Learning to read in Y1 & Y2

(312 Posts)
learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 19:38:33

How unusual is it for a primary school to focus its attention in YR on teaching the letter sounds, maybe some digraphs, perhaps one or two trigraphs (or maybe not even) and learning (whatever that means) lists of HFW, but not to any great extent turn attention to reading actual books (of any kind)?

And the school thereby, presumably, places the emphasis of learning to read books (of whatever kind) onto Y1 and beyond? And, if one's school has such a system how does one approach it if one's child already reads books quite well and has done throughout Reception? Getting the Reception teacher up to speed with the child's reading has taken a while, but it's getting there. Does one expect to have to introduce every teacher at every early years level to the child's ability to read?

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 22:47:22

I'm not 100% sure how my daughter is doing it. But some sounds she clearly spots in similar words, some she works out herself, but above all I think she is a stickler for linguistic order. She's really strict about which members of the family are allowed to use which words. A good example is: we call the supermarket Morrisons moreesonnes. I don't know why we do that; it's to appease the Spanish speakers in our family. But, anyway, my daughter gets upset to the point of crying because "there's no such word as moreesonnes." The child speaks two languages already. But everybody else in the family has to live in a linguistic straightjacket because she says so. (Maybe it will pass!)

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 22:47:28

Fairplay simpson smile. Maybe I felt more confident teaching DS the phonics he needed myself due to being a music teacher... vaguely transferable skills...... I just got those rather dull RWI leaflets and went through them.......

I am not entirely sure what DS gets up to in the classroom in Y1 but he seems happy and engaged and I had a very positive parents evening..... also if he knows all the phonics now (which your DD may do by Y1?) then actually it's quite nice for him to stay in his class with his peers for the short time they do it and go over it...well he doesn't seem to mind..........

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 22:55:50

DD taught herself the basics and I taught her oo,ou/ow,igh etc etc.

But don't think I know enough about alternative spellings in phonics to be able to teach her the next stage iyswim.

So would rather someone who knows what they are doing does it blush

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 23:04:00

Fair enough- probably wise. As I said you can just follow those RWI books, or maybe you've covered a lot already? Trying to remember..... ai, oi, oo (as in wood), maybe you've done those? ir (as in "shirt"), ar....

these are the ones I am talking about www.amazon.co.uk/Read-Write-Inc-Phonics-Storybooks/dp/019846259X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y

mrz doesn't like them much and there are lots of other phonics stuff around but it did the job for DS.

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 23:10:32

Yep done all the 2 letter sounds and most if not all of the 3 letter ones...

I bought a set of usborne early reader books for DD when she was 3 which came with a breakdown of all the phonics sounds so used that,it was worth it's weight in gold!!!

TBH a lot of the phonics DD seemed to pick up herself which helped!!

I feel confident in helping her with her comprehension of what she is reading, just not the next stage of phonics for some reason...

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 23:11:38

DD is ORT 6 so would those books be ok for her?? Or too easy??

Bunnyjo Sat 24-Nov-12 23:11:52

At the risk of sounding controversial - I think there is far too much focus, by parents, on what reading level their child is. Is this because it is the only thing that parents can compare and ascertain where, in the class, their own child is? And, being perfectly honest, I think I was guilty of worrying that DD was on an appropriate book level in Yr R.

My DD is August born and started Yr R able to read basic cvc words, and that's about it. Maths abilty wise, she was able to add 2 and 3 digit numbers together - numbers were really her thing. When it came to reading and writing though, there were definitely children above her at the start. Reading wise, she started on Pink Level, like everyone else.

Now, she's in Yr 1 and on Gold Level books; her targets for the year are level 2 in both literacy and numeracy (I don't know which sublevel, I was just shock when DD's teacher told me that). She has been streamed into the class above so she, and a couple of other Yr 1s, are now in the Yr 2/3 class.

Do I think this means she is going to be a surgeon or nuclear physicist? No! I think it means that she is being supported and challenged, both at school and home, and that she has 'got to grips' with literacy and numeracy before some/all of her peers. These things have a habit of levelling themselves out and I know that there will be children at her level, and even beyond, come Yr 6. let alone Yr 13

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 23:20:52

Bunnyjo, I don't think you're being particularly controversial. It's just that my daughter can read:

Biff got wet. Floppy got wet. Dad got wet. Mum got wet. Chip got wet.

She can also read:

The Romans loved garum sauce and poured it on everything.

She understands both sentences. I don't have any trouble deciding which type of sentence she spends her time reading.

Bunnyjo Sat 24-Nov-12 23:27:49

DD could read and comprehend both statements by this stage in Yr R. I know you already do, but my best suggestion is to take her to the library and fuel her love of books there. DD adores the Gaskitt series by Allan Ahlberg and is starting to show a love for Roald Dahl.

There is so much more to reading than the books they bring home in their book bag. DD reads every piece of text she comes into contact with - most embarrassing when, whilst I was changing DS's nappy, she picked up a cervical smear leaflet in the GP surgery on Thursday...

Tgger Sat 24-Nov-12 23:32:07

simpson, sounds like your DD prob knows as much as my DS did (re my amateur phonics teaching grin. I did those leaflets up to level 5 ones and then put him on ORT 5. He then went from there through all the magic key (groan but he loved wink) which is err ORT 9 ish I think. At which point we just did the library stuff- lots of blue bananas and whatever seemed suitable. I got school on board who put him on similar level and I guess at some point he became what you would call a fluent reader.

So, perhaps I don't know any more than you phonics wise. Probably your DD (like my DS) will work out any gaps just through reading from now on, not sure there is that much more to do actually from the phonics readers themselves. There was certainly a sort of in between period from DS going through the phonics to becoming a fluent reader but this was just through time and experience reading (as I said mostly magic key and then expanding from there).

Sounds like she's got great support at home and school so you are probably sorted grin.

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 23:35:30

To be honest with you, my ambition isn't that my daughter becomes a brain surgeon or a nuclear physicist at all. It's just that she's so fluent and natural with any of her home-spoken-languages that she can answer the questions that she's asked in a proper fashion. If she couldn't do that I'd have failed her. And without a doubt I'd turn the entire universe blue before I'd do that.

simpson Sat 24-Nov-12 23:53:03

Tgger - we are working our way through magic key books now with the reading chest (amongst others). She does love the blue bananas books too and I am lucky in that I have managed to pick a few up from charity shops etc...

Bunnyjo - I totally agree with you actually in that reading levels from the school can sometimes be the only way in which you know how your child is doing at school ( apart from parents eve etc) but I think the concern here is not necessarily reading levels but that there is a child who can read already pretty well in a school that don't seem to recognise it.

learnandsay Sun 25-Nov-12 00:01:33

Or maybe they're beginning to recognise it but (maybe worse still) don't then know what to do about it.

simpson Sun 25-Nov-12 00:07:27

I cannot believe it is that hard to differentiate for a child that can already read in reception. Although I can understand that it might boil down to a lack of books.

I had a bit of a nightmare with DS in yr2 as the school has a policy of no child free reading until ks2 (yr3) so he stagnated on lime level (the highest my DC school goes up to) for most of the year.... I dread this with DD if she is reading stage 6 totally fluently,understanding it and reading it with expression at 4.

learnandsay Sun 25-Nov-12 00:16:03

I don't want to talk directly about resources because it might identify the school. But in a roundabout way it could be relevant.

There seems to be an element of dogma involved in who reads what, from the "she has to read the books in scheme order" comment. But in practice we're not getting the books in that order at the moment.

Ultimately I don't really know what's going on. But until I understand the situation I'll turn to the library for new books.

onesandwichshort Sun 25-Nov-12 07:27:08

Tygger - it's great that your DS loves school but unfortunately that doesn't work that way for all children. DD has found it hard. At the start, it was feeling left out from seeing other children being praised for things she could do easily (like recognise their names) while her own skills didn't get mentioned. Now she is frustrated without some challenge - I can tell the weeks when she doesn't get any extension work because she is rude and badly behaved at home.

Learnandsay - your post about garum pinpoints the other problem with being able to read fluently, quite apart from all of the sitting through phonics. While this is something that other children will catch up with in time, at this stage the readers, particularly if they are book ominivores, just know more stuff. So DD is asking questions at home about the date of the Big Bang; at school she is spending two days learning the days of the week. hmm

It was very interesting seeing the old thread revived though. Reading it again, what struck me was how tentative we were with school, in a way that we just wouldn't be now. DD now has (some) extension work because we have asked and asked, and gone back when it hasn't materialised and gone up to the Deputy Head (who is head of g&t) and generally been difficult.

And so to answer the original question, yes we had to introduce every teacher to it (firstly Reception Teacher, then new jobshare, then the Deputy Head). IN each case they went 'oh, workbooks' and then, two months later, when they realised that she really could read, took the workbooks away again. It is slightly better in year one, but not enormously.

But I did sympathise with the teachers in the end. I think that the structure of reception does make it hard to differentiate on a regular basis, and finding suitable books (i.e to meet emotional age as well as reading age) is hard work.

learnandsay Sun 25-Nov-12 08:33:41

Thanks, onesandwich. I'm emotionally preparing myself for the repetition in Y1/Y2. If it never materialises I'll be relieved. But I'm expecting it. I do have a solution though. It involves me, a marker pen and several sheets of A4 paper. I'm asking the other half for a set of six new marker pens for Christmas. I might as well stock up on them if I can safely predict that I'll be needing them for the next six years.

yellowsubmarine53 Sun 25-Nov-12 09:37:25

If that's how you're feeling the first term of reception, have you thought about home schooling? (serious question)

I'd hate to feel that I have to micro-manage my children's educational experience and feel in constant battle with their school.

learnandsay Sun 25-Nov-12 10:10:13

I'm against home schooling. I don't think schools (any school, even the most expensive) can compete academically with clever well-educated parents who are geared up for home schooling. (I've not heard of Eton sending thirteen year olds to Cambridge. That doesn't mean it hasn't sent any, but lecturers who tutor their own children in maths do seem to do that on occasions.) But I don't think clever well-educated parents can compete with schools for bringing up children to fit in to society. And in the end I think fitting in to society is what it's all about. A great education is a plus. But it's optional.

I don't know about micro-managing my child's educational experience. But I do know what books I'm expected to read with my child at home. I think if the school didn't send home any books or a reading diary I'd be fine. I don't have a problem with the songs they sing or the dances that they do because I don't know what songs they sing or dances they do. If they sent home dances for us to practice at home and a dance sheet for me to fill in then there is a possibility that I might not like it. But they don't.

Tgger Sun 25-Nov-12 10:19:08

Yes, this is my point yellow. Perhaps I am lucky with DS and school but I am also aware that there is a lot more to being 6. Never mind the reading, phonic which is a small part of what goes on in DS's classroom, he is fully engaged with all sorts of topics. Yes he can access them via reading more than a lot of his class but do not prejudge the non reading 6the year old who may be equally engaged.

Tgger Sun 25-Nov-12 10:21:27

Cam you not compatmentalise lands? Just do your best on the school reading issue then forget about it. You are providing books at home, your DD is happy. Is there really a problem??

learnandsay Sun 25-Nov-12 10:22:08

It also seems clear to me that a school which asks a parent to contribute towards a child's development at home, and sends a diary home in order for the parent to do this, should also have some method of responding to a parent's concerns.

If the school was rehearsing Joseph and his Technicolour Dream Coat and had sent home a sheet of lines for my child to learn, along with a photograph of the coat. And I realised that my child was colour blind to an extent that I hadn't noticed before, and informed the school, I wouldn't expect the school to re-issue my child with the same lines and the same photo the next day.

yellowsubmarine53 Sun 25-Nov-12 10:22:59

Why not treat the books sent home and the reading diary as a mere irritant, whip through them asap and get on with more interesting stuff?

It sounds like you're giving them much more of your head space and attention than they either need or deserve.

yellowsubmarine53 Sun 25-Nov-12 10:24:21

But you said the school have responded. You say that the teacher has given your dd more suitable books somewhere up thread.

Tgger Sun 25-Nov-12 10:24:53

Sorry on phone .....typos...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now