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2 thirds can read at 11

(69 Posts)
robingood19 Wed 03-Aug-11 09:52:21

It is interesting to seem how different media reported this

After 6 years compulsory schooling it is a bit suprising that one third cannot read properly or do sums.

Boys less capable than girls as usual

roisin Wed 03-Aug-11 10:26:05

Achieving below Level 4 at the end of yr6, does not mean children "cannot read" or "do sums".

Obviously it's not ideal. But if you instead devise a benchmark that 98% of children will pass, then it has no value and is not worth achieving.

roisin Wed 03-Aug-11 10:27:55

81% achieved level 4 in English
80% in Maths

But the overlap (children who achieve both) is 67%.
BBC figures here

robingood19 Wed 03-Aug-11 10:30:10

I would say a lot of the failure is due to disadvantaged background. Non reading parents.

I would concentrate on reading and writing early on with the backward ones. Some people never seem to get figures. (I am far from bril)

IndigoBell Wed 03-Aug-11 11:24:04

But at a level 3 a child can read and write can't they?

They could certainly read the Sun, and write a letter......

robingood19 Wed 03-Aug-11 11:34:42

Thats a start, Indigo. Write a letter to the SUN... \seriously I cant remember when I really grasped reading and writing. It was probably late on. 12, 13 or 14

In some of the schools I attended those who got behind were ignored. And obviously lost. We had 3 grades in town schools. In village schools all levelswere taught together.

hocuspontas Wed 03-Aug-11 12:13:34

It's so hard to read the tables. If you look at any of the 'failing' schools at random, most have a high% of children on SA but a reasonable, say 70%, of children making the expected progress. Also there are still between 10 and 15% getting level 5 in some schools. Very difficult to make a sweeping statement I would have said.

mrz Wed 03-Aug-11 14:40:21

Yes Indigo a child can read and write and do maths and not achieve a level 4 so the report is wildly misleading. Think of all the MN "free readers" who are nowhere near a level 3 never mind a level 4 wink

TalkinPeace2 Wed 03-Aug-11 15:32:41

on the basis that around 20% of kids are statement, school action or school action plus the fact that 80% of each subject are reaching level four implies to me that things are OK and DO NOT NEED TINKERING

IndigoBell Wed 03-Aug-11 15:34:57

mrz - So if a child is working at a L3 by the end of Y6, do you think the parents need to be concerned?

What about a L1 at the end of Y2?

IndigoBell Wed 03-Aug-11 15:37:22

TalkinPeace - no, no, no. Just because a child is on the SEN register does not mean they shouldn't get a L4.......

For some children on the SEN register a L4 is never going to happen, but for most of them it is achievable......

Most children on the SEN register do not have a very low IQ.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 03-Aug-11 16:12:03

indigo - yeah you are right - my comment did not come out as I meant !

there will always be kids who will have huge difficulties with reading and numbers
many of them have recognised other issues and get support through the formal sen system
i do not think it is constructive to aim for 100 % getting level 4 as for some kids it is unattainable

out of interest, what would be your (as a teacher) perfect world level 4 percentage for a big inner city multi lingual primary ?

IndigoBell Wed 03-Aug-11 16:55:36

TalkInPeace - I don't know - that's what I'm trying to find out. I think kids who have been in the country less than 2 years are excluded from the results, so none of them should be 'in the early stages of acquiring English'

My school (I mean as a parent/governor not as a teacher) has a more or less average intake and get's more or less average results. Is that right? Could they do better? Should they do better?

Some schools do do vastly better than than others - some schools do have a challenging intake and get very good SATS - why?

I think low expectations is something schools have to be constantly on the guard against. I think it's very easy to have lower expectations for FSM / EAL or SEN kids.

However, equally, that is only a tiny part of it. Not every child is capable of getting a L4. But if your kids was predicted a L3 would you be happy? Would you not move heaven and earth to get them a L4?

I think more kids are capable of getting a L4 than are getting it - but those kids aren't necessarily capable of getting a L4 in the school system they are in (ie they are bright enough, but the school isn't funded well enough to provide them the extra support they need)

mrz Wed 03-Aug-11 17:11:10

Indigo as a teacher I would be striving to get every child to a level 4 (minimum) however if a child fails to reach this magic number it doesn't mean they can't read and write, just not the level expected for "most" children. Interestingly someone mentioned that the original target when SATs were introduced was for 50% of children to achieve level 4 but not achieving a certain mark on a certain day in a test isn't a great way to measure whether a child is able to read and write.

teacherwith2kids Wed 03-Aug-11 17:22:58

To equate not obtaining Level 4 with 'not being able to read' is to absolutely misunderstand the requirements of each level.

If you look at the document attached to

then you will see that the first column of Level 3 states:
"In most reading: range of strategies used mostly effectively to read with fluency, understanding and expression"

Even for Level 2, the statement is:
"In some reading: range of key words read on sight; unfamiliar words decoded using appropriate strategies, e.g. blending sounds; some fluency and expression, e.g. taking account of speech marks, punctuation"

OK, children at Level 2 (average for Year 2) are not reading at a high level, but they are reading, and many can read 'real' (as opposed to 'scheme') children's books. The genuinely illiterate / sub-literate parents of children in my class cannot read the 'home' books of Level 2 children with them - and it is these parents I think of when someone says 'unable to read'.

It is lazy thinking, and lazy reporting, to say that children who do not reach Level 4 (which used to be ther AVERAGE not the TARGET level for Year 6) are functionally illiterate / unable to read.

Chestnutx3 Wed 03-Aug-11 17:26:32

"as long as they are happy"

roisin Wed 03-Aug-11 17:31:18

I agree, teacherwith2kids and anyway 84% are reaching L4 in Reading according to the BBC website linked above.

colditz Wed 03-Aug-11 17:32:43

ds1 is eight, and level 3 in reading and numeracy.

I assure you he can both read properly and do sums.

mrz Wed 03-Aug-11 17:38:28

AF1 The actual ability to "read" the words isn't assessed beyond level 3. Once a child decode the assessment focus moves toward comprehension so the difference between a level 3 reader - straightforward inference from a simple point in the text / comments of the main purpose of the text and a level 4 reader comments makes inference based on different points in the text / main purpose of the text identified -comments on writers viewpoint and purpose.

teacherwith2kids Wed 03-Aug-11 17:44:56

Yes, mrz - but to the lay person, 'being able to read' tends to equate to 'being able to decode'.

Which is why stating that children who are not Level 4 cannot read is plain wrong.

Of course, as teachers, there are higher order reading skills that children develop as they move higher through the levels: but that is not what the OP and article writers about SATs are talking about when they dismiss those children who do not obtain Level 4 as being unable to read.

My 8 year old is around 3a (her school do not report levels, but I know she is achieving above national expectations for reading but is not as far ahead as her borther was at the same age). She is currently reading Malory Towers and various Michael Morpurgo books. I woiould not regard her as functionally illiterate because she has not got level 4 - but this is what lazy article writers are implying.

mrz Wed 03-Aug-11 18:24:50

Is that not what I said teacherwith2kids?

mrz Wed 03-Aug-11 18:26:12

mrz Wed 03-Aug-11 14:40:21

Yes Indigo a child can read and write and do maths and not achieve a level 4 so the report is wildly misleading. Think of all the MN "free readers" who are nowhere near a level 3 never mind a level 4 wink

teacherwith2kids Wed 03-Aug-11 18:29:26

Yes, which is why I was confused by your post about AF1 - wasn't certain what it added?

mrz Wed 03-Aug-11 18:39:37

I thought it demonstrated that a child reading at level 3 is able to read with confidence and fluency and in order to obtain level 4 they needed to display higher order skills of inference, deduction, evaluation and skimming and scanning... hmm Which in no way means they are unable to read.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 03-Aug-11 18:52:54

I have clients who are functionally illiterate.

One of the chaps it took me three annual visits to click that he can read and write his own name but not much else.
His wife is always with him until he has worked out the pattern of unfamiliar words - his memory is amazing
and in the boom years (commercial building) he was earning over £40k a year.
He has no books in his house - like 30% of the population
he's not thick, but schools missed people like him and now its too late
having helped with SATs, his literacy is level 1 ish.

I also have clients whose reading ability is probably level 3 or 4 - the Sun pushes their word list to the limit. So long as they can sign the COSHH assessments without understanding a word of it, the main contractors are happy.

Ensuring that these people no longer slip through the net is one of the MASSIVE strengths of the new systems - and why reported literacy keeps rising, but there will be a plateau

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