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should I be worried to not know any details of my children levels or what is expected progress for their ages?

(143 Posts)
educator123 Sun 17-Feb-13 16:52:43

I recently came over to this section and ever since all I've done is worry

With all the talk of levels and book bands etc.

Is it unusual for a parent to not know their child's level...keep seeing this 2a etc popping up.

The teachers assure me that the children are doing well at parent evening, but how would I know. I've always liked the school and assumed I would know if something was wrong.

Now I feel like I know nothing, and would struggle to know what is the norm, and he things are ok!?

noisytoys Sun 17-Feb-13 16:58:18

At DDs school they give us levels and targets each term but all schools are different

mrz Sun 17-Feb-13 16:58:47

I have to be honest in 2 decades not one parent has ever asked me what NC level their child is working at ...

mrz Sun 17-Feb-13 16:59:34

and as a mother the only time I knew my children's levels in primary school was in Y6

lljkk Sun 17-Feb-13 17:03:22

Just ask if you wonder, but to be honest, no news is usually good news.

I only have fuzzy ideas what 3/4 of mine are doing compared to "national expectations". I'm only clued up about 1/4 because it's her KS2 SATs yr & she tells me so much how she's doing.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sun 17-Feb-13 17:08:49

In primary school, if there is concern about progress, the teachers will tell you.

We started to be told what levels our children were working at once they got to about Y4/Y5, and even then we are only using that information to compare it with how they were doing a year previously.

When the children get to secondary school, they will be told what level they are working at in each subject and what they need to work on in order to progress to the next level.

Svrider Sun 17-Feb-13 17:22:30

How old are your dc
Any less than 10 I'd say the following are important
Happy to go to school
Chats happily about school
Some improvement over a term

I also have no idea about 2a etc

lljkk Sun 17-Feb-13 17:32:14

The one thing I will say is I know a few children who were so well-behaved that they kind of fell off the radar and subsequently behind. One mum (young but earnest) didn't realise because school didn't spell it out. Mum was livid when school suddenly announced the children couldn't read (they were at end of y4 & yr5). She has been more hands on with learning for her younger ones.

DS was in a private school where a lot of the kids were underachievers, often nice kids who behaved so well their underperformance academically wasn't clocked properly in state schools.

educator123 Sun 17-Feb-13 17:48:28

Thanks all. Mrz - that's interesting. So why is there so much talk of it?
A local school where my friends children attend have just issued the children's levels to every parent. At first I thought it was a silly idea esp if the children became aware of it. But she said it has put her mind at ease to know he is working at the 'average expected level' and on target for level 4or more when leaving primary.

I have to admit it's left me wanted to know the same about my dd esp as I don't talk about what she is doing not doing to others as it just doesn't seem right and I know there can be some conservative parents. But how do I know she is progressing as she should or if she wasn't how would I know he enough was being done to help!

My children are yr2 and reception. The reception one hates going to school sad

learnandsay Sun 17-Feb-13 17:49:21

It's good to have something precise-sounding to worry about.

mrz Sun 17-Feb-13 17:53:30

educator do the parents know what it means other than that the school has assessed their children "at the average expected level"? and is that any more helpful than the teacher saying "your child is working at expected levels"? Does a number and letter make it clearer?

In reality a 2C or a 2B doesn't actually tell you what your child can or can not do

educator123 Sun 17-Feb-13 18:07:21

No that is true, but it says to me that if they have reached a number/official term it means they have achieved certain goals.

In an ideal world a breakdown of where they've gone from and too and he they are achieving as expected. For example I have worried whether my Dd is struggling with reading her teacher assures me she has no concerns. But I don't get anymore than that, I suppose I don't know what the norm is for a 6/7 year old so I worry.

thesecretmusicteacher Sun 17-Feb-13 18:18:42

they send us the results every year at our school but I always forget them because it's the comments the teachers make that stick in your mind much more.

Also a "below national level" sticks in the mind!

but the numbers don't....

I happen to know about ds1 at the moment but only because the teachers told him and he came home and told me and it was only last week.

I think the numbers get talked about on here because it is a national forum and it's the only way we can compare....

learnandsay Sun 17-Feb-13 18:19:07

What kind of books can your six/nearly seven year old daughter read?

mrz Sun 17-Feb-13 18:20:07

It is actually as clear as mud ...good luck

Meglet Sun 17-Feb-13 18:22:25

OP, I was worrying about this too grin. I've got my head around reading levels, but all the level 1,2 etc baffles me.

I need to grill DS's teacher.

Chrysanthemum5 Sun 17-Feb-13 18:27:14

In Scotland we have the curriculum for excellence so the school give us a broad idea each year but the levels cover several years so it seems more of a relaxed system! I hear parents talking at school about how they feel their DC is ahead in reading or behind in maths and I don't really understand how they know? I trust the teachers and I think they would tell us if the DCs were not progressing.

I have to say all this talk of 2a etc just confuses me, but I guess if your school uses that system it's been explained to the parents?

kawliga Sun 17-Feb-13 20:47:51

'Happy to go to school
Chats happily about school
Some improvement over a term'

This. I try to focus on making sure dd is happy at school and enjoying her lessons. There are not many chances to ask teachers about the dc's general happiness (without turning into THAT mum) so I take any chance I can. I would feel like talking about level 2c or whatever is a lost opportunity to find out whether it's really true what dd says that she has no friends and nobody ever wants to play with her (teacher assures me she has some good friends as I thought, but whenever I ask dd 'who did you play with today' she says nobody! hmm

educator123 Sun 17-Feb-13 20:59:34

Kawliga - I am having a similar problem with my Dd she cries every morning, says everyday she doesn't like school or want to go! School assure me she is fine when she is there, but dd keeps telling me accounts of when she was crying in assembly etc???
Saying all that she is learning and progressing well. But I can't help feeling a little confused, is my child giving me false accounts or do the school just not get her or know when she is upset? Didn't expect to find school this worrying that is for sure!

educator123 Sun 17-Feb-13 21:02:23

Forgot to say dd is reading JP blue books apparently they equate to turquoise level!?
She has suddenly been keen to start chapter books too...but although she can read them the comprehension isn't there her writing seems quite inconsistent too...but like I say I'm not really sure what a 6yr old should be able to write!?

simpson Sun 17-Feb-13 21:15:07

Is it your DD1 or DD2 that is on crap JP books?? DD has point blank refused to read hers today <<sigh>>

I always thought it was normal to ask for NC levels blush and with google as my friend I could (but don't!!) look up what that level meant iyswim.

My concern with DD (reception) is that she makes friends , gets covered in crap glue/paint etc, learns to take turns etc and generally enjoys reception. I know her reading levels but nothing else.

educator123 Sun 17-Feb-13 21:21:33

Yep DD2 that is reading the lovely JP books hmm

I was oblivious to the NC levels until recently and i think i preferred it that way. Actually think i was so much less anxious before discovering this section which has lead me to worry about so much. A case of too much info i think...but me being me i now can't keep away!

I completely agree re reception, in fact i wish dd2 had had another year at preschool tbh, would have done her the world of good. DH and I even joke about moving to Finland where my DD1 wouldn't even be at school yet!

simpson Sun 17-Feb-13 21:25:09

The problem with DD is that she is desperate to be learning more (re literacy) and constantly asks to do it (and her teacher says she does it at school too) so in some ways she is ready for more really...

But she totally loves school (apart from sound time which she hates) which is all good...

educator123 Sun 17-Feb-13 21:35:06

How old is your DD? DD1 is desperate to, all of a sudden to do lots of reading so reading her JP most evenings but also determind to read a particular Enid Blyton chapter book this week, i'm not sure how they compare to other first chapter book? But i think she is stuggling to gasp the story, but keen to move on a bit. Im wondering if there is another first chapter book more suitable!?

I think, like i mentioned on a previous thread, the Dandelion Readers really boosted her confidence as reading could be a bit of a chore a yr ago. I want this current enthusiasm to continue so really want to find something that keeps it going before the JP puts her off again!

simpson Sun 17-Feb-13 21:39:17

DD was 5 a couple of weeks ago.

She is only into fiction so happy to read Horrid Henry etc but NOT non fiction really sad

She reads at a much higher level in fiction and can answer all the comprehension questions (mostly) but finds it hard on the "why" type of questions on non fiction for some reason confused

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