Reading "white" at the end of Y1, is it within appropriate level?

(43 Posts)
B4r4joon Mon 08-Jul-13 11:47:55

I just got the most generic school report ever for my daughter!!! She has been reading level white since the start of summer term, and what is in her report is simple: She made good progress in her reading, and she is working within appropriate national curriculum level for her age! (she turned 6 in May!)
I had the impression that she is above, am I wrong?

B4r4joon Tue 09-Jul-13 12:49:19

HarumScarum, yes, it is not good at all! Although the trip happened at the time of the previous teacher, but my point is if it has been so important to put in the report that my child and her child enjoyed the trip, then they should have at least checked the register on that date!!!
Watch here, I will post when I had my meetings, although don't have a time booked yet! It might be next week...

Periwinkle007 Tue 09-Jul-13 12:36:45

I am sure it will meet my expectations - I expect them to say she is polite, well behaved and meeting the expected levels for reception which is basically what her teacher has told me at the parents evenings.

HarumScarum Tue 09-Jul-13 12:34:07

>> In one childs report, it has been mentioned that X enjoyed the school trip to Y, and the mum told me her child had been sick and not to the trip at all!!!

That is awful! Not acceptable at all. I'd be really interested to see what the teacher and head have to say about it. I can see that the teacher hasn't had that long with the class, but thinking back to the first parents evening in the Autumn term, it was clear that after a matter of 6 weeks or so my daughter's teacher had an excellent idea of who DD is and what her strengths and weaknesses were - your child's teacher has had a whole term. I really hope you get something useful out of the meeting and reports improve in future.

B4r4joon Tue 09-Jul-13 12:29:00

Peri007, Good luck with your report. And I hope, it meets your expectations!

Periwinkle007 Tue 09-Jul-13 12:15:48

well that example proves the reports are generic then which I feel is unfair. new teacher or not she will have had some sort of handover and at this level the TAs will know the children so written blurb should be able to be tailored to each child to some degree.

I am looking forward to my daughter's report - I still have some of mine from school and I think they are nice to look back on.

I think the phrase 'appropriate' to me means that there isn't anything to worry about. I can see how to someone else it might mean 'expected/average' which is where the confusion seems to be.

it is a pity that something written like that isn't specific to your child or you feel isn't highlighting her strengths and achievements.

B4r4joon Tue 09-Jul-13 11:58:30

Thank you all for your very useful inputs.
I have asked the teacher for a meeting and am going to feedback to the head too! Talking to other parents on the playground, realized, reports are all generic. As you also noted, the teacher really didnt have enough time, but the head,who knows the children very well should not have signed them off!
In one childs report, it has been mentioned that X enjoyed the school trip to Y, and the mum told me her child had been sick and not to the trip at all!!! That cleared to me that they are by and large the same reports for everyone unfortunately! And this is not acceptable!!!
I also need to make myself familiar with what "appropriate" means. and what ranges of performances it covers.
I do care more about her love of reading, and as a bilingual child I am very pleased with her progress. Just want to make sure her achievements are recognized and are not overlooked! I just simply liked to enjoy reading the report. Perhaps I have been expecting too much!!!

sheridand Tue 09-Jul-13 07:54:04

It's the same: the program is called BRP but the benchmarking is the same system, PM. I find it very useful, and it certainly tests inferential understanding as well as phonic reading skills. I find it really useful for evolving stratgies too, such as repetition, re-reading and so on. The BRP program has done wonders for some of the lower ability readers.

tiredbutnotweary Mon 08-Jul-13 21:13:42

B4r4 - it seems that your DDs report used lots of words to say very little - a pet hate of mine! I would go back and ask for the NC level she's currently assessed as working securely within and also ask what your DD needs to focus on to move up to the next level. After all it IS supposed to be a partnership!

A NC reading level can be below or above the book band level. I think usually below if the the child is an early advanced reader that can't manage the higher level inferential questions or above where a child has struggled with decoding but has good comprehension, either due to their age, smarts, or simply being read to extensively for example.

Sheridand - please can you elaborate on the BRP system of assessment? My DDs school uses PM benchmarking and I wonder how the two systems compare given that DDs reception class has at least 2 readers on white, 1 gold & 1 purple (could be more and / or higher now but I haven't helped out with reading for a few weeks)?

BabiesAreLikeBuses Mon 08-Jul-13 20:17:56

I think your main point here is that the report is poorly written and impersonal. Hard to do that when teacher in post less than a term but they should have been supported and head should have read the report. It may be worth feeding it back to the head, otherwise you may get this again next year

Periwinkle007 Mon 08-Jul-13 19:58:48

I agree HarumScarum. Limiting them to books that are too easy doesn't help them develop. YES for guided reading I can understand this in many ways but for individual reading I don't think it does. Now my daughter is reading chapter books she asks lots of questions, notices the longer sentences, why are commas used in different ways, sentences going over the end of the page when you turn over and so on. We often look up words in the dictionary, she is learning much more interesting vocabulary and adjectives which in time will inform her writing too. She also still likes to read easier picture books as well but if she was ONLY reading those then I don't think she would be so interested in reading. She loves poetry and will read endless amounts of that and ask lots of questions again.

HarumScarum Mon 08-Jul-13 19:46:13

Also, she's not a genius! She's just good at reading and likes it. Other aspects of her literacy are not so advanced, especially handwriting, and she has plenty of opportunity to work on those and receive appropriate support. But I genuinely cannot see how limiting her school books to things she finds easy and dull would help her in any way.

Periwinkle007 Mon 08-Jul-13 19:42:29

but it is still within appropriate levels though. That is what was being asked. it is above average but it is still appropriate level. The teacher could have done with giving more information or perhaps more suitable praise but what was said isn't actually wrong.

HarumScarum Mon 08-Jul-13 19:42:18

DD is reading Roald Dahl in Y1. I do not think this is wildly unusual judging by her peer group at school, while accepting that obviously there are some nuances that she and they might not get at this age. However, wide reading is essential in order to be able to develop the ability to spot those inferences and subtleties. She asked me loads of questions while reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and it was a pretty instructive experience for her! If she was confined to White level books or lower, I think she'd be quite bored to be honest. I'm glad her school doesn't see the need to confine her to easy books in order to develop her skills. They are more easily developed with more challenging texts, surely?

icclejen Mon 08-Jul-13 19:37:44

White is above average for a Y2!

Periwinkle007 Mon 08-Jul-13 19:18:52

Sheridand - the problem is though that SOME children CAN do the things required at the higher levels at a younger age. Some can and some can't. So yes white in Yr1 is good and I have said that but it isn't THAT unusual.

I could read a children's book and read more into it than a child could because I am older and have more experience but that doesn't mean that an 8 year old or whatever age it was written for isn't able to read it appropriately and do all the things they should be able to do with a text like that.

I actually take offense at the suggestion that a younger child can't do these thing. I don't believe that is true in many cases. It will be in some but my daughter can read Dick King-Smith and understand the humour therefore I honestly believe that yes she can read at that level. I wouldn't give her Roald Dahl yet because I think that would be too complex for her and I think it would be more enjoyable for her when she is older.

and yes I do have experience of teaching - I am not just a pushy parent.

sheridand Mon 08-Jul-13 18:53:01

My goodness, you must all go to schools just chocker with child genius. White is very good. Most Year 1 classes will range from pink to white.

That said, I am very lairy about raising levels beyond white at Year 1, because most children will simply not have the capacity to comprehend inferential references in the text. I know parents will often say to me "But Einstein can recall the story and understands it!" However, this is often just recall of narrative, and the child will not be able to answer inferential questions sufficiently. I do feel that there's often pressure from parents to move children up when they are not ready. My advice would be to ignore all other parents whose children are reading War and Peace at Reception age, as 99 times out of 100, that child will be missing nuances, and even if they ARE a wunderkind, may still be unable to hold a pencil correctly.

At Reception and Year 1, the age differences are still big ( a 5 year old is often behind a 6 year old), and the range of normal is vast. My ds is reading white in Year 1, and he's a canny little chap for only just 6, but his best mate is 3 levels below him. He's just as celevr, he knocks ds into a cocked hat at maths. It's just his reading is a little below. Levels, in my opinion, don't do kids any favours. I would rather that levels were done away with, and a simpler, less competative system put in place. Bookbands breed war!

It's telling that a "gifted" child I know was on lime at reception, in terms of reading ability. However, using the BRP system of assessment, they came out at yellow. Just let your kid enjoy books. Read, ask about the book, buy books, borrow books, just don't look at what your neighbour is reading, because it isn't often healthy or indicative of YOUR childs' progress.

Periwinkle007 Mon 08-Jul-13 18:25:27

but it IS within an appropriate level. My daughter is in reception on lime, no idea what her report will say, her teacher just said 'she is doing well'. It is good, very good in fact but it is still within appropriate level for her age. I think the only time they would say it wasn't would be if they were on very low levels but much older. There are quite a lot of children finishing year 1 in our school who have finished level 15, white isn't unusual, it isn't the expected or the average but it isn't an extreme.

Elibean Mon 08-Jul-13 17:51:29

I would focus on the disappointment with the report overall, tbh, and your concern that the teacher hasn't really got to know your dd yet.

The reading level is a bit of a red herring, in terms of the feedback you're getting.

Reports can be generic and dull and give very little, or they can go the extra mile and have at least a few personal references (ours do). But I have to say, I get a far more accurate picture of how well dds' teachers know them from chatting and/or parent evenings than I do from reports, which are a major chore for the teachers and come across as such!

White is definitely above average.

jan5 Mon 08-Jul-13 17:13:07

Your DD is only 6!! Sod the colour of her reading book! Does she love reading? Do you read to her regularly? Is she relaxed about her school work or already under pressure to perform?
As parents we need to support our children by encouraging a love of learning not get bogged down from the getgo with performance.
By the way white is perfectly fine for a child of her age!

quip Mon 08-Jul-13 17:04:42

I think the report is telling you that your dd is performing fine - slightly above average but don't go looking round oxbridge colleges just yet.

HarumScarum Mon 08-Jul-13 16:54:20

But that IS an appropriate level (which is different from average). It should, however, say something like 'DD has achieved a good level in reading and her next steps to improve this will be to X, Y and Z', IMO. Also, it should mention if she has made around the required level of progress or more or less, which is independent of what actual level she's achieved. Plus the level she's achieved in reading may be significantly different from what she's achieved in writing or comprehension or speaking and listening or whatever, which are also part of literacy.

B4r4joon Mon 08-Jul-13 15:11:58

HarumScarum, Thanks for the info.
It is a normal state school....they are a group of kids reading at this level in her class, but equally some that are still reading reception book bands.

I dont know exactly how many of them are reading White. It can be 10 out of 30 kids....but it shouldnt mean that their achievement not be recognised, if it is above NC levels. "Within appropriate level for her age" it says.

HarumScarum Mon 08-Jul-13 14:44:47

But they're not saying she's average. They're saying she's working at an appropriate level. And reading is only one part of literacy in general. While your daughter's reading skills are good for her age, they are not so far advanced or unusual for the end of Y1 that it would be considered a level that would need special provision etc. So she is doing very well and working at an appropriate Y1 level, albeit at the top end for reading. Possibly her other literacy skills mean that she needs to do more in those areas to achieve an all round level 2a, even if her actual reading is at that level?

I agree that they should give you a better indication of specifics about your child and how she can improve. I would also be a bit fed up if told that my child was doing something that I knew she'd been able to do with ease some time back. Also, do bear in mind that some children may struggle to concentrate in a busy classroom so may not always show everything they can do. I know DD can find it hard to think sometimes when it's noisy or there are a lot of people moving around - but learning to concentrate even under occasionally challenging conditions is also part of learning how to learn.

Don't worry about groups. If you are confident in the school in general, I am sure there will be plenty of opportunity to move between groups as appropriate - I know DD has been moved a couple of times this year.

I would definitely ask for some clarification on how your DD is doing in your shoes.

Also, is it a particularly high achieving school? For some schools White level will not be even particularly far above average at this stage. They may have as many as a third of the class working at this level and above.

B4r4joon Mon 08-Jul-13 14:15:26

3MonthsMaid, thats what surprises me too...if she is above average in reading why is it not noted (acknowledged and recognized) in her report???

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