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How are DC assessed on their reading?

(82 Posts)
BornFreeButinChains Wed 12-Mar-14 12:15:52

Just read in another thread someone's child was assessed for reading.

I did not think they were and how are they.

When do they start to be assessed.

redskyatnight Wed 12-Mar-14 12:49:38

They are assessed from the minute they start school (or actually in pre-school). There are a number of criteria against which they are judged and they will be regularly measured against these criteria by their teachers.

BornFreeButinChains Wed 12-Mar-14 12:54:49


And is this reflected in the books they get sent home with?

I just got the impression that reading was not assessed, aside from getting them to read, and providing suitable books to do that.

My DD is reading chapter books, and she is on book band 6. Hence my question.

Is her book scheme book a reflection on what they have assessed her reading to be.

gingercat12 Wed 12-Mar-14 13:08:48

Yes. It is a reflection of their reading level. I do not know what year your DC is, but isn't end-of-year assessment something like 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c, etc? I have no real understanding how it works, but the teacher would say your child now is 1a, and I expect them to be 1c by the end of the year. The national expectation is 1b, school expectation is 1c. (I do not know the real requirements, I just made the last one up.)

BornFreeButinChains Wed 12-Mar-14 13:10:44


I did not realise this.

We have parents evening coming up, so I was not going to mention her reading band books. But I am not sure whether I should now.

She is year 1, ORT stage 6, at home reading normal chapter books.

Hawkshaw Wed 12-Mar-14 13:25:19

Just to clear up a possible misapprehension, 1a is better than 1b which is better than 1c.

BornFreeButinChains Wed 12-Mar-14 13:26:52

so what level should she be then if reading chapter books, ie not book band level but the other level

Hawkshaw Wed 12-Mar-14 13:39:05

I don't know. I'm not a teacher. What kind of chapter books (there is a massive range in early chapter books) and how is her comprehension? Reading skills are not only to do with decoding the words but also being able to discuss the story and characters at an appropriate level.

redskyatnight Wed 12-Mar-14 13:41:43

Reading chapter books is Level 3.

But ... reading is not just being able to tell you what the words say.

They need to be able to read fluently with expression, understand what they are reading, predict what will happen next, summarise what they have read, understand different genres, venture opinions about what has happened and justify them with reference to the text, understand how the author has used particular language to create a particular effect ...

It is very common for DC to be able to read books (as in knowing what the words say and having basic understanding) ahead of the level they are working at (because they don't have the range of associated reading skills).

Having said that -if you think the books that your DD is reading at school are far too easy for her, it is worth talking about the teacher - but perhaps phrased as a "what does my daughter need to work on" style of question.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 12-Mar-14 13:46:38

do the school know what she reads outside of school? generally books like Rainbow Fairies, simpler Dick King Smith etc are classed as lime or band 11. obviously chapter books range up to very complex language and text.

some schools will give the child a reading book at a level they can both read well and enjoy, other schools like to keep them at a level where they can demonstrate a full ability to analyse the text they are reading. I am not sure that makes sense but it is perfectly possible for a child to read say a Horrid Henry book and enjoy it so they could be being given reading books at band 10/11 at one school BUT to be able to understand the text fully and read into it, take it apart, analyse the use of words and so on requires much more skill and therefore in another school the child might not be considered ready to be on those books even though they could read and enjoy them. it depends how the school uses the reading boxes/levels.

BornFreeButinChains Wed 12-Mar-14 13:48:46

Amazing at reading out loud, gets the comedy, the pauses and so on
( currently on Matilda) could not be more expressive.

Understands text, what happens next to a good degree for her age.

Struggled reading word , poisonous, understands what it means but got pronunciation wrong.

Two or three words a page she doesn't understand.

Just getting idea of using language, but early days yet....we have not covered different genres yet and so on.

The school books are certainly easy for her and in terms of actually reading do not challenge her at all.

LittleMissGreen Wed 12-Mar-14 13:53:31

Assessment of reading is not so much the length of the book being read, but the comprehension of the text, the fluency and expression of reading out loud etc.
I could give the following text to DS2 (age 7) to read and I know he can 'read' every word. It might even sound like he understood it, until I ask him questions on it...

"Textpresso is a powerful tool for the neuroscientist due to its ability to query the full texts of tens of thousands of articles and abstracts as well as its capacity to include semantic concepts in searches. We are planning to expand the corpus to several hundred thousand full text research papers and are currently researching how scaling the corpus to this size will affect the performance of the system. In addition, the large corpus can be subdivided according to research themes, and the sub-corpora should be made available separately for searching to gain even more specificity. We have previously developed document classification algorithms (Chen et al. 2006) that can easily be applied to this task. Finally, we would like to explore the opportunity to interact with the NIF interface via NIF concepts. NIF currently queries Textpresso via a set of terms concatenated with Boolean OR or AND, which becomes unfeasible when several dozen terms are included. Concept-based queries are much more efficient and a natural way of querying. The NIF interface would then query Textpresso by passing a NIF concept ID. This ID is mapped to a corresponding Textpresso category whose lexicon has been filled with NIF vocabularies beforehand. A NIF concept search then simply becomes a one-category search for Textpresso."

I imagine that everybody reading the above text on MN will have different level of understanding of the above text. Some will understand it implicitly and be able to describe the concepts behind it in detail, some might be able to guess what they are from the context, others might just give a confused face.

In the same way a child at school can be given the same set text to read, and answer comprehension questions at a completely different level.

That is not to say that a child isn't reading the 'wrong' level books at school, but it does depend what they are reading the books for. e.g. are they working on reading out loud with expression, or on inferring meaning from text etc.

Somersaults Wed 12-Mar-14 13:55:44

Reading is assessed in schools in many different ways. For example, each term our children are assessed using the Salford Reading test which gives us a reading and a comprehension age in years and months for each child. This does not give us a national curriculum reading level. Children are then assessed further during weekly guided reading groups where I look for application of phonics skills, expression, awareness of punctuation and comprehension. At the end of each term I am required to give each child a national curriculum level using a grid called APP which sets out criteria for many different aspects of reading where I have to give a best fit judgement based on my observations of the child. Additionally all infant children should have a phonics lesson everyday which teaches them the decoding aspect of reading. I carry out assessments of phonics skills within this quite regularly to identify any children who are not keeping up. In June all Year One children are required to take the government Phonics Screening Check to test reading ability, although actually the test only checks the phonics ability of the child and does not take into account any comprehension ability whatsoever.

I think what I am trying to say is that different aspects of reading are assessed in different ways at different times. Reading books sent home might be sent to reinforce new phonics that the child is working on and therefore might be easily decoded. Children should be reading more challenging texts within guided reading. I do suggest if you're unsure about what your child should be reading then speak to your child's teacher who should be able to confidently talk about how she assesses your child's abilities.

BornFreeButinChains Wed 12-Mar-14 13:59:06


I was not going to say anything about the book bands, but if they are actually graded on them, I think I should say something, because she is a very confident reader.

littlemiss she would struggle with some pronunciation in there, and like me, have no idea about the content at all. grin

BornFreeButinChains Wed 12-Mar-14 14:01:10

* Somersaults

When you go to grade a child, do you for instance throw something at them that could be way above what you perceive their level to be, or would it be based on the current book band they are on.

For instance, the teacher may give her a test to do, on the book band she is reading, so the teacher would therefore only get that result, if the teacher did the test on the books she is reading at home, the results may be higher.

LittleMissGreen Wed 12-Mar-14 14:02:40

BornFree I'd put myself in the middle category of 'some idea but certainly not fluent!' grin.

If she is a confident reader it is certainly worth finding out what she is meant to be working on specifically whilst reading. My DSs have a target sent home in their reading diaries which is constantly assessed so I can be fairly confident they are on the right reading level book. I get the impression that may not always be the case elsewhere.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 12-Mar-14 14:02:47

It definitely sounds like the school books are too easy for your DD. Have a word with the teacher and ask if she can check her out and mention what she's reading at home.

BornFreeButinChains Wed 12-Mar-14 14:05:53

Yes I will raise it with the teacher.

Do I tell the teacher that I have asked her questions about the story and that to me she understands it?

columngollum Wed 12-Mar-14 14:13:30

Lots of children are reading chapter books at home and stupid scheme books in school. It's normal.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 12-Mar-14 14:15:09

we don't get any targets in reading diaries nor do our school do any guided reading or group reading in Yr1 so schools differ greatly.

yes definitely make notes in her reading diary about her comprehension of what she is reading as well as fluency, any problems or no problems. I also think it is worth writing in there what she reads at home.

TheRaniOfYawn Wed 12-Mar-14 14:22:02

It depends a lot on the school. DD, in year 2, has only just moved up from lime level in her school reading books. At home, she was reading stuff like the Harry Potter books and the Hundred and One Dalmatians and found the school reading books pretty tedious.

But the simpler school reading books have allowed her to develop a really good base of comprehension skills, so although she isn't yet a free reader, she is working at level 3.

The reading that she does at home challenges her in a different way. They give her a fanatic vocabulary and sense of style which shows in the writing she does, but when I talk to her about what she has been reading or is clear that sometimes she has misunderstood a very important part of the book.

Hawkshaw Wed 12-Mar-14 14:22:14

It's not normal at my daughter's school, column.

In your shoes, BornFree, I'd have a non-confrontational chat to the teacher along the lines of 'this is what she's reading at home and I wondered if she needed something a bit more challenging from the school books?' - this is what I've always done where needed and it's always been absolutely fine (and produced the required result).

BornFreeButinChains Wed 12-Mar-14 14:43:20


what was she assesed at in her NC levels then.

BornFreeButinChains Wed 12-Mar-14 14:47:42

Lots of children are reading chapter books at home and stupid scheme books in school. It's normal

I know Column, I have seen this issue raised time and time again, however I never knew before they get a Level for their reading in terms of grading.

If this is the case then it does matter more to me that she is being assessed correctly because if the school are way off on her reading, then how do I know what else they are mis representing.

TheRaniOfYawn Wed 12-Mar-14 14:50:28

At the last parents' evening, a month or so ago, she was a 3C or a 3B, I can't remember which. Her best friend is working at similar levels and has the same level of reading book, but doesn't enjoy reading as a leisure activity and tends to choose much simpler chapter books to read for fun. However they are both of a similar ability when it comes to actual comprehension.

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