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Why is the grammar school library full of books for 7 year oldS?

(68 Posts)
MrsTaraPlumbing Sun 30-Mar-14 11:04:29

I don't understand it and hope some of you can give me some perspective.
My son is in year 7 of GS. In SEpt he was assessed with a reading age of 13.
He says he has to choose from a selection of books (Yellow band) and they are rubbish - he would never read any of them but when forced to choose something he has bought home:
James and the Giant Peach
Adam Blade Beast Quest.
Books for 7-8 year olds! My mind boggles.
He never read them, in fact those books didn't appeal to him when he was younger either.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 30-Mar-14 11:09:16

How odd

I do agree with different sections as my Year 7 dd is bringing home all sorts of inappropriate books meant for much older teens but that seems a very strange selection.

Millais Sun 30-Mar-14 11:26:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pointythings Mon 31-Mar-14 14:40:49

I'd be having a gentle word with the school - I'm all for not letting them read just anything without first discussing it (though there's not much that I would say an outright no to) - but that's a bit strange.

I really hope it isn't gender bias as suggested by pp. shock

motown3000 Mon 31-Mar-14 16:04:03

Does that mean the Comprehensive , has books aimed at 3-5 year olds then ?.

HolidayCriminal Mon 31-Mar-14 18:51:02

I don't see the problem. confused
I sometimes enjoy reading fiction meant for 11-12yos. I'm 46.

Millais Mon 31-Mar-14 19:28:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tinuviel Mon 31-Mar-14 19:37:13

This will be accelerated reading. It assesses where they are and they have to read quite a lot of books at the level they are, do quizzes on them in order to move to the next range. Quite a lot of our year 7s are reading Mr Men books and similar because it matches where they are.

mummy1973 Mon 31-Mar-14 19:51:52

op - if your son is not reading them then that defeats the object! I'd have a chat to the school about whether yellow band is correct.

LynetteScavo Mon 31-Mar-14 20:02:04

I can only imagine that in your area the 11+ test is maths heavy, therefore children going to the grammar school may not be particularly good at English.

I am currently reading Matilda with DD, and suspect the reading age is more of a 12yo, than an 8yo (although I have no idea, tbh)

I was very surprised when looking around Reception for DS1 there were books with pictures, and not just chapter books. Oh, how I have cringed about that since!

TittyNotSusan Mon 31-Mar-14 23:19:46

My DD is in a comprehensive with mediocre results, and was assessed at the beginning of Y7. I can't remember the numbers she's in, but she is a good reader. In the first few weeks of Y7 she brought home every Diary of a Wimpy Kid book in succession, which she read in a night and took back. She had read most of them 3 yrs earlier anyway.

She then worked her way through the Jacqueline Wilson books that she actually owned anyway, and again read them very quickly. She won a prize at the end of the first half term for reading the most words, but in some cases she just took the book out, did the quiz and didn't bother reading it because she already had.

She kept telling me there was nothing else, and I was all ready to go in and complain, but then once she made some new friends who shared her love of reading, she got recommendations from them, and then moved on to books like Noughts and Crosses, The Hunger Games, Gone etc. She hasn't been moved up a level, she was just rejecting those books because they looked "scary" or too big and grown up.

Have you actually seen the library? Do you know he's not allowed to borrow these other books? DD reads books that we buy, or get from the local public library and she can still quiz them and count them as her reading book.

RiversideMum Tue 01-Apr-14 07:16:56

I don't think either of my DCs ever brought a book home from the school library.

OwlCapone Tue 01-Apr-14 07:21:17

I'm horrified that they aren't allowed to simply choose whatever they like at that age.

RomulanBattleBagel Tue 01-Apr-14 07:36:12

I'm not even sure if we had fiction in our (grammar) school library. I only really remember non fiction books on the shelves!

Does he actually have to read something from the library at all? In our school the teachers weren't remotely involved in what we read unless it was a text we were studying in class (so maybe 3 a year or so?) and apart from that the only input they ever had in our reading was to give us a list of suggested titles before we started yr7.

Agggghast Tue 01-Apr-14 10:41:17

The majority of schools use Accelerated Reading now, it does not mean they shouldn't read anything else. It is a very effective tool to check that pupils are confident and capable readers of whole texts. The tests for Reading Ages only test the ability to understand a sentence/short paragraph and do not show the whole picture. It also ensures that they read the whole book rather than skipping through it.

RaisinBoys Tue 01-Apr-14 15:28:52

Had no idea that secondary schools' used this system. Should be a breeze for DS as he reads loads, for pleasure! Now there's a thing...

PiqueABoo Tue 01-Apr-14 19:11:50

"The majority of schools use Accelerated Reading now"
I believe that's the company who tell us every year that children's reading levels plateau or go backwards when they hit secondary age. It's beginning to sound like their product is a significant part of the problem.

pointythings Tue 01-Apr-14 19:12:20

I think DD1's school must be one of those that doesn't use it, as I've never heard of it. She loves to read anyway, so it's no skin off my nose.

QOD Tue 01-Apr-14 19:15:04

My dd grammar school doesn't have a library, now I remember it did have when I was there and hardly anyone used it apart from me

They don't have time to read in school, too much work to do! They read once a week in form time

EvilTwins Tue 01-Apr-14 19:56:08

Accelerated Reader is a good system with proven results. It does not mean than students aren't allowed to read anything else! They do a quiz once they've read the book, and at my school, at least, they get prizes (book tokens) if they do consistently well. It's not just for poor readers.

Hulababy Tue 01-Apr-14 20:02:32

DD is in Y7 and can read whatever she likes. No one restricts their choice at all. They have a quiet reading session once a fortnight where the English teacher will chat to individuals about their books, content, etc but sounds pretty informal and relaxed. DD takes her Kindle in and reads with that in the sessions.

Not sure DD has even brought a library book home for her high school at all, though has been in there to work.

DD would hate to have to be on some form of scheme now.

pointythings Tue 01-Apr-14 20:05:27

Maybe, EvilTwins but I would have hated to see DD1 come home in Yr7 with Diary of a Wimpy Kid just so that she could whizz through it and get points. I mean, Diary of a Wimpy Kid gets you 3 points. The Fellowship of the Ring gets you 29. However, you can whizz through the former in a couple of hours, whereas the latter is much more of an investment of time and effort. If children are competing for points and prizes, aren't they deliberately going to pick easier books to read?

EvilTwins Tue 01-Apr-14 20:09:54

They can't. They have to read a book within the range they're told to. That's based on ability. They can move up when they need to. The range is pretty wide, but means that they are choosing books which are suitable for their ability. If it's run properly, teachers keep a check on their habits. In my school, they do it every day for half an hour. If a child was reading a book a day, doing the quiz and scoring 100% every time, it would be picked up on and they would be reassessed..

EvilTwins Tue 01-Apr-14 20:11:09

Oh, and the prizes are for getting 90% or higher on quizzes, not for reading more difficult books.

HarrietSchulenberg Tue 01-Apr-14 20:23:39

AR books are not always banded correctly. I've seen books banded as 4.5 with kids struggling to read them, yet whipping through higher band books in no time. The tests are more of a memory quiz than anything to do with comprehension.
I hate Accelerated Reader with a passion.

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