When students start in year 7 at my school the national curriculum age-related expectations are that the students will be working at a level 4 for Literacy. However this is not always the case. We regularly have students working at a level 3 or lower and a few students working above the expected level for their age. The ability level of the students is extremely varied and this can be due to many different things.
If a student were working at the expected level for their age in writing when they joined secondary school they could be working at the same level of some boys at the end of KS3. At a level 4 students should be able to develop, sustain and organise ideas appropriately for the reader. The vocabulary they use should be ‘adventurous’ and mostly spelt accurately. Their sentences should be grammatically complex and punctuated correctly. This however is not always the case as many students at this age are working at a level 3 or below. One of the students I work closely with (Student A) was working at a low level 2 when he joined secondary school. His writing speed was extremely slow, his handwriting was only just legible and his spelling of high frequency words was very weak.
For a student working at the age-related expectation for reading they would have to fit into the following criteria.
In responding to a range of texts, pupils show understanding of significant ideas, themes, events and characters, beginning to use inference and deduction. They refer to the text when explaining their views. They locate and use ideas and information.
Some students do join secondary school at this level however other students join being unable to read at all. When Student A joined secondary school he had the reading age of 6 years. He was unable to read independently as he could read words unless he was familiar with them and did not... [continues]
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