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Reception Teachers...a query for you

(25 Posts)
alison56 Tue 22-Sep-09 22:52:49

My DD1 (aged 4;02) just started reception.

She's a good reader (self motivated). They've obviously picked up on this and put her straight on ORT level 3 books.

Some of the books have seemed challenging (vocab like "measurements") but others don't challenge her at all. She's just changed her books for the week and is easily capable of reading all (three) of them with inflection. There are no unfamiliar words for her in any of them, unlike the books she had last week.

Does each level of the ORT have different levels of difficulty within it? These books are much less challenging yet still level 3.

Also, she is repeating work she was doing in nursery this time last year. They are concentrating on 4 letter sounds and we have to think of something beginning with that letter and take in an object.

I don't object to this because it's too easy for her, I just don't understand why we are doing this all over again 12 months later.

I'm not a teacher so I don't understand the reasoning behind this. I'm sure there must be a good reason but all I can see is my daughter repeating last year's work.

Can anyone explain - should she be challenged a bit more than this given that she's gone into reception with this level of literacy skill?

I'm not going to pick the teacher up on it - but we have parents' evening next month and I'd like to know whether I ought to be askign these questions.


piscesmoon Tue 22-Sep-09 23:12:04

It is early days. The teacher will be working out all the levels in the class. Ask questions at parents evening. I would go to the library and look for easy readers.

primarymum Wed 23-Sep-09 07:32:58

The old ORT books are in levels which do not reflect their "actual" difficulty so many schools have bought in new books or banded the old ones into a coloured scheme which more closely represents the difficulty of the words (phonetically speaking) So you can ,and do, have books within level 3 that are in completely different colour bands. Do your school band the books ( if they do there is usually a coloured sticker somewhere on them!), if not then some books will seem considerably easier than others!

thegrammerpolicesic Wed 23-Sep-09 17:43:43

Alison, at least they are doing <something> ds's they haven't even begun anything resembling learning (and yes I know it should be learning through play).
Ds is a little like your dd, can read (although not quite as well by the sounds of it) and is wondering why they don't do any reading at all, no books home etc.

I've accepted that when they do some of the activities will not even remotely stretch him e.g. basic letters work but that as long as he does get other work sometimes that's more of a challenge that's fine. It will be good for his confidence anyway./ Not really answering your OP though...sorry!

cece Wed 23-Sep-09 18:43:46

Within each level there are different levels of difficulty. This is normal throughout the book banding scheme.

mrz Wed 23-Sep-09 18:59:38

Do the school know this was done last year in nursery? Did all/most of the children in the class attend the nursery and have the same teaching input?

If not then I can understand why all children are given the same task but then I would expect children who have already mastered these skills to be given additional tasks to extend them.

Fayrazzled Wed 23-Sep-09 18:59:54

Crikey, my 4 year old who has just started reception can only read his own name and can't hold a pencil properly yet.

Threads like these always make me worry my son will be the class thicko.

On the other hand, he is enjoying all the playing and comes home happy, which this time 2 weeks ago I was despairing would happen, so I'll be grateful for that.

If you're concerned your daughter isn't being stretched, have a quiet word with the teacher. As far as I can tell, at my son' school they haven't started any numeracy or literacy lessons yet. (He started on the 14th).

mrz Wed 23-Sep-09 19:02:43

Fayrazzled as a reception teacher I can tell you your son is perfectly normal for a new reception child.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 23-Sep-09 19:04:32

Not every child will have gone to nursery.

They will always be some kids who can do it all already but until the teacher sets the work then she isn't going to know and then she can adapt the work where necessary.

mamusia Wed 23-Sep-09 19:17:42

As you can see from Talk there are children in reception who don't know their letters yet and it takes some time for teacher to assess all the kids in the class and then there should be differentiation- so I would wait till half term and see - if nothing changes than talk to the teacher

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 23-Sep-09 19:19:36

I really suggest you don't have a quiet word about it to get your daughter pushed more.

forehead Wed 23-Sep-09 20:44:05

For crying out loud, your child has just started, give the teachers a chance.

mybrainisfull Wed 23-Sep-09 20:48:05

I would just be happy she can read, and let her get used to being at school and making friends. She should be nice and confident if she knows how to do all the class work. The next 13yrs are for learning - no rush yet!

ThingOne Wed 23-Sep-09 21:32:27

I wouldn't worry. There are lots more things to learn in reception other than reading, and reading is the thing you can do most easily at home anyway. If you do a search, there was a whole list of non ORT books (roughly) by ORT level some time at the end of July. You can read these with your DD at home and have more fun.

I think reviewing the basic building blocks of anything is a good idea.

Fayrazzled Wed 23-Sep-09 21:36:32

mrsz- thanks for the reassurance. I'm so grateful he seems to be enjoying himself and doesn't have to be peeled off me with gnashing and wailing of teeth.

mamusia Wed 23-Sep-09 22:21:02 Similar?

womblingfree Wed 23-Sep-09 23:10:31

My DD also started school a couple of weeks ago. She is in a similar position to your DD, very on the ball with letters, reading (manages ORT lev 2 apart from the odd longer word - haven't had any Lev 3's home yet) and a bit of writing.

That said they have just started doing 'Letterland' and although DD knows her alphabet and most of the more frequent phonics sounds, she is just really enjoying the whole process - they sing songs for each of the letter 'characters' and she comes home singing them and leaping round the room.

I was concerned that she wouldn't find it challenging enough, but at the moment she seems to have settled in ok and is obviously enjoying the work.

As someone else said - I'd be inclined to leave it at least until half term before saying anything as the teacher needs to get to know the individual kids and their abilities.

corriefan Wed 23-Sep-09 23:32:05

Sounds like your daughter has just about cracked reading anyway, so don't focus on her always reading more and more difficult books in terms of decoding the actual words. Is she bored by the content? Can she answer questions about what happens or empathise with characters? Create a different ending?

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 24-Sep-09 08:04:08

And the teacher will notice what she is able to do..

alison56 Thu 24-Sep-09 10:43:40

thanks for your responses.

"For crying out loud" responses sort of miss the point.

I am NOT a pushy mum. I am not the mother who wants to speak to the poor (frazzled) teacher every morning. I drop her off and I leave.

My query is simply whether she is on the right level of reading book and whether there are different levels in each band as I find it puzzling. She has already been taken to one side and assessed so I know they are trying to tailor to her ability.

The books in ORT level 3 have (as someone suggested) been colour-coded but so far the one's she's brought home have all been blue so I'm thinking these are supposed to be the same level of difficulty.

Yes, she can answer comprehension questions at the end of the book. She can predict what is going to happen next and she notices things about the stories.

When I was learning to read, I remember that each book had some new words. I notice that ORT books have new words on the back, but in the main, none of these words are new to my daughter so I'm not sure she is being "extended" with new vocabulary.

Most fo the children were in pre-school. DD was in a private day nursery 3 days a week but I know they were following the same curriculum.

Fab Baker Girl - what's so wrong with having a word with the teacher about this? It is a genuine query that I will take to parents' evening. I'm not considering making an appointment with the teacher before then.

I would consider it quite worrying if I felt I couldn't ask a genuine question when the "new words" are not new to DD.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 24-Sep-09 11:11:59

But the teacher won't know they are not new to your daughter until she has had time to assess her!

alison56 Thu 24-Sep-09 13:25:14

yeah but as I said in my last post, they HAVE assessed her.

alison56 Thu 24-Sep-09 13:26:20

(they did this by having a three week half day induction period)

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 24-Sep-09 14:00:54

You will get books in one colour band which are harder than others in the band.

mamusia Thu 24-Sep-09 19:40:56

I still would wait till half term - sometimes at the bigining it's difficoult to assess child - they might not show all their abilities. And also easy reads might boost her confidance in her reading and that's as important as new vocabulary

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