I wanted to address some of the questions parents have sent me about the books that the children are being given and taking home, and also the word lists they have been given to learn. I also wanted to let parents know about the exciting homework opportunity I have given the class and how important it is.
As part of Year 1, the children will be taking home two different books from class.
The library book is not connected to the phonics scheme the children learn from or matched in any way to their reading ability or a score. Each week, Mrs Agunsoye lays out books from our library for the class to choose from and change from the book they read last week. The children have full autonomy with their choice (the most we do usually is direct them to another book if it’s one they’ve chosen before or if we feel it is way too easy for them).
The RWI books is the one given at the end of that child’s study of the book in class. Usually this lasts a week, but can be longer if a group takes longer to develop fluency or if there are disruptions to lessons because of events etc…
By the time your child has their RWI book, they should be masters of it. That means they can read the story independently and fluently. They should also be demonstrating emphasis and tone of voice to tell the story alongside the words themselves (especially in the more advanced colours). I understand that reading a story that your child can read fluently, or perhaps you have read a few times already can be frustrating, but repetition is at the core of early years learning and especially phonics. Celebrating your child’s independence and fluency with these books is important and it is also important to verify that your child has complete fluency in the first place. Perhaps a good way to still use a book your child has finished and is confident with is getting them to spell words from the story, or else reimagining the story with a different character or in a different setting.
I have spoken to some parents who are concerned because the RWI book they have received is one that their child read already in Reception. As the class transition to Y1, it is common for them to revisit reading from Reception. This is because of potential lost learning from the summer, but also because the writing targets that correspond with each colour are updated and advanced once the class begin year 1.
On a final note, I am sorry to hear that some books are brought home in a poor condition. We rely on a lending system with the books and they are not always returned in the best condition. If the books your child has been given is in poor condition, please let me know and I will swap it for a better one.
The words that are sent home are part of a reading challenge that Mrs Agunsoye champions. Each week, she will test your child on the words that have been assigned to them. If they are able to read a whole set, then they receive a ribbon! There are 7 ribbons, culminating in a rainbow ribbon. This is a challenge that each year the class really engage with. Best of luck year 1!
Finally, I have sent the class home with a list of questions that looks like this:
This a homework task (completely optional) for the class to research into what life was like when their grandparents were children. Please can these be asked and answered in writing (preferably written by an adult),and then returned. If no grandparent is present, then a trusted old(er) person is a great option too!
I’m looking forward to seeing the responses from the questions that the class came up with. Every year they are very interesting!
I hope all this cleared up some of the questions people were having. Anymore then please contact me.