Wales: Estyn report huge problems with literacy teaching

Moderators: Debbie Hepplewhite, maizie, Lesley Drake, Susan Godsland

volunteer
Posts: 755
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:46 pm

Re: Wales: Estyn report huge problems with literacy teaching

Post by volunteer » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:39 pm

So you mirror Wales at your school!! Do you manage to skew the bell curve for reading ages at your school with your one to one interventions?

How does your school decide which ones to offer one to one help to?

chew8
Posts: 4183
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: Wales: Estyn report huge problems with literacy teaching

Post by chew8 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:22 pm

Maizie wrote:However, it is entirely possible that a distribution based on Reading Age could have a mean that is actually in advance of the mean chronological age of the subjects tested.
I’m not sure that I understand what you are saying. It’s certainly possible for a sub-sample of the whole population to have a mean reading age which is in advance of chronological age – Clackmannanshire is one example, but I know of a number of individual schools where it’s also true. If it happened in a nationally-representative sample, however, the new mean raw score for each age-group would then translate into the age-appropriate reading age for that age-group – i.e. the test would have to be renormed. A nationally-representative sample with a mean reading age which was higher than its mean chronological age would be a contradiction in terms.

I’ve used a particular word-reading test for two consecutive years at an infant school where I help. In both years, all three year-groups have come out with a mean reading age 10-12 months above chronological age, but I’ve been told by someone knowledgeable that these results are probably inflated as standards have risen since the test was normed. ‘My’ children are doing well compared with the nationally-representative sample on which the test was originally normed, but if a new nationally-representative sample now took the test, the national mean raw score would probably be higher – ‘my’ children might still have a mean reading age above the national mean, but possibly by only 4-5 months instead of by 10-12 months.

Jenny C.

User avatar
maizie
Administrator
Posts: 3121
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 10:38 pm
Location: N.E England

Re: Wales: Estyn report huge problems with literacy teaching

Post by maizie » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:00 pm

chew8 wrote:It’s certainly possible for a sub-sample of the whole population to have a mean reading age which is in advance of chronological age
Yes, that is what I meant, Jenny.

User avatar
maizie
Administrator
Posts: 3121
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 10:38 pm
Location: N.E England

Re: Wales: Estyn report huge problems with literacy teaching

Post by maizie » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:57 pm

chew8 wrote: I’ve been told by someone knowledgeable that these results are probably inflated as standards have risen since the test was normed.
You've mentioned this before, Jenny. It has always puzzled me somewhat as we have been claiming for a long time that literacy rates were poor and not improving! For standards to have risen something must have improved somewhere!
volunteer wrote:So you mirror Wales at your school!! Do you manage to skew the bell curve for reading ages at your school with your one to one interventions?
Good gracious; no, I don't!

We have an intake of around 140 - 150 pupils p.a. We usually work with between 20 - 30 from an intake. They can improve their decoding and spelling skills but the reading test used for the whole cohort is a reading and comprehension test so poor scores are as much a product of very poor vocabularies as of poor decoding. It is sometimes difficult to know which is having the greatest influence.

Even if a pupil makes 2 or 3 year's gain over a year they can still be below CA, just not so far below Two or three year's gain in a relatively small number of pupils is not going to greatly change the distribution curve, I'm afraid.

I can't do much about the comprehension/vocabulary aspect. When class lessons are supposedly to be restricted to 10% 'teacher talk' (that would be 6 minutes in a 1 hour lesson...) there is not much opportunity for teachers in the curriculum to be expanding vocabulary either.
volunteer wrote:How does your school decide which ones to offer one to one help to?
I test all the pupils who come to us in Y7 with a Teacher Assessment of L3 or below in English, plus the 'wobbbly' 3 - 4s. I know that I miss some pupils with what appears to be a 'safe' L4; they are sometimes referred to me by a teacher. We work in one to one or small groups, depending on the pupils' needs.

chew8
Posts: 4183
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: Wales: Estyn report huge problems with literacy teaching

Post by chew8 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:29 am

I wrote:I’ve been told by someone knowledgeable that these results are probably inflated as standards have risen since the test was normed.
Maizie wrote:You've mentioned this before, Jenny. It has always puzzled me somewhat as we have been claiming for a long time that literacy rates were poor and not improving! For standards to have risen something must have improved somewhere!


As I’ve said, a lot depends on when a test was normed. The one I've used for two years at an infant school was normed in 1977, and I think there have been improvements since then.

Another example is the Vernon spelling test, first normed in 1975 then re-normed in 2005-6. The researchers who did the 2005-6 restandardisation found that spelling standards had risen among children who had been at primary school during the National Literacy Strategy era, but not among those who had been at primary school before this. Unfortunately, I think these researchers over-estimated the scale of the improvement among children under 8. I had quite a lot of correspondence with them about this, pointing out that even the 7+-year-olds in their own standardisation sample, which was said to be nationally representative, had an average spelling age a year below chronological age according to their calculations. The issue was never resolved, but I think they were right that there had been an improvement – I just think it was smaller than they said it was for the 5-8 age-group.

Jenny C.

Tricia
Posts: 177
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 2:39 pm
Contact:

Re: Wales: Estyn report huge problems with literacy teaching

Post by Tricia » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:48 am

If any Welsh medium teachers have got this far...... :grin:

Llywio Darllen/That Reading Thing training is aimed at teachers of transition pupils. If you're interested, please get in touch through the TRT website.

http://thatreadingthing.com/?s=llywio+darllen
Tricia Millar
http://www.thatreadingthing.com
http://trt-for-teachers.com/
@TRT_Tricia

User avatar
Susan Godsland
Administrator
Posts: 4973
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:10 pm
Location: Exeter UK
Contact:

Re: Wales: Estyn report huge problems with literacy teaching

Post by Susan Godsland » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:31 am

The TES reports on the OP

Welsh literacy and numeracy levels still 'shocking'

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6172457

volunteer
Posts: 755
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:46 pm

Re: Wales: Estyn report huge problems with literacy teaching

Post by volunteer » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:17 pm

OK so does anyone know, on whatever the test was, what 40% having an ARA of 6 months or more below chronological age equates to as a percentage having a reading age below their chronological age? Is it massively over 50% and therefore shocking, or is it 50% or thereabouts? Which actually is shocking, the reading ages of the Welsh population or Estyn's statistical abilities? I remain puzzled.

chew8
Posts: 4183
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: Wales: Estyn report huge problems with literacy teaching

Post by chew8 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:40 pm

volunteer wrote:Which actually is shocking, the reading ages of the Welsh population or Estyn's statistical abilities?
That's a very good question. I can't give a firm answer, but my manual for the 2005-6 restandardisation of the Vernon spelling test suggests that 40% having a spelling age 6 months or more below chronological age on entry to secondary school is pretty well in line with national norms, so I would think that something similar is true of reading ages. National norms may be lower than they should be, but we can only know whether Wales is doing worse than the rest of the UK by knowing how the rest of the UK is currently doing on the test(s) used in Wales.

Jenny C.

User avatar
Susan Godsland
Administrator
Posts: 4973
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:10 pm
Location: Exeter UK
Contact:

Re: Wales: Estyn report huge problems with literacy teaching

Post by Susan Godsland » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:22 pm

John Walker really gets into his stride with this one :smile:

Welsh education - 'producerism's last hurrah'!

http://literacyblog.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... -last.html

User avatar
Susan Godsland
Administrator
Posts: 4973
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:10 pm
Location: Exeter UK
Contact:

Re: Wales: Estyn report huge problems with literacy teaching

Post by Susan Godsland » Thu May 17, 2012 9:00 am

Latest on Welsh literacy -the video clip is revealing- it's of a headteacher
''describing how literacy is taught to children'' at her primary school in Newport. It's just a load of waffle.

A five-year plan aimed at raising poor literacy standards in Welsh schools has been published.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-18097819

john walker
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2003 10:46 am
Location: Buckingham
Contact:

Re: Wales: Estyn report huge problems with literacy teaching

Post by john walker » Thu May 17, 2012 1:27 pm

It's just a load of waffle.
I couldn't agree more, Susan.
According to the BBC report,
The ambition is for Wales to be among the top 20 nations in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) by 2015.
Not on the strength of what I just heard in the report it won't!
John Walker
Sounds-Write
www.sounds-write.co.uk
http://literacyblog.blogspot.com

User avatar
Susan Godsland
Administrator
Posts: 4973
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:10 pm
Location: Exeter UK
Contact:

Re: Wales: Estyn report huge problems with literacy teaching

Post by Susan Godsland » Fri May 18, 2012 8:41 am

John Walker blogs on the latest Welsh literacy story:

2015? It's still too late, Leighton!

http://literacyblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012 ... ghton.html

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 97 guests