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Year one child

(44 Posts)
madmum04 Fri 13-Jan-12 14:46:34

My little girl is in year one and is almost 6 and im wondering if anyone can help me work out whether school should be doing more or just watching?

Shes on oxford reading tree books stage 1+ pink band which she has been on since reception we are currently repeating books from exactly a year ago, shes at level W at national curriculum as tested in december and im just getting a bit concerned now that she doesnt seem to be progressing as fast as some of the other kids in her class.Just wonder if anyone elses child has been at these levels at this point in yr 1 and done ok or does it sound like a problem with her?

IndigoBell Fri 13-Jan-12 14:57:07

Sounds like there could be a problem.

Does she know her alphabet? ( ie the main sound each of the 26 letters make)

Can she read CVC words ( cat, dog, top etc)

Can she write anything you can read?

PrisonerOfWaugh Fri 13-Jan-12 14:58:28

I would take it up with the teachers. What do they say on parents evening?

IndigoBell Fri 13-Jan-12 15:02:13

POW - It's very dangerous to just rely on what the teachers say. IME they are almost always keen to reassure you everything is fine.

Partly because it's hard to have difficult conversations.

But mostly because to them it is. Someone has to be bottom of the class - so the teacher doesn't see being bottom of the class as a problem....

And sometimes because it's a lot more work for them to admit there's a problem - because then they'll be responsible for doing something about it.

mrz Fri 13-Jan-12 19:01:18

I think that's a little unfair Indigo some of us don't mind the extra work and see it as our responsibility to ensure every child succeeds.

mrz Fri 13-Jan-12 19:05:02

Firstly I would ask how has she been taught to read? The ORT books don't provide a good start to reading especially for a child who is finding reading difficult.

IndigoBell Fri 13-Jan-12 19:32:31

Sorry Mrz - I might be being unfair - but then again, it is true for some or a few teachers - and we don't know what the OPs teacher is like.

It's not so much the extra work, it's the PITA parent I think they don't want smile

It's fairly easy to put a child on a phonics intervention - but it can be a lot of work to explain this to a parent, and possibly draw up an IEP, and then reassure the parent the next week when they've thought about it some more......

I know you're always honest - but I also know no teacher has ever been honest to me about my 2 being behind - so I'm talking about 8 teacher's who wouldn't admit there were academic problems......

(Behavioural problems I've found them to be far more open about smile )

mrz Fri 13-Jan-12 19:46:21

I think like in every job there are are good and not so good and even down right bad teachers but I have to believe most of us do want the best for the kids in our care.

Yes there are teachers who aren't honest ... I work with one who is proud of the fact she never gives parents a bad/poor report hmm so then it falls on the next teacher (me) or the SENCO (me) to break the news. Despite this as a school we do support all children.

3duracellbunnies Fri 13-Jan-12 20:33:44

I don't know your daughter and how she has been taught, but I know that at the begining of yr1 my daughter was on level 3, by the end of the year she was on level 11 ORT. She still wasn't enjoying reading but over the past few months she has been reading more for pleasure and has really started to read fluently.

I thiink it probably is worth talking to the school, as I know that ours had a special group in yr 1 to support those who weren't reading. We also find the songbird books good, as they are easier to decode than some of the kipper, chip et al ones. Might be worth ordering some from the library and see how she finds them. Dig dig dig was one of them. Maybe if she gets more confident decoding easier words in books it will help. Do talk to the teacher, ask what they can do in school and what you can do aat home. She may just be a late reader and next year like my dd can't read enough.

PrisonerOfWaugh Fri 13-Jan-12 20:41:19

"very dangerous" really? really? - to talk to a teacher?

Honestly I have my own battles with schools approach to teaching reading, but surely the first recourse must be to talk to the teacher. Guaranteed it is not always going to solve 'the problem', but you have to at least try and find out their position - as a first step. I was just trying to find out if the OP has at least gone that far.

madmum04 Fri 13-Jan-12 20:50:18

Thank you for your replies, yes the school teachers have said she is behind in all areas of her work, reading, writing, number work etc and all her assessments are behind for age but they arent doing anything because they said they think her learning is ok and they will just observe for now.

mrz Fri 13-Jan-12 21:05:00

Not good enough IMHO

PrisonerOfWaugh Fri 13-Jan-12 21:22:40

I agree with mrz, sounds as if they are fobbing you off. Have you tried asking for an assessment or a plan of action of how they are going to support her learning. I have no idea of the official steps for getting her additional support, but I would start making some noise. If they acknowledge she is behind then then they can't simply accept that (or expect you to accept that) as the status quo.

madmum04 Fri 13-Jan-12 21:58:13

I havent really asked anything because I wasnt sure whether it was ok and perhaps she could just be slower to learn but still do ok in the long run, I did ask how long they left her but didnt really get an answer. I'm pretty sure we have another parents evening due around february so was thinking I might see if her results are any different by then and if not go from there, im not really sure how it all works or what I should really be expecting at this stage. They have acknowledged it yes, they said she has been behind since she came to the school and mentioned talking to the SENCO but she wasnt a priority because there were children with more severe needs but since this chat they have decided they are leaving her and observing her as they think her learning is ok because she did ok in one guided task?! The main assessments were all below level 1 and the only thing she has recently done ok in was a spelling test were they marked her 3 out of 3 even though she had mixed up her letters so put b instead of d, the week before she got 1 out of 3 because she mixed up the same letters there and they didnt allow the marks/mistakes they allowed this week. I was happy though because she came out with a certificate and a little bag of sweets and was ever so proud of herself, so to see her little face it didnt matter to me that they had marked her when she had done some wrong, I could see that but to me her face and confidence was much more important, still im not sure they can keep marking it every week as all correct when it obviously isnt. This is the only task I can think of unless its guided reading and shes done something good there but even so her books are still pink band

Justabouthadenough Fri 13-Jan-12 22:23:04

You could request a meeting with the SENCOat the school, highlight your issues, and perhaps request she is put on "school action"

IndigoBell Sat 14-Jan-12 08:14:14

POW - I don't say it was dangerous to talk to the teacher, I said it was dangerous to rely on what the teacher said.

And it turns out her teacher is like I feared. Full of 'don't worry', and 'she's not the worst in the class' and 'let's wait and see'

The teacher has admitted there is a problem, and has also said she's not going to do anything about it.

That is a teacher who it is dangerous to rely on.

Dangerous in that 6 months her child I'll be even further behind, school will still be spinning the OP the same line, and the OP will be even more worried than she is now.

mrz Sat 14-Jan-12 10:03:46

Why would a teacher say "he/she isn't the worst" would they say "he/she isn't the best"?

Fairenuff Sat 14-Jan-12 16:36:06

The reading levels in my Year 1 class currently range from Stage 1 phonics to Stage 10 ORT so I wouldn't worry too much about the reading level at this age. What I would be concerned about is the lack of information from the school about how they plan to teach her.

Can she read cvc word such as dog, cat
What phonics scheme is she learning and what stage is she on
Does she have an IEP (Individual Education Plan)

PastSellByDate Sat 14-Jan-12 17:22:08

Hi Madmum04:

First - I think you do have to start at square one with no assumptions and just ask the teacher her opinion on how your daughter is progressing. If she's all breezy and informs you your daughter is progressing at the expected level then I think you do have to gently raise that you are a bit disappointed with her progress and would like to understand how's she's performing on the SAT levels for KS1 (is she on track to make Level 2 in Y2).

Now what can you do at home? Well the obvious first step is to start with reading with your daughter yourself and trying to gradually shift the burden of reading out loud from you to her. This isn't always straightforward and there will be good and bad days, but the point is your daughter will need practice and support in these first forays into reading on her own. This is serious big girl stuff.

Bored with books from school? You're not alone! If you search ORT on Mumsnet you'll see that there are tons of us out there who have got fed up at various points. My personal low was three weeks of Big Panda/ Little Panda with DD2. It nearly killed us. A lot of parents get really fed up with Kipper and Chip stories. So if you and/or your daughter (or both of you) need more variety I strongly suggest you get yourself to a library and start exploring all the wonderful books out there.

In the meantime some great websites full of ideas for reading by age group:

The Bookfinder list on the Book Trust will help you find out about what is avaialble and appropriate for age level:

The guardian had a lovely spread about how to build a great library of books for children:

There also is a lovely website with a list of classic reading for children:


Phonics support. If your school isn't using phonics or your daughter needs more support with phonics (or you're just curious & want to find out more) try:

Mr. Thorne does phonics (videos):
you can also download apps from this site

Jolly Phonics (more info here has a lovely range of step by step phonic sound workbooks which are available from most book shops (even big newsagents). There's colouring, writing out and sounding out to do and working through these together can help a great deal.


Now what I will say from my own experience with DD1 (to which reading, writing and maths all have come slowly and painfully) is that you must always remember that this learning lark is a marathon and not a race. Odds are your daughter will get there in the end - but it may take a bit more time than you expected.

But if your 'Mum instincts' are saying I'm worried about this and I'm unsure/ unhappy/ uncertain this is o.k. - then the odds are you're right. Now will the school teacher be supportive - well that's difficult to guess. But you'll never know unless you go and ask for help. However, as many on Mumsnet will agree - even if the teacher refuses to believe there is a problem, you can help at home. Just decide o.k. it looks like I'm going to have to put a bit of extra time into this at home.

Don't go crazy - but set yourself a workable target (say 2 or 3 nights a week for 10 minutes or so, I'm going to seriously settle into a routine of getting my DD to start that process of reading to me). Start learning what you can do and try to start this work with your daughter very slowly (say 10 minutes here and there) and start asking for some sounding out in reading (or phonics workbooks) to just start to get that letter sound recognition skill improving. The lovely thing about this is that reading with your child is a very hands-on family friendly thing to be doing. Keep it relaxed and happy. If she's had a bad day - you take on the lion share of reading or let her read a favourite book she's virtually memorised anyway. If she's enjoying it and is all fired up - then sure go ahead and read another little book. But whatever else don't give up on her. Show her you believe she can do it and praise her like mad for every little step along the way she makes.

Look at it this way - it's pennies in the bank for when she's a teenager!

Best of luck Madmum04!

mrz Sat 14-Jan-12 21:14:17

I think the first step is to find out exactly what your daughter knows and take it from there.

Personally I wouldn't use Mr Thorne for a struggling child (or if you don't have a good knowledge of phonics yourself) or the Jolly Phonics workbooks look at Bear Necessities

RiversideMum Sun 15-Jan-12 06:54:49

In our school, your child would be a cause for concern working at that level. She'd certainly have an IEP and would be getting lots of extra adult support in small groups. I too am concerned about the use of "pink" books if they are not decodable. The problem is that children take the line of least resistance and stop using any phonics that they know if they can guess from the pictures. How is she managing with the books?

PastSellByDate Sun 15-Jan-12 08:02:41

Hi Madmum04 and mrz

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear regarding Mr. Thorne does phonics.

Although mrz there's no doubt that you are a very skilled teacher & your parents will know what you are doing and some of the rhyme and reason - that isn't the case everywhere - and I'm not presupposing that MadMum04 has good information flow from her DD's teacher.

MadMum04 - I wasn't trying to suggest you sit your DD down in front of Mr. Thorne videos - but more that you understand the sounding out strategy from watching these videos and use them to support your one on one reading with your daughter.

mrz Sun 15-Jan-12 09:48:26

I'm sorry my reply has offended you PastSellByDate but just to clarify what I am saying ...I personally wouldn't use Mr Thorne's site for a child who is struggling and I wouldn't recommended it for anyone who is unsure of phonics. I has some very impressive videos but I personally would use it with caution.

The Jolly Learning site PastSellByDate linked to is less flashy but contains good information for parents

worley Sun 15-Jan-12 10:40:29

when it comes to non school books how does dd read then? my ds2 is yr one and I did get called in as the teacher has concerns over his reading ability. although I have no concerns, yes he hates reading the school books but I've lots of other books at home he can read fluently, with stories about batman and spiderman, just books he's more in to. they are american books but aimed for his age group. search "I can read books" on amazon.
It's as if he hasnt got time for reading, he would much rather be outside running around than having to sit down and read!

mrz Sun 15-Jan-12 11:08:16

Personally I don't care what a child reads as long as they are reading but I wouldn't use this particular scheme to teach a non reader

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