To think it won't help me or ds to know he's in the bottom 10% of children

(220 Posts)
Minifingers Wed 17-Jul-13 08:18:27

when he leaves primary? Or my oldest ds to know he's probably in the top 10%?

This is what the government is suggesting - that children are ranked into 10 ability bands when they leave primary.

I know how able or otherwise my children are - I read their school reports, I look at their SATS results, I talk to their teachers.

What will ranking them in this way do other than give them an overwhelming sense of failure or complacency?

kim147 Wed 17-Jul-13 08:20:13

Totally agree - it's so much pressure on a single test which will make year 6 even more high pressure.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 17-Jul-13 08:20:41

But it's for secondary school isn't it? How else are they to provide suitable education for children? when they all go up, do you think they should all be taught exactly the same lessons?

My older DD is not in the top set at all...she;s artistic...that is her strength. My younger DD isn't either! She's too small to know for sure though. I won't be disappointed if they're not in the top sets and I'm bringing them up to be confident in their gifts.

Your child will not know unless you tell him though.

The consultation says it is just going to change the marking system not make your kid wear a different colour hat or make a spectacle of him.

Dd was banded in 5 subjects within the first few terms of secondary school so knew where she was academically. I can't see how this is any difference. DS goes up to a higher class for 2 subjects at primary school too, again it's not used as a stick to beat those who don't with.

kim147 Wed 17-Jul-13 08:25:17

neo Secondary knows because they get a teacher assessment and do their own tests because they do not believe the SAT results - as year 6 is all about teaching to the test.

HenriettaHedgehog Wed 17-Jul-13 08:27:04

They're doing it to "raise standards" but finding out you've tried your very best and are still in the bottom 10% is not going to raise standards. So unmotivating!

throckenholt Wed 17-Jul-13 08:28:18

It isn't going to help any of the lower 50% - and won't be much use to the upper 50% either. Even worse than the 11 plus for telling kids they are thick - hey - you are really thick - 9 out of 10 are "better" than you !

And what are they measuring - bet it won't be empathy, or patience, or sticking power, or manual dexterity - all human attributes that count a lot to how well you succeed in life.

And no nod to the fact that kids develop at different rates and there is nothing inate about the age 10-11 for saying how well you cope with life.

Schools are quite capable of streaming without having to compare nationally to the nearest 10% !

defineme Wed 17-Jul-13 08:30:19

It's really hard. I have a ds who will be just about at the very bottom of any academic scale(but still in mainstream) and twins who are both above average but one is miles ahead of the other. It pains me to know that they know this, but how can they be taught effectively otherwise?
Mixed ability teaching in certain subjects just doesn't work.

On the other hand, I just feel like this is coming from a lot of people who were used to seeing their name on the class ranking board at their private school and feel that the way they were educated is the only possible way of raising achievement.

insanityscratching Wed 17-Jul-13 08:30:28

Dd's school streams for maths literacy and phonics from year 1. Even at 5 years old they are well aware of whether they are in the top set or bottom set of six regardless of how much the teachers try to disguise there is a ranking.
If the tests are ranked there is no need to share the results if you don't want although from listening to dd the children are quite open about scores amongst her friends anyway.

Minifingers Wed 17-Jul-13 08:32:12

Neo - secondary teachers already assess children's ability and set them accordingly doing a mixture of internal tests and using SATS scores.

What the government is suggesting is a national ranking system of all 11 year olds.

lecce Wed 17-Jul-13 08:32:20

Yes , because at the moment teachers have no idea of pupils' abilities and just make random guesses hmm.

What is the point of knowing how they compare nationally? Schools are based in particular areas, so a top set in one school could be more like a middle set in another.

Total waste of time and potentially demolarising for pupils and their families.

Minifingers Wed 17-Jul-13 08:33:43

I won't allow my dc's to sit the test if they bring it in before 2015

moogy1a Wed 17-Jul-13 08:34:04

What they are suggesting appears to be a more realistic way of measuring ability so children can be educated according to their ability. Not according to year 6 sats basically made up by teachers as it improves their results.
You don't have to tell them they're in the bottom 10%

kim147 Wed 17-Jul-13 08:34:27

It's also the fact that SATs are a single test - and year 6 teachers spend year 6 teaching to that test - which is not a good thing at such a young age.

I have no doubt it will be used to attack the school in some way.

Minifingers Wed 17-Jul-13 08:35:19

I'm amazed how many of the objections raised on this thread are based on the false premise that teachers can't properly assess pupils ability for the purpose of setting without a national ranking system as proposed by the government. hmm

kim147 Wed 17-Jul-13 08:35:19

moogy - They will be using the year 6 SAT scores and ranking you based on that score.

MissMarplesBloomers Wed 17-Jul-13 08:36:10

But as Neo says teachers at secondary form their own judgements so any testing inY6 is a waste of time!

Leave the teachers to teach FFS not test.

kim147 Wed 17-Jul-13 08:36:22

Maybe they should ask secondary school teachers why children who come in on a Level 4 often fail to get a Grade C at GCSE.

kim147 Wed 17-Jul-13 08:37:17

Secondary school teachers don't believe Year 6 SAT scores anyway - because all that teaching to the test has just shown how well they can take a test.

curlew Wed 17-Jul-13 08:37:26

"You don't have to tell them they're in the bottom 10%"

This would only work if nobody told their child which band they were in!

deXavia Wed 17-Jul-13 08:37:29

For me the challenge is how flexible the bands are to take into account people changing. What happens to the kid who was miserable at primary but finds a new lease of life in the new secondary environment? Surely an assessment by a new set of eyes with no legacy would be better? What happens to the kid who struggle at 11 but comes into their own at 13? We rank and label kids far too much from far too young an age.

kim147 Wed 17-Jul-13 08:39:52

"We rank and label kids far too much from far too young an age"

YY to this.

thispunderfullife Wed 17-Jul-13 08:41:44

Kim you make an interesting point about level 4 Nov getting grade c, sorry to be daft but can not explain a bit more?

kim147 Wed 17-Jul-13 08:46:15

I'll look for the link - but there are some interesting statistics about the percentage who get a Level 4 in English or Maths and who do not get a Grade C at GCSE.

It's not a massive jump from Level 4 to Grade C - I'm very experienced in both areas and it surprises me.

ParsingFancy Wed 17-Jul-13 08:50:57

How can it possibly "raise standards"?

If you rank children against each other, all you get is relative position.

It doesn't tell you what standard any of the children have actually achieved.

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