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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.

anothercuppaplease Wed 28-Nov-12 18:05:49

But sometimes, learnandsay, a child will not be as good as the parents think, or they might be 'performing' certain things at home and not at school. Or sometimes, the teacher cannot see evidence of what the parents are saying. If a parent think that her child is super bright, but the child is showing little evidence of that at school, then what is a teacher supposed to do?

As far as I understand, reading levels are achieved by being able to perform a number of specific 'tasks'. A child might be very good at reading but still not check all the boxes in terms of comprehension, for example. I wouldn't expect a teacher to give a child a higher reading level grade if the child is not actually achieving that grade. It would be counterproductive.

mrz Wed 28-Nov-12 18:05:49

If you check ORT KS2 books they are usually book banded Grey KS2/Lime KS1 the difference is the teacher would expect the level 3A/4C child to display many of the higher order reading skills whereas a younger child may not have the same level of technical and social understanding which often comes with maturity and experience.

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 18:11:34

Perhaps you could just ask for more variety/ some longer books from school if you are not happy. I don't actually know what level DS's books are. They are chapter books, fairly short still with illustrations. This suits him well and means he can get on and read his own stuff smile

learnandsay Wed 28-Nov-12 18:17:07

The problem is that we're discussing two sets of levels, the curriculum levels and the lime reading level. I don't think parents should be trying to affect the national curriculum levels, how would a parent know how the teacher and assessing process was being handled? But the reading book? That's different. If the parent thinks these particular books are inappropriate for this particular child she way well be right/she probably is right.

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 18:19:23

At which point a brief chat with the teacher might help?

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Wed 28-Nov-12 18:19:41

Wait till they have got to Y4, and have read every book in the school library, when you live a bus journey away from the nearest public library, and that bus journey costs you £10.


Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 18:21:12

You won't upset anyone by looking out for your child but go with listening ears smile

juniper904 Wed 28-Nov-12 18:23:50

Most of my year 3 class came to me as 'free readers', which means they are above lime (which, as Mrz pointed out, is a 3c level). We have 4 more levels after lime and it follows all the way through to year 6.

Why can't your dd go up to a year 3 classroom and get the next book band colour if she is capable of reading it? I have the scheme up to year 6 in my room.

mrz Wed 28-Nov-12 18:41:07

"The problem is that we're discussing two sets of levels, the curriculum levels and the lime reading level." no we aren't learnandsay lime book band is roughly equivalent to National Curriculum level 3 (providing the child is able to demonstrate the required skills not just the mechanics)

learnandsay Wed 28-Nov-12 18:50:43

That's not what I meant. The OP wants the book changed not the overall assessment of her child.

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 18:57:22

It's interesting how many schools level the books all the way through to Year 6 now. I remember mrz saying that too, although plenty of "normal" books are included in the levels. I guess this helps track children's levels as the NC demands.

There seems to be divided opinon here. Many people say "it doesn't matter, read your own stuff," and then there is the "well it shouldn't be that difficult to give her a harder/more complex book so why don't they?". If you feel passionately about the latter then I would talk to her teacher. See if it is appropriate for her to get some books from further up the school or if there is a reason (that you can question if you feel it is incorrect) that she should stay on the books she is on.

juniper904 Wed 28-Nov-12 19:04:55

I level all the classroom books too. Horrid Henry, for example, is a level above lime. Some Roald Dahl books are the same, whereas some are in the 'year 5' book band. We have ORT but, by year 3, it's only a handful of kids who read them, and not exclusively; we have a mixture of books.

mrz Wed 28-Nov-12 19:05:28

Well learnandsay if the overall assessment indicates the books given to the OPs child are appropriate then I'm not sure what you or the OP think the school should do.

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 19:08:33

Ah interesting juniper. Well, DS is still happily reading HH. I think he may be priming himself for mastermind specialist subject on them smile. What would Jeremy Strong be? Similar?

LittleRedBonferroni Wed 28-Nov-12 19:26:56

I feel your pain CouthyMow. Not all schools have a library - or enough books in the older years to share with the younger years. That's how it is at our school.

Houseworkprocrastinator Wed 28-Nov-12 20:51:46

How are books the next level up not suitable for her age? i would have thought if it is ok for a 7 year old then its ok for a 6 year old. im guessing there wont be and strong language or scenes of a graphic nature. grin

sweetkitty Wed 28-Nov-12 20:53:18

What age is Year 3, is that 7?

learnandsay Wed 28-Nov-12 20:54:36

They're not suitable because the librarian says "if your name's not on the list, you're not commin' in..."

simpson Wed 28-Nov-12 21:20:32

Sweetkitty - yr3 is age 7-8.

The top 2 tables are free readers in my DS's class (yr3) according to him.

The rest are still ploughing through ORT and other scheme books.

The books DS came home with were soooo dull, I provide his reading books. Could you ask to do the same???

sweetkitty Wed 28-Nov-12 22:29:46

That's Primary 4 here. DD1 is P4 she's reading Horrid Henry's just now

DD2 is P3, her class is on Limes I think, she could read a Horrid Henry in half an hour (and frequently does probably just to annoy DD1)

I often wonder how going to school a year early affects English children's abilities. DD3 would be at school now if we were in England but she not start until next year at 5.

simpson Wed 28-Nov-12 22:44:30

God, DD would be a nightmare at home until 5!!!

She is 5 in jan and was soooo desperate to start school!!

But then it goes the other way as DS is 31st August birthday and started school when he was 4 yrs and 2 weeks (and not ready IMO and struggled till may of his reception year)...

sweetkitty Wed 28-Nov-12 22:48:21

Nursery is quite structured though but you can see then start to get bored last term. DD2 was 4y 6m when she started school that about the youngest they can start here, 5y 6m the oldest.

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 22:52:19

A lot of it is just in a name methinks. Nursery/YR/Kindergarten.......... and both mine are Autumn birthdays so were very ready for YR, however I think I wouldn't have wanted a Summer born starting, nice to have more freedom for a bit longer smile.

simpson Wed 28-Nov-12 22:52:38

DD's nursery year (attached to the school) was structured for the last term (phonics lessons etc).

Most kids start at 4 but if their birthday is 1st sept onwards (before term starts) then they are 5 already...

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 22:53:36

Well, DD hasn't started YR yet of course.. will be ready methinks, just turned 4 now and read "cat" and "dog" to me today- cute grin. Absolutely not teaching her to read though.....she's just joining in with big bruv........may eat hat....

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