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Primary school reading books

28 replies

Anniemabel · 12/09/2020 23:32

I’ve always had trouble getting books for my child to read at home. The school rarely let them change their books and so we usually manage 1 or 2 a week at most. We read them twice and then the kids get bored and have to wait until they are allowed to change them again.

My eldest is now reading chapter books so we can just buy them for him which is fine. My second child still needs to use reading scheme type books (year 2). He has not had any between March and the summer hols because he wasn’t in school. Now he’s been back for 8 school days (11 days in total) and has only brought home one book.

I’ve raised the issue about 30,000 times with the school in relation to my eldest child and I just got told they don’t have time to let the children change their books more frequently and they should just reread the one they have until they have the opportunity to change it. The teacher listens to them read once per term (ie 3 times a year) to assess their reading level.

Is this normal for schools? It seems like such a missed opportunity.

OP posts:
Nomnomarrgh · 12/09/2020 23:36

That is not very good. Schools should make reading more of a priority than that. Dd changes book once a week, but if she is off on book changing day she is stuck. Do you not have books at home? I understand libraries are starting to reopen now.

hippohector · 12/09/2020 23:38

The problem at the moment with Covid is that most schools have to quarantine books that are taken home for 72 hours.
So, for example, if a child borrows a book and brings it back on a Tuesday, it has to go in a box and another child cannot take it out until the Friday.
It’s a pain in the bum to be honest

minipie · 12/09/2020 23:38

DD is y3 and gets to change her library book once a week. I think in normal times she can go in earlier if she’s finished the book, but not at the moment as the school library is shut.

Could you use your local library? Ours has just re opened for browsing (limited stock) but they also offer a service of putting together a few suggested books for DC age, for collection.

Anniemabel · 12/09/2020 23:41

I don’t think it’s a covid measure, it’s been the way the school works for a number of years. I’d be interested to hear how frequently others are allowed to change their books.

I’m told our school has set days when they let them change but my children often didn’t bring books home even on the day that was their book change day and then you have to wait another week!

OP posts:
2littlefishes · 12/09/2020 23:42

Pre Covid ours changed them as often as they liked but can now only change it twice a week.

Have you tried the ebooks on Oxford owls?? You can select your child's reading level an read on a pc or tablet. Not quite the same but may be worth a look!?

Anniemabel · 12/09/2020 23:43

Our local library doesn’t do reading scheme books (I tried that a while back)! It’s just frustrating, the school has so many books in each level just sitting their on the shelves.

OP posts:
2littlefishes · 12/09/2020 23:43
Anniemabel · 12/09/2020 23:45

Thanks @2littlefishes I did use that during lockdown but I think I will carry on using it to supplement what does come home from school.

OP posts:
elaeocarpus · 12/09/2020 23:46

I bought some from secondhand shops and amazon. Worth checking?

Chickenitalia · 12/09/2020 23:49

Mine could change their books whenever they needed to. They had a red and green tray by the class door and if they needed a new book they put their reading diary and book in the red tray. Then the school staff would change it for them. Green tray meant they were ok with what they had.

How they are working now I couldn’t say, mine are all off reading schemes, but they are bringing books home and able to choose from whatever is on the shelves in the school library.

JustCallMeGriffin · 12/09/2020 23:52

Book swapping is strictly once a week in our prinary but always two books given per week, always has been. DD1 this worked fine, letters aren't her friend so having to take time over the book wasn't an issue.

DD2 (now 8) powers through books. We gave up on reading level ones ages ago at home and switched her to real books.

I'm OK with the swap frequency, there's a lot of children rotating through the books so just one/two a week feels fair and reasonable. Above that it's my responsibility to nurture.

I wouldn't be OK with the reading assessment frequency. Our primary school makes sure each child in KS1 and KS2 is read with by at least a TA every week and one in 3 weeks the teacher assesses them.

JustSaying101 · 12/09/2020 23:55

You could perhaps see if they have the same reading scheme online and once your DC has finished the given reading book, there might be the next one online to have a look at. Or alternatively purchase the reading scheme books online.

At our DC school, books are usually changed every 1/2 weeks, although school library is closed at the mo.

Anniemabel · 13/09/2020 00:05

Thanks for your replies. It sounds like our system is not unusual then. It’s just weird that it comes with the message that we should try and listen to them read every evening.

Personally I think they should be allowed to bring home different books as often as they want provided they don’t take too many at any one time - so they don’t hog them.

OP posts:
TheFormerPorpentinaScamander · 13/09/2020 00:09

My dc could only change their book once per week. DS2 used to read his school book once or twice and then read something from the bookcase. School were fine with that. As long as they were reading.

Bikingbear · 13/09/2020 00:13

My DC is a very reluctant reader. The Biff and Chip books were torture. He came home with a chapter book that I think he'd been given by mistake and the difference in his reading was amazing.

From that point on he read the school book once, lobbed it in the bag and forgot about it until next exchange day. And started reading a paragraph from every page of his night time story. We now read alternate pages but that is what really got him reading.

FusionChefGeoff · 13/09/2020 09:18

It doesn't sound like you're going to get very far with the school unfortunately. I've just bought this for DD which I thought was excellent value and there's a referral link for a further £5 off.

Here's a £5 off coupon for your first order at Books2Door. To accept, use my referral link:

DDiva · 13/09/2020 09:25

Our school isnt sending books home at the moment. Is your local library open at the moment ? Ours has and we've always used it alot .....

Splendidseptember · 13/09/2020 09:35

Op, I've not read the thread so apologies if been mentioned.. But..


has been the best thing we did during lock down. You have 3 tier payment options, we have gold, unlimited swaps.
It has nealry every reading scheme under the sun.. They send the books out to you and you send them back.

We get unlimited swaps... Usually 6 books a week so dd has roughly read 1 a day!!

I've got her up several reading levels doing this and will continue as the school can't give us more books either! They also can't be bespoke with dd and move her when appropriate.

If you can't afford the 20 per month try silver or bronze.

The dd I've done this for isn't a reader. By year 2 my other dd was a free reader and on chapter books, again if if left her reading to school it would have held her back.

Parents involved is really so crucial to our dc education.

Splendidseptember · 13/09/2020 09:40

2 swop per month, 4 swop or gold unlimited swops.

Other chapters books, amazon, charity, eBay... Baby sales etc.

Modestandatinybitsexy · 13/09/2020 09:43

Apologies because I don't have primary aged children but do the books have to be in the book scheme? Can't you read the school book with a mixture of other picture and maybe chapter books? Things like Winnie the Pooh?

Also ask other mums if they're up for a book swap? Books were one of the most donated items at a preloved toddler bring and buy a group of mine did.

SushiGo · 13/09/2020 09:44

Same here.

I've heard reading chest recommended on here before, but depends a bit what level they are on.

We got through lockdown getting the younger ones to try reading all of our picture books and basic/short chapter books. They're generally not written with phonics in mind, so you have to help them a bit more but they progressed well.

TheFluffiestCat · 13/09/2020 09:45

Pre-COVID DD's school swapped books three times a week. Now, 2 books come home on Monday and are returned on Friday. We're using a mixture of the school's Oxford Owl subscription (reading scheme e-books on my tablet) and DD's own books over the weekend.


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sorryforswearing · 13/09/2020 10:33

There’s a site called Oxford Owls that have lots of e books including Oxford Reading Tree. I always tell my parents to let their child read their school book as that’s where they they will meet the phonic sounds they need to know but to let them read a variety of other books too. I certainly wouldn’t be asking a child to reread a reading scheme book over and over again. A lot of children are let down by their understanding of the story so getting them to retell the story, predict what might happen, speculate about what characters might be doing/thinking etc is important. Reading with expression is something to work on too.

Splendidseptember · 13/09/2020 11:42

I don't understand the reading chest, level question?

They have all the reading levels up to 12 or perhaps 13?

If the child is essential a free reader then it won't be of any use really.

But 12 and below, they have all the reading levels and many different schemes....

So you see what level your dc is on and order in your bespoke list those books.
We mainly stayed with our schools levels... And if she wasn't ready to go up a level we could choose same level books from other schemes in our bespoke list...... Ie right now she's stage 8,but not quite ready for 9. We've run out of Oxford reading tree level 8 books so I've browsed the other reading scheme level 8s and chosen titles I think would interest her.

Ukholidaysaregreat · 13/09/2020 12:20

I think it can benefit children to re read a story. Not if they are completely bored but to read a story more than once encourages comprehension and reinforces learning.

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