What level would you give this writing please teachers?

(37 Posts)
alluc Sat 20-Jul-13 08:31:05

Hi - I know it's the summer hols now but I can help being niggled by DS's level he was given on his report. He has brought his school books home now and these 2 pieces of writing were his most recent - both done independently.

1) Giraffes

Giraffes are the tallist mammle on Earth because they reach up to the trees they have patches. Giraffes live in the south of Savanna Desert. Giraffes have thick black tongues so they can eat spicky acacia leaves. A baby giraffe is called a calf. A calf when it is a baby when it is just born it is 2m tall. Giraffes are mamals because they don't have bumpy skin or do not lay eggs. There feet are the size of a dinner plate.

2) Handas surprise (fiction based on the classic African story)

One boiling hot day in a village in Kenya there was a little girl called Handa put 7 delicious fruit in a basket. She set of on her jurny when a creapy lion stole a piees of meat. Suddnly a wildebeast stole a pies of fish. The leopard pinched the bright mango then the tarantella stole a circular orange. The elephant stole a juicy grape-fruit then a scaly crocodile stole a banana. After that Handa met Akeyo "hello" said Handa. I have a suprise what suprise the fruit in the basket. Handa said oh THAT IS A SUPRISE!

All spellings/punctuations are as writen and writing is very clear, neat joined cursive writing.

Any opinions would be appreciated - TIA

freetrait Mon 22-Jul-13 22:33:20

Remember how young they are. DS was levelled at 2a for reading, but 2c for writing. Writing (for most) takes a lot longer. Some of his writing is at a higher level, with some lovely vocab and expressions, but it is inconsistent so I understand the levelling.

mrz Mon 22-Jul-13 19:05:27

Level 1 requires much more than words and captions. In level 1 children will be expected to write lists, simple texts and explanations producing logical statements that flow.

tiredbutnotweary Mon 22-Jul-13 18:01:36

mrz - thank you for the additional explanation, unfortunately I still don't really understand - where is the [sorry] emoticon?

L2 states "Ideas are developed in a sequence of sentences, sometimes demarcated by capital letters and full stops." As every sentence starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop, (with the exception of the first two sentences of each piece, which both seem to need another full stop and capital letter each) however as the requirement is only for "sometimes" punctuation for L2 seems met.

L3 states "sequences of sentences extend ideas logically" - to me (but what do I know grin) this would imply that this level of logically sequencing ideas is not required at L2. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding "extends ideas logically"?

Essentially, it seems to me that the requirement for L1 is only words and phrases, L2 for sequences of sentences with some very basic punctuation and it's not until L3 that there is any requirement for logical sequencing, correct grammar and accurate use of basic punctuation (only 3 types referred to).

Of course I imagine that this is why the government wants to hike up the standards in the new curriculum - but that is another debate entirely!

mrz Mon 22-Jul-13 15:02:32

tiredbutnotweary the ideas in the first piece aren't developed in a sequence of sentences but jump around from one concept to another (flow),not in non-narrative form (although obviously a piece of non -narrative writing) and lacks punctuation. The second piece has features of level 2 writing but again lacks flow (missing words) and punctuation, so not enough to award the level.

Elibean Mon 22-Jul-13 13:53:55

Interesting. dd2 doesn't spell as well as this, or write consistently in cursive script, though she does write with more flow and uses commas and exclamation marks pretty well. She just finished Y1 with a 2b for writing.

I suspect she writes better at school, for her teacher, than at home when messing about!

tiredbutnotweary Mon 22-Jul-13 12:59:48

I fail to see why the writing set out above does not meet the requirement for level 2. Here are the statutory level descriptors (with plenty of reference to punctuation):

Level 1 Pupils’ writing communicates meaning through simple words and phrases. In their reading or their writing, pupils begin to show awareness of how full stops are used. Letters are usually clearly shaped and correctly orientated.

Level 2 Pupils’ writing communicates meaning in both narrative and non-narrative forms, using appropriate and interesting vocabulary, and showing some awareness of the reader. Ideas are developed in a sequence of sentences, sometimes demarcated by capital letters and full stops. Simple, monosyllabic words are usually spelt correctly, and where there are inaccuracies the alternative is phonetically plausible. In handwriting, letters are accurately formed and consistent in size.

Level 3 Pupils’ writing is often organised, imaginative and clear. The main features of different forms of texts are used appropriately, beginning to be adapted to different readers. Sequences of sentences extend ideas logically and words are chosen for variety and interest. The basic grammatical structure of sentences is usually correct. Spelling is usually accurate, including that of common, polysyllabic words. Punctuation to mark sentences – full stops, capital letters and question marks – is used accurately. Handwriting is joined and legible.

Here is a link to the relevant APP grids:

The L2 criteria clearly state "in some forms of writing", not in most or all forms, but some.

The idea that the two examples above are only just starting to reach the requirements for L2 makes no sense to me based on the L2 descriptor and the APP grid. Of course if all of the rest of the writing available was of a significantly lower standard then I could understand that this would pull the overall level down to a 1A - but it doesn't sound like that's the case.

Here is an example from the national standards files (i.e. the official ones) of low level 2 writing. If you look at the APP grids at the end you will notice how not all of the L1 criteria are met (although most of them are) equally just over half of the L2 criteria are met. Best fit judgement in action!

The judgement for OPs DS seems beyond cautious - although perhaps not untypical.

mrz Sat 20-Jul-13 19:52:42

You wouldn't award a level 2/3/4 simply because the writer included some speech if other aspects of level 2/3/4 were missing

juniper9 Sat 20-Jul-13 19:49:21

Punctuation is mentioned in APP. Speech-like text is level 2, some speech is level 3 and accurate use is level 4.

Full stops, exclamation marks and questions marks are level 2, commas in lists are level 3 and commas for clauses is level 4.

mrz Sat 20-Jul-13 19:29:07

Handwriting is one aspect of the writing level expectations

thegreylady Sat 20-Jul-13 18:27:52

hmm maybe I am wrong then the report looked like this:
Writing :2b
Handwriting [b/c]
Science 2b
Maths 2b [with elements of 2a]
Speaking and listening 2a
Re and Foundation years Skills including History,Religious Education and Geography : 1 [working at a level exceeding expectations for this stage]
P.E. :2 [working at a level above expectations for this stage]
Art/Music/Drama: 2 [working at a level above expectations for this stage]

Effort:1 Excellent in all areas

A kind and sociable boy who is a well behaved and popular member of the class.

Then there were 4 pages of detailed comments on each area, a summative comment by the class teacher and one by the Head teacher.There was also a space for comments from the child on what they had enjoyed most, what they felt they had done best in and what they thought they needed to improve on next year

alluc Sat 20-Jul-13 18:21:34

Thanks Mrz for that example of level 2b. The standard does seem very high! I understand now why DS is just a 1A/ 2C. We were told 1A is 'expected' level for end of yr 1 so I'm quite surprised that this standard is expected of a 5-6 year old.

mrz Sat 20-Jul-13 17:10:10

The level is determined by the piece as a whole (in fact by many pieces)

FadedSapphire Sat 20-Jul-13 17:04:23

Surprised your example with use of commas, apostrophes and speech marks not more than a 2b mrz.

I'd give them 1a.

mrz Sat 20-Jul-13 16:52:55

No speech marks aren't a 2B ... a punctuation mark doesn't have a NC level

FadedSapphire Sat 20-Jul-13 16:51:30

Speech marks are 2B are they? Mmmm.
My ds got 2a in year two and bit hit and miss with speech marks. Occasional comma.
Always had trouble with neat handwriting [left hander and poor coordination].

mrz Sat 20-Jul-13 16:41:26

Handwriting isn't normally given a separate level

thegreylady Sat 20-Jul-13 16:32:57

My dgs was given 2b overall for his written work but 2c for handwriting. The terminology was different I think but that was my interpretation. I have only one piece of his recent work here but it was given a 2b.
I am interested in the circle of life witch is not the same as a life cycle. A life cycle is when a butterfly lays eggs,they eat leaves and are caterpillers. The caterpillars spin a shell called a crisalis where they live while they become buterflys.
The circle of life is about being born, living and then being dead when it all starts again but I don't know about that and I am interested to know about how it happens.

mrz Sat 20-Jul-13 13:50:00

This is a 2B piece (externally moderated) child's own spelling and punctuation and fully cursive handwriting

On a ink black night, in a jet black street was a dark, dark house. In the dark, dark down a spiral staircase lived two skelletons and a little dog skelleton. "What shall we do tonight?" askted the little skelleton,
"I know we can go to the park!" shouted the big skelleton. So they set off down the jet black street to the park. When they got there they didnot expect there to be a merrygo round and a very big slide. "Is that what I think it is?"
"Yes it's a meddy evil fair!"
"Let's go on the skelleton cups, then on the big slide...let's go!"
When they got off they were dizzy!
"Let's go home" suggested the big skelleton so they set off back down the jet black street.

mrz Sat 20-Jul-13 13:39:17

Based on the two pieces you have posted I would only award a 1A overall ... the first piece lacks the features of a non fiction report /flow/punctuation
The second lacks punctuation and flow

I would expect much more from level 2 writers

MaybeBentley Sat 20-Jul-13 11:57:13

But doesn't it also depend on how much support the child has received? How much build up of teaching and planning? In my child's book it says "independent assessed work" next to some pieces and "supported work", "guided writing" and "worked in a group" next to others. Some is not annotated in any way. My thoughts were from L2 upwards it had to be unsupported and help not given in planning, etc.

sheridand Sat 20-Jul-13 09:56:05

I'd say solid top end 1a for the first, 2c for the second, IF it was mostly his own work and not too supported. The "circular" sentence looks like it had input to me.

alluc Sat 20-Jul-13 09:45:57

In my meeting with HT he did say that the school tend to err on side of caution when giving levels and that children usually make amazing progress in year 2!!
His reading level (2c -but reads fluently stage 11 -lime books and has excellent comprehension skills) and maths (1a - I feel very much undermarked on this as this is his strong point and he can definitely do everything in level 2c and 2b descriptors IMO) were lower than I expected too but he is in top ability groups for all subjects and predicted level 3s all round. I just think I feel let down by the levels given as it doesn't reflect what I feel his abilities are.

alluc Sat 20-Jul-13 09:40:27

I too have looked at level descriptors and thought he should be a low level 2. I think handwriting is a small part MaryPoppinsBag. DS's handwriting is better than mine (no joke) - his teacher is a stickler for getting all the class to do neat well formed joined up writing!

MaryPoppinsBag Sat 20-Jul-13 09:29:49

Does the quality of handwriting count towards the mark?

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