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Reading In The Nursery


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I had a conversation with one of our YR teachers today who was telling me how amazing her 3 year old's reading was. Apparently she has been reading CVC words of late & just this/last week has begun to read 4 lettered words such as 'frog' (don't remember what the correct term for this type of word is). She told me that the child brings home sets of words from her nursery which she is encouraged to use in a sentence. This got me wondering whether I should be doing more in our nursery to introduce reading. I'm sure she isn't a pushy parent & I think the child in question is probably very bright. I have it on authority that it is only a few children in the nursery who do this, but it has sparked my curiosity to know what other nurseries do & what best practice is. All I currently do is encourage own name recognition, model reading (from big books etc.) and we've done some work - planned or impromptu - on initial sounds.

What does everyone think?

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We've recently had this discussion at our school. (I teach R/Y1, and we have a N too). Perhaps 1 or 2 N children a year have moved onto the school reading scheme over the last couple of years. The new N teacher (started Jan) was wondering about beginning JP and what to do about reading books. She will proabably do some JP sessions in small groups with the children who are ready, as then we may have a group coming into R who know the individual phonemes. The N teacher was saying that of the children she's inherited, the few who have started on the 'reading scheme' are reading in a very mechanical way and not really fostering a love for books, which is what we want. We haven't exactly decided the way forward but are getting there! It will be interesting to hear others views.

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We are a Foundation Stage Unit so its slightly different. Our nursery children access the Reception literacy activities if they choose ( a number like to join in with Jolly phonics whole class teaching) We have found that since beginning to work this way a number of children are ready to take the next step. We have one child who has a sound book the same as the reception children and 5 children on early reading books rigby pink level. There is no pressure for nursery age children to take part but many are ready (and some reception children arent ready) I think its important to forget age and look at other measures of readiness.

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  • 1 month later...
We are a Foundation Stage Unit so its slightly different. Our nursery children access the Reception literacy activities if they choose ( a number like to join in with Jolly phonics whole class teaching) We have found that since beginning to work this way a number of children are ready to take the next step. We have one child who has a sound book the same as the reception children and 5 children on early reading books rigby pink level. There is no pressure for nursery age children to take part but many are ready (and some reception children arent ready) I think its important to forget age and look at other measures of readiness.

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Also run a large Foundation Stage Unit - Jolly Phonics working extremely well for our full-timers (Reception equivalent) but we have several part-timers who are ready to access Jolly Phonics. Curious to know how you include your nursery children in whole class JP teaching? Our literacy session for full timers is at end of morning session 11.15 -11.40 but our morning children go home at 11.30! Afternoons include a short numeracy session for full timers after lunch but no Jolly Phonics session at all for afternoon children to access!? We only stop for whole group activities at the end of sessions so as to offer a long uninterupted period of play - as recommended by QCA & Early Years Advisors. ie. we do not stop for snack - free choice snack area permanently available. This is also proving extremely difficult to organise staff tea/coffee breaks around - but that's a whole topic in itself!! Any ideas hugely appreciated.

children

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Hi there,

 

Just reading with interest.

 

When I ran my Playgroup I always thought that there should be no attempt to teach nursery children to read or write (just because it said so in the guidelines :o ), even the ones who were beginning to write their name and some other letters.

 

But now I have changed my mind, because I have seen some children who are really keen and seem ready - and I think it could be very worthwhile for them. Jolly Phonics in particular is fantastic, and it seems to enable children who are ready to read to begin to understand this and make connections, and for the others - well they are still great little songs which any child would enjoy Im sure.

 

I think as long as it is done in a Playful way, where's the harm? and I also think in the same way as children who are not ready to read and write must find school frustrating, the ones who are ready in nursery must feel frustrated if they want to learn to read and write properly, and they dont know how, and start to pick up bad habits.

 

Anyway, just some thoughts - I'm not that experienced yet so I'm sure there are others with broader insights xD

 

Although, on another point, I wonder how they work with children in European countries where children dont start to read until they are 7.

I know that they focus on challenging activities where children's thinking skills are really stretched, and on PSE skills, but they must target lit and num in some other way than play activities - I'm sure there would be some children trying/wanting to read and write at this age.

 

Again, just some thoughts - Maybe we could organise a Foundation Stage Forum field trip to Sweden or Norway to explore this further :(:(

 

Regards, Goldilocks :D

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By the way, Hello and Welcome Little Bo Peep :D - Just noticed that was your first post, although you seem to have been here for awhile already :D Hope you are enjoying the site.

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Thanks for your thoughts. We have parents evening on Monday, and the issue has been on my mind again, as I prepare to advise some parents what they could be doing with their children at home. I only really have a handful of children who I would say are ready and would embrace the opportunity to move on a step. Next term I shall begin a weekly slot for phonics, where we can have a display table which children can add items to if it starts with a particular sound. May be I could begin working with small groups of children once a week to do some phonics work?

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we do our Jolly Phonics at the beginning of either the morning or afternoon session (alternating week to week so as to accomodate the nursery children) Out of 50+ nursery children there are only a handful who participate fully , taking home sound books and home reading books (all nursery children are free to join in the activity if they want and many enjoy copying the actions) We have carefully picked the children and discussed who will benefit from reading books one child who we feel is quite capable has not been given a reading book to take home simply because we feel the parent will place undue pressure on him. He joins in at school in a fun way and we will\monitor the situation but for now we feel it is best for him.

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I am really interested on this topic because we have been having big debates on this at pre-school.

Our early years advisors and ofsted have unanimously insisted that children of this age group should NOT be doing worksheets of any description or learning to read words etc. The entire emphasis is on learning through play. Learning social skills such as dressing themselves are far more important and you risk 'burnout' by introducing reading/writing skills to early.

However, we are located on a school site where there is now a maintained nursery unit. We have heard on the grapevine that they are teaching their 3 & 4 year olds to read words such as cat. Parents are impressed by this which puts us in a very difficult position. Do we do what parents are impressed by or what we are continuously being advised to do by the early years specialists? We encourage name recognition and include working on initial sounds in our planning.

We have children who go to two different schools in the area. Both schools teach in different ways.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I am really interested on this topic because we have been having big debates on this at pre-school.

Our early years advisors and ofsted have unanimously insisted that children of this age group should NOT be doing worksheets of any description or learning to read words etc. The entire emphasis is on learning through play. Learning social skills such as dressing themselves are far more important and you risk 'burnout' by introducing reading/writing skills to early.

However, we are located on a school site where there is now a maintained nursery unit. We have heard on the grapevine that they are teaching their 3 & 4 year olds to read words such as cat. Parents are impressed by this which puts us in a very difficult position. Do we do what parents are impressed by or what we are continuously being advised to do by the early years specialists? We encourage name recognition and include working on initial sounds in our planning.

We have children who go to two different schools in the area. Both schools teach in different ways.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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That's really tricky isn't it?

Do you know whether the school nursery are teaching all the children to read these set words, or is it maybe an isolated few who have been identified as being 'ready', as people have already discussed on this post?

 

I think the message to the parents has to be that this is acceptable only for a select few children, as children this young are simply not ready to be taught to read. We also do name recognition and I drop 'sounds' in during the nursery day, e.g. "Ooh! Jasmine's chosen jigsaws. J, J, that starts with the same sound. Jasmine, and 'jigsaw'." IF I decide to do words with any children, it will probably only be a couple and they will be taken from the reception key words list. There will be absolutely no pressure for children to do this. I think you're already doing the right thing and just have to stand firm. If parents approach you, try to put it to them that there's plenty of time for their children to be learning to read etc. when they start school, but far less opportunities for play. Stress how important play is. Good luck!

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Thank you Chocolate girl.

I don't know whether the school nursery are teaching all of the children to read - we hear on the parent grapevine which is like chinese whispers!

I will stand firm like you say - sometimes it takes someone else to make you realise your doing the right thing. I can feel another newsletter coming on the importance of play! :D

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Thank you Chocolate girl.

I don't know whether the school nursery are teaching all of the children to read - we hear on the parent grapevine which is like chinese whispers!

I will stand firm like you say - sometimes it takes someone else to make you realise your doing the right thing. I can feel another newsletter coming on the importance of play! :D

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