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Australian Reading Levels


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#1 iwanttosleepin

Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:04 AM

Okay - I am trying to work out which reading leveling system people are referring to in 'benchmarks' for the Australian Curriculum.

People seem to refer to level 5 for prep/kindergarten and level 10 for year 1 - but what leveling system is being used?

My son is not in an Australian school and so I need to be able to track him to ensure integration back into the Australian curriculum in the future.  The level he is on doesn't seem to fit in the Australian system.  Ie. I 'think' he is on DRA Level 44 (Oxford Reading Tree system Treetops All Stars or level 12+ depending on which books he brings home).  

Please someone help me out!!!

#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:05 AM

It's usually PM Benchmarks.

http://www.nelsonprimary.com.au/cproot/250...20Benchmark.pdf

#3 melmamma

Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:18 AM

Yes, it's the PM levels at our school as well (NSW).
They range for 1-30 and I was told that (roughly) the schools aim for Level 10 at the end of Kinder (1st year of school, NSW), Level 20 at the end of year 1 and Level 30 at the end of year 2.
But it varies from school to school (and obviously from child to child).



#4 ~shannon~

Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:25 AM

I'm in Qld... the national benchmark for year 1 is level 10, but the school aims for level 20. My DDs year 1 class have all reached this (and quite a few have surpassed this level), as I'm sure many others across the country have too.


#5 gravity1

Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:06 AM

At our school (Vic) it is: prep - level 5, grade 1 - level 15, grade 2 - level 20, grade 3 - level 30.



#6 iwanttosleepin

Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:06 PM

I think I can convert this PM Benchmark system to DRA but it doesn't totally make sense....(well is someone hard to believe).

My DS went from PM benchmark 7 (He was on yellow books at the end of Preprimary in Australia and sat near the top of his WA class).  He then skipped straight into the middle of Year 1 in a British Curriculum school ( missed the first 14 weeks) and it would appear that less than 12 months later, so 14 weeks into year 2 he is now on.....

DRA Level 44 which appears to equate to PM Benchmark 30.  Which I find totally unbelievable given he's not even the top of class here!  He's in the top 25% but there are at least 3 kids that I know of who are a a whole level higher.

I find it hard to believe that UK children who are actually significantly younger than the equivalent year group in Australia are that much ahead of the Australian curriculum.  IE. Year 1 children can start if they are 5 years and 1 day old.  Which is the 3rd year of schooling.

#7 Expelliarmus

Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:18 PM

It is my experience that despite the conversion tables having you believe a child at x on one reading scale is at y on another, they rarely correlate closely at all.

Having said that, a child on level 30 in Year 1 is entirely within normal.

#8 iwanttosleepin

Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:27 PM

I know that a child in year 1 on level 30 is well within normal....but that the average in the class would be on level 30!

#9 Tisf

Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:53 PM

My daughter has just finished year one as is reading well above level 30, as is most of her class. I wouldn't worry too much about integrating back here - when he starts here his teacher will do a reading assessment which will work out the appropriate level for him.

#10 BlondieUK

Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:41 PM

Just keep in mind that reading level does not always correspond with the 'literacy' level. What I mean is that children will often read ahead of comprehension/written work. Some teachers will try and hold reading back to level it all out, but other teachers take the approach that if the child wants to read, let them read (which I personally agree with).

So, perhaps talk to the teacher: it may be that the child is reading level 30, but the kind of comprehension/writing/spelling work is more closely aligned with a lower level.

#11 Expelliarmus

Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:52 AM

QUOTE (iwanttosleepin @ 11/12/2012, 11:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I know that a child in year 1 on level 30 is well within normal....but that the average in the class would be on level 30!

I'm sorry, I am not sure what you mean. There is no reason to think the average of a Year 1 class would be 30. It is more likely to be around 15-18. Or it is as I said before, the readin systems are not correlating as they should. I know that an analysis of the PM and Fountas and Pinnell says level 30 is a U in the F&P and yet when looking at the books, it is clear that U is quite different to a level 30 and that similar books to the PM system are actually around S and T. If you had some books to compare you might find that the 44 your child is on is actually closer to a 20 in the PM for example.

#12 iwanttosleepin

Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:42 AM

Have had a look at some comparisons and his level of about DRA 44 is about PM Level 30.

So yes, it would appear that in the UK system (or at our school at least) the average 6 year old (less than 30% of his class would be 7 yet - my DS is the very oldest in his class and turned 7 in August so should theoretically be in year 3) in year 2 reads at about PM level 30.  

very interesting.....

#13 millie_11

Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:18 AM

DS1 is currently reading Oxford reading tree All Stars Band 9 and Treetops Band 9, and he is at approx PM level 21 which is the system used in Australian schools. As others have indicated, I think the benchmarks set are a minimum and most kids in Year 1 would be reading above the benchmark.

#14 Julie3Girls

Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:26 AM

QUOTE
My DS went from PM benchmark 7 (He was on yellow books at the end of Preprimary in Australia and sat near the top of his WA class). He then skipped straight into the middle of Year 1 in a British Curriculum school ( missed the first 14 weeks) and it would appear that less than 12 months later, so 14 weeks into year 2 he is now on.....

DRA Level 44 which appears to equate to PM Benchmark 30. Which I find totally unbelievable given he's not even the top of class here! He's in the top 25% but there are at least 3 kids that I know of who are a a whole level higher.

I find it hard to believe that UK children who are actually significantly younger than the equivalent year group in Australia are that much ahead of the Australian curriculum. IE. Year 1 children can start if they are 5 years and 1 day old. Which is the 3rd year of schooling.

QUOTE
So yes, it would appear that in the UK system (or at our school at least) the average 6 year old (less than 30% of his class would be 7 yet - my DS is the very oldest in his class and turned 7 in August so should theoretically be in year 3) in year 2 reads at about PM level 30.



My DD3 is in kinder. Majority of her class is 5 or just turned 6, and their reading levels range from 6/7 through to 24/25.  DD3 is at the top on level 24/25, and there are 4 others on level 20+.  That works out as 30% of the class above level 20 in FYOS.

A class of 6 turning 7 year old kids would be year 1 in NSW. If your DS turned 7 in August, in NSW he would just be finishing yr1.  Level 30 at the end of the year 1 is not unusual. At the higher end of the range maybe, but not unusual.

By yr2, the 3rd year of schooling in NSW, level 30 for the higher end of the class would be very normal.

I'm actually not sure that comparisons in those first years mean a lot anyway.  None of my girls read before starting school, other than the simply obvious words (their own names, mum, dad etc). DD2 had a best friend who was on chapter books soon after starting. By the end of FYOS, they were at the same level.
It's not unusual for kids to take a huge leap in their reading ability - it can often just click into place.

Oh, and it's wonderful that he is reading so well ... isn't it just an incredible thing to see it all fall into place!  I am still shocked and amazed when I work past my 6yr and hear her reading to herself at night.

Edited by Julie3Girls, 12 December 2012 - 10:35 AM.


#15 mum850

Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:38 AM

I have had kids in early years in UK and AUstralia. (Couple of years ago now)
They start school earlier in the UK and also had a more formal education curriculum in the early years.
My son was  ahead both in UK and Aus so I can't compare from that point of view.
I was not that impressed with the early years thing in the UK though. They spent a lot of time, I mean a LOT of time, ticking boxes etc. My dd was 3 nearly 4 and in nursery, about to go to school (reception)  which she would have at 4y 2m. I got her end of year report from preschool and it said "X can recognise several letters, including s, n, b, ...." etc. But actually she was reading quite well, she had known her alphabet since 2, she knew hundreds of words. I didn't' query the report, what was the point.
I think there's no point spending all that time and effort on assessment if they aren't able to pick if  child is doing more than is expected.
When we came back to Aus she went from 2 months to go to formal school to THREE year old preschool.

#16 mum850

Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:39 AM

QUOTE (Randomz @ 12/12/2012, 07:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry to hijack....

But as a mum, I am not a teacher, how do you know what level your child is reading at? Does the school tell you?

I just received my DD's report card and it is qualitative stats about achieving average without anything specific like the levels described here.

Thanks!


They might tell you if you ask. Sometimes the kids know even though the levels are called "red" or whatever.

#17 Julie3Girls

Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:58 AM

QUOTE
Sorry to hijack....

But as a mum, I am not a teacher, how do you know what level your child is reading at? Does the school tell you?

I just received my DD's report card and it is qualitative stats about achieving average without anything specific like the levels described here.

Thanks!

You can always ask the teacher.
Our school sends home readers with the level written on the front of the book, and the levels coming home are usually a couple below the actual level they are formally assessed at, as home reading is meant to be practice and confidence building.
I also did reading groups this year for DD3's class, which is why I know the range across the class. With my other two, I only knew their levels, not the class in general.

Honestly though, I think people get too hung up on the levels. Which is why a lot of schools put their readers into more general groups or colour coding them, making it harder for parents to really compare.

I've found for the average child, the reading levels don't really mean all that much. Listening to your child on a regular basis tells you a lot. You can tell if their are improving, or struggling, or breezing through.
The reading levels are not going to be recorded on report cards. It's a system used to help the teachers when they are teaching the kids to read.
If your child is struggling with the readers coming home, talk to the teacher.
If your child is breezing through them, and getting bored, talk to the teacher.

#18 Isolabella

Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:21 AM

DS1 has ended year1 on level 30. Pretty good considering he finished prep at level 8.

TBH I would not get hung up on it. Sure the Brits start formal learning earliier, but by 3rd grade it all seems to even out. The Germans don't start until 7-8 yrs. my nephew goes to international school in EU. There are always problems between the Brits wanting their kids to learn more and the Germans wanting their kids not to learn so young.

Era 90% of DS1s class is level 21 and above to end of year.

Edited by lsolaBella, 12 December 2012 - 07:22 AM.


#19 axiomae

Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:29 AM

Sounds like you've all got budding readers on your hands - encourage that!

I'm a high school teacher and I can't tell you how many students I teach when they start high school that can't read a simply sentence. Sad but true.




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