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Advice/experience re P3 (age 7) reading levels

54 replies

prettybird · 01/11/2007 21:47

Ds is in P3 (Scotland - English equivalent is roughly Y2). I'm wanting to find out what level other kids who are either in or have been through P3 are reading at this stage. I'd also appreciate the thoughts of any teachers around (eg Sammac)

Ds, who is in the "middle" group is reading ORT Stage 6 (The Giant, Robin Hood etc). The "top" group are reading Stage 8 I think. All the kids are given the same book for a week. Ds is getting really bored with it - and I know the kids in the top group are also being bored.

The writing/speling work they are getting also seems pretty basic: for example tonight he has a page from the Nelson Spelling Workbook 3, where he has to "find and copy the words in each set which share the rime [sic] pattern. Cross the odd one out. Colour only the pictures of those with the same rime". The words sets are "ten bed men pen hen"/"fed bed red led pen"/"peg beg ten leg"/"vet pet wet leg jet".

To my mind, this is the sort of stuff that ds was doing in P1 - and that is a boy who struggling with learning to bllend and therefore read properly (as opposed to learn off by heart) - but he did finally "click" last year, and even in P1 he was capable of wiritng and recognising three letter belnds if the picture is there (as it is in this case). Therefore this three letter blending is really boring him. God knows what homework like this is doing to the kids in the "top" group: I know they get the same writing homework.

I'd like the thoughts of those who have been through it/are going through it if this is an acceptable level. We are planning on taking it up with the teacher - but want to get other people's experiences before we do so.

In general we are very happy with the school - it is just this year we have some concerns about the teacher, who we don't think is stretching the kids. (Don't even ask me about Numbers: ds' homework this week was to complete a 10x10 number block with the the numbers 1 to 100 in order, with random numbers already filled in: this is a child who is already teaching himself the times tables ).

We could go direct to the depute head, who we get on really will with (and who has particular responsbility for both the junior school in particualr and literacy in general) but we want to go through the proper process first and give the teacher a chance to explain/redeem herself first.

So, pretty please: what is the experience of other Mumsnetters in Scotland?

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ingles2 · 01/11/2007 21:53

Hi...Not in Scotland but have 6 yr old ds, May baby, who has just started yr 2..he's reading ORT Stage 9 and is considered slightly above average...Any help?

prettybird · 02/11/2007 07:58

The kids in P3 would range in age from 6.5 to c.7.5+ at the beginning of the school year (in August). Ds is in the middle of the year age wise (7 in September). The "top" group would be considered above average - as is ds, only he was slow to "click" with the reading, hence he was dropped back a group to maintain his confidence.

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prettybird · 02/11/2007 08:33

Any thoughts from people in the Scottish system?

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TheApprentice · 02/11/2007 08:39

Hi, I've taught in both English and Scottish systems. I have to agree with you , Prettybird, it doenst sound particularly stretching work for P3.

How does he get on with ORT stage 6? It is not unusual for a group of kids at this age to be on this stage, but tbh they would be the ones who were struggling a little.

I don't want to worry you, but I think it would be good to bring this up with teacher at least, and if not satisfied to take it further.

prettybird · 02/11/2007 08:52

He reads the book easily first night out and then is bored with it for the ret of the week. We've been told we need to ask him questions to ensure he has really understood - and to make sure he answers in proper sentences. We've done this, again on the first night and he does it easily - all the words are well within his exisitng (good) vocabulary.

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SSSandy2 · 02/11/2007 09:19

I would get more interesting library books (let him choose them himself). Read the school book the first night and read the library books other nights.

prettybird · 02/11/2007 09:23

That's effectively what we've started doing: sigining off the book each night as "read" but instead doing other reading with him. He enjoys Captain Underpants books and has just started trying to read Horrid Henry books - and is even trying to read a Doctor Who book by himself.

But it does seem to diminish the point of the homework somewhat - and his spelling/writing work is pathetically easy. He does have problems still with "free" writing but the stuff he is getting (eg last night's homewrok) is so within his capabilities, it is not really helping him.

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SSSandy2 · 02/11/2007 09:28

Is there a parallel class? Could you find out what they're doing?

TheApprentice · 02/11/2007 09:29

If he is reading the books that easily and understands them, then I think he is definately not being pushed enough. Why not go to the library, find an ORT book on a higher level (say 8 or 9) and see how he gets on - if he manages that and understands it then you will know for sure that he is not on an appropriate level.

The one thing that helps with writing is reading, so if he is not being challenged with the latter it won't be helping the former iyswim.

prettybird · 02/11/2007 09:41

There is a P3/4 class, so not really a parallel class as they get brought together for language time - and then split into the the three (I think) groups.

I had a look at the Stage 8 books on Wednesday while I was helping at the Halloween Party and think that ds would cope with them - he's at least have to think about them .

I don't think the depute head would have an issue with borrowing them - we had been thinking of asking to borrow the anyway to try to get him back up to the "top" reading group. The problem for the top group is that they are only on Stage 8 themselves - and I know from one or two of the parents that their kids are being bored by this (plus they are doing the same three letter word writing exercises).

So it would appear that being taught at this level is not really challenging enough for average and bright P3s - is that right? I'm also wanting to check this out for the sake of ds' friends who are in the "top" group.

Dh and I have always been wary about being seen as pushy parents - this is the first time I have come on asking this sort of question. We'd always been happy for ds to develop at his won pace: for example he was slow to read but really good with his numbers. But now he is not being stretched (or motivated) at al by either

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SSSandy2 · 02/11/2007 09:43

I don't think it's being pushy to expect a bit more at this stage. Without putting the children under stress, I'm sure they could be challenged considerably more than at present.

erniecrackles · 02/11/2007 09:48

Hi. Having just moved from the Scottish to the English school system, I would say this is pretty typical of Scottish homework and reading schemes. My DS1 was at the end of P5 when we left (same as Y4) and was still been given the dullest reading books in the world and worse, having them for 2 weeks at a time (being set 3 pages a night etc). Also he would get list upon list of spellings and timetables. Homework always felt like Groundhog day!
DS2 is in Y1 here in England (having skipped reception) and we have already been through Robin Hood etc., and take the books for one night then get a fresh one next night. I'm a bit surprised by the difference! I found the homework in Scotland very, very repetitive and not particularly stimulating, but I'm not 100% sure it actually reflected what was going on in class, as DS1 seemed to know loads of stuff and do exciting projects etc.
What I'm waffling on about really is that your experience is probably quite typical and you probably need to do as the other posters have suggested and provide lots of library books to keep him stimulated. Your ds sounds fired up for learning so just feed that enthusiasm. The Scottish education system is excellent (having taught HE & FE in Scotland I've seen the results) but homework seems to be something to be suffered rather than enjoyed!

prettybird · 02/11/2007 10:13

Groundhog Day - yes, that's exactly what it feel like!

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Aimsmum · 02/11/2007 10:40

Message withdrawn

prettybird · 02/11/2007 11:08

Thanks Aimsmum - I was hoping you would see this as I knew your dd was also in P3.

I've googled Storyworld and as far as I can make out Stage 8 is more advanced the ORT8. Maybe some of the primary teachers on here could confirm.

Ds is apparently "about to start" doing some multiplication and simple division . This is from the child that was coping easily with the top P2/3 maths group last year. Having to write out numbers 1 to 100 in the 10x10 grid on Tuesday (with a random number already written into each row) bored him sensless - so he tried to find ways to make it more interesting, eg he wrote them down the columns (21, 31, 41 etc) and then started doing is diagonally

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katepoleAxeToTheFloor · 02/11/2007 11:40

Prettybird - os this link any help - shows ORT approx ages...

ORT reading ages

TheApprentice · 02/11/2007 11:45

From what I remember about Storyworld, yes , stage 8 is more advanced than ORT. Not sure I totally agree with Ernie in that I havent found Scottish Homework to be easier or more boring than in England, although that obviously was the experience of her DS. But stage 8 ORT for able P3s is really not pushing them - in the last school I taught at I had my most able P2s able to cope with this, and this was in a very deprived area (Niddrie in Edinburgh) where generally standards were not v high. So I think your concerns are valid.

katepoleAxeToTheFloor · 02/11/2007 11:49

Just to add, that while my dds' school doesn't use ORT, from what I have seen I would have thought Stage 7 was about the average for start of Yr 2 in England.

As for maths, as I understand it, Yr 2 are meant to know the 2,5 and 10 times tables by the end of Yr 2. The rest come in Yr 3. They haven't done any multiplication or division yet.

What children are expected to learn seems to vary hugely between schools even in the same LEA which I find very odd.

It is hard to question what the teacher is doing without feeling pushy, but from what you have described, your child is going to get bored and may start to switch off, which you really don't want.

Good luck with your discussions.

prettybird · 02/11/2007 14:16

Thanks TheApprentice - if your school in Niddrie was doing more, then I should be alreting the school. It is proud of the results its achieves with its catchment (not quite as deprived as Niddrie, but inner city Glasgow with a high proportion of "free meals", over 60% ethini minorites and a very few posh middle class like us); this teacher is relatively new and I have an inlking that the depute does have concerns.

katepoleAxeToTheFloor: ds is now 3.5 months into P3 (Scottish schools start back in mid August). By now (ie November) the youngest kids in his year will be 6.5 and the oldest about 8 - and most of them would have been deferred to the following year (which you can do in Scotland ). Ds himself turned 7 in September. Therefore, looking at the ORT guidelines, they would suggest that they are lagging behind what they should be achieving.

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prettybird · 02/11/2007 14:45

To claridy: I meant the youngest (who I have realsied would in fact now be 6.75) would have deferred top the following year as we have that option if we don't think the child is ready.

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prettybird · 02/11/2007 15:15

I really should spellcheck/preview my postings!

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prettybird · 02/11/2007 16:19

Anyone else with experience in Scotland?

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haggisaggis · 02/11/2007 16:34

ds is in P4 in a very small rural primary. He (and all his year, all 5 of them!) is on ORT either level 9 or 10 (can't remember which) but it's the Treetops stories. They have just started those - up to now it's been the Magic Key ones. He seems quite a fluent reader to me and the school are happy with his progress. I did used to think he wasn't progressing very quickly - 1 book a week etc - and it was certainly boring. Hoever they did increase to 2 books a week, and that has helped. The work he did / does at home though is different to what he does in class. Frequently homework appears to be revision so may appear too easy. We did discuss things with the teacher - ds went through a phase of saying he hated school - and I thought it may be due to boredom, as the teacher e had had at that point seemed to rely on worksheets more tahn interesting teaching.
Certainly recommend speaking to the school.

prettybird · 02/11/2007 18:10

Thanks haggisaggis The ORT link that katepoleAxeToTheFloor gave syas that Treetops starts at Level 10, age 8 to 8.5 - so that is about right for P4.

I'll give the depute a call on Tuesday (she's not in on Monday) and ask her how she wants me to play it with the teacher - and then arrange a meeting with the teacher.

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LIZS · 02/11/2007 18:19

The colour diagram on page 3 here includes a guide for Scotland too.

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