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All Children Should Be On Red Reading When Leaving Reception


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Had a staff meeting last night and my head gave all staff a sheet showing reading levels. Said we all need to up our game and make sure the children are at the level suggest. I was the only one to 'discuss' this yr 1,2,3,4,5,6 teacher all nodding. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE EYFS CURRICULUM!! felt so crap last night, and I got outstanding in last ofsted! what do you think?

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We all like to think that the individual approach embodied in the EYFS will gradually move up through schools and the culture of supporting children to develop at their own pace would become more widespread. This clearly isn't going to be easy in your school.

 

I think that as Early Years Practitioners we can see the benefit of help each child maximise his or her own potential and we can also see that pushing children to reach arbitrary targets is probably counter-productive. I think you know that your own approach is best for the children in your care but quite how you communicate this to your colleagues I don't know.

 

Do you have the option to ignore it and carry on as you were?

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I find it hard to ignore people I actually like and care about. Head is a good friend too. Think I may have too ignore tho. People are getting jittery as we are due an Ofsted, we were lucky to get a letter last year to say no Ofsted for a year so its due any time. Just makes me all out of sorts when its against everything I believe in.

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If children have made the expected progress in phonics and are working securely in phase 3, and attaining your average 6 points, then they should actually be reading yellow or even blue books at the end of the reception year.

You are doing children a dis service if you are not working to attain these skills, although not all children will achieve this. Reading is a skill that needs to be taught and should not be left to child initiation.

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How utterly ridiculous, I would be tempted to send them all up on a red book just to tick the box! I only had 1 child on red at the end of reception last year and the rest on yellow or pink A/B but then I am very slow to move them up a level until I am absolutely sure that they fully understand what they are reading.

Deb

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Yup - Yellow would be our expectation (in the sequence pink/red/yellow) and secure phase 3 is the skill match for the band. If children are to be on track for the end of KS1 and secure phase 6 then this is really the target.

Cx

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How utterly ridiculous, I would be tempted to send them all up on a red book just to tick the box! I only had 1 child on red at the end of reception last year and the rest on yellow or pink A/B but then I am very slow to move them up a level until I am absolutely sure that they fully understand what they are reading.

Deb

 

some of mine were on red, yellow, blue, green and orange (13) the majority were on pink because thats where they were! (15)

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If children have made the expected progress in phonics and are working securely in phase 3, and attaining your average 6 points, then they should actually be reading yellow or even blue books at the end of the reception year.

You are doing children a dis service if you are not working to attain these skills, although not all children will achieve this. Reading is a skill that needs to be taught and should not be left to child initiation.

 

Have to agree with Susan - this is has been what we have 'expected' if the children were average - and I have expected since using book bands for the past 10 years. With the old National Literacy Strategy, the children were expected to be able to read the 45 YR high frequency words by the end of the year. We recently had feedback from a literacy co-ordinators meeting about the new phonics screening and would expect that if they were going to 'pass' the screening, they would need to be secure in phase 3 &4 at the end of YR, ready for phase 5 in Y1. (I think - it's been a long day!)

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first time I have replied to a forum so hope it works ok

 

I was very interested in this article as I mange an early years setting and send children into reception of 9 primary schools. There has been some pressure from our local authority to get get our pre-schoolers knowing some phonics before leaving us to increase attainmnet at the end of reception in reading at one particular school. This is not the phylosophy of the EYFS and no amount of pressure even from heads or others should let us forget that the children come first.

 

however I also work closely with one school that has a very good scheme in place to support reading and they grade every child from 4 to 11 years and place them into small groups. It means that if a child of 7 is at the same level as a 4 year old they will be in the same group. not only does this mean that children are seen as individuals but it also means they learn quickly at their own level and nearly all of their reception children exceed the red level.

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hi enid - welcome to the forum.

 

I would hazard a guess that this is the RML or Read, write Inc. scheme which does this.

 

Pressure from schools is wrong and it annoys me when they do this. It's a deflection from looking at the effectiveness of their own teaching and learning in my opinion!!! But I would hope that nursery settings of any type were supporting their children with oral blending and segmenting activities and tuning into sounds in speech(Phase 1 in letters and sounds). Without this skill on entry to reception there is a lot of time spent catching up. The teaching of phonemes can all be fitted into the school year and most children will get to phase 3 or above by the end of reception if the pace of the programme is maintained. If they aren't then they are behind already going into year 1!!

 

The reading test in year 1 will create even more focus on this I feel!!

 

Cx

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Had a staff meeting last night and my head gave all staff a sheet showing reading levels. Said we all need to up our game and make sure the children are at the level suggest. I was the only one to 'discuss' this yr 1,2,3,4,5,6 teacher all nodding. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE EYFS CURRICULUM!! felt so crap last night, and I got outstanding in last ofsted! what do you think?

:o Be brave ask your head teacher where Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison would be if they were sent to her school? xD We really do need to route out this idea that early reading & writing produces clever adults..it doesnt it produces dullards who are unable to think for themselves and are brow beaten into thinking learning is boring!......This is exactly why when Ive been doing my degree and people have asked "Oh have you thought about teacher training" Ive replied...no because the heirarchy in schools would render my enthusiasm and ability useless!

 

Lets never forget in Europe they do not begin full time formal education untill much later and yet they are speaking three languages by the time they are ten.

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Lets never forget in Europe they do not begin full time formal education untill much later and yet they are speaking three languages by the time they are ten.

 

That's true but we have to work with the system we've got and which will not change. The grass can always look greener but we have a lot that is better than elsewhere too.

Our EYFS curriculum is the envy of many an educational system AND we do also have children who are able to decode CVC words by 5. It's that stage of reading skill and competency they need to continue succeeding in the next key stage. I see each phase is part of a whole - sometimes we can forget that the children need to succeed at KS1 and KS2 and GCSE if they are to be competent younf people of the future - if we don't do our bit then we are letting them down. EYFS isn't in a vacuum - it's only a tiny part of a child's learning journey to post 16.

 

I disagree that children becoming literate turns them into dullards. In the classes I work with the children are really keen to use their skills and noone is browbeating them into submission over it! They are taught with a strong EYFS pedagogy of interactive, kinaesthetic, activity based learning and they are supported to apply their skills through lots of open ended provision across all 6 areas of learning - no different to any other learning we want to take place.

 

In my LA the impact of our focus on CLLD and quality teaching of early communication and reading for several years is now being seen in the increased 2b+ outcomes in KS1 and into KS2 - this is attributed to the good start we give the children, and we do expect the children to be at phase 3/yellow book band/secure ELGs as standard outcomes. Of course not every child will achieve the national expectation, but we want to know that teachers have at least aimed high.

 

Cx

 

 

 

 

cx

Edited by catma
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If children have made the expected progress in phonics and are working securely in phase 3, and attaining your average 6 points, then they should actually be reading yellow or even blue books at the end of the reception year.

You are doing children a dis service if you are not working to attain these skills, although not all children will achieve this. Reading is a skill that needs to be taught and should not be left to child initiation.

 

I agree totally Susan I would actually be horrified if children who have had good EYFS teaching (and no SEN) weren't reading well beyond red level.

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Lets never forget in Europe they do not begin full time formal education untill much later and yet they are speaking three languages by the time they are ten.

 

or that most Swedish/Finish/ Danish children are already reading when they start school because they have been taught in the home or that most French children are taught to read at Ecole maternelle and once they start school it is much much more formal than English schools

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or that most Swedish/Finish/ Danish children are already reading when they start school because they have been taught in the home or that most French children are taught to read at Ecole maternelle and once they start school it is much much more formal than English schools

 

So often overlooked --Regio in Italy teaches children to read!

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I always think that some difficulty comes with reading bands now because so often schools have reading schemes that follow the old 'look and say' approach rather than the new phonic approach. Most schools I've worked in are only just beginning to buy in reading schemes which match the phonics progression. This means that children can reach the end of phase three yet still struggle with red band books because a lot of the words are not phonetically decodable (at least not with phase three knowledge). On the other hand these same children can fly through a yellow band phonics based book because they are secure at phase 3. Children on phase 4 can usually read blue band books providing they are phonics based schemes and then when they start phase 5 they are ready to go to green phonics based books and beyond.

 

The difficulty of course comes because some children find it easy to also pick up many sight words outside of their phonics, whilst other who are equally good at phonics are slow to pick up sight words (I'm not talking about the 'tricky words' associated with each phrase here, just words in general). This means that children in the same phonics phase can be on vastly different book bands if the school's scheme is mostly based on sight words rather than phonics.

 

The picking up of sight words depends on many factors: child's natural ability/development, exposure to these words at home, frequency of reading/being read to, etc so for one school having the majority of children on yellow/blue might be very achievable even with a sight reading scheme, but for other schools this may be much harder. Of course the difficulty could be solved if everyone had phonics based schemes, but unfortunately the money just isn't there.

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brow beaten into thinking learning is boring!

This is part of the skill surely to get the children interested in reading.

 

I am not a reception teacher so I don't know about the levels / colours and my children are doing GCSE's and A Levels now so trying to cast my mind back to YR reading schemes is a struggle. There seems a lot of pressure on the teachers to get the children to read and in many respects rightly so...I think reading is one of the most important skills we can give our children as it opens so many avenues of learning to them but with growing class sizes and all the other pressures it must be really tough.

 

I used to go in once a week and help listen to reception children read......does this still happen in schools?

 

In addition to the pressure on teachers to get the children to read there seems to be (or there was when my children were little) quite a competitive atmosphere amongst parents about where their child is on the scale and what they are reading. There is often a boy / girl divide and I used to worry as my son hated to read and the more we tried to encourage him (first child so probably nagged him to death) the less he wanted to read. The best piece of advice his reception teacher gave me was it doesn't matter what he reads as long as he reads something so we made a deal....once we had struggled through the Biff/Chip book we would read the Beano and Shoot magazines together. Once we had effectively read them through together he would then spend ages reading them again on his own.

 

I suppose it really does make a difference where you are as I am sure there are some teachers who just cannot get the parental support needed to help young readers, after all practice makes perfect and although they are called high frequency words...you do need to see them frequently to learn them....surely without home reading there are not enough hours in the school day to do it all.

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How utterly ridiculous, I would be tempted to send them all up on a red book just to tick the box! I only had 1 child on red at the end of reception last year and the rest on yellow or pink A/B but then I am very slow to move them up a level until I am absolutely sure that they fully understand what they are reading.

Deb

 

I must have been having a dizzy moment what I meant was that I had 1 child on yellow and approx half on red and the rest on pinks. The problem we have is that not many of our books are phonic based as someone has mentioned above and therefore our old books were slotted in with them as well (can't afford to replace perfectly good books all in one go) Quite a few in the red band have a lot of words that need to be read by sight and so I hold back until I feel they have the confidence to cope with this.

Deb

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The last school I worked at had a few odd Read, Write Inc in the midst of all its other reading books but didn't use the scheme at all. These books were a nightmare because they looked like they would be good phonics support at first glance but then they would turn out to have tricky words or phonics in them that didn't follow the Letters and Sounds progression. In the end I just made sure I never gave them to the children to take home since they absolutely hated them anyway!

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I must have been having a dizzy moment what I meant was that I had 1 child on yellow and approx half on red and the rest on pinks. The problem we have is that not many of our books are phonic based as someone has mentioned above and therefore our old books were slotted in with them as well (can't afford to replace perfectly good books all in one go) Quite a few in the red band have a lot of words that need to be read by sight and so I hold back until I feel they have the confidence to cope with this.

Deb

 

All our books are phonic based in reception and the children in my last reception class left reading purple and Gold level (NC level 2C) and learnt through play with lots of CIL.

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All our books are phonic based in reception and the children in my last reception class left reading purple and Gold level (NC level 2C) and learnt through play with lots of CIL.

 

 

Lucky lucky! How I envy you your reading scheme! I think a lot of children get 'put off' their reading books and reading in general when they realise that despite having some phonic knowledge they are still struggling with what would be termed 'easy' pink level books because these are look and say. It just wrecks their self confidence and then of course this stops their progress. If only all schools had great phonics reading schemes to use.

 

That said you have to be careful because I had a child leave my year one class perfectly capable of reading at lime level, but I'd held him back on turquoise/purple because he had no comprehension skills at all. Words he didn't know at first glance were randomly guessed whether they made sense or not and when questioned about the text anything above very simple recall would leave him looking blank. He had got better over the course of the year but a combination of being very young and wanting to rush through everything at a hundred miles an hour meant that he just wasn't at a level 2 comprehension wise. I think it's just as important to develop these skills as actual decoding skills and not push the children on to the next level once they start getting quiet high just because they can decode well. I'm sure you don't do this Marion I was just making a general point. Sometimes this whole 'they must be on this book band' pushes teachers into giving children books they can decode, but not necessarily understand on any meaningful level.

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Guest ChunkyMan

We have an issue at our school where the year 1 teachers are asking why if our children leave F2 with a score of 6+ for reading and phonics and then being Bench marked at the beginning of this term (although there are no fully trained BRP practitioners in Yr1 and I also feel they should wait until after half term break?), why are they not reading at an average y1 level? They have claimed that a large proportion of the children don't know how to handle books or decode simple words!!!!

I was moderated last year and I am also a moderator and our judgements were agreed. The children who were able, were bench marked and over half of the year group were on level 2+, I am seething as I can't possibly be responsible for the 6 weeks they are at home. We have difficulty getting parents to read with their children at home although we have tried many approaches and continue to think of new ways of encouragement.

I feel we are doing as much as we can aside from devoting more time to reading than any other area of the EYFS. If we hear them read once a week, they have guided reading twice (as is recommended) plus shared reading etc etc etc how do we fit all of the other things in plus observations, ELFing etc.

 

Sorry for the rant but I am getting pretty annoyed about the negativity at work.

 

X

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