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What range of levels for numeracy and literacy should a child entering reception be expected to be at?

(35 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzie Sat 04-Jun-11 19:01:11

I am having difficulty getting any information from ds' nursery placement about what he actually 'does' at nursery.

He is moving from a poorly performing school in a deprived area to a posh school in a middle class area.

I don't want him to start out way behind but I'm quite sure he is far in front in the school he is in.

The school won't tell me anything about his progress except that it is 'good' and I have no idea what he is doing. He never tells me.

Please can someone tell me what kind of literacy and numeracy skills he will be expected to have acheived, or the very least, where he is aiming for by the end of reception.

Many thanks.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 04-Jun-11 19:02:24

and apologies for my own literacy in the title.....

mouseanon Sat 04-Jun-11 19:07:16

Start or end of reception?

At the start they expect nothing really. It's helpful if they can get themselves dressed and undressed, take themselves to the toilet and that kind of thing. Literacy and numeracy is what they are going there to learn not what they are already expected to know. A lot of being in reception is just about learning to be in school, the expected behaviour, relating to the other children and teachers. Certainly at the start anyway. Relax, he'll be fine!

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 04-Jun-11 19:11:13

Thank you for your post and for responding.

Are you able to tell me what they are expected to know by the end of Reception year in that case? I'm just talking about numeracy and literacy really for the moment all though I know that isn't the only thing that is important to learn.

TotalChaos Sat 04-Jun-11 19:11:23

if you google early years foundation stage goals, that will have the official info in writing. agree broadly with mouse anon. eg. with literacy in pre-reception year the emphasis will be on increasing phonological awareness/learning phonic sound for letters than reading as such.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 04-Jun-11 19:13:10

Will posh school have hot-housed mini-genuises that will kill my ds' confidence? He appears to be pretty academic and keen to learn but I'm not sure whether to teach him when he asks or to hold him back so he won't get bored etc. or whether holding him back will mean he is then behind iyswim.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 04-Jun-11 19:14:51

Thanks Total. I did look at the EYFS stuff but it doesn't seem to give the information I was looking for.

But perhaps that is because there IS no information on what I was looking for!?

BetsyBoop Sat 04-Jun-11 19:50:25

try THIS ONE for EYFS assessment levels

At the end of reception an "average" child will be around a 7 on each scale (often a bit higher for autumn term birthdays, and a bit lower for summer birthdays)

I think the "average" child start reception at about a 3 or a 4, but obviously this depends so much on the age of the child (you would expect a difference between the 4 +3 days old & the 5-next-week children!) & their experiences prior to school.

As you can see a lot of variables, but it at least gives you a "baseline".

TotalChaos Sat 04-Jun-11 19:58:32

dredging from memory, at end of reception I think they are expected to be able to count and order numbers up to 20, and in terms of literacy to recognise letters of the alphabet, know the phonic sounds and to sound out simple words. obv the teachers on here will know more!

from my experience with a language delayed child - reading has definitely helped with language skills, as 1)it gives an extra visual backup 2)gives DS a chance to ask me about new words in books, rather than misunderstood wors getting lost in the drift of conversation iyswim.

My DS doesn't go to posh school so can't really comment about attainment, but imagine it will be a mixed bag, as with any group of 4 year olds, as kids get the hang of reading etc at different ages.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 04-Jun-11 20:11:09

Thank you Total and Betsy, those examples and the link were really interesting.

Surprising actually. As ds is off the scale with his numeracy and at the top with the 3 latter literacy ones. The most surprising however is the creative one where he seems to be fairly good too.

PSED lucky to get a 3, Understanding the world lucky to get a 2 but that is expected given his difficulties.

Now don't know what to do about it if anything. I mean I know what to do about the low scores, but not sure what to do about the high scores or to just do nothing.

TotalChaos Sat 04-Jun-11 20:20:29

I wouldn't be inclined to push for anything to be done at school re:what he's doing well at, but would just carry on at home with reading books, simple counting games, cooking, showing him money etc.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 04-Jun-11 20:32:53

Ah you're probably right Total. If the new school are anything like the old school, they probably won't even notice that he can read and add and if I told them they wouldn't believe me anyway, and there is no way that he would show them off his own back and if by a miracle he did, then they'd say that he'd learnt it all wrong or something.

Yep, - I'm a bit bitter and haven't had a great experience so far of the education system so far. Hope posh school is better but it doesn't help that they have been fighting against ds' attendance. At least the kids will be a bit nicer perhaps...........

ruddynorah Sat 04-Jun-11 20:42:26

when he moves from nursery to school he continues at foundation stage and the nursery have a specific document to complete to 'transfer' him to the school. this is a detailed document with sub sections for all those headings given in that earlier link. the nursery have to have observational evidence for the levels he's at. if he hasn't had opportunity to demonstrate the skills he has at nursery then he won't be marked as being at that level.

dd is in reception now. i remember looking at the nursery to school document with the reception teacher at her settling in session and thinking well i know she can do that but i have to consider it may be a while before her teacher observes it.

boolifooli Sat 04-Jun-11 20:43:43

If he's 'far In front' at the school he's at now why are you worrying? Do you want/need him to be in front at new school? Why?

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 04-Jun-11 20:49:42

He has a difficulty that means he is at a high risk of bullying and low self-esteem. I don't want him to be 'far' ahead, but I want him to have the advantage of being good at somethings so that he can relax and work better with the things he is not so good at.

he is at a school with poor attainment levels and going to a school with high attainment levels. I want to make sure he is on the right track for as much as he is capable of.

Ruddy Thank you. That is helpful. The school thankfully are aware that he has excellent phonics skills despite being told by the EP that he will never learn phonetically and needs to be taught to sight read only hmm. Never mind reading, he can actually write many words, - with blends, but he doesn't do this at school as he doesn't chose drawing ever.

concretefeet Sat 04-Jun-11 21:39:45

There will be a large variation in the attainment of the children in reception.

My dc's school is an 'outstanding' state one in a good area.DD2 is in reception but the youngest in her year - won't be 5 until she finishes reception!

I would say on the EYFS numeracy and literacy early learning goals my dd would be at about level 7/8 by now.She can read her own simple books by now but struggles on some words which are more irregular. At least 1/2 of the children would be sounding out/blending CVC words by the end of the first term .Some could read before school, but the minority. Their school follows letters and sounds and starts reception on the basis that they won't know any yet although most will.

The children do the ordering and writing of numbers fairly early on. They then do the number bonds to ten and adding and taking away small numbers and are now beginning to understand time and money.

Our school lets us know what they are doing each 1/2 term in reception in the EYFS areas and we have access to our child's record of attainment in these.

I did check my dd was forming her letters correctly before school because she was interested and bad habits can form quickly without the 1 to 1 checking you can do at home.There were children who could write sentences at the start of reception but lots only their name,mum,dad etc.

I'd do whatever he is interested in at home.I don't think he would be bored as our school seems good at stretching the higher attaining.

There is alot of emphasis on the other EYFS goals and making reception fun.

There will be pushy mums but most won't be although alot are interested and supportive at home.

thighslapper Sat 04-Jun-11 21:43:29


Wipe their own bums

Dress themselves for PE and back into uniform after PE

To be kind to others

To sit for short periods of time and listen

NO numerousy NO literacy

End of....

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 04-Jun-11 21:57:24

Thank you concretefeet, that was an exceptionally helpful post, unlike thighslappers. Not sure he/she has read the thread though. Perhaps he/she has only learnt to wipe his/her bum grin

boolifooli Sat 04-Jun-11 22:13:33

Bullies don't usually concern themselves with how well their 'target' can write a cursive 'h'. Children who can write well, read well, spell well in reception are not immune to bullying. If you're concerned about your child's vulnerability to bullying you'd be much better off worrying about his ability to know his own mind and his innate self worth than stressing about his numeracy skills.

mummytime Sat 04-Jun-11 22:16:54

StarlightMcKenzie - I am sorry bt what thighslapper said is what most reception teachers would say is needed of children starting reception.

The other point I think you need to be careful about is assuming that a middle class/posh school will be better than a "rougher" one in a more deprived area. I have known people move their children from posher schools to ones in more deprived areas, and the latter school could cope much better with their bright/different children.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 04-Jun-11 22:20:27

Bullies target the vulnerable and those with lack of self worth. My ds has extreme social difficulties and his self worth is tied up in what he can do well. I can and do teach him social skills but he'll never be able to achieve them to the level of his peers.

I am keen that he doesn't have additional areas where he sticks out. And that includes being too far ahead as much as it does being behind.

MoreBeta Sat 04-Jun-11 22:20:31

At most their mathematical and literacy skills should be able to count to 10 and write their first name. Absolutely no more than that.

Being able to dress themselves, go to the loo and well socialised if far far more important.

concretefeet Sat 04-Jun-11 22:22:27

Boolifooli that was uncalled for.Starlight specified her concerns and reasons.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 04-Jun-11 22:29:06

mummytime, thank you for your post. I realise that the posh school might not be right, but I know with certainty and a year of experience that the deprived one with high incidence of SEN is definately not right. They think they know everything and have policies to 'engage with parents' but it is all on their terms. When a parent wants to engage with them, they run a mile and slam the door. I was hoping that posh school would be a bit more used to parents wanting to know what their child was doing in school.

If I'm wrong then I'll reconsider. The one consistent thing about my ds is that he thrives in new environments as his peers start out treating him 'normally' with high expectations and he learns lots. Then they give up on him and compensate for him and it all gets a bit stale and he gets ignored and socially isolated. What I'm trying to say is that I'll weigh up each situation as it arises and move him again if it needs to happen, but for now he can't stay where he is.

mummytime Sat 04-Jun-11 22:38:34

Get to know the school SENCo. Keep a diary of your interactions with the school, especially your requests and any promises they make. Frequent the special needs board for lot of good advice. (Oh BTW have you heard about parent partnerships, there is one for each LEA and they can be useful.)

Good luck!

I would be more concerned that they can express clear and achievable targets which they see if he reaches, than absolute levels. Its a better sign of a good school.

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