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my child reads and write at top level, but her Phonics group is not!!!

(349 Posts)
B4r4joon Mon 10-Dec-12 15:12:22

My daughter is a very bright child at Y1...she is reading and writing very well...however when it came to grouping them, she is not been located in the top group in Phonics, although she reads the same level and writes the same as those children on the top group. This is very confusing for her amd me, as I dont understand on what basis this happened. She can be at times shy and she observes her peers very well and learn from them as she is bi-lingual. In the gropu she is in now, the difference between the level she reads and the level of some other children is huge...perhaps 7 colour reading band!!!

This has affecte dmy childs confidence as she thinks she hasnt been good enough, or why she is reading the same book as her reading partner, and he/she is in another group. ALl confusing for me, I am gonna talk to the teacher tomorrow, and I dont know how to say it. i dont want to convey that I dont trust their judgment, but this is gonna hold my child back and crashes her confidence, as the groups are gonna stay the same until the end of teh year! Can I ask the teacher to move my child to the other group? Is Phonics the knowledge that they learn to apply to their writing and reading, so how can she read and write higher than her phonics knowledge? She is already reading sounds that she has not been officially taught, by working it out on herself....

B4r4joon Mon 10-Dec-12 20:09:54

That's exactly what I mean: learnabdsay , mrz and all. I am not making a fuss , last year at reception she changed groups many times, roughly every half term and do long as she was happy and moving forward I was happy. As I said I never liked to teach her at home things that agent been taught at school but when I realised groups stay the same then I booked to see the teacher to ask why?
She didn't get her feeling about her class from me ad I havnt got a clue what's going on and she only tells me things here and there.
I need advice on shall I really tell the teacher to move her if possible or shall I leave it . How can I tell my cencern to the teacher about this streaming that never is gonna cross / reach the other groups in a way that doesn't offend, and be constructive.

learnandsay Mon 10-Dec-12 20:12:08

b4r4, I don't think you're making a fuss at all. You're just asking questions in a forum, which is what a forum is for. But lots of people get attacked for speaking out. It goes with being in a forum also!

learnandsay Mon 10-Dec-12 20:15:11

I would get a list of what the teacher wants your daughter to know and then make sure that your daughter learns everything on that list if it means so much to your daughter to change group.

mrz Mon 10-Dec-12 20:19:52

Does moving groups remove the ceiling on progress or does it just have another ceiling. If it is school policy rather than just this teacher then I would be alarmed.

B4r4joon Mon 10-Dec-12 20:26:40

What should I be point of start? Asking about their assessment? Telling that my child understands and is not happy about her group and it affecting her confidence? Shall I as you Learnabdsay say get the list of what she needs to know? I really don't know how to put it all right ... Shall I question their policy ?

simpson Mon 10-Dec-12 20:26:56

I would not make a fuss, but would speak to the teacher and clarify if the non moving within groups is true.

I would also ask which phonics sounds she needs help/more work on.

B4r4joon Mon 10-Dec-12 20:28:32

I am not too sure! Obviously the top group perhaps doesn't have a ceiling! Last year there were groups but very fluid and changed regularly.

simpson Mon 10-Dec-12 20:30:22

You need to come across as if you are working with the teacher/school...

So ask the teachers opinion on why her phonics group is lower than her reading...

What you can do to help in this (weak areas etc)...

And check if there is no movement within groups....

There is no point going in full guns blazing if your child is indeed weaker in phonics iyswim (just wait until she is stronger then go for it wink)

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Mon 10-Dec-12 20:30:47

They stream at the school my daughter will go to (doing rwi) but I think they assess regularly as they have someone who only does assessments. They are able to move between streams apparently (and for maths year 1 up) no idea how that works in practice though.

yellowsubmarine53 Mon 10-Dec-12 20:32:26

Are you sure that your dd hasn't been put in the group 'above' her friends? How on earth do you know so much about the reading and writing abilities of the rest of the class?

It may be more helpful to refocus as you did in YR on what you dd is learning, how she is progressing and how you can help her at home. If she is reading and writing well and making progress, then she's in the 'right' group for her iyswim.

B4r4joon Mon 10-Dec-12 20:37:12

It seems (Simpson) that my daughters question is the key then: she asked why such and such are reading with me the same books and writing the same but they are in the other group, mum? Are they faster? And I said mum it is not a race, it is not running! You are doing brilliant and there are groups because your teacher can't teach all at the same time! So it seems I should ask the same that why her phonics is lower than her reading and how can I help?

learnandsay Mon 10-Dec-12 20:38:24

I get the impression that the teacher has told her that her daughter isn't in the top group for phonics and that once stratified the children would remain that way for the whole year.

I agree with simpson, b4r4. I think you need to "pretend" to agree with the teacher's groups and ask what your daughter needs to learn, so that the teacher is keen to tell you what needs to be done (and she doesn't feel as though you are criticising her.) And then, once she has given you a list of all the things that your daughter needs to know then make sure your daughter learns that list.

B4r4joon Mon 10-Dec-12 20:40:10

And as for moving between groups the teacher told me herself!

learnandsay Mon 10-Dec-12 20:41:12

b4r4, lots of parents can easily help with reading because lots of parents can read. But phonics is harder because lots of parents don't know anything about phonics.

B4r4joon Mon 10-Dec-12 20:43:34

Can the teacher tell me exactly? Because if there is a program, then she perhaps can tell me if my child knew this, she would be in higher group up to the date, so in principle by the time I have the list, then that group has moved forward ahead . You see what I mean?

learnandsay Mon 10-Dec-12 20:44:47

I don't know! You'd need to ask her. smile

B4r4joon Mon 10-Dec-12 20:45:25

How Can I help her with phonics? I know letters and sounds website. She sometimes plays there.

yellowsubmarine53 Mon 10-Dec-12 20:47:49

Yes, the teacher should be able to tell you what your individual child needs to achieve and understand in order to progress.

Honestly, the advice that you gave your daughter about reading not being a race is spot on.

In your position, I would just ask what you can do to help your dd at home and go from there. Trying to get her moved up to another group is a bit of a distraction.

yellowsubmarine53 Mon 10-Dec-12 20:48:47

You don't need to help her with phonics - it sounds like the school are doing their job very well.

You need to listen to her read at home, take books out of the library, instill a love of books etc - all the things that you're already doing.

IWipeArses Mon 10-Dec-12 20:50:27

I was surprised to find the children are put into groups in Reception, is this the norm?

learnandsay Mon 10-Dec-12 20:50:30

Well, the best thing you can do is pay very close attention to a woman on this website called mrz. There are a few others, but mrz is usually the first person to respond. She knows everything there is to know about phonics.

The next thing you can do is read everything you can about phonics, starting with a posting on mumsnet by maverick. If someone else doesn't get there first I'll find it and post it. It's truly brilliant. Unfortunately for you I suspect it's not the straightforward bits of phonics that your daughter needs now. It's probably the more fiddly bits, combinations of up to four letters and things. But pay close attention to mrz. She'll keep you straight.

And don't worry. Honestly. It'll work out. You'll see.

B4r4joon Mon 10-Dec-12 20:50:38

Ps. If the teacher tells me no movement between groups, then would I not look silly in asking how I can help her in reaching that group ?

simpson Mon 10-Dec-12 20:51:09

The teacher may be able to tell you which sounds she finds harder and give you ideas games to, sticking a few words around the front room (with the same sound in and saying the first one to run to a particular word is the winner etc...

Rather than just reading (although not suggesting you stop reading obviously!!)

simpson Mon 10-Dec-12 20:53:47

If she says there is no movement (and that would p**s me off tbh) then no I would not ask about getting to the level of the next group...

You want your child to be the best she can be not the best in the class iyswim...

learnandsay Mon 10-Dec-12 20:54:28

Well, don't ask her specifically about moving groups, just get that list that I've been talking about. Don't mention groups until after your daughter has learned the list. Do you see where I'm going?

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