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Ex-Pat Mum needs reassurance/guidance

(11 Posts)
IamGluezilla Tue 21-Jan-14 12:48:56

We are based in Switzerland.

DD1 is in her second Kindergarten year- so no academic work at all so far. We will probably be moving back to the UK and she will start in YR2, the point where Switzerland is furthest behind the UK at Maths/Reading.

We read every day at home and wondered if anyone could tell me where she would be at the moment in YR1 based on the following text. We are reading "Snow Bear" by Piers Harper if it helps.
"Little Snow Bear had been snuggled up with his mother all winter inside their cosy den. He was longing to go outside.
On the first day of Spring, his mother said "It's time for you to meet the world, my little one".
Little Snow Bear rolled around in the soft, powdery snow. It was so much fun he did it again and again!
"Now you can go and explore" said his mother. "But stay by the water' sedge where I can see you. I don't want you getting lost."
Little Snow Bear ran down to the water. It was blue and shimmery- the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
He saw something swimming in the water, making it ripple and splash. So he went to take a closer look.
"Hello" said a little seal. "Do you want to come play with me?". The water looked so exciting that Little Snow Bear jumped right in - SPLASH! Exploring was so much fun!"

This took about fifteen minutes, and she was getting tires at the end. I think this is about right for her, there are some sounds she knows that aren't in the text e.g. -igh, thought etc.

Apologies for the detail but I genuinely don't know if this is remedial or outstanding!

DeWe Tue 21-Jan-14 12:55:52

It doesn't just depend on them being able to decode the words.
They need to understand what they've read. Not just the obvious things, but also things that aren't explicity said. (eg at year 1 level they might ask how he felt about being outside-looking for "fun" "exciting"-from the text, but also perhap "he liked it")

IamGluezilla Tue 21-Jan-14 13:01:48

Her understanding is good, I think. I read eg Roald Dahl at bedtime and she asks/answers really good questions, about what is happening and why.

insearchoftheFlumFlumTree Tue 21-Jan-14 13:55:09

We're also expats doing Kindergarten (but at some point relocating back to the UK). I understand your concerns (if that is the right word!). DS (5)'s school teach nothing academic beyond letter and shape recognition, so we do all of our reading at home. He would be in Y1 in the UK now.

I did a sneaky little survey of friends' children when we were home at Christmas, and honestly, there seemed to be a huge variety in where similar aged children we with reading - anything between Oxford Reading Tree stage 4 (you can get examples online) and free readers. From that passage, I think your DD would probably be one of the better readers in her age group (/class, although this would depend on the school). I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along soon though to advise, and I'll watch with interest.

noramum Tue 21-Jan-14 15:49:35

You could look here:


It shows quite good what children in Y1 and Y2 are doing.

Huitre Tue 21-Jan-14 20:23:02

I would say that if she can read that without too much difficulty then she would have no trouble slotting into a current Y1. For Y1, I'd say that's a bit better than average. I have a daughter in Y2 and have done lots of helping with her class, including reading with children.

IamGluezilla Tue 21-Jan-14 20:39:53

Thank you everyone. It is a constant fret to me. Thanks for the website link noramum.

InSearch, I would be in very worried if she had to go from end of KG2 into yr3. I know one family that are doing it and Thank God the child is so bright.

insearchoftheFlumFlumTree Tue 21-Jan-14 21:08:22

I know what you mean about it being a constant fret. I'm the same, although every so often I do try to check myself and remind myself that he's only 5, and a long way from filling out his UCAS form smile.

We are dithering about going back to the UK for similar reasons - in terms of schooling, for a smooth (enough) transition I think we either need to go home this summer, for the start of Y2, or wait another 3 or 4 years. To my mind starting him in y3 or 4 would be difficult, as he'll be very behind (I'm not even sure that Grade 1 here will be a big leap from kindy), old enough to be conscious of it, and the classroom work is likely to be moving at a pace that makes it more difficult to just do extra at home to catch up. I'm hoping that by y6/7 the schooling systems will start to match up a bit again (as they don't stay behind forever here!!).

KG2 (I think that's the same as our KG? We have pre-K then KG) to y3 sounds like a massive leap. My son is the youngest in his KG year, but I'm really glad that he did scrape into that year - a week younger and he'd still be in pre-K and even further behind.

toomuchicecream Tue 21-Jan-14 21:21:45

You could have a look at the oxford owl website too - they have free e-book copies of lots of the ORT books on there. You could come up with an approximate level she's at then, which I think would give you some reassurance. But there's a very wide variety of where the year 1 children in my class are - from fluent reader to sounding out c-a-t.

LoveSewingBee Tue 21-Jan-14 23:45:01

Maybe also look at some numeracy. You can order KS 1 books from Amazon. There are many different publishers. Search KS1 maths.

mummytime Wed 22-Jan-14 06:40:32

As I often say on MN, a lot of UK schools are used to students coming from overseas with very different educational experiences (and often very little if any English) and slotting into school and catching up pretty quickly. In fact at least one school I know they are often among the highest achieving students.
Do not panic.

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