggling with reading & writing (still gets b's, d's, q's etc round the wrong way and has lately started writing his numbers back to front).

Was told last night at parent's evening that he is going to be taking part in STARS which is aimed at improving literacy and takes place in small groups. No further information given.

Has anyone had any experience of this, what it involves & if it works? He has been on level 5 of the Biff & Chip books since May and doesn't seem to be making any progress.

I've tried taking the 'he'll get there' approach but now wonder if I've let him down by not pushing him more. To behomest, I just want to burst into tears as I feel like a failure as a Mum

If anyone has a child that has been through the STARS programme, can you let me know if it helped?

sunnyday123 Tue 09-Oct-12 12:33:12

Not sure what stars is exactly but dd is on the ort scheme (also in year 2) and has recently started bring home a stars book as well as her weekly ort book. She tends to bring home a stars book which is one level higher than ort. I think the books are far more interesting and fun, more princesses, castle etc from the ones dd has had but then she has been able to choose from a few provided.

BertramBertram Tue 09-Oct-12 13:19:21

Sunnyday - have the school spoken to you about the STARS (I think it is an accelerated reading scheme)? What worried me is that I was told DS had been assessed and would be doing the classes with the SENCO so it sounds more serious IYSWIM.

I have had concerns that DS might be dyslexic (DH is & had similar symptoms) but was told last year that he was fine, lots of Y1's reverse letters, struggle to transfer words to paper etc, no need to worry.

I think I will see if I can make an appointment with the SENCO to understand more - not sure how I can support from home without knowing anything about it! Class teacher was quite dismissive last night. Feel like she has given up on DS already!

sunnyday123 Tue 09-Oct-12 13:26:39

No the whole class is doing it I think. Dd is just starting ort stage 10 so not sure it's limited to certain groups within a class? Her teachers just said its a way of encouraging the children to read different text and to challenge them (hence they are given a book higher than their reading level). Dd much prefers the stars book but the focus in school is still very much ort.

I wouldn't worry about being on ort stage 5 as they range from stage 4-11 in dds year 2 class. Dd is one of the oldest so almost 12 months between her and the younger kids in the class.

I def think you should ask the teacher to explain more - for peace of mind if nothing else smile

littlemiss06 Tue 09-Oct-12 13:35:05

Not sure whether its the same thing as my daughters school have just started as ive only been told by my child not the teacher, she told me shes going off for special groups to help with learning tricky words. Shes also yr 2 also mixes up letters and is only on red band stage 2 which she has been on for over 12 months, she failed her phonics test in yr 1 with a score of 14 so I wondered if this was what the group was as it seems to be a small group of yr 1s and yr 2s from what she has said, they go off with a special needs assistant. We have parents evening next week so I might know more by then

BertramBertram Tue 09-Oct-12 13:58:32

Hi Littlemiss. It sounds like your DD is dong something similar to DS. We're in Wales so we dont have SATS or any other assessments to go on.

I think what upset me was being told that DS had been assessed by SENCO and needed special help. I spoke to the school last year about my concerns about DS & his literacy and was made to feel like a pushy parent. Last year I was told he was OK for literacy but needed to work harder on his numeracy (even though he has always been the other way around at home and his teacher this year agrees with me that his maths is OK).

When I got back from parents evening last night I spoke to DS about starting STARS and it seems he has already started!!! DS is a bit like Kevin the teenager when talking about school - how was school? Fine. What did you do? Nothing... So no surprise he didn't tell me about it. Just wonder if/when I would have been told if I hadn't been able to go to parent's evening.

I will make an appointment to see the SENCO (even if it is only for peace of mind!). If I knew more I might not feel so upset and worried...

Jenny70 Tue 09-Oct-12 14:13:25

I can understand you are worried, and talking to the school will be the best way to get the full picture.

But don't feel guilty - if he has a "genuine" problem with literacy, it is being picked up and addressed through this program - no amount of pushing would have made him "better". If what he was doing last year was within the bounds of normal, then there was nothing to indicate he needed anything else but time to develop those skills.

If it isn't a "condition" and it's just he's not picked up on these things yet (or a bit casual about the way he makes letters etc), he is now getting the extra support he needs to check he is doing things in the correct way.

So hopefully this program will develop his skills, and you can ask the school how he will be measured/assessed and at what point you may need to get him seen to rule out things like dyslexia.

littlemiss06 Tue 09-Oct-12 14:17:17

Definately make an appointment if its worrying you as a parent you have every right to ask about your childs education and im sure having the chat will help settle your concerns.

With my little girl there are other issues going on and she is under camhs, school acknowledge she is behind and they have also contacted camhs and social services regarding some issues they have concerns with in school however she isnt classed as having special needs in school, shes doesnt have an IEP or anything like that as yet as they keep saying it might be down to her age, despite them knowing all the problems we have as well. We do have SATS here and she ended Yr 1 at a level 1C.

Let us know how you get on

BertramBertram Wed 10-Oct-12 12:11:17

I've got an appointment with the SENCO at 2pm on Friday. Will update afterwards!

mam29 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:27:26

Im not sure what Stars is -guess an accronym for extra help.

In our school they refer to it as an interevention

last year year 1 was struggling with literacy/reading

prior to phonics test they identified the weaker ones and split into 2groups

ta-took mind who was having difficulties.
The senco lady took the other.

I was pleased they were being pro active and thourght small groups benefit my dd .She did 8weeks of blending sounds.

She did improve but ended year 1 on level 3ort -terribly low level.
she passed phonics test with 36/40
she got a 1b for reading/writing end of year report.

Now in year 2 -theres once again 2special phonics groups.

1 for kids who just failed phonics test with ta
1 for those who failed badly with senco.

my dd pased phonics test so no help yet still struggles but has progressed over sumer-we did alot and this term shes now ort equivilant 7 now.

I would be pleased if she was in smaller group as think theres still gaps in her phonics she too gets b and d mixed up.

we now thinking moving schools so she can get more support.
Although my bigegst worry is maths now literacy she plodding along

Senco deal with gifted and talented kids too so its not all bad.

Fact teh schools identified child needs extra help and more focus can only be good thing.

im sure he wil catch up dont feel bad.

I feel rubbish as dd keeps comparing herself to others in class and its knocked her confidence a bit.

sunnyday123 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:57:09

I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the phonics test - dds school hates it and is totally changing the way they do it this year as it didn't represent the kids at all in dds class! Dd was at the end of ort stage 9 and failed the phonics test!!! Whereas kids on ort stage 4 passed! her teacher said they couldn't give instructions and most kids didn't sound out the unusual words - they basically thought they were misspelt and corrected them. All the year one teachers in the school thought it was a waste of time and said it didn't correlate at all with their reading levels and abilities!

BertramBertram Thu 11-Oct-12 08:44:59

We're in Wales so didn't have the phonics tests. DS gets so frustrated because he really wants to read (is desperate to be able to go and read Horrid Henry & Harry Potter on his own) but tries every trick in the book to avoid reading/writing/spelling as he finds it so hard. Just hoping we can unlock a new way to help him move forward!

BertramBertram Fri 12-Oct-12 14:50:26

Just met with the SENCO. She explained the STARS programme. It is new to the school and DS will be her first group. She has a supervisor supporting her classes (hopefully double help for DS). They work with the groups on High frequency words, cvc's, sounds at the start and end of words etc which should allow him to break words down. DS will be writing his own book which the teacher types up so that he can then use it to read back. It sounds like the sort of thing that DS will enjoy and I think that might be half the battle.

The course starts properly next week and the SENCO said to meet up half way through next term to discuss progress. Fingers crossed...

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