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When does your school move to free reading?

11 replies

dancingbear · 15/03/2009 19:56

We use the Book band system and our school continues till book band 11 - Lime.

Just wondering if other schools jump ship earlier, in favour of free reading.

OP posts:
imaginaryfriend · 15/03/2009 21:24

Does it depend partly on the child? Dd seems to have gone in Y1 from books at level 10 (don't know what that colour is) to reading short , fairly basic chapter books. I don't think I'd call her a 'free reader' though in the sense that she couldn't pick up anything at all and read it. But she does get to choose her books from a range of Y2 books.

Hulababy · 15/03/2009 21:45

Year 3

but the school has a well established scheme inc lots of more complex books and chapter books. In infants the school likes to have some control so they can have greater bearing over ensuring the child covers a wide range of text tyes, vocabularly, comprehension skills, etc. Seems to work very well even for the more advanced readers.

In year 3, unles child has a particular need with regards reading, they choose their own bbooks from school library or home to read. They record what they have read in their homework diary and are expected to read for 15-20 mins a day, plus read to a teacher at school once or twice a week.

Dottoressa · 15/03/2009 22:29

It depends on the individual child's reading ability. DS started with free reading at the start of Y1 when it became clear to his teacher that he could - and did - read pretty much anything; others in his class (he's Y2) are still on the ORT. DS's teacher is also giving him some 'extras' (poetry and extra fiction), because he'd naturally gravitate towards tomes on textile production and other such fascinating topics!

We do have to record what he reads in his reading diary, and his teacher listens to him read at least three times a week. We are, fortunately, spared that task now, as he reads in his head!

Madsometimes · 16/03/2009 10:23

My dd2 (Y1, 5) is deemed to be on free reading because she has passed stage 8 of the Ginn reading scheme. She does still bring home books from a mish mash of reading scheme, eg. ORT stage 10-11 and others. She is just not tied to any one scheme or stage. Her reading level is short chapter books.

dd1 in year 4 (8) will bring home Harry Potter, Jacqueline Wilson etc. What I call proper books. She sometimes finds the jump to proper books hard, because long books often are slow starting and take a while to get into. She does not always have the patience. There are also reading scheme books at ORT stage 15 in their classroom. These are quite simple, but dd1 loves them because they are short and she can read them in their entirety in less than 30 mins. She can be lazy about reading!

edam · 16/03/2009 10:27

Ds has just moved to free reading (assume you mean going off the reading scheme to ordinary books). He's Yr1, was on stage 7 ORT.

singersgirl · 16/03/2009 10:33

It varies from school to school. In DS1's first school (private international school abroad, but following NC) no-one had finished the banded reading levels by the end of Y1, though some children were reading long novels at home. The band DS was on included short chapter books. DS and a couple of other children only had 2 bands to go, so I guess they would have finished half way through Y2.

In DS2's class in our local primary here, they seem to follow the book bands system up to White, but in the White section there are quite a lot of short chapter books as well as Stage 10/11 ORT type books. Lots of children were off the boxes (though they don't call it 'free reading') by this stage of Y1.

Toffeepopple · 16/03/2009 10:58

I am not sure what your definition of "free reading" is. But if you mean moving onto non-scheme books then DS recently moved from reading level 9 ORT to reading short chapter books.

The chapter books he brings have green stickers the school put on them, so I would guess they are grading them for difficulty in some way.

He is one of the older ones in his Year 1 class.

Seeline · 16/03/2009 11:02

Out school doesn't use a reading scheme at all. As soon as they start in reception, they are encouraged to take a book home each day to read with a parent at home, and then they gradually start to read themselves, using whatever books they like. I know it sounds weird but it does work.

ingles2 · 16/03/2009 11:06

at our old school ds2 was a free reader at about stage 11/12 of ORT. This school he went back onto ORT and is now on Stage 14 which are chapter books. I prefer this as I struggled to find chapter books that weren't too difficult, he was easily put off by too many words on a page. Plus these still have the occasional pictures and speech bubbles etc.

hippipotamiHasLostNinePounds · 16/03/2009 11:14

Our school carries on until after the Lime bookband.
Dd (Y1) is on White bookband (the one before Lime as far as I know) at the moment and some of those books are basic short chapter books.

So dd will be on 'free reading' books before the end of Y1.

Ds however did not start 'free reading' until the start of Y3. It just took him a wee bit longer to finish all the colour bands.

titchy · 16/03/2009 11:58

Our school keeps them on a scheme for way too long... They use the colour band scheme, but lots of different books within that IYSWIM so plenty of variety of books, but they still have to choose one from the colour band they are on, rather than one from home.

They get to go onto free reader, when they can choose anything whatsoever, once they have completed all the Ruby level books (this follows Lime level) - roughly ORT level 16. Given that ds, 8, reads Harry Potter type books at home and still isn't on free reader this drives me somewhat nuts....

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