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Able reader in reception - what should we expect?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by therearecats, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Me again! I have been thinking about your post, and it reminded me of a child I taught, who was well ahead when she hit my class (Y2). I tried my best to stretch her, but it was so hard, when she could read and write as well as a Y5 child. She was clearly bored to tears by all the normal lessons, so ended up just doing her own 'project' on the computer. (She was able to research, take notes and type up reports.)
    Eventually, the parents decided to withdraw her from the state system and home educate. Of course, this caused a huge uproar in the school (money lost!!! All my fault!!) and much mumbling about 'what about the social skills? What about the interaction with other kids?'. But, the parents joined a Home Ed group, who arranged loads of meet ups, she was still in the local Brownies and so on, she still had the same pals round to play, it was just a different way of learning for her. (Naturally, she got a bursary to go to a private school for secondary education!)
    Just want to alert you to the alternatives. State school is not for everyone.
  2. Noooo, don't say that! I really don't think that I have the temperament for home schooling at all. We really want it to work for her in the state system, but I'm not entirely sure it will if I am honest.
    I've been thinking about this a bit more over the weekend (partly because we saw primary teacher friends who said we should be asking for a meeting with the SENCO and an IEP, which we hadn't considered before now). One thing I've realised is that the school aren't really committed to supporting her - they suggested that we do some extension work to improve her writing and letter formation, so she did two things and apparently neither has been commented on by the teacher. I don't really want to ask my daughter to do another one, as she'll end up more disilusioned than if we don't.
    Re: music. I agree, but we've been told that it's also a very good way of impressing on children that it's practice that makes you good at things. I speak as someone who never really learnt that lesson and still prefer to coast rather than take risks and make an effort...
  3. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    A child who can already read doesn't need phonics. Can't she read a book in a corner while the others learn to read?
  4. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    What is she like in other areas of the curriculum?
  5. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    I think it is far too early to be even thinking like that. You child has been at school for half a term. Just about enough time to learn everyone's name.
    It's great that she can read (although I have seen a number of reception/Y1 children who can apparently read perfectly yet don't have full comprehension yet) but she should really be just getting used to school. Have a meeting with the SENCO and see what they say, but I feel it is still early days.
  6. Yes, you're right and I shouldn't be that negative about it, so apologies.
    Her comprehension is good (she clearly understands the chapter books that she reads) but not up to the level of her decoding. But I think she is starting to get a bit disappointed with what they are doing in school in reading, and that does worry me.
    As for the rest of the curriculum - we don't have a clue! I know that at nursery she had reached all the EYFS targets by the end of last year (apart from physical co-ordination), but without obvious signs like the reading it's hard to tell.
  7. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    If she has only registered disappointment with the reading at school that is good.
    Surely they can let her read some books she enjoys while the others are going through the basics can't they? What do they say when you ask about that?
  8. I disagree that she doesn't need phonics if she is reading already. She needs phonics to spell too and this is likely to lag behind her reading. My daughter was reading chapter books in Reception with very good comprehension. She was allowed to go to Year 1 or 2 to get her books and was happy to do this. However, although her writing was pretty good, her spelling still needed work. Reading was really the only thing she didn't join in with with the other children as instead of doing guided reading she read on her own to an adult. She seemed happy enough and I helped her with the spelling at home. She did various extra little challenges in Y1 and 2, but the focus was really on her comprehension and her writing. She carried on reading and loving it. Eventually others caught her up as you would expect with reading. She is now (Year 7) a really imaginative writer with a wide vocabularly and is a very competent reader with fantastic comprehension. I think an able reader is very different from a child who is way ahead with everything. I would support her and speak to the school about how they will do the same, but I would not get too worked up about it as there are so many other aspects of being in Reception that are as important and that she needs to experience.
    Hope this helps.
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm always very wary of nursery assessments that indicate a child has achieved all the ELGs because many of the scale points require a level of maturity that young children (and some adults ) just don't have. For example
    Takes into account
    the ideas of others

    Understands that
    people have different
    needs, views, cultures
    and beliefs that need
    to be treated with

    Displays a strong,
    positive sense of
    self-identity and is
    able to express a
    range of emotions
    fluently and

    Expresses feelings and
    preferences in response to
    artwork, drama and music and
    makes some comparisons and
    links between different pieces
    Responds to own work and that
    of others when exploring and
    communicating ideas, feelings
    and preferences through art,
    music, dance, role play and
    imaginative play

  10. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    You most certainly do not need phonics to spell. Some children are good spellers, some are not. The ones who aren't may need some intervention. I never did any phonics and nor did two of my children and we're all lucky to be be brilliant spellers. And it is luck. I don't see that much correlation between early/good readers and good spellers, though I'd say that generally children who read more easily are better spellers. But only very generally.
    A boy in my son's class could read well in nursery. Another mum (also a teacher elsewhere) was miffed and suggested that he couldn't understand what he was reading, but he most certainly could. My nephew was reading and understanding Malory Towers books before he went to school (he's grown up perfectly normal, honest!). I know another Mum who pushed her daughter into decoding words long before she understood anything, with horrendous results later on, in that she couldn't read a single word without spelling it out and had no idea what the word was when she'd said it. There's the whole spectrum, but I'd have thought that a child reading fluently in reception was going to need little help in that department other than being encouraged to read lots of things.

  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    You probably did phonics but called it spelling patterns - ould words - igh words - sion words
    suffixes and prefixes ...
  12. I disagree, I still think phonics is very helpful for spelling. The end phases of phonic focus heavily on this. On one hand you say you don't need phonics to spell and on the other hand you say that poor spellers need intervention. Although some people are naturally good spellers, phonics still helps with spelling. What an odd attitude to see it as all down to luck and that you are either good at it or not. Surely our job as teachers is to help the children get better at things! Phonics definitely helps my Year 2s with their spellings, whether they pick up spelling quickly or not.
  13. Hi therearecats

    Your daughter seems to be very talented and needing a challenge. Mencap's free Spellathon online games can be a great tool for her. These are interactive games and she can choose different modes of play including reverse spelling or against someone else (a mate or even yourself!). There are games for each year from KS1 onwards but if she's that advanced she can choose to play the games aimed for later years. There will be a global online Championship in March which gives her something to aim for.
    Oh and by the way, the games are hosted by animated Professor Bee, voiced by Stephen Fry. Who dosen't love Stephen? See www.spellathon,net for details.

    All the best
    Spellathon (Andrea)
  14. msz, said that OUP produce a set of readers especially for children who can read very well in Reception. Please could someone link me to it?
  15. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  16. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    I agree with the posts about asking the school. In addition, if you want to stretch her at home, may I suggest ensuring that her reading includes plenty of non-fiction and poems (in my personal experience, children tend to be weaker in comprehension of non-fiction texts). If you want to offer some additional help with comprehension, there are some websites with excellent short texts that have associated comprehension texts. These include http://englishforeveryone.org/ and http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/1st-comprehension_MBFW.html (watch out for Americanisms on this one). Well done for all the support you are giving your daughter with her reading, and good luck.

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