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Are there any trained reading volunteers out there?

(68 Posts)
RefuseToWorry Fri 07-Nov-14 18:42:46

I know schools are hyper-vigilant about DBS checks before volunteers are allowed into classrooms to hear children read, but I'm interested to find out if any reading volunteers are given specific training before they start?

If you have received training, what was included and how much time was given to equip you with strategies to help the children you work with?

SunnySomer Fri 07-Nov-14 18:48:56

I had a morning's training done by the Local Authority. Much of it was about reminding us what we loved about reading, highlighting how challenging it can be, sharing possible games and activities, talking about safeguarding etc. I only had this training because I'm volunteering via an LA literacy scheme - had previously been a parent volunteer with no training.
In theory the LA still provide us with tools and resources, in practice I seem to produce my own based on what the children are interested in and the levels they're at.

nowitscleanugobshite Fri 07-Nov-14 18:54:45

I'm a teacher and I train our volunteers. We look at how to work out if a book is at the right level (using the old fashioned reading recovery running records) and discuss how to look for patterns in them eg missing words/not reading for meaning etc. We also would never ask volunteers to work with the weakest children. We talk about getting "reading mileage" -so giving reasonable readers a good chunk of 1-1 time with an adult to make them better readers. It's actually very similar to reading to my nana when I was wee! My mum was busy-being a mum! She also wanted me to be good!! My nana was one step removed. She was my cheering committee!!! That's what I like our volunteers to be! (Positive and confidential-the two most important attributes!!)

Boomtownsurprise Fri 07-Nov-14 18:55:31

I was given a book and a child and told to avoid sensitive topics.

theposterformallyknownas Fri 07-Nov-14 18:58:04

I don't do it now but have volunteered in the past.
Nobody offered any training except to check that I knew the levels and colours for each level which most parents do.
I think they are glad tbh, and really the only thing you need to be able to do is read.
Why do you ask OP? I'm sure you would be welcomed into your dcs school with open arms.

Seriouslyffs Fri 07-Nov-14 18:58:35

Rigorous training, several sessions over a week. In Australia wink

CharlesRyder Fri 07-Nov-14 19:24:26

discuss how to look for patterns in them eg missing words/not reading for meaning etc.

^^

Uh oh- phonics hysteria to ensue!!

'Reading for meaning' will mean the child can never access the curriculum you know??

turdfairynomore Fri 07-Nov-14 19:26:55

Ah!! But I'm in NI!!! Different curriculum!!! wink

turdfairynomore Fri 07-Nov-14 19:30:08

Oops! Name change fail as I switched between phone and PC!!

RefuseToWorry Fri 07-Nov-14 19:37:11

'Why do you ask OP?'

Because I'm nosy curious. smile

I'm a primary school and early literacy intervention teacher, who escaped from the system just over a year ago. I'm now running my own business teaching reading and writing, privately and in schools. A big part of what I do involves coaching parents to support their child at home.

I run booster programmes in schools and am trying to ensure that, after I leave, the reading support children receive continues to actively encourage their independent problem-solving...

CharlesRyder Fri 07-Nov-14 20:34:05

I wish I could teach the NI curriculum. It is good- I sneakily use it whenever I can. wink

angelcake20 Fri 07-Nov-14 21:44:57

I have volunteered in DCs' primary for 6 years without any training (except on safeguarding) but have just received a letter inviting me to a training session at school next week. I think it's an excellent idea; I'm great with phonics, expression etc but am not always sure what they're looking for with comprehension.

RefuseToWorry Sat 08-Nov-14 21:04:49

angelcake20, is the training you've been invited to a one-off, general session for all reading volunteers? And is the school or an outside agency providing the training?

(Thanks for being patient with all my questions!)

starlight1234 Sat 08-Nov-14 21:08:47

I used to volunteer at school. No training just given a pile of policies

Feenie Sat 08-Nov-14 21:11:30

Reading for meaning means comprehension, CharlesRyder - not sure why you think this should not be taught alongside phonics.

simpson Sat 08-Nov-14 21:58:32

I volunteered at my DC school for a few years & had a training session (one afternoon) before starting, regular termly meetings with the other volunteers & the organiser/person we reported to, to see how it was going.

At the beginning of each school year we had a refresher training session.

CharlesRyder Sun 09-Nov-14 10:04:29

Reading for meaning is where understanding of the context is used to support reading of unknown words, to support comprehension of unfamiliar turns of phrase and to use 'dose it make sense' self-checks. It's a broader strategy than synthetic phonics.

I'm all for it, alongside phonics. but I didn't think the 'decode at all costs- don't dare consider the context' crew would be.

maizieD Sun 09-Nov-14 11:48:33

That isn't 'reading for meaning', that is 'guessing words from context'.

We interpret 'reading for meaning' as 'understanding what you have read'. Which is completely different from what you have described.

Feenie Sun 09-Nov-14 11:55:14

Reading for meaning is most definitely comprehension.

I find it really strange that any teacher doesn't know that, even if it's because they are falling over themselves to get in a dig about what you - wrongly -perceive phonics teaching to be. So your subject knowledge is failing you on both counts.

Really, really odd.

CaulkheadUpNorth Sun 09-Nov-14 12:11:14

15 hours of training. It's through a charity, and I was getting people from work to volunteer too. The training was incredibly helpful for some people I thought it was ridiculous

maizieD Sun 09-Nov-14 12:27:00

I rather suspect, Feenie, that our friend just parrots some popular myths about phonics instruction without actually understanding much about the reading process, or knowing anything about SP. grin

Feenie Sun 09-Nov-14 12:41:06

That's becoming very clear - and getting very silly in the process. hmm

WhyBeHappyWhenYouCouldBeNormal Sun 09-Nov-14 12:46:50

yes -I was given 2 or 3 days training and given a great big folder filled with and comprehension activities and word games.

RefuseToWorry Sun 09-Nov-14 19:03:32

CaulkheadUpNorth, do you mind saying why you weren't so keen on the 15 hours training?

(Feenie and maizieD, with your advanced knowledge of the reading process, are you going to contribute suggestions of how best to train reading volunteers?)

CaulkheadUpNorth Sun 09-Nov-14 19:17:43

It was because there was the assumption that we knew nothing, so was all very basic.

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