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Learning to read in Y1 & Y2

(312 Posts)
learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 19:38:33

How unusual is it for a primary school to focus its attention in YR on teaching the letter sounds, maybe some digraphs, perhaps one or two trigraphs (or maybe not even) and learning (whatever that means) lists of HFW, but not to any great extent turn attention to reading actual books (of any kind)?

And the school thereby, presumably, places the emphasis of learning to read books (of whatever kind) onto Y1 and beyond? And, if one's school has such a system how does one approach it if one's child already reads books quite well and has done throughout Reception? Getting the Reception teacher up to speed with the child's reading has taken a while, but it's getting there. Does one expect to have to introduce every teacher at every early years level to the child's ability to read?

mrz Sat 24-Nov-12 21:01:32

At least one of the children who was a complete non reader in September was quite capable of reading and understanding the Arthur Mees children's encyclopaedias by the end of reception

mrz Sat 24-Nov-12 21:02:42

I should add she was a much better speller than I was

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 21:02:47

Next year (yr1) I will be pushing for the school to teach her phase 6 (taught in yr2 - don't know how that will go down!!)

I think it will make it easier when in yr2 she has been "officially" taught all the phases she can read to herself or go over everything in the phonics lessons and I can extend her at home rather than her having a yr of repeating what she has learnt before she learns more. It does not make any sense to me for her to have that year gap in her learning iyswim (only talking phonics lessons - I know she will be learning loads of other things).

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 21:08:20

errrr..... ok I have clearly taken my eye of the ball as far as all these phonics phases. Quite happy to have DS can read fluently..... does he know all these phonics phases? No idea, presume so at some level, although his writing is still improving (above average for age though). I guess I am coming to the hands off approach a bit late in the day.. happy to be more hands off for writing somehow (whilst I can see him improving and not having problems etc..)...

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 21:10:18

I'm not quite sure what the "overtake" description involves. But let's suppose (for my sake) that it involves some children being more able to decode than others...

then I'm supposing that the overtaken child couldn't read an encyclopaedia on her own.

But if, (for the sake of argument) the child didn't appear to have (or simply did not have) any difficulties with decoding, and had read Encyclopaedia Britannica and Gibbon's Decline & Fall could, or would, that child be overtaken? And if so, how?

Lougle Sat 24-Nov-12 21:13:23

I am so glad I don't hear this talk in my DD's playground. As long as the children are progressing in the mechanics of reading, the love of learning, and the joy of knowledge, does it matter if they are 1 day, 1 month or 1 year ahead of where they 'should' be??

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 21:15:04

No, I don't think it's about decoding after a certain level learnandsay. It becomes about the higher level skills. Comprehension, understanding, inference, interpretation. Ability to read/access any texts that you want to/need to, engage with them, enjoy, understand, interpret.

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 21:15:57

There's nothing wrong with talk Lougle. And there's nothing wrong with being good at something. And there's nothing wrong with discussion/debate grin.

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 21:18:46

OK, Tgger. I'm happy as long as people define what they mean. I've seen people happily throwing about terms like "catch up" and "overtake" without ever defining what they meant. It's hard to agree or disagree if you don't know what the other person means.

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 21:21:48

fairplay smile

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 21:23:28

I know there are 6 phases but don't ask me what are in them!!!

And I know phase 6 is taught in yr2 because that is when DS learnt it.

I don't care whether DD is ahead or not but I want her to carry on and progress and I don't think there is anything wrong in wanting that for my child.

BooksandaCuppa Sat 24-Nov-12 21:28:14

I worry that you might be overthinking this, OP. There is nothing to say that just because one child is 'ahead' of her peers at two months into her schooling that she will remain so and will therefore not be challenged.
I say this because in ds's reception year, no children entered able to read but by the end of that year, four of the ten (small school) were what I would call fluent readers. So that's just nine months of teaching (pre synthetic phonics, mind). There's no reason that some of the children in your daughter's class won't catch her up or indeed overtake her or any reason to think (from your other posts/threads) that she's so far ahead that any school wouldn't be able to cater for her reading - or writing - needs in year one. Try not to worry!

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 21:32:57

Yes, simpson. I think this is where the reading debate falls into the big pit that Blueschool, in her post about refusing to re-assess her daughter, is floundering in.

Comprehension, unless there is an objective test of reading learner's comprehension, which can be sat without cost by anyone anywhere, "comprehension" is a how long is a piece of string exercise. I can say she comprehends and another can say no she doesn't, and round and round it goes.

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 21:38:57

I was in a similar situation that she is now in with DS in yr2.

TBH I just extended at home and kept doing my own thing and nodded to the school sweetly when they raved about how much progress he made at the end of the year!!!

Although I will be at bit more pushy with DD tbh (only for her to learn phonics once she has been taught them at school - I am happy to provide interesting books for her to read etc)...

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 21:48:57

I don't think I'm susceptible to the hole that Blueschool is in (because I think I'd just ignore school books if I met a teacher that stubborn.) But that isn't really why we're here. Is it? We're here because we all want our children to do well. I'd like to think that booksandcuppa was right when she said that there's no reason to think that the school can't cater for my girl. But if it can't cater now (when she's four) why should it be able to cater when she's five or six? She won't be at the same stage then as she is now. She'll have moved on. If she never moved on then of course the school could catch up. But she won't sit still and wait!

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 21:52:46

It depends on what you mean by "cater". What do you expect exactly?

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 22:00:40

I think non decodable books (which we're just starting to get now) would be a good start. But there seems to be a promise of going back onto the floppy phonics scheme later on. If that means a lot later on that's fine. But it didn't sound like that. It sounded like back from where we left off. Because the teacher wrote "she has to progress through the scheme in order."

I'll be honest. I could write stories on sheets of A4 paper and illustrate them with matchstick pictures which would do my daughter more good than the phonics readers that she's got so far.

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 22:07:46

Ok, so you are still frustrated with the school as there is a mis match between how you think she is reading and what they are giving her. From your posts it sounds like you are getting there re finding a better match though. It's tricky for the school though if they've spotted gaps in her phonics (which are not surprising at her age). It is their job to cover the gaps so she can read fluently, so I am guessing this is the reason for the comments "she has to progress through the scheme in order."
As a comparison I have a very able cellist pupil at one school at the moment. It's tempting to miss out the easy pages with her, but she needs to cover them in order to build up a strong technique and solid note reading skills. Experience shows me I would be doing her no favours if I missed them out, so I am covering them and giving her some interesting little pieces to cover at the same time to keep her stimulated.

onesandwichshort Sat 24-Nov-12 22:17:03

OP from that other thread here.

waves to simpson

I could say a lot but I'm typing on an ipad and its ridiculously laborious. But two things are important enough to persevere with. One is that it matters -all of this about reading levels etc- because they spend so much time on it at this stage. And, for a whole host of reasons, Id like my child to be at school to be educated as much as the other children are.

The second is that yes some children will 'catch up' others, in reading ability. But that won't always be so. DD is in year1 with a reading age 4 to 5 years ahead. If other children 'overtake' that means she will have stagnated for several years. Which we will try and avoid.

And yes, it's just as hard to get their needs met in year 1 as it is in Reception. Schools just don't have the resources to provide properly for outliers (and not all of them like children who don't fit the mould either).

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 22:18:21

Tgger, I don't know. I really don't know. It depends on what they're doing with her. The teacher told me that she "is reading harder books than the ones being sent home." Let's assume she means listening to rather than reading. But OK. And let's suppose she's heard my daughter make mistakes. OK.

Then let's assume (because we don't know,) that the teacher sends home books that she knows my daughter can read easily. (She's trying to boost my daughter's confidence.)

The difference between the books that are being sent home and the books that my daughter reads with me is so large that it's nonsensical. It has become less stupid in the last week now that my daughter has received Ginn readers. They're non decodable and are (in some library estimates) equivalent to the Heinemann story readers that she can also read. The Ginn readers are a lot shorter. But they're supposed to be as "difficult."

So that's a start, anyway.

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 22:18:54

DD is getting phonetic books and I expect her to for a while tbh.

I would be concerned though if they were not differentiating her work in any way at all and I know I am very lucky (I think due to the new deputy head that has started) in that DD does not do phonics with the rest of the class.

Tgger - I totally get your point re the cellist but you are extending her by giving her extra pieces, LandS's daughter is not getting any extra work/books...

Can you naturally extend her with what homework she gets?? For example DD got some homework this week (not done it yet) in which she has to colour shapes in colour sequences of 2 (ie red, white, red, white etc) but I am going to get DD to do sequences of 4 (still easy but will extend her -well it won't as she knows it but you know what I mean!!)

Can you take any books she reads at home or work she writes to show the teacher??

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 22:30:07

Ok, so this is where I differ from you guys. I have a bright child who can read, but apart from wanting school to be aware that he can read and give him appropriate books I am happy to let him be and let the school do what they do.

I differ from onesandwichshort- thanks for joining in by the way!- in that I don't worry about DS stagnating. He is engaged, he is reading, how can he stagnate..... he is probably reading at reading age 7/8. Is there any benefit for him to be reading that much further ahead at this stage when he is still immature in other ways and doesn't have the life experience to deal with more complex literature? Probably not. You follow the child though... onesandwichshort's DD was reading fluently on starting YR. DS reached this stage later in the Summer YR.

And I don't really go for homework and extending children at this age- or at least not via official school ways. This is done more by DH at the tea table grin.

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 22:31:51

Yes, simpson. I think the teacher and I are doing some kind of weird dance that I don't understand (which I think might have something to do with resources, which I don't understand.) But she did say something to me at parents evening about writing stories with my daughter. I didn't quite get it at the time. But since I've read some NCT targets do make more sense. My daughter can write in print, (not in the cursive script the school sent home.) So my daughter and I are now going to write stories and send them to school as requested, just not in cursive script! (The teacher knows that I write things with and for my daughter. She has read them.)

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 22:36:41

TBH in my DD's case because she has had extension work within the classroom in reception I would be pretty peed off if it is taken away in yr1.

But also if DD was getting for example red level ORT books I would be a bit hmm too.

DD just wants to read and I just let her get on with it ( she reads to me too but is now happy to read to the cats - she has to read to " someone" even if it's a teddy grin)

But as I am not a teacher, I want her to progress obviously and cannot "teach" her the next phonics sounds ( as I don't know how to) and I would rather she learnt to read phonetically as I believe it will help her with spelling etc.

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 22:37:13

<<waves back at onesandwich>>

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