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Reception progress.

(14 Posts)
Chocoholic21 Tue 11-Nov-14 20:17:55

I'm not sure if I'm being PFB here, but I'm not happy and a bit concerned with DD's progress in reception and would appreciate some other opinions and views please.

DD is in a small village school and there are 7 other children in her class. They have a class teacher and a full time TA. They are following the Jolly Phonics approach, but so far have only covered s, a, t, I, p, n. I thought they might have done a few more than this. They have a sounds book which they bring home each day but it just has one stuck in A6 picture of the letter and no instructions of anything else to do, and the last letter was stuck in 2 weeks before half term.

DD has never had a reading book either and although I am sure they are not expected to read, I would think it good practice to get into a routine of bringing one home and having it read to them to get used to having to do it every night.

I'm definitely not expecting school to teach DD everything and I do bits at home with her but I thought they would be doing more at school. Would I be unreasonable to say something, or is this how much they should have done so far? If I should say something, would it be to the class teacher or the head teacher? Many thanks.

SheerWill Tue 11-Nov-14 20:32:18

My ds also goes to a small village school, he's one of 16 reception children. The school had a phonics/reading parent info evening near the beginning of term and the following week he was given a reading book with no words. This continued up until half term. satpin are the first phonics taught and there should be actions to go along with the sounds. My ds has got through quite a few single letter phonemes and is just starting to bring home books with words in (alphablocks - so he can practise segmenting - breaking words up and blending - putting the sounds together to make words).

I was worried they might be pushing them a bit fast actually, as ds is in a mixed R/Y1 class and the Y1 have their phonics screening at the end of the year. He's taken to it well so far, but I don't want him to be over burdened. Kids on the continent don't even start school till they're 7 and take to it much more quickly, as they're ready for it.

Sorry if this isn't helpful, but maybe a comparison.

addictedtosugar Tue 11-Nov-14 20:33:33

Personally, I'd say relax, and leave things be.
Were in Y1 now (and one in nursery).
Last year, various schools (we got a different reception place to next door, and next door but one got a different school again), there was massive variation in when reading books started coming home - varying from straight away to after Christmas. I actually preferred that we got them later, but with words in, rather than the wordless picture books some got.

Starting at school is more about learning the routines, and how things happen at school, before they start the formal learning.

The kids are tiny. Relax, let her discover and enjoy her time. The reading and writing will come with time.

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 11-Nov-14 20:39:31

I wouldn't be concerned about the lack of reading book yet but to have only done a few sounds by November would worry me. Our daughters both did a sound a day in Reception or something like that, 4 a week perhaps but most days was a new one. I think you should ask. We also had a phonics session for parents at the start of the reception year to tell us how it all worked and how to help our children.

AhhhhhhryaOfGhostHouseSnark Tue 11-Nov-14 20:42:12

My Dts haver just started reception too, we have done exactly the same sounds as you -in that order. How peculiar, is that the order most schools do it in ?
We have been doing activities for each sound that were suggested by the school, nothing too much, just 10-15 mins at the most. We get a new sound every day and teachers check the phonics book 3 times a week.
TbH it does sound like they're not all that organised, they should have given you some advice on what to do at home, and its a bit strange that they haven't entered anything in the book for a week or so.
That said they're still so so little, they should be having fun at school and learning through play, it just seems a little strange to have phonics work set up for home and not to actually organise it properly or tell you what you need to do.

Chocoholic21 Tue 11-Nov-14 20:53:22

Thanks for the replies.

I'm still torn about what to do. I appreciate what you're all saying about the reading books and I must admit, this is what I am least concerned about, but I do think they should have covered more sounds, more so after hearing your experiences.

I get that they are still young and it's more about settling in and playing but at this rate they won't have covered all the sounds by July! And the fact that there has been no mention about what we can do to help at home I think worries me too. I thought with just 8 in the class they would fly through them.

I think I might mention it to the teacher in a "is there anything we can do at home" way and see what she says....?

AhhhhhhryaOfGhostHouseSnark Tue 11-Nov-14 21:03:30

Yes, I think that's a good approach. Although I don't see any harm in being honest and diplomatically voicing your concerns. I used to work in a school, slightly different setting, but still, we wouldn't begrudge anyone's concerns, we were working with people babies. (even if they weren't babies any more) it's fine as a parent to ask questions and voice concerns.
They're probably doing lots of phonics work in the daytime anyway, my 2 have come home and they know the sounds we are covering anyway, so they've obviously done them already at school.
Our school didn't start learning phonics officially till a couple of weeks ago, they said it was because they wanted to give everyone a good chance to settle in, and I am pretty sure they did loads of learning through play before they started the official learning part.

addictedtosugar Tue 11-Nov-14 21:11:22

SATPIN is a fairly standard set of letters to start with - loads of words you can make from it.

We started slowly on the sounds, and then picked them up faster as time went on.

In Y1, we are still learning sounds - but i_e, a_e etc

If you trust the school, and they generally get good results, let the school get on with it.

SingSongSlummy Tue 11-Nov-14 21:14:08

Hmmm, this does sound a bit slow. DD1 also started in September but has been bringing home a reading book since before half term (mostly 3 letter words) and now has the dreaded Biff and Chip ones.

ThePerUnaBomber Tue 11-Nov-14 21:22:54

DS also in reception - his class have done 4 new phonics a week (we had a parents' meeting about that and a separate meeting about reading as well). He's had several ORT books with words in home that he can read to his dad and me, with a reading record for comments on those, his school library books and his home books. He also has an envelope with all the words they can blend (sound out). Probably about 60 words including 'tricky words' in there. He's at an independent primary, 12 kids in his class, 1 teacher and 1 TA.

MMmomKK Wed 12-Nov-14 00:50:32

You know, learning to read at the early stages is not just about learning the letters. Children need to be able to hear different sounds in the words - i.e. be to say what sounds they hear in the word "cat". This is called "segmenting". And than there is also "blending" skills that are essential for reading. And that means, that is a child hears C-A-T, that they are able to put them together to make a word. It sounds easy to us, but it's not so easy for the little ones.
So at the early days of meat into to read, teachers should spend a lot of time teaching kids those skills. Playing sound games, etc. And it doesn't make much difference whether there are 7 or 15 kids in the class. All kids need time to proces/learn three skills. Once that the foundation is there - the speed of learning new letters would pick up.

If I were you - chat with the teacher. It sounds like she needs to give the parents intro into phonics teaching.

Mouldypineapple Wed 12-Nov-14 01:01:11

My dd is in reception. Not sure about how many phonics they do - but something f that nature daily. She has reading books now - Biff and Chip who I like now but didn't before! Books have words but we started off with books with no words.

I have just signed up to 'Reading Eggs' programme online. (get a cheaper deal through littlebird.co.uk - half price at mo) It's really good. Lots of phonics sounds, blending etc. they do free trials too. My dd really likes it.

louisejxxx Wed 12-Nov-14 09:48:28

My ds started in reception this year too - he is also at a small village school and I think there is 16 of them now (one extra joined after half term).

From about Week 3 they covered one sound a day...also using Jolly Phonics. So they were getting through 5 a week basically. I think they must be nearly finished going through them all now.

We have been having Biff, Chip & Kipper books home since Week 5ish I think - to begin with it was the wordless ones..we've been getting 1 a week of those; then a couple of weeks after the wordless ones started, we got the very first ones with words in (whilst still getting the wordless ones too, I assume for comprehension purposes) - I'd say we've had about 7 wordless stories and 5 ones with words in now. We've also hard the harder phonics sounds come home to practice, and about 3 lots of tricky words for us to practice sounding out, or to learn by sight if that can't be done.

I will say though, that our experience has not been the same for everyone in his class - whilst everyone has gone through all the phonic sounds, not everyone has had books home yet or batches of tricky words to learn.

PenguinBear Thu 13-Nov-14 20:54:49

I am a Reception teacher and it does sound like they're moving rather slowly. Phonics is meant to be fast paced and regular. My class have been doing phonics since October and have learnt all of the letter sounds now.
They also all take home a reading book each night... A lot of my class can recognise sounds and blend sounds to make words so are doing 'actual reading' as my dd calls it grin

I would ask the teacher when they are planning to start bringing home books etc.

If I can be of any assistance, let me know smile

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