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ORT levels/stages and new NC

(46 Posts)
Hiddeninplainsight Tue 03-Jan-17 15:56:26

So my children's school uses ORT, which now goes up to level 20. I was having a little look into the scheme, and found this (on phone and can't remember how to get the link to work -sorry!)

which I thought was quite interesting. It was particularly page 7, which has the revised levels charts. I know that the new ORT books are levelled based on phonics stages, but I thought that the increase to stage 11 as expected at the end of Y2 (or at least from ORT - I think it says 10 should be okay for 'expected' at the end of the year).

I was curious if any teachers have thoughts on the scheme, and this compared to accelerated reader.

mrz Tue 03-Jan-17 16:43:54

*"*^*I know that the new ORT books are levelled based on phonics stages*^*"* they aren't!

mrz Tue 03-Jan-17 16:48:39

What you've linked to is the Big Reading criterion scale which is an assessment of reading (actually nothing to do with ORT levels). OUP have (I assume) bought the right to publish the assessment scheme and understandably have linked it to their reading scheme but it can equally be applied to any books.
We are a Big Reading school but don't use ORT books.

Hiddeninplainsight Tue 03-Jan-17 16:51:58

They say what stage phonics they are, so Mrz I take it that isn't the same thing? They must also have changed their scheme slightly, given it now has 20 levels, although it seems what they have done is to add levels but keep the colour bands the same. There are just a lot more levels in the upper bands. Anyone got any idea why?

Hiddeninplainsight Tue 03-Jan-17 16:59:35

Ah. I was looking at the ORT stuff because our school used all things OUP. So does that mean ORT/treetops have been re-worked to match Big Reading? And Mrz, does your school use it with the children's choice of reading books? Kind of accelerated reading style? Thanks for taking the time to answer some of my questions too smile

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 03-Jan-17 17:35:12

I can't see your link because I'mon my phone, but ORT have had 20 levels for years haven't they? I don't think they've added new ones although they may have added new series to the top levels.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 03-Jan-17 18:22:41

Definitely not linked to stages, especially if older books are being used. My son has two books from same stage given over Christmas and they are substantially different even though they are both the same colour.
One has stage two RWI phonics and seconds has stage three.

mrz Tue 03-Jan-17 18:44:02

*"*^*They say what stage phonics they are, so Mrz I take it that isn't the same thing?*^ *"* not really just linked to the stages of their phonics programme which isn't universal.

mrz Tue 03-Jan-17 18:47:41

*"*^*So does that mean ORT/treetops have been re-worked to match Big Reading*^*"* no they haven't rewritten the books. it simply means that they have looked at the criterion for each standard and matched it to specific ORT books. It doesn't mean that every book in that ORT stage/band will match the criterion.

irvineoneohone Tue 03-Jan-17 19:32:30

They always had books up to dark red. Just looks like they break down each colour into more stages?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 03-Jan-17 19:34:58

Having looked at the link, all I can say is that comparing ORT and bookbands is complicated. That chart on pg 7 only applies to books they published after IoE published the bookbanding guide.

The original Magic key books, which predate the bookbands still have their titles individually banded and there are a range of bookbands across each level.

I'm not sure that stage 10 is an increase in expectations since the original stage 9 books have always been banded at turquoise/purple and they are suggesting children at stage 9 should be on track to achieve national expectations.

mrz Tue 03-Jan-17 20:42:20

These are from the assessment programme

Hiddeninplainsight Tue 03-Jan-17 21:10:09

Thanks all. Mrz those are easier to read. ORT did always go up to dark red but that used to be level 16 (based on many of the old charts still around on the internet). Those are the most common ones that come up in a search but the new ones I found were updated in 2013, so from a teachers point of view old I'd guess.

I was wondering if the changes were partly to represent the increased expectations from the NC.

Mrz I'm assuming the Big Reading has stages beyond the equivalent of ORT 20 - how would a school manage that? Any ideas? And most interesting for me, I would love to know how your school improved implements Big Reading for your readers at the higher stages, because I think you have said it isn't through reading scheme books (but I may have that wrong). I'm just really curious because I'm interested in understanding what and how reading/comprehension/English literature works in schools, and in particular what is expected from home reading. But it may take too long to explain so no worries if you have other things to do with your time smile

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 03-Jan-17 21:12:19

It's just ORT trying to flog more stuff to make a bit more money really, isn't it?

Here are two things we sell, we've linked them together to convince you to buy the bits you don't already have. grin

Hiddeninplainsight Tue 03-Jan-17 21:18:19

Rafa what does your school do for the higher stages and when kids go beyond the KS2 expectations? I think I kind of get how the accelerated reader scheme works, so I'm curious about what other schools do.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 03-Jan-17 21:21:19

I can't speak for Mrz, but there are a number providers that sell packs of 'banded' real books for schools. Some use the bookbands, other will sell by year group.

This is a 'dark red' set -

This is a set for year 6 -

There seem to be an increasing number of schools using Accelerated Reading as well. I know at least 4-5 that have switched over in the last year.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 03-Jan-17 21:30:20

We used to move them onto 'free reader' once they hit stage 9 of the ORT. The KS1 library had a fairly large selection of early reader type/easy chapter books.

I'm not sure what happened at KS2. I think free choice in the KS2 library for home reading and an appropriately pitched group reading book for class reading.

I know they have just switched to AR though.

Hiddeninplainsight Tue 03-Jan-17 22:00:43

Rafa that website is really interesting! It is fascinating to see what 'real' books are levelled at. Mrz does your school apply the 'Big reading' criterion to real books like the ones here? If so, I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would use the books on the upper levels of ORT.

I do feel for schools. I guess nothing works perfectly and it must be hard making the decisions.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 03-Jan-17 22:15:02

TBH whatever way you choose to level books, you have to take it with a bit of caution. Scheme books aside, it's not like most authors sit down and say 'I'm going to write a 'Dark Red' book or a book aimed at Year 5'.

Books don't really work like that and something with a relatively simple text to decode might have a quite challenging theme and be more suitable for year 6 or ks3.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 03-Jan-17 22:16:43

And making the decisions is the best bit. You get to read all the books. grin

irvineoneohone Tue 03-Jan-17 22:43:08

Op, I thought your dc was a gifted reader. I don't think you really need to worry about book levels so much.

sirfredfredgeorge Tue 03-Jan-17 22:44:01

What is the basic point of book levelling beyond the phonic decoding bands though?

Hiddeninplainsight Tue 03-Jan-17 23:07:56

Irvine I'm interested in how it all works, because the more I understand the easier it is to understand where the school is coming from (and to explain where I'm coming from) smile But yes, my DD is an advanced reader. But as such, it also highlights the value of reading proper books for helping kids to love reading and not see it as a chore.

Rafa what do you think of this for advanced readers, I love the titles here. I have a pet hate off abbreviated classics. Can you imagine teaching English based on Run DMC, Obama's inaugural speech and The Hobbit?

Hiddeninplainsight Tue 03-Jan-17 23:13:24

Meant to add that I'd almost want to teach that (but I would be a terrible teacher so luckily that will never happen).

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 04-Jan-17 00:21:32

Difficult to say from just the free sample. But my first thought is why are those texts limited to the children labelled as 'more able'. If they are good texts (which many of them are), then they are suitable for all children.

Secondly, I think I'd be using the full books rather than a series of extracts.

I agree there's a good range of texts and text types there.

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