National Reading Average - is it very low?

(128 Posts)
Crouchendmumoftwo Mon 11-Nov-13 10:43:26

My son is in the top reading group in his year one class - he is on level 6 blue book band. I looked this up and it says its is a level for year 2. I'm not sure if this is the case. To be honest he is aged 6 and he isn't a free reader and his reading is quite slow and laboured. We think it should be a lot better for his age and he should be reading more confidently . We are thinking the national average must be very low, the school must have very low expectations or not be pushing the kids much. He is at a good state school but I guess the question I'm asking if the state school national average is very low as well as their expectations.

We get him to read with us just once a week and wonder if we should be doing more - pushing him harder. I know there is no rush. We have parents evening this week so I can find out more.

maizieD Sun 17-Nov-13 13:38:30

Yes MaizieD Montessori schools do teach phonics

I was pretty sure that they did but didn't want to make a sweeping assertion only to be shot down in flamesgrin

mrz Sun 17-Nov-13 07:30:21

Yes MaizieD Montessori schools do teach phonics
A quote from the Montessori Society www.montessorisociety.org.uk/article/synthetic-phonics-new-approach
"The recent claims that ‘synthetic phonics’ hold the key to transforming literacy levels in the UK is far from news to those familiar with the approach to language found in a Montessori Children’s House."

maizieD Sun 17-Nov-13 00:03:06

Montessori taught 'phonics'; very easy with Italian children as their alphabetic code is far more transparent than the English one. If you read her account of 'her' children learning to read it seems that they started with writing rather than reading.

As far as I am aware, modern Montessori schools still teach phonics.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 20:07:33

^"Well, time will tell, I'm sure, whether the latest method is the silver bullet that reading needs.^" well the latest idea was Look & Say /Balanced Literacy/Three Cuing system and it certainly hasn't been a magic bullet which is why teaching has returned to the tried and tested method ...phonics
" I suppose you're referring to some American idea" ... yes whole word /Look & Say was an American import as was Balanced Literacy where it was equally damaging

thegreylady Sat 16-Nov-13 19:57:29

My dgs school uses dandelion Launchers in yrR and they seem to be grat confidence givers.My older dgs started with ORT [same school] but they switched this year and the difference is remarkable.
I have lived [and taught] through so many methods of teaching reading since I qualified in 1965.Look and Say, Phonics, ITA, Whole Books from Janet and John via Billy Bluehat to Biff and Chip. I can honestly say that, whatever the method, most children will read fluently by the end of year6.I found the biggest help to reading was a home with books in it where parents read for pleasure. Add a daily bedtime story and the opportunity for dc to own a range of books and reading will become a natural, developmental stage to be increasingly enjoyed, especially as it is a 'home' thing and not just a school lesson.
I know I am old fashioned but I find myself despairing of each new initiative which perplexes children and can frustrate teachers.

columngollum Sat 16-Nov-13 19:48:45

Well, time will tell, I'm sure, whether the latest method is the silver bullet that reading needs. I suppose you're referring to some American idea. It's usually the way with these things. But Maria Montessori seemed to have avoided whatever educational plague you're complaining about. Her children could always read, and still can. Personally I'm never too keen on this fad or that one. They're all as bad as each other, I think.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 17:35:40

True columngollum for hundreds of years reading was taught using phonics then along came a philosophical theory that suggested children should learn to read as they learn to speak ...an experiment that lasted a few decades and left thousands illiterate

columngollum Sat 16-Nov-13 17:18:15

To be fair to the schools, though, reading has been done before. It's not as though it's only just been discovered.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 13:50:19

often as staff leave new staff are just expected to "pick it up" but many schools just buy the resources and try to go it alone

NorthernShores Sat 16-Nov-13 10:49:22

Oh I believe you mrz - I meant in our local infant school, didn't mean every school following it would be.

Feenie Sat 16-Nov-13 10:31:18

There's a first time for everything. grin

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 09:55:48

Untrue NorthernShores I know quite a number of teachers who are delivering RWI with no training

NorthernShores Sat 16-Nov-13 09:48:26

Whether or not you think rwi is the best resource or not may vary, but at least all the teachers delivering it have been on training courses and are centrally moderated. I've been around the school during literacy hour, been to the 'phonics' talk for parents etc and they are very much behind a proper phonics approach.

The school has a below average intake and produces average results, so does really well with its cohort.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 08:11:21

simpson most English trained teachers don't have much phonics training either

PastSellByDate Sat 16-Nov-13 07:55:06

thanks Feenie

I agree - it's the first I can remember you agreeing with my views! smile

simpson Sat 16-Nov-13 00:17:47

Maizie - my DC school seem to employ a lot of teachers from abroad ie New Zealand, Australia and Canada etc who don't have phonics training which does not help. One teacher (yr2) admitted he did not "know phonics" <<sigh>>

maizieD Fri 15-Nov-13 22:39:12

P.S. Matched funding is just England (and is about to cease) because Scotland & Wales have devolved funding which they spend as they wish. I don't know what the situation is in N Ireland.

maizieD Fri 15-Nov-13 22:37:28

With regard to teacher training, this series of 'blogs' by trainee teachers has been flagged up on another forum:

languagedebates.wordpress.com/category/the-phonics-versus-whole-language-controversy

Reading the 'blogs' it is clear that the students are citing books from their reading lists in 'evidence' and it is equally clear that not one of their reading list books gives a clear and coherent account of synthetic/linguistic phonics teaching. How are students supposed to find out that there is another side to the 'debate', or what phonics teaching really involves, when all they are steered, by their unis, towards sources that are essentially 'anti-phonics'? Where is the Jeanne Chall, the Marilyn Jager-Adams, the Diane McGuinness, the Keith Stanovich, Kerry Hempenstall, to name but a few (and all the cognitive science research)?

LittleMissGreen Fri 15-Nov-13 22:10:23

£3000 matched funding? Wow! Is that just England?

HoratiaDrelincourt Fri 15-Nov-13 22:09:06

He's new. The old head presumably had different priorities.

Actually come to think of it, perhaps the capital funding was the new bit, topped up by PTA and then the total matched as you say. I was baffled by jargon at that point.

simpson Fri 15-Nov-13 20:30:34

My DC school used the match funding for new books, but still did not throw away the old ones confused

Having said that, the books are much better than when DS was on school books.

mrz Fri 15-Nov-13 20:25:48

£3000 of matched funding has been available for two years to buy books

HoratiaDrelincourt Fri 15-Nov-13 20:16:16

ORT is because of lack of funds at our school, definitely. But the head has found match-funding for capital expenditure on books so with any luck the bulk can soon be mothballed.

mrz Fri 15-Nov-13 20:10:00

remember the Rose Review & Letters & Sounds were produced by a labour government

LittleMissGreen Fri 15-Nov-13 20:03:09

Great post PSB smile
Is the sticking with ORT a familiarity thing though/not enough funds to buy new books/lack of understanding that there are better phonics based alternatives/general dislike of phonics so only sticking to the curriculum half heartedly (especially as government are as likely to change off and champion something else in a couple of years type attitude)??

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