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Parents' Evening level revelations

(83 Posts)
Goldenbear Tue 23-Oct-12 22:05:29

My DP went to the Parents' consultation and asked about my DS's levels in comparison to the National Average. I have to say I was fairly surprised to hear that he is 1C for English. He will come home from school and write a story with very neat writing, he is using basic grammer correctly and using upper and lower case letters correctly. He will illustrate his stories with drawings that are exceptionally good for his age. His ability in Art was commented on at Nursery but seems unnoticed, irrelevant at school. He turned 5 in June and will draw ariel perspective pictures with accurate proportions. He can portray near/far relations well. Most importantly, all of his stories and accompanying illustrations are his ideas and he is almost obsessional about creating one every night.

He has sent some of his stories to my mum, who has stuck them on the fridge with pride. My mum has told me that my SIL was very impressed, particularly with the drawings but also by the accuracy and detail of the stories. My SIL is not easily impressed and does not compliment anyone ordinarily. My mum who was a primary school teacher up until 2007 thinks his work in this area is definitely above average. I had to look after a friends's daughter last week who is in Year 2 she is apparently deemed to be very bright at the school. Both my DS and this girl decided to write a letter to a pretend pen pal. I can honestly say in all honesty she was only marginally better at writing than my DS and yet she is above average at the school for her year. So my question is, if anyone can answer it with experience in this area does an assessment of 1C sound correct in this area? He is on band colour blue for reading and apparently is in a special booster group for reading. Would it be the reading band that would average out this assessment?

MirandaWest Tue 23-Oct-12 22:08:28

Have you seen any examples of what he's doing at school? Could it be that the writing he's doing at home is different from the writing he's doing at school? When teachers assess work it has to be on want they can see and what the child is doing independently.

The reading level and writing level would be assessed separately as far as I know.

ReallyTired Tue 23-Oct-12 22:31:57

Your son is really young and only just out of reception. Hand writing is only a tiny aspect of literacy. Can your son make a reasonable phonetic stab at spelling any word you give him? A child whose writing looks like drunken spider but can spell any simple three letter CVC words (Ie. cat, dog, box, hat) will do better than a child with beautiful writing who cannot do this. Factors like vocabulary are important than if a piece of writing looks beautiful.

Being able to read is a MAJOR part of literacy at this age. Unless a child can read they cannot write independently. Learning to write is much tougher than learning to read.

I think that 1C for the start of year 1 is really good. Children at this age make leaps and bounds. The reading will click once your son has got to grips with his phonics.

From what I remember ds had seperate grades for reading, writing and maths.

Goldenbear Tue 23-Oct-12 22:43:21

Yes he can definitely make a 'phonetic stab at spelling'. He could spell all of the CVC words you have listed. He just happens to write very neatly as well. The teacher said that he was better at writing than reading.

Funnylittleturkishdelight Tue 23-Oct-12 22:45:54

Do you notice that he is struggling with reading? Unless stated, they are grouped together for assessment.

Goldenbear Tue 23-Oct-12 22:58:51

I just checked with my DP and he said that Reading and Writing are assessed seperately.

I know that the issues with reading are easily rectified as he does not recognise all of the HIgh Frequency Words. The teacher has said that this is the area to work on.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 23-Oct-12 23:03:10

Hello. We're going to move this thread to Primary Education, at the OP's request.

SarkyWench Tue 23-Oct-12 23:15:24

What was the revelation?
Sounds like all is fine ...

coldcupoftea Tue 23-Oct-12 23:17:00

Had our parents evening tonight, reading, writing and maths are all assessed separately. I am a y3 TA but from what I know, 1C is pretty good for start of y1. I don't know the exact criteria, but we do have one boy in our class who is a 1C for literacy and his writing is as you describe- he can write neatly, uses capital letters and full stops, spells phase 3 CVC words correctly most of the time and makes a good phonetic stab at words he doesn't know (eg trezur for treasure). I don't think you should worry.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 23-Oct-12 23:21:55

Given that 1b is the expected level for the end of year 1, I would say he was above national average or whatever now, no?

The drawing is irrelevant to his writing level.

Goldenbear Tue 23-Oct-12 23:35:42

The levels were the revelation as they would not comment on them last year.

SarkyWench Tue 23-Oct-12 23:38:04

I still don't understand what the 'revelation' was.
He is young for his year and doing well. What am I missing?

Goldenbear Tue 23-Oct-12 23:49:20

ThefallenMadonna, I only mentioned the drawing as the teachers (he has 3) have not observed this at all even though most people who have seen his Art work lying around or whatever have remarked upon it. So I'm wondering how accurate their assessment of his writing level is. Also, he wants to create these stories pretty much every night and it is not a case of his enthusiasm not being matched by his ability.

simpson Tue 23-Oct-12 23:50:18

Are you pleased with his levels??

1c is really good for this early on in yr1.

BackforGood Tue 23-Oct-12 23:58:29

They wouldn't comment on them last year, as he was in the Foundation Stage last year. The National Curriculum doesn't start until Yr1.
Why does it matter if you happen to think he's a sub level above the teacher's assessment ? You can see he's happy, progressing well, achieving quite highly for his age, so I'm not sure what you are concerned about ? confused

Goldenbear Tue 23-Oct-12 23:58:56

Sarky, they revealed his levels when previously they were unknown.

SarkyWench Tue 23-Oct-12 23:59:32

I still don't get what the issue is. You have a child who is great at drawing, loves writing and his teacher says is doing fine.

BackforGood Wed 24-Oct-12 00:02:58

Well, he wasn't in Yr1 last year, so wasn't being measured against the National Curriculum.

Goldenbear Wed 24-Oct-12 00:07:22

I don't know if he's a sub level above the level they indicated that's what I'm trying to establish? I think it's quite important to accurately judge a child's ability if you're their teacher and if these things are assessed. If they did not identify ability and assign a level to a pupil that would be fine by me but that is not the system in place and they do, as such I want that to be an accurate assessment, otherwise you may as well pick out the level from a hat!

MrsCantSayAnything Wed 24-Oct-12 00:09:39

well she wants to know why he's not been recognised further for his abilities.

Which is fair enough. All the confused faces are just stipid in this instance as people KNOW that the OP feels that her son isn't being recognised fully.

JoanBias Wed 24-Oct-12 00:10:05

He's five. Worry about levels in ten years time.

MrsCantSayAnything Wed 24-Oct-12 00:10:36

That's right Golden why bother sticking "grades" on them if they're arbitrary?

Goldenbear Wed 24-Oct-12 00:26:01

MrsCantSayAnything, yes that is it exactly- is he being recognised for his true ability? Also, I spoke to the Head last term about the classes being mixed up for Year 1, i asked him if it had anything to do with ability. He said that this was not the case in Year 1 but it is definitely more a consideration in Year 2. If this is the case his levels are significant.

JoanBias, I would be very nervous about leaving it until he was 15 to worry about his level of work. However, I would not let him know about my interest now. I do have to listen to him read more. You're meant to do this every night but I don't and I am to blame for this.

yellowsubmarine53 Wed 24-Oct-12 01:01:13

What on earth do you think you're to blame for?

Reading every night is an ideal, one that can't be adhered to 100% due to illness, late nights, other activities etc.

Try not to get caught up in levels - the most useful questions you could ask his teacher are what his next steps are and how you can support him to achieve those.

steppemum Wed 24-Oct-12 01:42:50

In my experience my dcs have all had the 'wrong' level at different times. There are time when I know they have soared ahead (especially with reading) and there are times when the levels show they haven't moved levels, when I know they have made massive progress. (our school sends levels out at every half term in mini report)

I used to worry about it, but as long as they working hard and making progress, then it really doesn't matter. At some point during the year the marked levels catch up. Sometimes there is something in the assessment that is stopping them being marked at that level, that I am not aware of. Sometimes the teacher is too busy teaching to do level assessments.

Don't get hung up on them. The most important thing is that he is doing that lovely writing, and not what level it is assessed at.

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