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Do some schools hold some dc's back so others catch up?

(112 Posts)
Whitecup Wed 06-Feb-13 21:12:15


My reception age dd is reading at red level. She wasn't a great reader when she started school. However she's really clicked with it, got the bug and went from red to pink in a month (oct). She's now a cracking little reader and I'm thinking she's probably ready to go yellow (she reads level 3/4 ORT books at home). So today I went in to school to change her books (she's read 4 red books this week changed by school) and have a nosey at a yellow book to see what they involved so I could put my case forward to the CT. I was shocked to see only red and pink books available. I noticed in her reading diary that she's not read a book with the CT or a TA, but to volunteer mums, this calendar year which also disappoints me as surely the TA/CT need to hear a child read to establish the level.

Do some schools play the catch up game to get all children to a certain level? Is there any benefit to this? Thanks

RustyBear Wed 06-Feb-13 21:16:47

The school may not have space or funds to keep a wide enough variety of books at every level in every classroom - the higher level books may be kept elsewhere and children on these levels visit the relevant classroom to change their book.

CoffeeandDunkingBiscuits Wed 06-Feb-13 21:18:27

What rusty said. My son visits another classroom to get his.

toomuchicecream Wed 06-Feb-13 21:19:09

Never heard of it happening. Why would you? What difference does it make? If she's reading that far ahead of the rest of the class then she could be put with year 1 for guided reading if it was really a problem. Are you sure the yellow books weren't round the corner in the next section? Or outside year 1? Or the basket had been taken into the classroom to sort out? At my last school, not only did the reception teacher venture out to the "main" reading book library for one of her pupils, she also was quite careful about which ones she selected so they were age/content appropriate.

GingerbreadGretel Wed 06-Feb-13 21:20:02

I work in a school. The higher level readers get taken (by me) to another class to change their books.

yellowsubmarine53 Wed 06-Feb-13 21:21:29

There must be higher level books somewhere in the classroom!

Why not just ask the teacher to assess her reading and see if she is ready for higher level books?

Whitecup Wed 06-Feb-13 21:24:30

Never really thought about that I just (wrongly) assumed pink- yellow were reception age books so they'd all be in the same place. I'll have a word with the teacher and ask her to listen to her read when she gets chance. Thanks everyone x

socharlottet Wed 06-Feb-13 21:24:36

They will go to another classroom to get them.

learnandsay Wed 06-Feb-13 21:25:02

I've only read one comment, I think on mumsnet, where a teacher is reported to have said, "the children all need to move up the book bands together." But there is a reasonable suspicion that this was in fact a fob off and the teacher didn't really mean it.

My daughter could already read Dr Seuss, Little Bear, and some poetry books in nursery. But she doesn't seem to have progressed at all in school. In fact, in some respects she seems to have gone backwards. Some of the yellow books that she's being sent home with are easier than things that she was reading when she was three. But she was a whole word reader when she was three. And she only started sounding out a few months before school started. It would appear that some schools may not build on what children already know and just start again from scratch.

simpson Wed 06-Feb-13 21:48:01

DD goes to another year group to get her books (she is in reception).

Her class have ORT (and other books) up to level 4 in the classroom but the year 1 classroom is opposite so can easily get higher books.

The majority of the kids are on red ATM (which is good considering in yr1 there is no one over blue level) so I suspect they will ask for higher level books to be put into the classroom when they are needed.

Do I believe that some teachers try and keep the class together in terms of reading levels? Unfortunately yes I do (I went through it with DS in KS1 - but things improve massively in KS2).

learnandsay Wed 06-Feb-13 21:56:02

simpson. my dear, are you really saying that you think some teachers hold children back on purpose? I can understand children getting overlooked because the way they read is "just not the way we do things", or some kind of procedural mistake. But to hold a child back that you know is capable of going forward?!

seeker Wed 06-Feb-13 22:02:04

If a teacher did this she would be in big trouble if OFSTED came.

Whitecup Wed 06-Feb-13 22:03:54

I think I'd be less worried if I was looking in her class for say a Blue book but surely at reception age there would be several yellow readers- wouldn't there??

ceebeegeebies Wed 06-Feb-13 22:07:54

I know it is a different subject but my DS1 and a few of his classmates are more advanced in maths than the rest of the class - they get taken out of the class once a week to have different maths lessons. It started as a small group of 5 of them but is now about 10 I think as others are catching up.

My understanding is that the teacher needs to teach at the pupil's level in whatever way they can.

learnandsay Wed 06-Feb-13 22:10:56

I think it must depend on the school. Some schools seem to start off with wordless books. They may take longer to get a whole class reading. Some schools have nurseries where children have already read and progress through Reception. Those children are doubtless further on than wordless books anyway! And I'm sure there are some schools who take work parents have done prior to school into account. So, it's probably a mixed picture. But wordless books are probably a surprise to a lot of parents.

simpson Wed 06-Feb-13 22:18:59

I do believe that DS was kept back yes, for whatever reason I do not know.

It could be because they were lazy refused to get books from KS2 (separate building but part of the same school) for him and had him on ORT7 when he was reading The Secret 7 at home.

His yr1 teacher (who was very nice) said that he did not want to rush DS through the books as he would run out in yr2. hmm

This has already been voiced by DD's reception teacher (that they are worried about running out of books). It did not go down well with me,but luckily I do get on with her teacher so felt able to talk about it and say I would rather provide books for her if that is the case.

learnandsay Wed 06-Feb-13 22:25:56

I have to say this because it has cropped up in a few threads, some teachers do seem to have said to parents "the books will run out."

This is wrong-headed. It may be a genuine concern for the teacher. But if he or she is really worried that the correct books are going to run out then

(i) use a local library card
(ii) get the parent to use a library card
(iii) borrow books or ask the parent to borrow books
(iv) buy second hand books
(v) write the words on A4 paper and staple them together

But please don't hold a child's reading back because you think you're going to run out of books. Your fear may be well-founded. But this world is bursting with books.

pigleychez Wed 06-Feb-13 22:27:09

Not sure about levels as such as they dont really follow them in reception but at home DD is confidently reading ORT level 6.

There are only about 4 books at that kinda level in the classroom book trolley so will be in a similar postion to you in asking for harder ones. I guess as others have said she will either choose books from the next class up's book or from the library.

I understand your worries though as they only tend to do group reading with the CT and these books are very basic for DD and she has said they are boring and from the CT's comments in her reading record she too knows this. We've told DD that next time she needs to ask for a harder book.
Its something I plan to bring up at the parents evening coming up soon if shes doesn't progress to more appropriate books. I can also see it benefits the other children reading in a group with a more confident reader but a balance would be good.

seeker Wed 06-Feb-13 22:27:20

It's one of those things that I find myself thinking just must be a misunderstanding.

simpson Wed 06-Feb-13 22:36:20

I have sooo many books at home (I currently provide DS's reading books for school) so I have loads of books for DD if need be.

DS IMO had such a pants reception year it makes me really appreciate DD's teacher really.

Pigley/OP - I would be pretty peed off if my child was only being heard by a parent helper (and I am one, a helper I mean. Obviously I am a parent too grin) or a guided reading session. DD is listened to up to 3times a week 121. However I clearly remember DS going months without being listened to at school (and he was a child that struggled when he was in reception).

simpson Wed 06-Feb-13 22:37:17

Learnandsay - DD would not read anything I have written stapled together as its not a "real book" <<sigh>>

simpson Wed 06-Feb-13 22:38:01

Learnandsay - DD would not read anything I have written stapled together as its not a "real book" <<sigh>>

learnandsay Wed 06-Feb-13 22:41:17

Don't tell my daughter that. She's been brought up on things stapled together. I don't let her use staples but she's started making her own books and writing almost legible stories in them and then she sellotapes them together. They look horrible but they give me so much joy it's incredible.

simpson Wed 06-Feb-13 22:51:32

Now she loves writing books herself, she wrote one about how much she loves our cats and how to look after them etc and tapes them together and sticks on pics of cats (or whatever) from magazines etc.

She took one into school to show her teacher last week. But my efforts don't match her high judgement on what a book is!!blush grin

learnandsay Wed 06-Feb-13 23:09:01

(Off topicsmile Do you think there's anything special about books? And do you think it's a boy/girl thing? I've heard so much about boys not wanting to read and girls taking to it like ducks to water. My one year old picks up books and reads them by saying loudly "da, da, da" on each page of type. It has the whole family in hysterics whenever she does it. But I swear she thinks she's reading.

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