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Reading ages - older primary kids

(10 Posts)
RoadArt Tue 07-Dec-10 16:48:40

We have lots of discussions about levels for young children, but what are the rules around levels for older children?

Our school assesses once a year, but only ever tests on the next paper which is half a year up. Even though DC get 100% they never get tested on the next level up until they reach the stage they cant pass the paper.

So why do teachers stop after a certain level. It seems that, as they have passed the expected level for their age, then the upper limit doesnt matter.

I know it doesnt matter really in the scheme of things and I know that good reading doesnt mean good writing, but I am curious why teachers dont test beyond the levels of normal>

Any feedback would really be appreciated.
Thank you

PrettyCandlesAndTinselToo Tue 07-Dec-10 16:57:38

It does matter, IMO. Not because testing, scoring or school performance tables matter, but in order to ensure that the child is sufficiently stimulated to enjoy reading, rather than feeling bored, or frustrated, or infantilised. You would hope that the teacher would spot this without the need for formalised testing, but even the best teachers can sometimes miss it.

Fortunately our school do do next-level testing, and support readers who are more advanced, as well as those who need extra help. But you do hear of schools where the children are obliged to read what 'the others' are reading.

overmydeadbody Tue 07-Dec-10 17:01:40

PrettyCandles and RoadArt the formal assesments are not the only way teachers assess reading ability. Any teacher of KS2 children will continually encourage the child to read harder and harder stuff, and at that age they pretty much have free reign to read what they want from their class or school library, or bring books in from home, so they are usually reading at their level.

The formal assesments are not actually for teh teachers, they are for the school statistics. The teacher only uses them in conjunction with what they know about the child.

Teachers don't need to do a formal test to know a child;s reading ability. They just need to listen to them read.

overmydeadbody Tue 07-Dec-10 17:05:03

And if you have a free reader (a child who's reading puts them above any 'banding') they still have to read age-appropriate stuff.

So, take an 8 year old free reader, it doesn't matter if his reading age is that of a 15 yr old or an 18 yr old, he still has to make do with books aimed at pre-teens so he's not eading unsuitable content.

RoadArt Tue 07-Dec-10 17:07:31

Both my kids say their teacher never listens to them read. The teachers have always focused on the children who havent reached targets.

The school reporting data is based on a specific test that has five sections to it that clarifies their understanding in all areas as well as reading ability, and not teacher assessment.

RoadArt Tue 07-Dec-10 17:09:10

Totally appreciate what you say about reading age appropriate stuff

PrettyCandlesAndTinselToo Tue 07-Dec-10 17:21:30

OMDB I have to disagree. Ds1 read 2000 Leagues Under The Sea at 8yo. Not an abridged version, but a straightforward translation. He enjoys National Geographic magazine as well, and sometimes I have to answer difficult questions from him as a result. He has free run of our bookshelves at home (though books like Silence of the Lambs, Fear of Flying etc are on the very top shelves!). He also reads books aimed at his age-range, but I see no reason to restrict hm only to those.

In Y3 ds's teacher was very keen to show us his reading scores, to ensure that we were aware that he needed fulfilling literature, and that his current fixation on books with lots of illustrations and very short paragraphs was not indicative of lack of reading ability.

overmydeadbody Wed 08-Dec-10 08:11:34

prettyCandles I didn't realise I needed to put a disclaimer in saying there where books out there that don't contain unsuitable content than free readers can read,jeez.

Of course there are books they can read, but there are also bokos I know I wouldn't want my DS reading just yet, so although he borrows books from the library from the 'young adult' section, I vetr them first.

I was just trying to make a point that it's hard for free readers to always have books available at their reading level that are about things they would be interested in and would be suitable to their maturity level.

PrettyCandlesAndTinselToo Wed 08-Dec-10 09:23:08

Hey, I'm not criticising - just disagreeing.

"I was just trying to make a point that it's hard for free readers to always have books available at their reading level that are about things they would be interested in and would be suitable to their maturity level."

I disagree again. I have not found it difficult at all to ensure that suitable books are available. Neither have our schools.

But that in a way is the point. You said earlier that teachers do not assess reading purely on formalised tests, but also by their own judgement having listened to the child. At our schools my dc are blessed with excellent teachers, whose judgement is good. Not all children are that fortunate. Perhaps at those schools or for those teachers it is difficult to provide adequate books for free readers.

BTW, when I was at infant school I was put into what was then called Remedial Reading based on the teacher's personal assessment. I was, in fact, a free reader with an excellent vocabulary and a reading age ahead of most of my peers. The teacher had not taken into account the fact that English was not my mother tongue and I simply did not know how to pronounce many words, and that I was too shy to say so. Thank goodness that the Headmaster queried her decision and assessed me himself. I still remember that session in his office, the joy with which I left to return to my classroom, and the disbelief on my teacher's face when I handed her his report.

Despite this, my school was one of those that refused to give me adequately challenging reading material. My parents OTOH had no difficulty.

RoadArt Thu 09-Dec-10 00:08:43

So is there an upper marker each year where you dont test beyond?

Thinking of year 1 = 10.6, Now at Year 5, what would be max age you would test to?

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