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Reception reading levels ( sorry! )

(38 Posts)
foreverton Sun 31-Jan-16 06:53:08

Hi, my dd is in a full class of 30 which is very unusual for our school.
She's bright and according to school is in "top set" though actually done by colours.

After a big age gap of having ds at the school I'm finding it hard to remember how it worked when he was there but dd has had 56 pink sticker books since September.
We read at home and she is a natural learner, wants to play school at home, wants to do phonics etc.

School very unapproachable, mentioned to teacher and was told we could talk about it at parents evening- a few months away!

I believe that there will be a huge variation in reception reading levels but know that dd can read more challenging books than the ones she's given. Nobody talks in playground so not aware of other children's levels, not that it matters anyway.
How would you approach this?
Don't want to come across pushy etc but nearly 5 months in and no change.
Thanks for reading

BathshebaDarkstone Sun 31-Jan-16 07:01:34

If you know she can read more challenging books, write in her reading record: "This is too easy for DD, could she have something more difficult, please?" I've done that twice now in 4 years.

ShortcutButton Sun 31-Jan-16 07:06:41

We just read home books to supplement

My dd has been moved on to red. Do your kids not get assessed by the teacher every so often?

But its not clear from your OP what you want? Do you want her to move to the next colour book?

Blueberry234 Sun 31-Jan-16 07:08:48

what reading scheme is it? My Son is reading from school Dandelion Launchers level 7 at home is reading songbirds level 4, the launchers are easier than what he is reading at home but I feel he can read more challenging books at home should he wish and the more practice and repetition the better even for simple books for comprehension purposes as with the shorter easier books he will tell me the story afterwards and enjoys elaborating it into the next level (usually involving spaceships)!
I would wait until parents evening but I would be a little put out being told a shut down no you cannot speak with us policy. Our school uses Tapestry as well as reading journal, if my son has read something a little more challenging (read it well, not struggled and can recall the story) I put it in there

christinarossetti Sun 31-Jan-16 07:09:21

Request a meeting with the teacher, rather than just a 'mention'.

Ask what she will need to improve in order to be given the next level book.

Also, get some more challenging books out of the library/or buy some. Both my children enjoyed Julia Donaldson's Songbird phonics books

PrincessHairyMclary Sun 31-Jan-16 07:22:34

I jus t write in the reading record. The vocabulary is no longer challenging DD and she has good comprehension. Could she be assessed to see if she is ready for the next level.

Nearly every time I have done this she has moved 2 levels. The teacher only hears her read individually once a fortnight (she reads to other adults from school as well) and then they only read one or two pages. So I think it helps when parents let them know where the child is at at home.

foreverton Sun 31-Jan-16 07:47:35

Thank you for your replies.
She reads ORT biff chip etc and songbirds. One book is a biff chip type book and the other is extremely simple such as " my dad is a - fireman with a picture of a fireman next to it.
My ds is academically very average so I've always believed that they should be where they're comfortable but challenged and not compare to others ( like sil does ) she invites dc for tea then looks in their bags to see what books they're on! Seriously.
So yes I suppose I think she should be on a higher level and we supplement her reading at home and are frequent visitors to the library, dd loves "room on the broom" for example but I obviously read that to her.
From her reading record it's clear that the teaching asst or student hear her read 95% of the time as I know teachers writing and the comments are very basic.
I wrote a few times that dd has read x/y/z book at home and it's been ignored so I so wonder if these comments are actually read.
Once again, thanks smile

mrz Sun 31-Jan-16 08:00:01

Books should be assigned to support the child's phonics skills and development (not vocab) which is why the book banding system causes problems. Request an appointment with the teacher.

The Dandelion Laucher units relate to the phonics sounds taught and don't match in any way the levels on the Songbirds (or any book band reading scheme).

Sirzy Sun 31-Jan-16 08:01:54

You need to find out the schools policy, our school deliberately send home books a level behind what they are reading at school because they are trying to encourage fluid reading and understanding rather than just pushing through the levels

mrz Sun 31-Jan-16 08:20:55

Schools shouldn't be sending books home that are a level behind (books should match the child's current phonics knowledge) and they shouldn't be sending home (using) books that require child to guess from picture clues!

foreverton Sun 31-Jan-16 13:22:56

That's the problem with the picture ones- there's very little reading it's obvious from the picture. Sat with dd earlier as she did homework and she read a sentence that said "my coin fell in the soil " and " a cow went to the zoo and the cow said moo " with no problems at all.
The books she gets are so basic.
I think tonight after reading I'm going to write in her reading record that I think they're too easy and see if the comments are read and noted.
Still think I'm appearing pushy, maybe I am? I just know my dd.

Feenie Sun 31-Jan-16 13:25:30

Agreed - school's 'policy' has to match the national curriculum first and foremost.

elkiedee Sun 31-Jan-16 20:21:41

DS2 has been able to read quite well for ages. In year 1 he was sent to do reading with year 2, but was still given books out with the rest of his own class. I once took back a book with no words in it and asked for a change of book, but the next one only had about 4 words a page.

As a result I think we didn't bother very much with school reading last year, but DP is doing so a bit more now.

Inkymess Sun 31-Jan-16 23:37:38

At our school too, reading books sent home are lower levels than in class to practice fluency etc They are a national lead school with awards for literacy teaching etc In yrR they may also want to not race ahead too much

foreverton Sat 06-Feb-16 07:25:25

Update though still very much in the dark...
Picked dd up and the teacher came out, usually assistants or students and i asked how dd is doing re reading and she said " very average but we have interventions in place " I started to ask questions but she had to leave! Feel like filming dd reading at home and taking in to show teacher hmm think I'm going to make an official appointment before parents evening as it's playing on my mind.
Dd is trying so hard and I think obviously in a class of 30 there are distractions when at home she is alone, her comprehension is excellent and she's seemingly bored by the school books. We shall see

TheBigRedBoat Sat 06-Feb-16 07:45:02

My DD was a bugger for guessing from pictures or remembering if she had read books before at home.have you tried picking out random words from the books to make sure she understands them as a word alone rather than fitting in with the sentence if you know what I mean? It's a very odd thing for school to say if she's actually not struggling.
You should definitely request a meeting to get to the bottom of it. But just a side note - some of my DDs year1 class are still on Pink band so if that really is her reading/comprehension level don't worry too much!

foreverton Sat 06-Feb-16 07:50:20

Thank you smile
Yes I've noticed dd do that too! Though I bought her a book with the "tricky words" and she knows most of them and can read random words whilst out and about etc.
I'm going to take her to the library today it's lovely and has little bean bags to sit on and do her reading there without any distractions ( I'm looking at you peppa pig ) and maybe take a step back and see how she's doing.
I can't help but feel she's on the wrong level so to speak but teacher probably thinks I'm deluded grin

Shapebandit Sat 06-Feb-16 07:59:12

It does sound a bit odd. I work as a TA in a reception class. Most days we (the TAs) hear the children read and the teacher only hears them occasionally BUT if I hear a child read and I think the book is too easy I will mention it to the teacher who will listen to the child read that day and move them to the right level. I moved one child up yesterday. The children in our class vary by about 7 levels between some of them.
I know different schools are different but that's how it should be I think!

Shapebandit Sat 06-Feb-16 08:01:39

And what I mean by finding the book too easy is that they read all the words fluently without sounding out. Can read most of the tricky words easily and have a bit of expression plus can answer questions about the story to demonstrate good comprehension

catkind Sat 06-Feb-16 11:14:14

"Very average but we have interventions in place"?? Is it me or is that a "Um can't remember off hand but that should cover all bases" sort of answer. At least, aren't "interventions" something extra you do if a child is ahead or behind? Or is is a new fancy word for normal teaching?

It does seem that at some schools levels are more a case of classroom logistics than actual need or ability. But yes if they're ignoring reading log comments and "mentions" I'd ask for a meeting and give it a go.

At least I would have done for DS in reception; we just asked in the reading log a few times and 2/3 they assessed him and duly moved him up. The third time he was given "harder level 3 books" that were more like level 7-8. I'd love to know what that was about, assume some kind of group or resource issue.

By year 2 I've given up on getting any sensible level of book from school, but now DS can just read whatever he likes from the library so it doesn't matter.

foreverton Sat 06-Feb-16 11:47:51

Thanks for your input, my assumption that "intervention" meant that she was behind by the way the teacher was talking, very matter of fact about it and left me wondering why.
We do quite a bit at home and I asked previously if there is anything I can do to help and was told "no"
Am very disappointed with the school, it was outstanding when ds was there and last year has gone to requires improvement which has never happened before, also happened after the deadline of choosing! So reception have been pushed ( lots and lots of homework ) but I've just got a feeling that dd isn't being given a chance to show what she's capable of. I'm very aware of her strengths and weaknesses and know that her reading is strong so still feel pushy and that's not my intention at all.
Thanks everyone for input smile

Needfinsnow Sat 06-Feb-16 21:05:43

Do have to say, reading..decoding the words, learning the letter blends etc, are one thing...but most schools ask the children questions about what they have read too. It's no good a child being able to read the words if they don't fully understand what they mean! My dd is amazing and sounding and blending, but often doesn't register the word she has said...if that makes sense.. I question her after every book, nothing hard but it's making her realise the words she says have meaning and fit together on a page and through the rest of the book.

MrsBenWyatt Sat 06-Feb-16 21:46:25

I am a teacher and I really try very hard not to get involved with stuff like this at DD's school (she is in Y1). However, when she has brought 45 of the same colour reading book home and was starting to bring home books she had already read, I had to say something.

I wrote a note saying how many of that colour that she had read and that I felt she was not being challlenged. I also wrote down which books she was reading independently at home (chapter books e.g. Enid Blyton - she is a fantastic reader, with super understanding, but they had her on white level hmm).

That afternoon she came home having moved about five levels!!!! She now has to go with a Y6 'chaperone' to choose books from the library!

I do agree that it is also about comprehension/answering questions and summarising, but in your case it sounds like the actual class teacher rarely hears the children read.

foreverton Sat 06-Feb-16 21:59:32

MrsBen- thanks, that must have been difficult as a teacher to not approach it sooner smile
Approaching 50 books now and I really do push the comprehension side of things as know only too well how ds was- reading age way above his years but understanding was years behind! So it wasn't simply a case of being able to read.
Have looked through her reading record and the class has only written in it 5 times since September and only one of those comments was positive, the others weren't necessarily negative but were more along the lines of " dd must use her finger " or "dd must try harder" so actually she's on average heard her read once a month hmm

foreverton Sat 06-Feb-16 22:01:23

Sorry should read class teacher

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