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Bit confused about ds1 and his reading level...any one who can help?...

(27 Posts)
becaroo Mon 29-Jun-09 17:33:45 ds1 just turned 6 last week.

He has been really struggling wtih literacy -he doesnt really enjoy anything that involves sitting for any length of time!!! - he has an IEP at school and I have been using stuff at home, inc jolly phonics and toe by toe, but the best has been the headsprout online programme which has been great (would recommend to everyone with a 4-7 year old! Headsprout. com)

Anyway, I was delighted when he moved up a reading level just before half term - the school uses the All Aboard reading scheme by Ginn and he is now on level 4. A website resource I found states that All Aboard level 4 is Reading Age of 5.5 - that right? and, if it is right, should I stop worrying about ds1 literacy?

He has much more confidence now which was my main objective and he seems happy to read to me, which he REALLY wasnt before.

Would appreciate some views from people who know what they are talking about!!!! smile


lorry12 Mon 29-Jun-09 19:38:35

My child turned 6 in May and is on same level, if this is any help.

cathcat Mon 29-Jun-09 19:51:03

Well, from the Ginn guidelines it should like he is doing okay. What the targets on the IEP for?
Do you pay to subscribe to headsprout? My DS could do with something over the holidays.

lljkk Tue 30-Jun-09 11:58:55

Well, here's Feenie (is that MN's Feenie, too??) on TES saying Level 4 Ginn is about level 1a; a higher than average ability for end of Y1.

Best thing is seek advice of your DS's own teacher.

becaroo Tue 30-Jun-09 12:05:49

cath yes, you have to pay, but if you log onto the website the 1st 3 lessons are free to try...its £120 for over 30 hours of state of the art literacy teaching...its really made a difference to ds1.

Thanks for your replies, sadly, ds1 teacher is not always very receptive and he is behind they rest of his class who are mostly on level 5/6 - I am a parent helper so I know what level most of the other kids are on.

Will have a word before end of term though....thanks x

throckenholt Tue 30-Jun-09 13:20:02

my DS1 is now almost 8 (yr 3) - but at 6 reading was a painful experience for all concerned - he was I guess a term into year 2 before reading clicked and the struggle disappeared. Now - he has suddenly discovered he loved Roald Dahl and is reading a book every 1-2 days - to the amazement of all - him included . I would say he has jumped from a good year or two "behind" to probably a year "ahead" the average reading age in the last 18 months.

I have realised that reading for most comes when it comes - some early, some later - but most get there. You can't force it - and trying to force it makes things worse.

Try and keep reading at home low key and fun - read to him as much as you can - get him interested in books - and praise all his efforts.

pyjamababe Tue 30-Jun-09 21:27:55

Think throckenholt gives good advice but i would say level 1a is NOT above average for end of year one, more like average to slightly below. also not always a good idea to only read from just one scheme - try a mixture or at least something with good phonics structure like the ruth miskin series of books for struggling readers.

definately do little and often and keep it fun, read anything they find interesting (comic, TV guide, football annuals etc) not just what school sends home and join a library if you haven't already

hope that helps

cazzybabs Tue 30-Jun-09 21:35:52

pyjamababe - are you a Year 1 teacher? I think 1a is average for Year 1. I am a year 1 teacher and I would be very happy if my bottom core/support was 1a - they are more like 1b

2b is average at the end of year 2 - 2 sublevels a year thus means an average child is going to be 1a.

pyjamababe Tue 30-Jun-09 22:20:10

I teach year 2. Think you've mis-read my post. As i said, level 1a not above average, more like average or perhaps slightly below -based on 2 sublevels as you say, that would be a 2b end of year 2 and above average pupils would really be 2a or 3 by then. I would say a 2b is pretty average for end of year, 1a average for end of year 1. Are we agreeing here?!
was trying to clear up lljkk saying 1a was higher than average for end of year 1, i don't think it is.

Feenie Tue 30-Jun-09 22:50:17

Yes, lijkk, that's me too - I am famous! grin
Agree that 1a is about on the money for average at end of Year 1, though.

becaroo Wed 01-Jul-09 09:31:21

Hi all - thanks again for your posts smile

I probably should give you some background as to why I was am worried about my ds1 - he has never really been interested in reading -despite me buying hoards of books I thought would interest him and joining the library when he was quite small.

He likes having books read to him, though and will happily sit whilst someone else reads, but was starting to get REALLY distressed when we asked him to try to sound out some words or try to read a sentance sad

About feb time he started saying he "hated school" - he doesnt he just hates literacy - and that he had a "stupid brain" sad At parents evening we were told he was "struggling", but when I asked what we could do to help the situation just got a bank stare.....

After a few more weeks of no improvement, I requested him to be assessed for dyslexia as family members were starting to notice his aversion to readng too and mentioned it to me...he was assessed (after a meeting with the head teacher!) and classed as low risk, which was a big weight off my mind.

He has an IEP - which he has had for a while, but we werent told about it til the parents evening angry Apparently I should have a copy and be signing off on it?????

I then decided to try and help him myself...was worried as I havent got a clue what I am doing, but did some research online and found some things to try...toe by toe, jolly phonics etc....we are using headsprout now and the effect has been great...his confidence has soared smile which was my main concern.

The SENCO advised he be referred for S&L therapy - which REALLY made me cross as I have been mentioning his speech since nursery! I was told in both nursery and recetpion that it was just "speech immaturity" and that he was its a problem and the teacher has messed up the referral (didnt fill the fom in properly) and so its not going to happen this term angry

I am in no doubt that he has got some developmental delay - he was a very small poorly baby and there was a thought at one time he may have CP - we were told at one time he would be deaf and blind, so he is doing great! grin

I am going to continue with the headsprout - we should have finished the programme by the time the summer is over and he starts year 2 - and ask for some books from the scheme to read over the hols.....

As some of you are teachers, may I ask a question? If a child was saying they "hated school" and was thinking that they were "stupid" what would you do? I am not really very happy with the schools attitude over this issue...I feel some intervention in reception would have made all the difference....

becaroo Wed 01-Jul-09 09:33:31

Blimey, that was a bit long wasnt it?....blush Sorry! grin

Niecie Wed 01-Jul-09 09:49:33

becaroo - I was just reading your last post and noticed that your DS doesn't like sounding out.

There seems to be quite a bit of focus on phonics which works for most children but my DS1 has never been very good at sounding out and he too used to get really cross if I made him have a go.

He is an excellent reader now (Yr 4)- his reading age is at least 2 years over his real age but he still has huge difficulty sounding out. His Yr R little brother is better than he is at it.

Anyway, he seems to have learnt to read largely by memorising the words. He has an excellent memory but he isn't very good with learning rules due to dyspraxia - learning sequences is difficult for him which might explain why he can't sound out as you have to do it in stages and put it all together.

I'm afraid it is very dull but he got started by rote learning words. We turned it into a bit of a competition but it wasn't fun to get the key words learnt. Once he got those though he was off.

Don't know if that helps, probably not, but I just wanted to say that phonics is not always the only way.

becaroo Wed 01-Jul-09 09:59:30

Hello Niecie smile

I am pleased to hear your ds1 is doing so well.

Tbh, since we have been using headsprout (which I will admit was tried in desperation!), he is much happier and confident in sounding out.....he sounded out the words "swinging", "standing" and "creeping" yesterday quite happily!!!! I nearly fell over!!! That just wouldnt have happened a month ago....

I agree that phonics does not suit all children - thats one of the (many) things that I am frustrated about with my ds1 school.....this "one style of teaching suits every child" makes no sense to me at all hmm

Niecie Wed 01-Jul-09 10:28:54

Well done to your DS then! smile

Sounds like he is doing OK now - I don't know your reading scheme so can't comment but sounds like he is slap bang in the middle of where he needs to be. The most important thing is that he likes books, even if he prefers somebody else to read them - I think that makes such a difference.

Being able to sound out does make things much simpler. I didn't realise how much until DS2 started school last September - he seems to get it. Mind you, he can't seem to remember the irregular sounding words so it isn't all plain sailing! Early days yet I suppose.

But you are absolutely right - one size does not fit all and all the focus on phonics in recent years may be good news for some but not for everybody. I suppose the problem for the teacher is working out who is struggling with phonics because it is new and they haven't got to grips with it and those for whom it is just not the best method.

lljkk Wed 01-Jul-09 12:59:45

Ooh, sory about that, thought 1b was average for end of Y1. blush

pyjamababe Wed 01-Jul-09 18:40:50

Averages aside (not so important really as huge leaps can be made, and are very frequently - esp between YR and Y3) as a teacher i would be really concerned if a parent told me their child hated school! You should see every draft of their IEP and sign it, and your child should know their targets too.

S&L therapy can be very helpful but i would try not to stress that it didn't happen earlier, soo many children have S&L delays of various kinds that it would be impractical to refer them all at age 3/4, and without knowing your DS it's hard to say if he should have been referred earlier, at least he is now.

phonics has always been taught, just the recent government campaign has non-teaching parents thinking they invented it (yay the government - not), the programme you've found sounds easy to use at home so keep it up i say. i'm sure he'll be fine and get there in the end.

Niecie Wed 01-Jul-09 20:25:04

I know phonics has always been taught but in recent years there seem, from a parents point of view, to be more emphasis on it and a huge whoo-haa a while ago about synthetic phonics as the miraculous cure to all reading problems (according to the papers). You only need an ounce of common sense to see that it can't be since there are so many irregular words in the English language.

You do need to learn some words by sight surely?

Anyway, slightly off topic, but what is the expected average improvement year-on-year in the infants? I thought it was the same as the Juniors where they are expected to average 2 sub levels a year but I said this on another thread and somebody said they were supposed to go up a full level in the infants and on this thread others are agreeing with me.

Not that it particularly matters I am just curious. smile

pyjamababe Thu 02-Jul-09 07:51:40

Right with you Niecie, you only need an ounce of common sense to know that a single approach to teaching anything is silly. at my school, we use a range of strategies and always keep in mind that government 'initiatives' are just that - box ticking exercises created by civil servants with no teaching experience.

sticking with government guideline stupidity, 2 sub-levels progress is average for KS1 as well as KS2, but loads of children in my past 5 year 2 classes have made a whole level (or more) progress and i think that's fairly typical. i really would pay very little attention to sub-levels, as you say, it doesn't matter that much.

Niecie Thu 02-Jul-09 10:29:48

The only benefit of sub-levels, that I can see, is that you can plot a child's improvement in the Juniors when you almost certainly can't see them improving a band a year - ime anyway.

It is useful, from a parents point of view to be able to quantify the improvement over a year. Without it you might see a child on level 3 at the beginning of the year and still on it at the end of the year when in fact they have moved from a 3c to a 3a.

It is slightly more objective than saying little Jimmy is doing really well and learnt x,y and z over the last year. I am probably weird but I like to know if my child is average, struggling or whether I can come and boast about them on MN. winkgrin

becaroo Fri 03-Jul-09 19:36:43

hmmm.....I have no idea what sub levels are!!!! Can you explain? DS1 has gone from stage 2 to stage 4 since being in year that good progress? I think he has done very well in the last term (with the help of the online teaching programme I mentioned) and a regular regime of reading every night before bed...he is on set of words that average too?

I want to ask his teacher for some of the school reading scheme books for over the summer holiday - good idea? I have also ordered some Dr Suess books as they have looking at them this term too and I seem to remember they are quite easy?

Thanks so much for your replies....

Niecie Sun 05-Jul-09 19:39:35

Becaroo - lljkk equated the reading book level with the SATS levels so the convo sort of changed tack a bit there. Sorry - not what your OP was about originally.

The sub levels were related to the SATS sub-levels. There are 3 sub levels per SATs level and at the end of YR2, when the children do their Key Stage 1, the average expected level for all subjects is level 2. Level 1 would be below average and Level 3 above average. This is what is expected for YR2 though so don't worry yet!

Within all levels there are 3 sub levels a b and c. So for level 1, 1a would be the highest, 1c the lowest within that level. For level 2 there is 2c, 2b and 2a, level 3, 3c,3b, and 3a etc.

I think the original point was that your DS's reading level was the equivilent to a 1a. Given that you can expect the average child to go up 2 sub levels in a year. He would therefore go from a level 1a to a level 2b (level 2c would be the 1st sub-level increase). That would leave him slap bang in the middle of where he should be.

However Throckenbolts point was that children can have a tremendous leap in reading. It can just click. It did for my DS1. He went from worst reader in the class to one of the best in a year. He just suddenly got it. Therefore, it wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility that your DS could go up more than 2 sub levels.

With regard to getting some reading scheme books for the holidays - I doubt if they would let you take the books home but there is no harm in asking. Your local library should have some books that you can use too and a lot of them have a reading challenge over the summer holidays which can provide an incentive to keep practising.

becaroo Sun 05-Jul-09 20:36:43

Thanks niecie smile

Lulu1981 Fri 10-Jul-09 19:09:43

Hi there, I am having the other side of this problem. My daughter is just about to finish foundation stage and go into year 1 in september. She is just 5 1/2 and has a reading level of 2c, she has 1a in writing and maths, but she is bored with everything being so easy. What can I do at home to assist her. I do have parents evening next week so would like to go armed. She is in a school of only 20 pupils and a mixed class of reception, Y1 & Y2. Thanks

mrz Sun 12-Jul-09 17:01:10

How many in her class?

In a school of 20 pupils individualised education shouldn't be difficult.

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