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reading and year 1

(11 Posts)
MumNWLondon Tue 10-Nov-09 01:03:04

DD is at state (faith) school in leafy London suburb. Overall am happy with school but please give me advice.....

Last year DD was given Ginn reading scheme, books changed twice a week, a couple of times commented to reception teacher that books seemed too easy for her and teacher said no she doing great, reading one of best in class.

Over the summer DD and I did lots of extra reading mainly as DD is very keen.

When she started year 1 was given the ORT scheme on stage 3. Within a few weeks I asked to see the teacher to talk about reading as the books clearly far too easy for her (she is reading well beyond that at home) - got snotty note back from classroom assistant who is in charge of reading basically saying that they work the children through the reading scheme stage by stage and no missing out books.

I said ok but please can we have 2 books at a time. So getting 6 books a week, but still on level 3, its never ending finished all the Biff and Chip books now onto the Sparrows. DD can read almost every word in the books (usually one tricky new word per book) but is totally unmotivated to read them and still reads with me every night - as an example read tonight the read at home level 5 ORT books and even that easy for her. She's just read the ladybird read in yourself level 4 and the easy reading Horrid Henry books.

Have now established from other mums with kids further up school that the reading policy ie moving the children slowly comes from the headteacher - as previously were a few kids who struggled further up school with reading.

I know there are a few kids on level 4 - mainly as they did ORT in reception and the parents (generally with older kids in the school who know the system) asked for 2 books at a time right from the start!

Anyway its parents evening in 2 weeks time, so can talk to teacher then but feel that books now are at best a waste of time and at worst totally demotivating for DD.

Advice on what to do next - should I try and speak to teacher before parents night?

madwomanintheattic Tue 10-Nov-09 01:09:16

ask them to actually test dd on her reading to discover what level she should be given.

but i wouldn't really worry - as long as she has access to correct level reading material at home it won't impact on her ability at all.

at parent's evening just focus on differentiation - ask them how they are stretching dd as you are aware she is a strong reader, etc.

dd2 started school reading but it took a few weeks until they trsted her and started her at ort 10. i actually went in and asked if she could start lower - i didn't want her to miss out on a lot of the stuff, so it works both ways. we have switched schools now, and it was the same initially - very basic stuff, but gradually they have caught on.

just be polite and hold your ground and discuss getting an accurate picture of her reading level.

MumNWLondon Tue 10-Nov-09 11:06:57

Teaching assistant says she has heard DD read. It seems the school has a policy from headteacher that they like all the children to read all the books at each level before moving on...

It said in her reading homework book last week "She read pages 1-7 (of new book) very nicely" - well of course she did, the book is far too easy, she reads all the school reading books very nicely.

I know it will not affect her reading development as she has lots of access to reading material at home at the right level and she is very keen to read to me every night (I am lucky that my parents kept all the ladybird books from when I was young!) I just think its a bit of a waste of opportunity.

I would estimate each school reading book has around 50-60 words and she probably reads around 200-300 words to me each night.

tikkapots Tue 10-Nov-09 11:52:42

Do you have a home/school book to leave notes in? If so try leaving a note for the teacher.

Better than saving it all up for parents evening as often time is limited.

For what it's worth, in my LOs school they read ALL the books in the level too and sometimes extend the level with another scheme before moving them up :-)

Good luck

Builde Tue 10-Nov-09 12:27:18

Our school has the opposite approach, that is children read at their level. (however high or low this is)

So, you can skip lots of levels and lots of books. However, next local school insists that every book is read, so as a consequence children are reading six books a week.

I think I prefer our approach - a bit less boring - but suspect that there is little impact in the long run.

Children are sort of designed to learn to read; it's not really just a practice thing.

My dd reads from school lovely books; a lot of the Rigby Star books by proper authors. So, I don't feel that we needed to have skipped as many books as we did; they were lovely stories and we could have enjoyed them even if they had been a bit easy.

MumNWLondon Tue 10-Nov-09 13:23:42

We are reading 6 books a week, but the school seem to have a never ending supply of books at this level (3). They are boring, and DD not engaged by them as they are far too easy.

I am not worried that she will not learn to read - more that she is not being challenged.

Problem with note into bag (have tried that) is that teaching assistant responds saying "this is our process" - think I am going to insist on meeting with teacher.

Problem is that teacher is newly qualified but TA has been in year 1 at this school for years.

Seona1973 Tue 10-Nov-09 13:34:55

dd's school aims the books at the level the child can read at and her class has 2 different groups in the class on different levels of books. DD is in the top group and has progressed quickly through the levels by doing a few at each level and when she has mastered them she is moved to the next one. She is in primary 2 (equivalent of year 1) and is reading level 7 ORT books although they also read the equivalent books from other reading schemes too e.g. Ginn, Literacy links, etc

jennifersofia Tue 10-Nov-09 13:34:58

Perhaps part of the problem comes from the fact that many children can physically read all the words, but are still not good readers - eg lack expression, comprehension, ability to discuss characters, story line, understand subtleties of the story. I am not saying this is the case with your DD, but it does happen with some children. When those children are moved quickly on through levels, they get to Y2 / Y3 and begin reading books with a much greater complexity and then do not understand them. I imagine because of this the school wants to do a 'slow and thorough' approach.
Obviously this is frustrating for you. I would speak to the teacher, and express your concerns. It is a good idea to ask if her reading level can be tested (ask if they do running records) - as this can give a more accurate picture of where your DD is actually at.

juliemacc Tue 10-Nov-09 13:45:32

I think it is very short-sighted of your childs school to insist that every book in a level must be read before moving on, sounds like the headteacher has OCD, no wonder the poor thing is unmotivated. I agree that the school wants to ensure that a childs comprehension of the text is sound, but when it obviously is then I cant understand why they have to read every book. At my DDs school she completely missed green and orange banded books because her teacher was willing to "let her have a go" with turquoise and purple level books which she reads and understands perfectly. I would say supplement her school reading with home/library books to keep her motivated and to enjoy.

frogs Tue 10-Nov-09 14:00:20

It's demotivating for the child and lazy for the staff. You run a real risk that the child will start to assume that school is boring and pointless, and get cynical and disaffected. They also start assuming that everything else will be equally easy, and fail to learn how to make an effort and how to persevere with things they find hard.

I would make an appointment to talk to the teacher, and if no joy talk to the head. It's a daft policy that completely fails to take individual children's needs and achievements into account.

Dd2 is also in Y1, and can read pretty much anything. The teacher is currently giving her the Ahlberg Happy Families books as her main reading books (to practise expression) and some ORT poetry books to try and get her to slow down and improve her accuracy. The poetry books was the teacher's suggestion to counteract dd2's tendency to skim read and miss out words.

This is a state faith school in a very mixed part of inner London. There will be plenty of kids in the class who can't read at all, yet they can still manage to give individual children books that challenge and interest them.

Hope you get a sensible response.

MumNWLondon Tue 10-Nov-09 14:48:02

Thanks for your comments....

frogs: we have a few of the happy family books so good idea, will have a go at that. We also have the puffin poetry book so will choose some poems to read out loud as well. My DD sounds like you describe - can read almost anything but weak point is that she sometimes skims or misses out words and could improve expression.

I will insist on a meeting with teacher this week, and we can discuss what progress has been made at the parents night on 24th.

jenifersophia: DD's understanding extremely good, can recount stories and discuss plot even with much more complex books although i agree expression could be improved. Her understanding less good when she reads in bed silently but she enjoys this - I just makes sure I hear her read it to me after she had read it into herself.

juliemacc: LOL, yes have heard comments on other areas that headteacher has OCD. Although she has just been very helpful with bullying incident in playground.

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