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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:35 am 
I need some advice regarding my daughter currently in 5. She seems to have had major probems with progress since reception if i am honest.
She is a young july born child and ever since she strted school she just doesnt seem to have made progress.
In reception it was noticed that she is very good at reading, this continued throughout infant school. However in yr 1 frustrated class teacher by coming bottom in class reading test despite being the classes best reader! In yr 2 accused by teacher of not trying! She hated her teacher and became anxious about going to school. Ks1 sats results. Maths 2c Writing 2c reading 2A! Not brilliant but wasnt worried at this stage.

Yr 3 at junior school seemed to make good progress acheived targets reading 3c writing 2a maths 2a i was pleased at this stage.
Yr 4 started promising in sept maths 2a writing 3c reading 3b then just went downhill ending up with all level 2 in may!

Recently tested in yr 5 maths seems to be stuck at 2A and the major worry reading and writing 2c and 2b!!!!
After meeting with teacher she insisted she must read more at home, but she does read at home 100% more than her brother in yr 6 who does well in everything,is lazy and rarely reads and is doing 11 plus in jan!
In fact if you heard her read to you you would be amazed even her brother admits she is far better than him and he is predicted 3 level 5s

She has been identified as someone who needs help to achieve level 4s next yr and is getting help in a small group at school but i am worried it wont make a difference i give her lots at home but it doesnt seem to help!

She isnt going to be academic i accept that she has many other wonderful qualities but i must admit i am extremely worried i feel the school and myself are failing her.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:47 pm 
It seems like a very protracted problem. Have the school any idea why she is static and maybe even regressing?

and have you any idea why she is seemimgly uninterested in school and not making any headway there?

Presumably, she has no vision or hearing problems that may hinder her full concentration at school? Or any other problems with any member of staff or classmates?

A bit difficult to offer any thoughts ..do you have any inkling at all as to why she might be not progressing?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 1:01 pm 
Can your daughter spell?

If she cannot spell, it is possible that her reading relies heavily on context, and that she does not have a strategy for working out unknown words. I know a child whose SATS scores plummeted come Year 4 because his 'global' reading strategy simply couldn't cope any more.

Can she read words out of context? Take a few hard words that you would expect her to be able to read, write them down, and see if she can read them.

Try her with some nonsense words. For example, can she read:
dap
seef
woamp
barng
droiper
bloamite
chowmerg
If she can't read these, she doesn't know how to decode the English alphabet code. She may have a problem with blending, or she may not know enough of the code to cope.

If she can read these words, then does her problem lie with comprehension? Is she understanding what she reads? Is she able to understand the basic facts in a text? Is she able to understand characters' moods and motivations? Does she understand how stories work and is she therefore able to make predictions about what will happen next? Find a sample of text, and work out for yourself what you think the characters were thinking/feeling/going to do, then get your daughter to read it, and see what she thinks.

If she can do this, then try her with some tests at home. Perhaps a SATS paper from WHSmiths. If she scores well on this, then perhaps her problem lies with the environment at school.

If you register, and re-post, I'll PM you.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 1:07 pm 
i really have no idea am totally lost.

I know her confidence has been knocked by a couple of teachers who have commented before on her brothers spelling and maths ability and these are things i know she struggles with as i have spent hours helping her where i didnt have to help her brother at all. It is unfortunate for her that they are only one yr apart so teachers seem to expect the same from her and dont hide their dissappointment when she doesnt perform.

Last yr she did have friendship problems and there was alot of teasing possibly bullying which i approached the school about. Also her class seemed to have alot of behaviour probs last yr particularly with disruptive boys!

These are both things which could have contributed i suppose but really these problems have been occuring since reception yr. She is quite a jolly girl and loves school for the social aspect, is confident in herself and loves to take part in plays and dance performances etc is popular and makes friends easily, when it comes to work she is a bit of a daydreamer on the otherhand her brother is not confident at all and very shy basically they are like chalk and cheese.

Maybe the problem is just that she is just so young sometimes i feel she would have been better off being born 2 months later!

The only advice the school will give me is for her to read more? I think this is their answer to everything as i said she really does read alot.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 1:14 pm 
thanks will try those suggestions. the only thing i will say though is when she does read to me, she really does read with such expression and emotion that is it is difficult to believe that she does not understand it it is her brother who reads like a robot!
Her spelling was a major issue for quite some time particularly in yr 2 and 3 however over the last yr it has got much better indeed .
Will register shortly


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
I think you need to make an appointment to see the school senco.

There are plenty of tests which can be done. Ther are reading tests which test both accuracy and comprehension (Neale and Mira) and a discrepancy between the 2 scores should ring alarm bells.

Spelling tests for blending sounds , auditory processing and segmentiung sounds will show where she may be having a specific problem.

You will not be a nuisance that's what the senco is there for. It sounds as if there is already some concern if she is being offered extra help before sats (if a child is assessed as below level 3 they willnot be entered for sats so they must think she can be helped)

I can recommend Reading Reflex by Carmen and ?? Mc Guniness if you want to try and help her yourself.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:01 pm 
Havent got round to registering am a litttle busy this evening but just wanted to tell you i think i am starting to understand her a little more.

I tried her with those nonsense words and guess what she could only read the first 2, the rest she couldnt read at all. My son could read them all!
I think she has managed to hide this prroblem well because she has picked up a wide vocab from reading lots of stories and reads in context beautifully.

I will try to help as much as i can with this now i understand what is happening and point this out to the school. This obviously isnt her only problem as maths is clearly a problem too but its a start


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:26 pm 
Exactly the same happened to my daughter. The reason was a knocked down confidence. This is what I did. We did studies at home every evening. There was a lot to cover. I praised my daughter for every little thing she got right and when she worked hard. The results were magical! She got her confidence back, and glad that she is at the top table in class now! It took 6 months of hard work, love and patience. Never give up on your plans of change. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:47 pm 
Anonymous wrote:
I tried her with those nonsense words and guess what she could only read the first 2, the rest she couldnt read at all. My son could read them all!
I think she has managed to hide this prroblem well because she has picked up a wide vocab from reading lots of stories and reads in context beautifully.


I would go with Yoyo's suggestion of using Reading Reflex (Carmen and Geoffrey McGuinness). It sounds to me like your daughter doesn't have a full knowledge of the English 'code'.

Reading Reflex uses a phonic system called 'Phono-Graphix' which is a beautifully simple method of teaching reading and spelling. It teaches that written English is a 'code' for the different sounds in spoken English.

The sounds in spoken English are represented by different 'sound pictures' (letters or groups of letters), and the same sound can be represented in a number of different ways. For example the sound /e/ (as in 'bed') can be represented by the 'sound pictures' 'e', (bed), 'ea' (head), 'ai' (said). They call this 'variation' in the code.

Phono-Graphix also teaches that the same 'sound picture' can represent different sounds. For example, the picture 'ea', can represent the sound you hear at the end of 'tea', in the middle of 'head' or in the middle of 'break'. They call this 'overlap' in the code.

Phono-Graphix teaches that to be able to handle this code you need to be able to (1) blend sounds together into words, (2) segment words into sounds, and (3) manipulate the sounds within words, (so that you can try out different sounds for 'pictures' where there is overlap).

The book Reading Reflex provides tests for each of the three skills mentioned, and for checking your child's code knowledge. It then provides a complete set of sequenced activities for you to work through to ensure that your child acquires both the skills and the knowledge necessary for efficient reading and writing. It does not teach the endless 'rules' that many phonics programmes teach. Few (no?) rules apply universally ('i before e except after c', 'when two vowels go walking the first does the talking'), and they are therefore largely useless or misleading; many are impossible to remember; and worst of all, they require and understanding of 'if...then...' logic which children simply can't apply.

Having had a long interest in education, I picked up Yoyo's suggestion of using Reading Reflex in an earlier thread. I have been using it with the children of two friends who have had reading/spelling problems. Neither boy's problem was identified by the school, except in one case, where the parent was told that the child had trouble hearing vowels in the middle of the word, and then the school proceeded to do nothing about it.

You may have a school that is pro-active, will help identify your child's problem, and will then do something about it. But my experience with the school my children attend/ed is that they actually have very little knowledge of how to deal with a child's reading problem. Neither of these boys could blend or segment, and they both had significant problems with the 'code'. For example, one of them could not sound out a simple word containing the letter 'l', because he thought that the sound it represented was 'ell' or 'lee'. (Teaching letter names at an early age has a lot to answer for... ) Yet the school had never spotted these absolutely fundamental failings in their skills and knowledge.

Make sure that whatever your school decides to do, you fully understand what that is and what problems it is targeting. I have been astounded that a school with the reputation of mine could be quite so useless in this area. Don't forget that primary teachers have often received very little training in how to teach reading, and the teaching of reading ceases very early on in primary schooling (about year 2). The methods by which spelling is taught seem to forget that writing is encoding of *sound*. Many spelling techniques seem to be entirely visual, but to spell effectively, you need to be able to break words into syllables and sounds, and sound out as you go, editing for the correct choice of 'picture'. You need to be able to say, should that /e/ sound be written 'ea', or 'e', or perhaps 'ai'?

Rant over. I can't bear to see how some of our children are failed by 'good' schools. Don't fail your daughter.


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