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Progress Y1 to Y2 (now), please help.

(30 Posts)
Marcelinewhyareyousomean Mon 17-Feb-14 19:27:56

Please help me gain perspective.

If in year 1 DC got the following end of year 1:
Reading 2b
Writing 2c
Maths 2c

What would you expect progress from Sept 13 to Feb 14 to be?

Ds hasn't progressed imho:
Reading 2c
Writing 2b
Maths 2c

I've had no indication that D's (7) is having problems. He was 'ahead of his peers' in yr and is now 'average/middle of the class'. I was shocked about his lack of progress during the meeting but have only just had the levels to check. Teacher said that there is a massive difference in the level he has gone from the bottom to the top and HAS made progress. His reading level has gone down.

Am I expecting too much?
He did very well in YR and I would expect him to be more able. If this rate if progress continues he will fall behind next year.

TheGruffalo2 Mon 17-Feb-14 20:00:15

What do you or the teacher mean by going from bottom to top? If a child left Year 1 at a 2c / 2b I would be interested why that is bottom. Many children do really take off in Year 2 so to assume "once ahead of the class always ahead of the class" is incorrect.

I'd be asking the teacher these questions:
1) How did the Year 1 teacher make their level judgement (any tests or teacher assessments - where is evidence for these teacher assessments?) and is it different to Year 2?
2) When was the second set of level judgements made? We assign levels at the end of each term when we update our tracking software, so any data I give out now is actually the level from December. There are many children who have made a great deal of progress but haven't gone up a sublevel in the autumn term, however I anticipate two sublevels in the spring term.
3) Why has your child's reading been assessed at a lower level? What was preventing them from being awarded a level 2b or higher. What gaps can you be helping with at home? I wonder whether there was teacher assessment in Year 1 and maybe the SAT comprehension paper in year two.

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Mon 17-Feb-14 20:20:39

It was the teacher's view that DS probably was at the start of 2c last year and now the top of 2c. He was 2c at the start of Sept LAST year. It wasn't until I got the report that I checked previous years.

Whilst I understand children could come into their own in Y2, why wouldn't DS progress, albeit at a slower rate if that's appropriate?

I am annoyed because I feel fobbed off. His teacher has said he is progressing when in fact he is going backwards or staying the same.

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Mon 17-Feb-14 20:24:29

To clarify he was 2c in reading at the start of y1, 2b in Summer y1. so now in Feb 14 he is back to where he was 18 months ago. That's a radical back step. Isn't it?

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 17-Feb-14 20:33:16

I think the chances are that the levels in yr1 were wrong. perhaps the teacher placed more emphasis on what he could actually READ rather than how well he knew the other skills required for the NC reading levels. For example DD1 is reading books that most Yr3/4 children are reading and she is very happy with them, enjoying them, understanding them BUT she hasn't been taught any of the skills to go with them. things like inference etc. If in Yr1 the teacher based her assessment incorrectly on his ability to read the books and not look at the other stuff then the teacher this year is now looking for those extra skills.

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Mon 17-Feb-14 20:39:14

If there is more to reading than reading levels, it's never been communicated. If he was level 12 at the end if last year and needed to improve skills, it should have been discussed with me.

TheGruffalo2 Mon 17-Feb-14 20:59:38

So do I understand correctly - Reading - September 2012 was 2C and July 2013 was 2B and now back to 2C? Are the other starting levels you mention in the OP also beginning of Year 1 (i.e. leaving reception)? If so, yes I'd be asking for another meeting with the teacher about lack of progress over Year 1 and half of year 2. Even a sub-level in Year 1 (2c - 2b) is not "expected" progress at KS1, so that needs explaining.

I know it is a side issue but I'd be querying a child leaving reception at 2C and asking what where the results against the Early Learning Goals at the end of reception.

It is sad that this query if there is really "more to reading than reading levels" is the message parents are getting about reading from school. Book bands and NC levels are a minefield and I will be quite glad when levels are abolished under the new curriculum.

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 17-Feb-14 21:06:16

reading levels as in the books they read might translate across roughly to NC levels but if I understand it correctly to actually get the NC level that might be associated with that reading level they also have to demonstrate other skills regarding comprehension, ability to predict, pick out words indicating feelings etc, in the same way as reading with expression is expected at lower levels.

school have never mentioned this to me, mind they have also never told me either child's NC levels, I only know because I happen to have read something about it. So both my children are reading well and above their age group but unless they learn to demonstrate these other skills they wouldn't be assessed as having a NC level 3 for reading even if they were happily reading Roald Dahl and so on (just a random level and book there, not saying his books are a 3 but I would expect they probably are).

Our school don't talk about levels at all as far as I know, I even had to ask to see the EYFS ones as they didn't communicate any of it.

the alternative for schools is to keep children down the reading levels presumably until they demonstrate these skills but then the kids will be reading books way too easy for their enjoyability level. I see it that a child should be able to read whatever books they are able to and which they enjoy and understand but the NC level involves much more than that.

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Mon 17-Feb-14 21:16:43

Your summary is correct TheGruffalo. He left Reception at eyfs9(? I think) and was reassessed in Sept Y1 as 2c.

He has been on the same level books for almost a year. When I queried this, I was told not to worry and to just encourage him to read what he wanted at home. I'm not interested in what his school reading level is, but it seems like that is what the measure is.

He can comprehend what he is reading and anticipate what may happen next. He was writing book reports last year and a bit in yr. I wasn't aware of a failure to progress until today. If there is something missing, it isn't clear to me and no problems have been brought to my/his attention.

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Mon 17-Feb-14 21:31:15

At home he reads Ronald Dhal, subtitles/synopsis and marvel comics. I was told not to worry about book levels and so haven't (until now). I assume testing his reading ability would happen outside of the books sent home?

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 17-Feb-14 21:38:45

this is what I have found about skills they should apparently demonstrate for level 12.

Understanding and interpreting texts

Grammatical awareness

ƒ
Pauses appropriately in response to punctuation and/or meaning
Knowing how texts work
ƒ
Uses a variety of information texts to answer own queries
ƒ
Uses detailed knowledge of alphabet to find books and locate information quickly
ƒ
Identifies a range of key genres and knows some main characteristics
ƒ
Uses knowledge of different organisational features of texts to find
information effective


Understanding and interpreting texts

ƒ
Justifies prediction and opinions by referring to the text
ƒ
Responds accurately and with supporting detail when answering questions
ƒ
Knows where to look for answers in the text
ƒ
Reads ahead to determine direction in meaning
ƒ
Responds to the tension in a story
ƒ
Is beginning to recognise elements of authorial style
ƒ
In fiction, recognises the need to go beyond literal comprehension in order to access the full meaning of text
ƒ
Responds by articulating understanding of main points, including cause/effect and other relationships of ideas, information etc.
ƒ
Habitually looks for links and draws conclusions
ƒ
Can interpret/paraphrase text without losing meaning
ƒ
Use syntax, context and word structure to build on and develop vocabulary
Engaging with and responding to texts
ƒ
Is beginning to reflect on enjoyment and usefulness of reading a range of text types
ƒ
Habitually and confidently relates own experience to reading
ƒ
Independently reads an increasing range of text types fluently and accurately
ƒ
Expresses preferences e.g. favourite authors, genres.

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 17-Feb-14 21:43:41

I think (don't know) that in Yr2 they might well be assessing reading ability through comprehension type exercises rather than actual whole books? or through guided reading if they do it?

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of it is a bit hit and miss to be honest. I mean in Yr1 if noone asks my DD any of these things (which she says they don't) then how will they know if she has these skills or not so how can they give her any sort of NC level?

simpson Mon 17-Feb-14 21:44:16

I would be concerned if my child had gone up one sub level in an academic year (yr1).

Personally I would expect at the end of yr2 for the levels to be:

Reading - 3C
Writing - 2A
Maths - 2A

However, progress does slow down the higher the level (NC wise) and I was told DD's NC levels last week and the teacher said that her reading level probably won't change despite having half a school year left due to lack of maturity.

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Mon 17-Feb-14 22:25:02

His reading has gone down a sub level.

I really am concerned. If it is the car that my once bright (yrr/1) is now average, why am I only just hearing about it. Fair enough if his peers have caught up but isn't this lack of progression/ backward step a cause if concern for school?

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Mon 17-Feb-14 22:56:46

Maybe I could get him to correct my text?!

Lots of food for thought and Gruff's helpful advice should really help. Any other suggestions?

Teacher didn't realise he had gone down levels BTW. I only realised when I checked his old reports against the new one. Is it appropriate to escalate this to deputy/head?

simpson Mon 17-Feb-14 23:54:53

What did the teacher say when you pointed out he had gone down a level?

In my DC school their end of year report has their current NC Levels at the end of each school year and their end of previous school year.

Tbh yes, if the answer is not satisfactory from the teacher I would take it further.

However I think I would try and work out myself what has happened ie what book level he is on and how he finds this book level, does he read non reading scheme books better than scheme books (this was the case for my DD), if the scheme books are too easy then maybe he is not getting a chance to show what he can do. Or is his writing letting down his reading? (Ie in reading comprehension tests/assessments).

I guess it is going on what your gut instinct is. In my DD's case she hated reading scheme books and used to answer "I don't know" a lot because she couldn't be bothered with them. But once she could read 121 at school books she wanted to read, then they could see how strong her inference/comprehension was as well as decoding iyswim.

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Tue 18-Feb-14 12:40:56

I only realised he has gone down a level after I came home and checked. I thought he had stayed the same. When I said I was shocked he failed to progress, the teacher said he was probably at the bottom of the level and was now at the top. hmm

He was on level 12 reading books last June. When I queried why the books weren't being changed, I was told not to worry about levels and they would test elsewhere. He finds the level books boring and I write in his reading diary the other things he reads.

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Tue 18-Feb-14 13:53:41

I've just checked and the projected level for a 9 in reading in Yr is 3c. It's like the report is describing a different child.

Everyone was given a list of 157 Y1/2 words that the class will start getting tested on after half term. No spellings have ever come home before. He can spell them all except February, there/their and again.

TheGruffalo2 Tue 18-Feb-14 14:16:00

The experts state time and time again that we should not use EYFS to set KS1 targets, but yes, it is correct if a child achieved 9 in EYFS profile I would probably be targeting a level 3c at the end of Year 2. That target is still possible - I have many children in my class currently assessed at 2c/b who I expect to achieve a 3c by July. But it is something you need to check for yourself and ask for reassurances that the school have a good explanation for the discrepancies in levels and that they are putting suitable support in place to make sure your child (like every other child in the class) is making suitable progress.

Biscuitsneeded Tue 18-Feb-14 18:12:07

Quite honestly I think schools that give levels at the end of Y1 do themselves no favours. Between the start of year 1 and the end of year 2 children make HUGE progress, but it's in fits and starts with lots of plateaux, and the children who are ahead at the end of year 1 may not be ahead halfway through Y2, but may well be so again by the end of Y2! I wouldn't worry too much.
Mine were the opposite, it felt like they weren't progressing much in Y1 while other children seemed to be racing ahead, but then they both took off in Y2. I'd be inclined to ask how the reading can have gone backwards, but otherwise I'd keep the faith and see where your DC is in the summer.

mrz Tue 18-Feb-14 18:59:55

Ignoring the levels for a minute has his reading gone backwards or has he made progress in the reading scheme OP?

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Tue 18-Feb-14 22:04:41

Problem is biscuits, he has gone backwards in 18 months, He has 1 1/2 terms left and this is the first indication that he isn't as doing well as he was. Not only that, TT he teacher didn't know he had gone backwards (I didn't realise until I got home).

Mrz his reading at home has progressed but I have no idea how to measure it. He went through the RML programme and has been taking literacy lessons in class this year. He hasn't gone up a book level since last year. I don't know how else they measure his reading level. I was told not to worry and that his reading out of class would manifest itself during lessons. He reads a lot of comics, Captain Underpants, Roald Dahl. Minecraft Annual is his absolute fave, I don't care what he reads. He has read up to Treetops 14 at home because his aunt bought him a set, but his school don't use this series.

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Wed 19-Feb-14 07:28:10

I've read through the thread in a much calmer frame of mind, thanks all. Gruff, No and Simpson you've given me my grip back.thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks

I think it was all a bit of a shock. DS isn't g&t, but he has done well up to now. He had sat papers for homework last year, which I'm glad stopped tbh. I'm better armed with an understanding of what this all means and that there IS a failure to progress. Your comments have given me pause for thought and ideas about how to approach this. I will ask to have a meeting with his teacher.

Marcelinewhyareyousomean Wed 19-Feb-14 07:34:49

thanks biscuits. I can't keep the faith until Summer but your comments really helped. I feel his teacher hasn't really understood what his a capable of. It may well be the formal SATs assessment will clarify this anyway. I don't want him to be assessed higher than he is. If he has failed to progress in 18 months, they should have been aware.

mrz Wed 19-Feb-14 07:52:03

Sorry Marcelinewhyareyousomean probably not what you want to hear but given what you say I'm going to suggest that the current levels are correct and the previous teacher/s had inflated the levels.

If it is obvious to you that his reading at home is progressing (has he moved up the book bands/scheme?) then regardless of whether you know how to use levels he is improving.

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