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Reading swear words in books - Year 5

10 replies

SueW · 28/02/2007 23:16

DD was a bit concerned this morning because she will have to read her (school) book out loud and it contains swear words. 'The S word' was her example.

This morning, she suggested she say 'beep'! and I, caught on the hop, suggested she come up with her own alternative e.g Oh poo! Oh bother! Bother! Then I said she should ask her teacher which seemed like a huge cop out.

But now I'm not sure. Should she read literally - or not?

Book is Tamar by Mal Peet. It's a fantastic book - I have read it - but with some adult themes which I hadn't really thought about until I realised DD was reading it.

OP posts:
roisin · 01/03/2007 02:12

Sue, what is the context? Why does she have to read it out loud? Is it the class reader for the whole class? Or something she has chosen for WBD?

The answer (at that age) is certainly not obvious, and it depends a bit on the circumstances.

Great book though!

mamama · 01/03/2007 02:24

I haven't read it so don't know the story but, if your DD doesn't feel comfortable saying that word, I think that is fair enough. She could have a word with the teacher if she is worried and explain that she doesn't want to say them or, as you suggested say something else. If her teacher chose the book and she has to read it aloud (although I don't know why a Y5 pupil would be reading a book aloud to the whole class) it is perfectly acceptable for her to say what is typed.

She should do whatever she feels most comfortable with.

Not much help, am I?

SueW · 01/03/2007 22:35

Thanks for replies.

The book is her reading book but even in Y5 they still read to the teacher regularly. After our chat she talked to her teacher who said she thought DD was old enough and mature enough to be able to handle it if it came up and DD said she had decided she would miss out the word. As it happens, there was no swearing in the section she read

It's her 50th Book Worm book - the reading scheme the head invented to encourage the children to read a wide range of books. They read the book, answer half a dozen questions - written by either a teacher or a child who has read the book previously - then a special reading card gets signed. At various stages they get rewards e.g. leather school book mark, badge with bookworm, gold badge, £10 book token, etc. DD will, I think, be the first child to reach 50 since the scheme was started

Parents, children and teachers can all suggest new books to go into the scheme and come up with questions when they have read the book.

OP posts:
mamama · 02/03/2007 00:07

I'm glad it was easily sorted out. I think it's great that she still reads to the teacher - it's really important, even at that age and it doesn't happen in many schools.

The book worm scheme sounds fantastic!

anniebear · 02/03/2007 12:33

I must be naive!

Do they get reading books at school with swear words in? I'm suprised and naive!!!

Posey · 02/03/2007 12:42

Love the sound of the bookworm scheme. Is it something thats been devised by your dd's school, or is it a national thing? Would love it if my dc's school did something like that.

SueW · 02/03/2007 14:45

Posey, our headteacher came up with it. She sent all the teachers home one summer holiday with various books e.g. Morpurgos, Charlotte's Web, the Narnia series. Asked them to read their book, write up half a dozen qustions.

A list of the books appears in the library and the children can choose these or any other book to read. Only the book worm books earn a step towards the rewards though. Book worm books encourage them to read new authors, or a classic story which might be more challenging because of the old-fashioned way it is written.

It is a fantastic scheme. She's a wonderful head. she retires in July

OP posts:
Posey · 02/03/2007 19:59

Thanks SueW!

RosaLuxembourg · 05/03/2007 00:41

My DD1 also year 5 is reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke atm which also contains 'mild swearing' bloody and damn for instance. She is mature enough to understand that this is in the context of the book; ie the people who swear tend to be the baddies and accepts that these are not words she would use herself. I can't see a problem with it - but I listen to readers in her school and if one said to me, I don't want to read that word I would say fine.

astronomer · 05/03/2007 08:42

DS refused to read the word bitch (it was about a family choosing a dog so there was nothing wrong with the use of word)

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