Parents evening soon and dd1 complaining that the year 2 work is too easy (she is year1)

(72 Posts)
AnxiousElephant Mon 26-Mar-12 21:32:37

We have parents evening this week. In autumn she had been reported as 2b in reading, 1b in writing and maths, so ahead of average. She is in the top work group with the majority of children in year 2 (mixed year 1 and 2/ ability group) and I know until recently that she was the top of her class in reading. She is saying that the work is too easy now.
The question is do I ask what will happen next year when she does move into year 2, as she will then be in the same mixed year 1/2 class? Do I ask for her to be moved to year 3?

Dustinthewind Mon 26-Mar-12 21:57:28

Talk to the teacher about what she needs to do to enable her to progress, a child would have to be at least two levels above expectations for them to be considered for a move in my school. Is she operating at a consistent level 4?

She needs work appropriate for her abilities, even if she is ahead of everyone else in the class, but I'd expect the teacher to manage that within the class. She should also be given work that involves and interests her, so you need to find out why she's bored, and what happens when she finishes the work she's given.

AnxiousElephant Mon 26-Mar-12 22:07:30

Thanks dustin, she doesn't say she is bored, just that the work is easy. I'm a bit confused about a level 4? She was 6 in january so achieved level 2b in the term when she was still 5 and this is expected in year 2 (end of key stage 1?) and her maths/ writing were 1b (I was told this was expected at the end of year 1 not the beginning?).

Dustinthewind Mon 26-Mar-12 23:06:40

I'm sure your daughter is very able, but I'm also saying that to range from a W to a level 3 is perfectly possible within the average Y1 class, even though the national average is a 2b at the end of Y2. Reading is almost always the one that children excel in rather than maths or writing in the early stages.
To consider her being moved in my school, with the huge impact on friendships and curriculum, she'd have to be thinking and producing work around that of a Y5 child.

Dustinthewind Mon 26-Mar-12 23:15:17

Talk to the teacher about what she intends to do to motivate and enable your daughter to achieve, and be honest about what your daughter has told you.

madwomanintheattic Mon 26-Mar-12 23:30:22

Agree with dust. Dd2 was working between 3 and 7 years ahead in yr r, and there was no discussion re moving up a year. It came up in y1/2 but was discounted for social reasons.

Differentiation should be happening without removal from peer group, unless the child is so far ahead that they are unable to meaningfully engage on a social level with peers, and are having quite severe problems. It can work well, but isn't necessary when you are just talking about a year or two.

Iamnotminterested Tue 27-Mar-12 14:04:31

OP what work exactly is she finding too easy? Is it just the reading? As Dustinthewind said a lot of children can excel in reading at an early age, but TBH her writing and maths scores are average. I very much doubt that she is anyway near the top of her mixed class with the reading, there will probably be year 2's already at a secure 3B, hence her teacher will more than be able to cater for her. My DD2 was a level 3 for reading at the end of year 1 but it never crossed my mind that she would not be sufficiently challenged in year 2 - as it turned out there were a small number of children who did extension reading/comprehension tasks in year 2 which must have proved to be enough of a challenge for her as she got a level4 in year 2 sat's.

mumblesmum Tue 27-Mar-12 19:24:22

Working at 1b, I hope she isn't in the 'top work group' in her mixed Y1/2 class for writing and maths! Now, that WOULD worry me.
Can you go to a library or buy some books from a boot sale to broaden her reading experience?

Iamnotminterested Tue 27-Mar-12 20:16:08

Erm. Also what mumblesmum said.

cubscout Wed 28-Mar-12 10:21:15

Sensible advice all round here. I would strongly advise against a move up a year group - whilst the social differences might be small at this age, further up the school there may be difficulties, and your dd will almost certainly have to repeat a year at some point as at secondary transfer, the local authority will not accept her a year early.

There is the added issue that if she really is evry far ahead, then the issue of gettind bored will not be resolved, and is likely (in my experience anyway) to get worse.

My ds scored Level 3's in Year 1 and 4's by the end of Year 2. He is now working at KS3 Level 8 in maths as we end Year 5 and his school have bent over backwards to provide extension work. Things are a bit easier as there are about 6 or 7 really bright kids in his class who are Level 5's accross the board and so the teacher can plan extension work for that group. He stays in class for maths, sometimes working on his own, sometimes doing class work to check methods and is taken out 2ce per week for 1:1.

Ds used to get very frustrated and bored, but quite soon learned to stretch himself, discuss sensibly with teachers what he wanted to do, challenge himself in subjects he finds hard (art, french) and in the process learn life skills. It is a sad fact that many many bright children will probably not be stretched very much by NC stuff until they reach A level standard.

SarkyWench Wed 28-Mar-12 10:24:38

tbh at this age all work is supposed to be pretty easy.
the idea is that they are given tasks that are well suited to their current ability.

DS1 has always described all school work as 'easy' but they have taught him a whole heap of stuff smile.

AnxiousElephant Fri 30-Mar-12 22:08:12

mumbles a level 3 certainly isn't what most children get in year 1! It is well above average in a state school and I said she was working at 1b on entry to year 1 in writing and maths, she was marked at 1a and a 2a for reading this week but her teacher stated that this is probably an underestimate as the report was filed 6 weeks ago. She has moved up in reading and is on white band (plus lots of other material at home, can't remember who gave me that advice). You also have to bare in mind that she has another term to go before the end of year grade in year 1. She is 1 of only 2 pupils on this level for reading and none above this, the other student is year2.
If you look at this -

and this

it would suggest she is far from average!

Dustinthewind Fri 30-Mar-12 22:16:36

She's not average, she's able. But do you really think that moving her up a year is the only way the school will meet her needs? Do you live in an area of economic deprivation, does your school have an intake that are well below national averages?
Because those of us with quite a lot of experience in these areas are saying that your DD falls within expected parameters for a Y1 class, but you seem unconvinced.
So, you are her parent, do what you think best.

Dustinthewind Fri 30-Mar-12 22:18:18

And she's an able reader, which should be met by good quality reading experiences in class and out.

AnxiousElephant Fri 30-Mar-12 22:29:53

Dustbin we live on an army base, the school is on it. She is able academically and is getting increasingly annoyed with the immature behaviour of the other girls in her class, who constantly fight and argue while she works. She is mature enough to be with an older year group. I don't think for a moment she is a genius, however, guided reading in class for example needs to suit all the childrens understanding.......she understands far more complexed stories than those read so the questions asked about the book are fairly trivial ........where is the challenge there? Also, because it is a mixed class and she works with year 2 now, what happens next year? How can you differentiate effectively? Why would it not be appropriate to put her with more mature children who will probably concentrate better in the average group?
Now I see what you are saying about making the work easy but don't agree that it is healthy. I found all my school work easy right through GCSE with no revision .........however, the strategy for learning fell down after that because I gave up too easily when things were difficult and didn't bother to revise for A levels = fail. I could have done so much more with my brain if I had been taught strategies to use it properly, instead of coasting along. Children need to learn to work, not just pass things.

Dustinthewind Fri 30-Mar-12 22:32:28

Good luck.

Jinsei Fri 30-Mar-12 22:35:39

She would have been distinctly average in my dd's class, OP. State school in a middle class area, and a high achieving cohort.

I'm sure your dd is a clever little girl, and she is obviously doing well, but unless it's a very low-achieving school, I'd be surprised if the more able children in year 2 were working at a similar level to your dd right now. Those levels aren't exceptional even for year 1, let alone year 2.

The school should be able to cater to her needs without the need to move her. But this is a positive thing, believe me. Our school did suggest moving dd up a year, but socially it would have been completely wrong for her. They can challenge her perfectly well within her own classroom.

mumblesmum Sun 01-Apr-12 18:49:23

anxious you said that she was on the top table (Y1/2 mix) in the Autumn term, working around a 1b. That is a worrying level for the top Y2s!

White band is about 2a, as you say. I am really shocked that there are no Y2 children above this, as over half my class are reading lime and above. My school also caters for a high proportion of transient forces children.

What do they do in guided reading? What phonics scheme?

I really can't blame you for being a bit worried. How much longer are you there for?

mrsshears Sun 01-Apr-12 19:29:11

mumblesmum sorry to hijack but if a child were on whiteband would they automaticaly be a 2A or above? or could other factors be taken into account such as comprehension etc?

Iamnotminterested Mon 02-Apr-12 09:37:09

Mrsshears It isn't quite as clear cut as that, although book bands do give a rough guide to NC levels ie. white band doesn't automatically mean 2a, gold 2b etc; as you say comprehension is the biggie , especially deducing inference as a child moves up.

mrsshears Mon 02-Apr-12 12:42:34

Thanks iamnotminterested i thought there may be more to it.

mumblesmum Mon 02-Apr-12 18:37:44

mrsshears It depends how the teacher assesses the move. We use PM benchmark, which comes with a graded set of books that are used to assess the decoding skills and comprehension.

Some teachers move children when they feel it in their water; some move children because of pressure from parents and others use APP or other assessment tools.

If a child is reading white band books, their decoding and comprehension skills should be a 2a standard.

strictlovingmum Wed 04-Apr-12 19:39:11

There is so much you can do with your DD at home, visiting library choosing different format enjoyable books,
working on maths skills, if she is able start her on more abstract maths, multiplying and simple divisions mentally/verbally.
All of this will give her plenty do digest without moving her up a year, socially/emotionally IMO it's wrong.
DD was assessed recently as free reader, maths 3c in Yr1 age 5.6 and no she is not gifted, not moving up a year, just very able.
And it appears this is not unusual at all, there are many very able children around who benefit from sufficient parental support, but not that many "truly gifted", those are streets ahead, not little ahead.

londalion Fri 06-Apr-12 05:20:48

Hi, your daughter sounds very like mine, but mine is 'up a year', so in Year 2. As we're overseas, I'm not au fait with the NC terminology or mileposts, but she's a fluent reader, with an excellent vocabulary and comprehension skills, her teacher says she probably has a reading age of 9 or 10, whatever that means. She and another girl in the class also get 'extension' language homework - so more complicated spellings / tasks to do at home each week, so I certainly know she's not struggling academically. That said, although she's in the top quarter of the class for maths, and the teacher describes her as an 'all-rounder' she's not getting additional extension work there.

I have spent hours agonising over whether being the youngest in a class is good for a child, especially as most educators say it's not. However, my daughter is an exceptionally aimiable and gregarious little girl, so the social side of school has never been a problem. The teacher she had last year wasn't as good and she would just tell me that my daughter was going to 'waste her potential as she was bright but was too busy chatting to work'. This year's teacher knows exactly how to keep her interested and is getting far more out of her as a result. She also says she shouldn't move down a year - yet.

The 'yet' comes as I do believe, as does DD's teacher, that in the long term it's better not to be one of the younger children. Not necessarily in academic terms, but the youngest is inevitably going to be smaller, slower, less coordinated, more easily tired etc etc etc. With every month that passes there's less of a difference between the boys at the bottom of the class and the girls at the top. Everyone'll be able to read and write well by the time they're 7. So my plan is to slot her back into the 'correct' year when we move in the next year or so. By then, it's not like she'll be reading chapter books while everybody else is saying 'a for apple' as would have been the case previously. By Year 3, I'm hoping that it'll be easier for the teachers to tailor work more specifically to each child's ability. And in our particular case, it means life at school should be a breeze while we settle back into the UK after 4 years away.

If I were you, I wouldn't push to move your daughter up at this stage, I'd ask what additional support the current teacher can give to challenge her within her own class. I'd also ask these lovely ladies what other resources there are out there for you to use with her at home. (and I'll be checking back for next year!)

lou2321 Fri 20-Apr-12 12:47:42

These boards are tough as you will often get people saying 'thats not that good' etc with regards to levels.

The levels she is achieving are good but pretty common at her age, in fact there are 5 children in DSs class including him who are achieving these or higher (2a-3cs in all subjects). It is not a particularly high achieving school, fairly average in an average area. My DS is achieving higher levels than this in Y1 and is working with Y2 all the time however there are of course some Y2 children who are on a higher level than him meaning it is easy for the teacher to push him to a reasonable level that suits him. This is not a boast but trying to put some persepctive on your post. I can't imagine how they could not give your daughter work that fufills what she needs.

I would be concerned if my DS was the highest achiever including all Y2s as maybe they would find it hard to differentiate for him.

Its hard to compare as some schools 'average' is a lot higher than another school so your DD could be working in the top few % of the school whereas in another school this is very average.

She is ahead in some areas but I would imagine that many Y1s are working at a 1b early in the year. The average of 1b at end of Year 1 is across the country so not a great way to compare.

Talk to her teacher properly and ask what she is doing to make sure she is challenged etc.

lou2321 Fri 20-Apr-12 12:55:24

Looking at some of the other posts as well, I would be really concerned in general in the standards at this school if only 2 children were white level or above. Many of the Y2 children in Dss school are white-free, some in YR are on white.

I may be wrong and it may be that we have a generally bright intake in Y1/2 but this would seriously worry me.

Your DD sounds bright and mature but nothing that the school can't handle surely and if not the answer is most definitely not moving her into year 3, I would not consider it for DS even though he is predicted level 3/4 for sats, he is academic but not a genius and well within the realms of normal for his age and it is so important he mixes with children of his own age IMO.

ragged Thu 26-Apr-12 18:36:18

There will be plenty of irritating & immature behaviour in the year above, too. Including amongst the very highest ability pupils. No escaping it unless you home-ed.

Amazed how much so many people know about the other children's academic attainment.

TheSecondComing Fri 27-Apr-12 00:23:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kistigger Fri 27-Apr-12 13:49:00

I'm very interested in the fact that so many know exactly what level your DCs are on.

Our infant school is reluctant to give out any information. So much so that when the school year started they wouldn't even state which spelling words the children were supposed to be practicing (parents complained and several weeks later all the children got lists of words). They didn't tell us which foundation stage level/targets they got to at the end of reception, I only know because I dug around the internet for a copy of the targets and looked up their word for word levels as a number (if that makes sense). I know the levels aren't the be all end all etc but it would be good to know if what I think DD is attaining is the same as what the school think.

anxiouselephant it's hard as a parent when they think the work is too easy... we are going through the exact same problem. Does your DD still look forward to going to school each day? If so then they are probably challenging her better than perhaps she lets on. My DD on the other hand has a tantrum most days about not wanting to go cos the work is too easy (I know she is right, the school have admitted it but they seem unable to get their butts in gear to do anything about it!). My DD is also mature enough for a higher class but we have the problem that the infants and juniors are officially two different schools, I'm still in two minds about whether it is good to move them up or not or whether it sets them up for bullying. My personal belief is that the whole school should work around ability with children chopping and changing for different lessons, so that achievement is praised not swept under the rug as in our school, also so that children learn the skills needed to get on with children of all different age groups not just the ones born up to 12months of them!

mumblesmum Fri 27-Apr-12 21:22:14

I also find it hard to understand how a 5 or 6 year old says work is too easy. I would expect a ks1 curriculum to be exciting and impossible to label 'too easy' or 'too hard'. If you are doing a project on dinosaurs and digging for bones, making eggs, finding mysterious footprints, learning about differetn types of dinosaurs, etc.... what can be 'too easy' there? In creative writing, there is always something to get better at. What is too easy there?

I can only think that it may be too easy in maths if the work isn't differentiated - but often the best mathematicians falter in some areas and don't know everything!

Explain - what does 'too easy' mean?

TheSecondComing Fri 27-Apr-12 21:59:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumblesmum Fri 27-Apr-12 22:34:17

But, secondcoming with a child-initiated curriculum, your dd has ample opportunity to stretch herself with her writing and reading.
The curriculum doesn't consist of reading and writing. They are enablers that help the child expand their knowledge. For instance, if the class is learning about castles in YR, some may only be able to write a label with a teacher's help, but your dd would be able to write a couple of sentences by herself, with phonetically correct spellings.
I still can't understand this word 'easy'.

TheSecondComing Fri 27-Apr-12 23:34:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kistigger Tue 01-May-12 15:15:54

mumblesmum while the theoretical curriculum is exciting, the actual reality boils down to what the teacher teaches, offers and how much children are given free reign to extend, imagine and follow their hearts desires!! Teachers have the power to make school the best place or the worst place on the planet, especially at primary age when generally they have one teacher for the whole year.

My DD says school is too easy because school's idea of differentiation in maths is allowing her to 'sometimes work with a dice with higher numbers than the other children' ie 7-12 instead of 1-6 (DD is in Y1) when the reality is she can manipulate numbers in their thousands and has the ability on the whole to work at the level of the Y4s. Also they do lots of worksheets (various subjects) so there is no possibility of extending the work, they simply have to get on with the task they are given, so unless the teacher allows them to do extended work after then she doesn't get to do any! Also what purpose does phonics sessions serve when DD has the reading level of the average 10yo and comprehension of an 8yo??!! My school does not offer to let her go into the year above, makes her sit through all the easy level stuff and do it even though they know she is way beyond it because they don't want to be seen to be giving favours to any one child, they don't want parents coming in and moaning that 'so and so's child is getting... why isn't mine'. So I have sympathy when parents say DCs say it's too easy.

mumblesmum Tue 01-May-12 18:21:25

I can see that maths and phonics can be too 'easy', if not properly differentiated, but children surely can't find all the other subjects (writing, other areas of maths, history, geography,icy, science, re, pe, art, dt, music) easy?

Rainydayagain Sun 20-May-12 12:09:09

Is it too easy due to the fact that a gifted child moves so fast?
Have they got it when the other trudge on to the conclusion. ( even creatively)

I can see how doing worksheets that are similar to us doing a five year olds work desperately dull!!

lou2321 Mon 21-May-12 11:34:46

kistigger I would be deeply unhappy if this was the differenciation my son was getting at his school. They have never made him join in the phonics classes as he was on level 5 phonics when he started in YR.

If your child was behind you would expect them to get the extra help they need so it should be no different the other way round. Its such a shame that teaching attitudes like this still exist, there are so many teachers that get really excited to have a bright child in their class and thrive on ensuring they progress well. Its not giving favours - its treating children individually.

Some parents have had a moan about the fact that some Y1 children are in the Y2 class but its really none of their business TBH.

Ds's school have insisted they will still be aiming for 3 sub levels progress for him in Y2 in spite of him already acheiving the level he needs to be at the end of next year which is reassuring.

I can totally understand why this issue is so frustrating for parents and DCs.

AnxiousElephant Fri 27-Jul-12 19:22:01

It is exactly that! They give different worksheets for maths, higher level books (although from dds home reading she is a free reader including comprehension yet still lime at school) but she has been itching to learn french all year like her y2 group. Physically she is as capable as y2, swims unaided for a couple of lengths (although her certificate for swimming congratulates her on swimming 2-5m?) brilliant climber, refused to carry on ballet because it was taught through role play rather than learning actual positions iyswim. She enjoys doing experiments and has done since age 3 years but no science really. Loves history but none of that really until year 3. I am seriously considering private so that she gets a broader curriculum tbh.

AnxiousElephant Sun 16-Sep-12 00:08:36

I just wanted to update this thread. smile
So we have just started year 2 (dd got a 3c, 2c,2c at the end of last term and is now free reading within a week back age 6). She tells me that the guided reading in the top group is at orange book band level. How will this challenge and stimulate her? This is 5 bands below where she reads now??

Myliferocks Sun 16-Sep-12 00:18:20

One of our children left infants school on a level 3A bordering 4C. She spent 2 years at junior school coasting until she was able to go to the same middle school as her sister when she was yr 5.
Middle school has been the making of her as she now has individual subject teachers. Because middle school is yrs 5-8 the teachers are able to give her work that actually makes her think for the first time in her schooling.

Jinsei Sun 16-Sep-12 00:26:55

It sounds like a very low performing school, OP. I don't blame you for being worried. I know you said that you live on an army base, so maybe it's difficult, but is there any way you could move her?

AnxiousElephant Sun 16-Sep-12 01:05:53

We are due to move bases next year and will be hopefully going independent at that point for this reason. I am also about to have discussion with the SENCO/ head of KS1 and her teacher about it. I am not a pushy parent but I do want what is the best education for her x

AnxiousElephant Sun 16-Sep-12 01:35:01

The worrying thing is that this school has a 'good' ofsted rating so isn't meant to be low performing!

Jinsei Sun 16-Sep-12 14:02:37

It may be rated as good but still get poor results compared to the national average - the school may be adding value, even if the majority of the children come in at very low levels. It's all about the progress that the children make, which has to take into account their starting points.

Our school is at the other end of the spectrum - very middle class area and highly educated parents, so the school's results are outstanding. However, the school is rated as "good", not "outstanding", because the children are ahead of average when they start out in reception, and so the school can't take all of the credit.

alcofrolic Sun 16-Sep-12 15:35:40

Anxious, I would be anxious too if the top group in Y2 was only reading orange! Are parents poorly educated in general? Do parents get involved with school? Do they read with their children?

Several of my class are on the same(ish) levels as your dd even though it's a half/half forces school, with about 65% transiency. I know that some children can be very unsettled if they have to change schools a lot. How long to they stay at the school on average?

I would think that some of the forces' pupil premium should be used to address attainment in KS1!! (Not that it helps you much at the moment.....)

ibizagirl Mon 17-Sep-12 06:11:50

Anxious, I had all this with my dd who is now 13. She has always been very able and on g&t but found the work so easy and was just left to sit at the table doing nothing. She always had good sats etc and was marked as 3b when she was 4 for a story she wrote and got 3A in year 2 sats and 4A in year 3 and 5A in years 4, 5 and 6 (there was no level 6). The school was rated good but is not in an affluent area and some children were and still are well below average. So in my opinion i think the school just didn't "expect" to teach a child like my dd (i can't think of any other way to put it but you know what i mean). Most of the children were very slow learners. I used to help a lot at the school and some were unable to read a book in year 6. They went on to the local academy. Dd was always left to her own devices and was told to help other children rather than give dd extra work which she craved. I asked about senco as obviously the lower ability children were getting loads of attention and was told "oh no, thats only for children with special needs, not your dd". Most of the time i was told to "look on the internet" for work for dd. There were no books at school for her because they were too easy and she had read them all so she took her own in but a nice teacher tried her best with dd and gave her a set of childrens Shakespeare books. Very kind. Year 6 was totally useless and dd hardly did a thing - was a waste of time going to school. Anxious, try and get things sorted sooner rather than later. Like you i am not a pushy parent but want the best for my dd. Best wishes and good luck.

alcofrolic Mon 17-Sep-12 19:06:00

BTW anxious. Service schools have to account for how they're using the pupil premium to raise standards (£200 per forces child). Perhaps a good question to ask at the parents meeting would be how the school is utilising the money. It is your right to know.

AnxiousElephant Mon 17-Sep-12 20:30:53

thans alcofrolic and ibizagirl - the school is a service one but most of the parents are from technical trade group backgrounds, lots with degree and masters, teaching quals for adults. Not frontline soldiering iyswim. The postings range from 1-3 years depending, some on courses and others more permanent. There have been several very bright children at the school but all have had the same problem and responses. This leads to a significant majority choosing independent schooling instead. Therefore the bright percentage decreases and stats.
Glad you don't think I am pushy smile. As I said, dd was not hothoused and she goes out playing most evenings, only does the 10 mins reading a day and not even that sometimes (school books anyway!).
I think I will ask about the services budget tbh. They sent a letter out for parent governors but unfortunately I won't be able to get to meetings or I would love to do it to see what goes on.

alcofrolic Mon 17-Sep-12 21:10:27

Our service budget is used to employ a family liaison person, who deals with the families; the children entering and leaving that school; incoming families and children with parents on tour.

This was done to address the 'accepted' 6 months settling in time whenever a child joins a new school, assuming that a well-managed introduction would shorten the settling in period and thus increase academic standards. It seems to be working!

We have much the same transiency (1-3 years) and similar parental rankings, so there should be no excuse that the top group in Y2 is only reading orange!!!!

Now I only need you to tell me that you're in Yorkshire, and that will add to my simmering theories about Ofsted expectations!

AnxiousElephant Mon 17-Sep-12 23:23:30

No, no, not in Yorkshire ......if only it was confined to one area! sad The school are excellent at pastoral care regarding settling in but interestingly it was detailed on the last OFSTED that more could be done to challenge the brightest children.

simpson Wed 19-Sep-12 22:21:33

Is the top group in yr2 only reading orange?? shock

I thought DS was at a pretty low achieving school academically but there is no way the top group was on orange in yr2 (lime IIRC).

I can understand your concerns as DD has just started reception reading blue level books and has been levelled at a 1c at the end of nursery which is truly exceptional (for her school - she moved from the nursery to the main school). But not for more high achieving schools obv.

mrsshears Thu 20-Sep-12 17:16:25

simpson dd was started on yellow (band 3?) at the beginning of reception, then moved to blue after a few weeks, she was then kept on blue for 4mths to allow the rest of the top group to catch up angry

AnxiousElephant Thu 20-Sep-12 22:53:20

simpson orange book band isn't a low level as most bright children will be around 2c at the beginning of year 2 or working towards level 2, or maybe slightly higher at 2b - not 3c! which is five book bands ahead of that!

AnxiousElephant Thu 20-Sep-12 22:54:02

the expected average nc level at end of year 1 for bright kids is 1a/ 2c

Iamnotminterested Fri 21-Sep-12 10:33:55

I think it's not the norm to have only 1 child working at that level on entry to year 2, OP. My DD2 entered year 2 at similar levels but there were 2 other children the same (I guess, I didn't quiz children or parents about NC levels, just going on what DD told me about groups) and 2 others not far behind who were put into an extension lit group. It worked really well and I never felt that she wasn't being catered for.

I would say your situation is unusual.

crazygracieuk Fri 21-Sep-12 10:48:18

My son is y2 and group 3 out of 4 for guided reading and they read orange. The higher groups read lime and gold.

purrrfect Fri 21-Sep-12 13:55:39

I was told my son was at level 3b at the end of last year (year 1). At the beginning of year 2 he has been put on band 8 which is purple for his guided reading as it is the level of the rest of the upper reading group. The non-guided reading books he was on last year were one stage up from white (not sure that colour that is) but so far has not been given those books. I am starting to get complaints from him that he is finding school boring as it is too easy. He is also advanced with his maths. It is so frustrating as I feel I am going to have to battle this one out with the school as he is not being stretched enough.

alcofrolic Fri 21-Sep-12 20:20:08

Purple for the top reading group going into Y2. shock
I had three groups above purple coming into Y2 - not a particularly leafy school.

purrrfect Fri 21-Sep-12 20:29:29

Just out of interest Alcofrolic, I assume from what you said you are a teacher or have done teaching? What guided reading book would you put a child onto who is in the top group and currently at level 3c (not 3b, sorry) I'm just interested that's all!

AnxiousElephant Fri 21-Sep-12 21:48:35

At the end of year 2 the usual is a couple of free readers and some on white or lime in the top group. Of dds year older group i.e the year 2's in her year 1 reading group only 1 was on lime with her and the rest were below in her class (the 1/2 years were split into three classes, so I don't know about them. However, I know she is again the only free reader in the class.
Anyhow, spoke to her teacher who was receptive as her own child was ahead and she has said they can put her into some guided reading with year 3 if she needs to, so I feel happy with that. smile. She said they were settling children first and then reassess the situation. Fine {smile]

Pooka Fri 21-Sep-12 21:53:48

My ds read with year 4 top reading set when he was in year 1. Now he's in year 2 he's carried on with the same guided reading group into year 5, only will be given the additional related work - comprehension questions - which he wasnt last year. He's also in a year 2 guided reading group to keep.

He was free reading (comprehension good too, checked frequently) by Christmas of the reception year.

Pooka Fri 21-Sep-12 21:55:54

Ds really enjoys going to the other class occasionally - or did last year, hasn't happened yet because of settling in stuff. He also uses books from their classroom library as there's a shortage of white or free reader books in his classroom. Or I send him in with books from home.

alcofrolic Fri 21-Sep-12 22:41:08

purrrrrrr For guided reading with the top group, I normally branch out from colour bands. My lime (L3) readers seem to be lacking vocab, so as our first book this term, we read a very-easy-to-read book (Six Dinner Sid) which actually had lots of new words in it! Then we found synonyms for a number of the words. We talked about Sid's personality, which I followed up in literacy, giving the group a task to describe the personality, in addition to the appearance, of a character.

Next, we'll read a short story (or chapter book), on a level with the BFG or similar, which will be a more challenging text.

Hulababy Fri 21-Sep-12 22:52:58

I work in an infant school. This is a very mixed state school with an extremely mixed group of pupils. Overall our entry levels are very much below average, end of Y2 are broadly average, and we reach expected levels with some reaching higher than expected levels.

I was in Y1 but this year moved into Y2. At this point in Y2 orange reading level is about average for the Y2 class I am in. However we have several on reading bands above this including a group reading gold and white books. We don't have a "free readers" group as such as white and lime generally include such a wide range of chapter books that we have a lot to go through. We are aware many of our children read higher books at home but for guided reading sessions white and lime do us well so we can focus on the other areas.

In Y1 we also had children working on these levels. It was not uncommon to have children working at this level in reading, writing and in numeracy.

Last year alone in my y1 class there were 3 or 4 children working at level 3 in reading, similar numbers for numeracy. Reading at our school is also higher than expected as a whole.

Whilst your DD sounds very able, a decent school should have no problem whatsoever with stretching her and challenging her. There is no reason whatsoever why she should not be able to continue in her own class with the teacher differentiating work for her.

AnxiousElephant Fri 21-Sep-12 23:51:29

holababy its not really just about reading level but that her comprehension exceeds her reading i.e. she reads a book about dinosaurs, it tells her it is a reptile, she has seen jurassic park (under supervision) and asks ''so if the dinosaurs are reptiles like a crocodile/ alligator then can you use DNA from a crocodile/ alligator to create a dinosaur?'' . Thats about far more than reading text, it shows lateral thinking which isn't really assessed. She has been able to understand characters since age 3!

Hulababy Sat 22-Sep-12 09:28:03

Again, though, whilst it shows that your DD is very able ime of working in an infant school with a wide range of children of this kind of age it is not overly uncommon. Many children have great comprehension of things they have read and can then make inferences and considerations of how other things they know would link to it in this way. That is the great thing with comprehension style questions - they are so open ended, or should be, that allows children to do this. I have some fantastic conversations with some children in this way - some children are very knowlegable and because of their age they are open to all manner of considerations which we as adults might not think about.

Your DD sounds very able. BUT I am still adamant that any half decent school should have no problem with challenging your DD within the normal school setting. There is no reason why a teacher cannot differentiate for such a child. I am suprised that there are no other children in the school working at a high level, but sometimes that happens - but it is fine anyway, as it is easy enough to challenge a 6 year old child.

Your own example of the question is a good way it could be challenged. You extend it a bit more - you get her do some research to find out. There are great resources out there for such question answering, esp online. Or you have a look at DNA with her. Any decent teacher or TA should be able to do that.

Hulababy Sat 22-Sep-12 09:28:33

BTW - this kind of thinking IS, or should be, assessed.

Jinsei Sat 22-Sep-12 11:00:34

Agree hula. My dd was levelled at a 3b in reading at the end of year 1, but the school has never had any difficulty in challenging her appropriately in the classroom. She is an exceptionally good reader for her age, but she is not some kind of freak - just a bright little girl who happens to love books. Nothing that a good teacher can't deal with. smile

simpson Sat 22-Sep-12 17:10:46

I thought orange level is stage 6 which is around a 1a which is low for the top group starting yr2.

DS started yr2 on gold which level9 I think....and was levelled at a 2c at the end of yr1.

He goes to a very average school and he was not the only child on this level.

To me orange seems the average but not the top iyswim.

alcofrolic Sat 22-Sep-12 20:00:47

I agree simpson. 15 of my 27 children are gold and above, which is not unusual, particularly since there's been an emphasis on the teaching of reading.
I'm not sure how some schools get away with things really. We worry, worry, worry about our standards.

MadameCupcake Tue 09-Oct-12 16:10:06

I think the issue you have is that the school has a lower ability across the board than some which means that the next children down to your DD are a lot lower.

DS is at a higher reading level than this and has just started Y2 and the school are having to extend their book level to accomodate him but it isn't really an issue as they will just keep pushing him. There were 4 or 5 DCs at a 3c at the end of Y1 as well but it was one of the top 5 performing schools at the end of last year so I this is not unexpected. There were honestly quite a few YR children on orange band and above in the last few years.

I don't think anyone is disagreeing that your daughter isn't very able at reading but the issue is really more that there are no other children at a similar level so the school need to work a bit harder to differentiate so if that means her going to Y3 for guided reading then that is the best thing for her.

I think numeracy/writing sounds ok as this isn't too far ahead so there really shouldn't be an issue there.

Meeknmild Mon 15-Oct-12 10:04:52

I think the best thing to do is to also make an appointment to see the SENCO. As other people have said, it is the teacher's job to differentiate and provide your daughter with the correct resources for her ability. Is she on the Gifted and Talented Register? If so, then the school will be receiving funds for resources. I agree that moving your dd to a different year is not ideal from a social point of view, away from friends and so on. If you don't have any joy after that then speak to the Head.

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