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School are holding my daughter back when it comes to reading

(95 Posts)
cakebake Wed 28-Nov-12 14:19:35

I know theres been quite a bit of discussion on this, but I have a 6 year old who is a very advanced reader. Towards the end of the last school year her teacher admitted they didnt know what to do so were going to hold her at the level she was at (she was a 2a). At the time this was fine, but now I'm regretting saying it was ok.

She has moved up to year 2 and hasn't had her reading level changed since July. Her teacher and TA keep telling me that she is a level 3 reader, but that the stuff they have at her level isnt age appropriate, The chapter books they are giving her she is reading (and understanding) in an average of 2 days, but she is only getting one book a week. They have as good as admitted that they are holding her back.

As a TA myself I have some idea whats what and as a mum I know that my daughter has really good comprehension and understanding of what she is reading. We are finding books at the library or buying them cheaply, but I dont know where to go from here.

To make matters a bit more complicated I volunteer in school and dont want to upset anyone, but I dont want this happening to my youngest who is turning out to be as good as her sister.

I'd appreciate any suggestions on what to do next.

Theas18 Wed 28-Nov-12 14:28:48

I expect ls of people will be along go tell you to haul teacher over the coals etc.

I'm not....

No idea how school think the can " hold her at a level" lol. If she's reading and comprehending she is learning -all the time and you can't really stop it ! However iirc level 2a at the end of year 1 is wll within what is expected. at the end if year2 (ks1) when my kids where there years ago and the formal testing still happened they got 3s - the highest they measured iyswim. So any ormal school would take a child at 2a at the nd if year 1 and take thrm to level 3 by the end of year 2.

You want encourage progress in literacy - take her to the library pck some books, let her much her wa through nd digest those. Then get more !

Chopstheduck Wed 28-Nov-12 14:31:51

tbh I wouldn't really worry about sats levels much. Does she go into a new school next Sept, who might have more appropriate material? I think what they read at school at this age is such a small part of it, and I pretty much dropped the school reading scheme by year 2 and the boys read tons of books at home, we go to the library, they read children's newspapers, and pretty mcuh anything else that is laying around, and I think that is far mroe important than the school book they are reading.

orangepudding Wed 28-Nov-12 14:32:37

Get out library books or buy some from charity shops, don't focus so much on the books she is getting from school get your own. I did this with DD1 at the start of year two as she found the school books boring.

LittleRedBonferroni Wed 28-Nov-12 14:41:53

I supply all dd's reading books for school myself (she's now yr3 and it has got a lot worse I warn you!). It's disappointing to have to do this and I would have liked some input and support. But there it is and I think there are many parents doing the same.

I spent some time looking into the kind of books that would suit her age and level (not easy) - actually there were a number of book threads on mn that were a great help.

Chopstheduck Wed 28-Nov-12 14:51:29

the local library should be able to advise too. Ours are great for finding new books to inspire my hoard.

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 14:55:41

There are two easy things to do, ask for another book a week from school if you think that is beneficial (maybe, maybe not?), or just do your own thing. It doesn't really matter where they come from as long as she's reading some good books that she enjoys. I can see some schools are hesitant to hand out books they normally give to more mature readers to KS1- I think they are worried about the level of comprehension etc rather than being able to cope with the decoding by this stage and ere on the side of caution sometimes.

I think this age is difficult to fit sometimes so doing your own thing at home is probably the easiest until school buy their new books/someone at school knows your daughter's reading ability, habits and interests as well as you do. I hope in Y3/4 they will be more up to speed as more of the class will be getting into the richer books.

We focus on other books for DS now (Y1 but 6 already) and the school ones are a bonus. He's getting a steady supply of yellow banana chapter books from school, which he reads quickly if he likes and a bit more slowly if they don't interest him so much.

PolkadotCircus Wed 28-Nov-12 15:08:45

Errr how exactly is school holding your dd back?confusedIf she is on paperbacks get thee down to the library and just check out more books each week.

I pretty much supplied all my dc's books from year 1(they didn't much like the dog eared dry paperbacks they could choose in school).

I'm staggered how many people seem to think the only books their kids can read are those provided by school.

At home read what you want,when you want-comics,books,cereal packets,cookery books etc.

yellowsubmarine53 Wed 28-Nov-12 15:14:09

In addition to what other posters have said, do you mean that her reading level hasn't changed since July, or her SATS level?

If her SATS level, then not progressing a sublevel in half a term is completely normal so not to worry. If reading level, do you mind me asking what level your dd is reading? If she's reading white/lime or above, then it doesn't really matter if the school keep giving her these, as there's so much else she can access from the library etc.

I think that part of moving to a level 3 is being able to use reference books and dictionaries independently - this might be something you could work on at home.

BeerTricksPott3r Wed 28-Nov-12 15:15:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

take3 Wed 28-Nov-12 15:16:34

I understand that the school is 'holding her back' - because school is meant to be providing her with a suitable education - and they are not in the area of reading. 1 book per week is hopeless and that amount of literature will not help her to progress at the rate which she should and would be progressing at...

The trouble is, that in a class, it is totally impossible to cater the curriculum to each child, however outstanding the school is - and reading is a very individual thing and every child has individual needs. This the reason why everyone is saying that you need to take it upon yourself and sort it by buying good books or visiting the library often. Yes, the school should be doing it, but they can't look after every child in this way, so the children at the top get neglected.

I would just get on the case yourself and give her a pile of books!

learnandsay Wed 28-Nov-12 15:21:06

The OP did already say that she goes to the library and to second hand books shops.

I think where she's got an interesting point is, if the school is not supplying her daughter with appropriately challenging reading books then they are clearly not differentiating work for her. They are not challenging her. They are not stretching her.

If they're doing none of those things in her reading how is her writing coming along/being directed? How about her comprehension and higher order reading skills? (Are the school falling down on the job there too?)

There's more to a problem like this than owning a library card.

redskyatnight Wed 28-Nov-12 15:38:46

Is this a stand-alone infants school? Asking because my DD goes to an infants, sounds to be at a similar reading level to yours and they genuinely don't have many books for readers at this level. And quite a few of the ones they have are often not appropriate or not of any interest to DD. However, the school have openly told me this and actively suggested I supplement her reading with home books/books from library. So we seem to be in much the same position of OP, perhaps just with more of a feeling that we and the school are on the same side grin

cakebake Wed 28-Nov-12 16:49:42

Thanks, She will stay in the same school until the end of year 6. She has has a library card since she was a baby.

We have been providing our own reading books for her since she started to read in reception, because I could see her progress yet her reception teacher refused to and accused me of pushing her far too hard, thankfully someone else took over and put her on an appropriate level.

She has been reading at lime level since she finished in July and that is what they are still giving her, they weren't going to give her the chapter books at this level until the new year until I pushed the issue.

Thank you learnand say I think you have managed to say what I was trying to say and have raised a point about the things connected to the reading that I hadnt really thought about.

Should I try and meet with school to look at the books they say aren't appropriate and try and reach a solution, or should I plod on providing my own stuff and hope it changes next year

SoupDragon Wed 28-Nov-12 16:55:22

She's not hugely advanced* so I really can't see why this would cause the school any problems. It doesn't make sense. It can't be a problem they've not come across before surely? I wouldn't have thought the content for books at her level was that much different to the level they're holding her at.

* I don't mean this in a negative way smile

sweetkitty Wed 28-Nov-12 16:57:42

I'm in Scotland so don't understand your KS1 terms etc at all but DD2 is 6, last year she was benchmarked and has a reading age of 12+ she basically reads like an adult BUT there is no way she comprehends what she is reading. Comprehension wise she's about 8-10. Getting books for her is a nightmare but I would rather she read age appropriate books that are too easy for her.

She also loves non fiction and is found most nights tucked up in bed with a dinosaur or snake book. She loves Secret Seven those type of books.

The school give her 2 books him, the book the class are studying and another harder read, for now that's fine by me backed up with her library books.

plainjayne123 Wed 28-Nov-12 17:09:19

Yes I also dont understand this occupation with reading levels and school books. I am a pushy parent but I have not taken an interest in reading levels, my child chooses her books at school, not sure if they are levelled, she calls them chapter books, she's yr 2. School books are a minor part of what children read, it doesn't matter. They are expected to read at home and don't do much reading on their own at school.

mrz Wed 28-Nov-12 17:20:47

Firstly lime books are level 3 so the school is correct she is reading at level 3 ...and they are providing a chapter book not a book with 16 pages with one sentence per page so I'm not sure how you imagine they are holding her back. She needs to read widely but that doesn't mean the school is responsible for providing her with everything she reads.

PatriciaHolm Wed 28-Nov-12 17:26:03

It does sound odd - the school library should be chock full of appropriate books! It's not as if she's reading many years above her age, and she won't be the only one in the class at that stage; by this point in DD's Yr2, she and about 10 others on the year (60 kids) had passed lime level onto chapter books. There will also be loads of Yr3s at this level. They should have loads of books appropriate for 6-8 year olds. I would have another chat and try to get to the bottom of why they won't let her have them; maybe she hasn't fully demonstrated to them that she understands and comprehends the books (children do different things at school and home!)

redskyatnight Wed 28-Nov-12 17:27:00

OP- if your DD is getting lime chapter books they sound appropriate for her ability?
Don't know the system at your school but at DS's school the level after lime is longer chapter books and aimed at children who are working at Level 3A/4.

I don't think you can deduce from her reading books what the reading teaching in school is like!

Floggingmolly Wed 28-Nov-12 17:34:08

When my dd progressed beyond the ORT series she was simply given free run of the school library for her reading books.
Does it actually matter if she has free access to books at home, or do you just want the glory of an "advanced" child.
(I second SoupDragon, actually, she really isn't that advanced).

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 28-Nov-12 17:36:30

Do you have any books at home she could read?

Scoobyblue Wed 28-Nov-12 17:36:42

I would just read lots of other stuff outside school. You can get lots of books from the library or very cheaply from school fetes and charity shops. My dd was a very advanced reader and she loved First News which comes every Friday and gives them a bit of current affairs knowledge too. My ds preferred reading the football pages of the Guardian (???!!!). It doesn't matter what it is - just that they are reading and enjoying the subject matter.

anothercuppaplease Wed 28-Nov-12 17:48:35

There is more to levels than just reading fluently though. There are a number of criteria that a child has to achieve to go up a level. DS (5yo) is reading well and fluently, and he has progressed really well in the 'colour' codes at school (starts with pink in reception, then white, yellow, blue, orange, black, peach and then library books, I think) and he is on black.

But he has to be able to achieve certain criteria in reading (such as all the phase 5 graphemes and say the phonemes) and in understanding (such as retell in sequence what he has read, say what he thinks about the characters, understand and use a 'contents' page, Glossary and Index). And many more criteria to move him from level 1b to 1a. His reading book 'level' has gone up quite quickly, but his actual curriculum level has been just above average.

At home, he reads chapter books such as 'Magic Tree House' series and 'Flat Stanley'.

In my opinion, I think that the school is not holding your daughter back, and you need to find a way to work with them, whereas you sound as if you are working against them at the moment...

We have a note in DSs reading record about their current reading levels, what criteria they have to achieve to move to the next level, and the teacher will write the date that the criteria was evaluated and completed (For example, I can read the Tricky words in Phase 2, 3, 4 and phase 5 (oh, their, Mr, Mrs, looked, called, asked, could) achieved on 12th Nov and 21st Nov. Etc, etc. There are 11 of those criteria.

learnandsay Wed 28-Nov-12 17:49:27

People who are posting about the child being relatively ordinary are missing the point. The point is that bright children need to be challenged and this is clearly not happening.

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