Go to navigation
It is currently Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:00 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 95
Hi,

I would love any ideas for literacy work I can do with DS2 who has just gone into Y1.

We spent an utterly frustrating year in reception in which we got zero useful feedback from school in terms of what they were doing to get the children reading and how we could help at home. Despite lip service to the contrary, they seemed to actively discourage parents from getting involved with our children's literacy in any way and we were given the distinct impression that anything we did would be going against the approach of the school (whatever that was...) and therefore confuse our children. A photocopied sheet with a couple of internet links (BBC and Woodlands) was all that materialised after many times of asking - interesting if you had never come across them before but hardly groundbreaking or useful in terms of giving any real insight into what the expectations for the year were and how they planned to get them there.

This was completely the opposite to my experience (in a different school) with DS1, where they explained at the beginning the year what they would be doing and how we could help at each step of the way - and the outcome for all their children in reception and KS1 was fantastic.

Unsurprisingly, DS ended last year pretty much where he started it (unable to read a word) but we tried to be relaxed about it on the basis that perhaps it would just come with time and that school knew what they were doing and had a good plan for year 1.

However - a few weeks in I have come to the conclusion that there IS no plan for year 1. DS brings a completely unsuitable book home once a week and that's it - no other materials, no other homework, no expectations. So far the offerings have both been text-heavy Disney books in which he is lucky if he recognises two letters, let alone a whole word! They are long, involved tales so he enjoys listening to them, as he does every bedtime story, but with so many big, scary words of course he absolutely refuses to interact with them so I won't ask him to. So I'm baffled – how on earth is he going to learn to read when he's being given no materials suitable to get him there??

Have any of you been in the same position? I would love any insights, ideas, recommendations for materials or other suggestions to help me help him on his way.

Thanks!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:46 pm
Posts: 225
Hello there,
Have you tried going through the high frequency words for reception and year 1? I have three kids and have found that once they recognise the high frequency words that's half the battle won. Also in our school we use the Oxford reading tree ie Biff and Chip... You can either buy them or perhaps find them in your local library .... Hope this helps...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 95
Hi Agathachristie,

Thanks for your thoughts. I just googled the high frequency words and found them straight away - don't know why I didn't think to do it before but everyone seems have gone phonics crazy. Good idea also about using the library for the Biff and Chip books - I have bought a couple of series and DS likes them (well, the pictures anyway) but I was worried about it getting pricey if I had to buy them all the way through to him reading fluently!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:46 pm
Posts: 225
Hi madhatter... Not to worry, have three kids and with all three I have used phonics but have also concentrated on the frequency words and have found that once they are familiar with these words ie able to recognise and sound them out phonic ally it really speeds up the reading.... and boosts their confidence.... Good luck with biff and chip... Also have a look on high frequency word games on the Internet,... They are fun


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:30 am
Posts: 619
The "Alphablocks" game on the cbeebies website is also very good for reinforcing phonics - and it's free!

Does the school have a KS1 coordinator you could talk to? My DD2 is also in Y1 and we had a presentation this week about what the key objectives for the year are; how they will be taught; what we could do at home to reinforce schoolwork etc. At the end of this year, all Y1 children have to take the national phonics test (introduced last year, I think) - does the school not have a strategy to deal with that?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
Google Letters and Sounds, it is a phonics based approach which is used in most school. There are lots of free resources and ideas. Try BBC website too


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:57 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 95
Thanks all for your advice and suggestions which have been a great help. I did speak to DS's teacher and KS1 coordinator and the consensus is that there seems to be little expectation of anything being done out of school, let alone in conjunction with what is being done inside. But it has been liberating to shake off the expectation of receiving any guidance, and it has also helped me shake off my worries that I might somehow do something "wrong" that confuses DS by going against the methods they are using (I realise this is really just a legacy from his teacher of last year but one which thankfully doesn't seem to permeate through the entire place). The school does have its good points so for now I will keep my faith that they will do their best by him during the hours he is with them. In the meantime I have found some great resources on Google along with those you have recommended and some we already had at home, and I am looking forward to just getting on and using them in our own way to help DS along the way at whatever pace seems right for him.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2095
Location: Birmingham
I'm going to bite the bullet here and ask, given what has been explained, if you're still sure about this school's 'good points'?
Any good school (and tutor!) will know that parental engagement is the primary key to success for their pupils. Something seems to be untoward (to put it mildly) at your son's school.

I also have a son who has just entered Year 1.
He's a lovely lad but not, at present, hugely academic and he's required support for Asperger's and has physio in school time too, but my experience with him (and the older three, who were academic) is nothing remotely like that which you have described.
The school have never, never given up on him, and despite starting reception with only a weak knowledge of basic alphabet 'sounds' he can now read level 6 ORT quite easily despite being in a lower group for his class. Throughout Reception, we had three reading books and one library book per week. Detailed instructions for discussion about each book were always written on stickers in his reading log, and we'd get constant reminders to let teachers know about our discussions - it is clear the school have really concentrated on early comprehension too.
Now in Year 1 he has written Maths and English homework too. We have also received weekly newsletters (as I also had with the older ones in different schools at that age) letting us know what the topic was for the week, and constantly engaging us.
We also have regular parents' information meetings and booklets outlining expectations.

I am not saying this in order to smugly suggest we're fortunate enough to have a 'better' school, but because in all sincerity I wanted to let you what should be happening, and what is actually happening, out there.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 95
What a can of worms you have opened Um!

The problem is I, too, know what else is out there, having had the benefit of a wonderful school with an approach similar to yours when DS1 was at the same age. They involved us, nurtured him and he flew. This is what makes it so frustrating. My quandary is that since then we have moved several times due to DH's job, causing a lot of upheaval to our DSs' education (we were also overseas) and have now returned to put down some roots before DS1 starts secondary school. We did as much research as we could and picked the best school we could find based on Ofsted, 11+ results, location, availability and our school visits. The thing is that the school does extremely well in 11+ and SATS against the county average. I now realise this is largely due to the demographic and the fact that parents are (presumably) doing much of the work themselves at home. I say "presumably" because the 11+ conspiracy of silence prevails once they get past age 7 so I have no way of knowing for sure!

So I have two choices – move them again and hope that our new choice will work better in tandem with us, or plug the gaps myself, which is ultimately what I have decided to do. My DSs are settled, they have made friends, become part of a community and we like the overall feel of the school environment – I feel they are safe and well cared for, just not being stretched sufficiently.

DS1 sits his 11+ this time next year and I feel to move him at this point would be damaging. He's been the "new kid" too often and the next time he goes through that I want it to be in tandem with 100 or so other year 7s. To move DS2 on his own is impractical for us.

At the back of my mind, I em entertaining the possibility of moving DS2 at the beginning of year 3, when DS1 goes to secondary. This flexibility opens up more secondary options for us when it comes to making our choices next year and makes the current situation more palatable. But yes, it IS frustrating – and wrong – that some schools do so much for our children and some do so very, very little.

Perhaps I should consider a move to your neck of the woods?!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:12 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2095
Location: Birmingham
MadHatter - I'm afraid I wasn't aware of, and didn't take into account, your older ds.
I do understand what you're saying.

I wouldn't recommend a move to my 'neck of the woods' as most of our local primaries are below floor target - I do drive some distance to my dc's Primary.

If the school is in a good area and has good SATs results, then as you pointed out, children will usually emerge ok regardless of the actual quality of teaching or leadership.
Sadly, I see some inner-city schools work extremely hard, add huge value to children's achievement and yet still endure slating from Ofsted due to overall lower results. It seems that in general, middle-class area schools are able to 'get away' with far less effort.

In terms of home activities to support your son, I'd also recommend the Jolly Phonics series (I used their series of red, yellow and green books with dd and now with ds3), the Mr Thorne does Phonics website (there's an IPad App too) and Alan Ahlberg's 'Red nose' readers which children seem to enjoy far more than ORT.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016