2a,2b,2a SAT results

(55 Posts)
Bongobaby Sat 03-Jul-10 10:50:17

I'm confused, my 7 year old had his SAT results
back yesterday. But I don't understand if he
has done ok or not. And what 2a,2b and 2a
means? He has a Reading age of 9.5 I take
it that's an age thing is it? And spelling age 8.8.
Can anyone break it down a bit more in laymans
terms!!! Confused!!!

Feenie Sat 03-Jul-10 10:56:45

Didn't the results have information accompanying them?

They should explain that 2b is the expected level for children at the end of Y2.

2a is above this, and 2c below.

The reading and spelling ages which you have been given don't have to be reported legally, so are extra info from your school. They are beyond your ds's actual age, so he clearly reads and spells well!

activate Sat 03-Jul-10 11:00:06

If he has a reading and spelling age that high then I would've expected his literacty score to be higher

I would ask the teacher why their assessment is 2a - it may be a comprehension thing (remembering that the highest grade they give at this level is a 3)

I would say he is doing very well though so wouldn't worry about anything

activate Sat 03-Jul-10 11:02:16

2b is national average expected level at end KS1
4b is national average expected level at end of KS2

each year they are expected to go up 2 sub-levels

hence from 2b at the end of the next year they should get a 3c (2b - 2a - 3c)

then the end of y4 a 3a (3c - 3b - 3a)

does that make sense

GiddyPickle Sat 03-Jul-10 11:11:24

activate - I never understood the 2 sub levels thing per year. It can't be 2 sub levels every year can it?:
If you start on 2b in Year 2 and go up 2 sub levels per year by Year 3 that's 3c, by Year 4 its 3a, by Year 5 its 4b and so by Year 6 it would be 5c.

So 2 sub levels per year would be much higher than a 4b at the end of Year 6.
I am only asking as DS only went up one sub level last year and I was horrified but told that the 2 sub level thing was incorrect???

Its all very confusing.

activate Sat 03-Jul-10 11:14:04

oh sorry I did it wrong I think the numbers count as a sub-level without the sub-division so

Y2 = 2b
Y3 = 3
Y4 = 3b
y5 = 4
y6 = 4b

Feenie Sat 03-Jul-10 11:16:41

"I would ask the teacher why their assessment is 2a - it may be a comprehension thing (remembering that the highest grade they give at this level is a 3)"

Not true, activate - there is no ceiling on teacher assessment, and exceptionally bright children may well be assessed at level 4, although it is unusual.

Children are expected to progress an an average rate of 1 and a half sublevels. Two sublevels would be classed as good progress. (Think about it - if a 2b child made progress of what you say is an 'expected' rate of 2 sub-levels per year, they would be a 5c in Year 6 - far above an average rate of progress.)

So, avearge child (as if they exist):
Y2 - 2b
Y3 - between 2a/3c
Y4 - 3b
Y5 - 3a/4c
Y6 - 4b

emptyshell Sat 03-Jul-10 14:16:26

Reading and spelling age Xyears.Xmonths - straightforward enough.

The sublevels go C > B > A... B is slap bang in the middle of a level, level 2 being the "expectation" at year 2.

Teacher assessment = the teacher's view of how your child does as a general rule, versus how they did on the actual assessment tasks which are a one-off assessment of how they did on a particular day (helps to bear in mind if you've got a kid who is weaker in tests, or, like I was at school, annoyingly good in tests).

The other expectation is two sub-levels a year progress. So if they leave a year as a 2c, they'll be expected to end the following year a 2a.

HOWEVER - I'll put that in caps just for emphasis - moving from Year 2 to Year 3 there's quite often a "drop" in results with kids not making this two sub levels - because of how it is to get a level 3 in KS1 compared to KS2, and the move to the more formal style optional tests at the end of Y3... so don't worry too much next year basically - it's pretty well known that year 3 dips a bit as the goalposts get moved! Also kids have years they lag back a bit then suddenly get a woosh on - but the Govt seems to forget that nice fact at times!

The other bit that might be useful is that the Y6 SAT results never return sublevels - just 3/4/5 from markers. Some schools split them up themselves into c/b/a bands before giving the results to the kids - but they just go back as a pure whole level.

activate Sat 03-Jul-10 14:21:58

Feenie - not what we've been told at governors meetings - although this is from a couple of years back so might have changed. used to be that

at KS2 sats they can't go beyond a level 5
at KS1 sats they can't go beyond a level 3

assessment they can of course - but not the back up SAts paper

emptyshell Sat 03-Jul-10 14:35:56

Can confirm (I mark KS2 tests) they can't get higher than a level 5 on those ones.

primarymum Sat 03-Jul-10 15:30:18

Feenie did say that " there is no ceiling on teacher assessment" rather than "there is no ceiling on SATS level". ( although two of my year 5 boys sat the KS3 SATs level 6 test as the KS2 ones are too easy for them!)

GiddyPickle Sat 03-Jul-10 15:47:47

I have to say we were categorically told the same - it is totally impossible for a Year 2 to get higher than a level 3. They can't even get a 3c or a 3a, if they get above a 2a then its merely referred to as a "3" with no subdivision at that age. This was from the Head Teacher at a parents meeting about SATS and that is exactly what was said.

We were also told that the school regards level 3 as being "very very rare" and only awarded to exceptionally clever children (although I was a bit hmm at this comment because I know other schools where they aren't exactly handed out like Smarties but they aren't especially rare either) Especially as more than a third end up with level 5's in Year 6, I don't understand how so few get Level 3 in Year 2.

Maybe different schools interpret or moderate the process and the results differently. Our school was graded outstanding by Ofsted quite recently so I am guessing they are doing everything as they should.
Some parents were muttering darkly about it all being done to massage the Value Added figures a bit (children start the school ahead of the national average because its a very middle class type of school so the value added can take a hammering unless the children continue to stay above average which not all do - whereas going from 2b in Year 2 to 5c in Year 6 does help the figures and many suspect Year 2 results are kept articfically low for this reason whereas in Year 6, the higher grade is selected. Far more of them get Level 5's in Year 6 than ever get Level 3 in Year 2).

We don't have the results out for this Year yet (they hand them out suspicioulsy close to the end of term to curb the influx of anxious parents all wanting meetings with the Head) so we'll have to wait and see but it does seem that these things are not as totally standard as perhaps many think.

PixieOnaLeaf Sat 03-Jul-10 15:58:03

Children can be assessed as working about Level 3 in Year 2 - the SATs papers, however, cannot assess this, so it must be teacher based assessment.

Feenie Sat 03-Jul-10 16:46:58

No, Pixie, there mst definitely are level 3 assessment papers for Year 2.

Whichever posters have been told it is impossible to achieve above level 3 in Y2, you've been misinformed.

There is no test paper to assess over level 3 in Year 2, but the level now reported is a teacher assessment, and is reached using many, many sources of evidence, a small part of which are the tests.

There is no ceiling on children's learning in Y2 or Y6, and nor should there be. Children need to be taught according to their attainment, and if they are a top level 3 and ready to begin on level 4 concepts in Y2, so be it. We occasionally have one or two children who are ready for this, and have been teacher assessed as a level 4 at the end of key stage 1. Similarly, we have a few children who are teacher assessed as level 6 in Year 6, even though the tests only assess levels 3 to 5.

GiddyPickle Sat 03-Jul-10 19:30:49

Not impossible Feenie but very rare (although as I say I have my doubts as an awful lot seem to manage to get level 5 in Year 6 despite not getting level 3 in Year 2 and an awful lot of local schools dish out more level 3's than ours despite having near identical results for Year 6 SATS).

I did wonder what they would do if confronted with true genius (ie a child with the maths ability of a 14 year old at age 6). Would he or she still only get the maximum of a level 3? I didn't like to ask though in case the teachers thought I was delusional and referring to my own child instead of just being curious.

basildonbond Sat 03-Jul-10 20:44:01

it's definitely possible for a y2 child to get level 4 - both my boys did (ds1 got 4 for literacy, ds2 got 4 for maths) - no-one mentioned anything about it being exceptionally rare - just got the levels in the end of year reports

PixieOnaLeaf Sat 03-Jul-10 22:28:29

That's what I said, Feenie?

Feenie Sat 03-Jul-10 22:53:07

You said that the Y2 test papers cannot assess level 3, but they most certainly can!

PixieOnaLeaf Sat 03-Jul-10 22:59:00

Ah, I see the problem, I put 'about' and I meant 'above'!

Feenie Sat 03-Jul-10 23:43:17

Ahhhh. smile

SparkyLou Wed 07-Jul-10 17:32:16

Could I add some sanity to the Level 3 debate? A really useful way of thinking about what Level 3 means is that if your child is given a Level 3 at the end of Year 2, they should be able to go straight into a Year 5 classroom at the start of the next year and work quite comfortably at the level of those 9 and 10 year olds. I haven't come across many Y2 who can do that.

Cortina Wed 07-Jul-10 17:37:38

Thing is I've seen the level 3 English papers, they are not difficult? A slightly above average year one student could have a good crack at one, my DS included (no genius). I would expect a 9 or 10 year old to be able to do one of these papers comfortably? Or am I missing something?

Feenie Wed 07-Jul-10 17:39:49

Yes, you are missing something. I suggest you also look at the mark scheme aswell as the paper - the level of developed answers for inference and deduction is very challenging for most 7 year olds.

Feenie Wed 07-Jul-10 17:41:36

And yes, an average Y5 class could do them comfortably - because that's the level they are working at! The Y5 teacher's job is to stretch and challenge them those average children to a top level 3/4c - and beyond, in some cases.

Cortina Wed 07-Jul-10 17:43:14

Haven't checked out in detail, but it didn't look terribly tough. Will take a closer look. Haven't looked at any Maths, now that would scare me...

Feenie Wed 07-Jul-10 17:48:04

No, it isn't tough, they can do it because that's their level.

But the teacher won't therefore be teaching them at that level using those questions, Cortina, he/she will teach them to the next level.

Cortina Wed 07-Jul-10 17:56:21

So one 'test' will have different questions according the level the child is at? I have tests on file, a level 2 and a level 3, one has one set of level 2 questions and the other one set of level 3 questions? There are 'correct' answers for both tests which are given.

For purposes of the SATS test, you take either a level 2 or 3 paper and that's that. No higher level to take?

But I am by no means an expert, just feeling my way, or trying to. .

Feenie Wed 07-Jul-10 18:25:15

In Y2, yes.

But in Y6 the test is different, and measures levels 3 to 5.

Teacher assessment is collated from many sources of evidence, not just tests. The tests have a narrow focus - so the level 3 paper will give you a 'flavour' of the kind of questions an able Y2 child or an average Y5 child can answer comfortably.

Moondancer64 Fri 16-Jul-10 17:37:07

I got my sons report today for year 2 and on that it said that a 2a was the expected level to get at the end of year 2. I am confused as I always thought that a 2b was the average. Does it depend upon the individual school?

Feenie Fri 16-Jul-10 18:22:15

No, they are wrong - unless they mean their expected level, as opposed to the national expected level.

katimini Sat 17-Jul-10 15:30:26

Hello all,
New to mumsnet (is that possible?!) so forgive me if I ask stupid questions ;)
Joining the SAT results debate, can I just ask if a "2" or a "3" are higher or lower than a 2a or a 2c etc.. my daughter's are speaking and listening "2" but reading and science "3", with a 2a in writing and maths?? now I am not sure if she has for example gone through 3c, 3b and 3a in reading and science before reaching "3", or the other way around?? or that there are all of 3 sub-levels between a "2" in speaking and listening and a "3" in reading (aren't these very linked?)
(confused, very confused )
any explanations welcome!

Feenie Sat 17-Jul-10 15:40:56

It's all to do with the statutory rules on reporting to parents/LEA/government at the end of key stage 1. Speaking and Listening and Science only have to be graded as a whole broad level judgement. So there isn't any way of knowing what 'kind' of level 2/3 it is, unless you ask, I guess - within school they probably would be sublevelled for their tracking procedures.

Reading, writing and Maths are required to be reported as sublevels.

katimini Sat 17-Jul-10 15:46:21

Thank you Feenie, a lot clearer already! last one though: is reading and writing can be sub-levelled, does a 3 there mean just above 2a or just above 3a?
thank you once again!
ps: why on earth are these so complicated? and why are teachers so secretive about them? - surely talking to one parent does not mean the whole school would automatically know !

CoinOperatedGirl Sat 17-Jul-10 16:06:57

I'm confused, at dd's parents evening at the end of autumn term I'm sure her teacher said she 2 something for maths and a 3c for literacy (year 1). Are these sat levels? Do they take them in year 1? I just assumed they were some kind of teacher assessment, she didn't really explain.

Feenie Sat 17-Jul-10 16:07:09

The levels go up numerically - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and there are sublevels within them (c, b, a).

So ye,a 3 is better than a 2a, but because only a broad level judgement has to be given then you can't tell if it's a 3c, 3b or 3a. So a 3 isn't better than 3c, 3b, 3a - it's the same, but more general and less detailed, ifyswim.

An explanation should be given with the report (and usually is) - otherwise it's about as clear as mud! confused

katimini Sat 17-Jul-10 16:23:20

Looking at the report again, I get the impression in fact that the school only gives sub levels for level 2,and once the child is supposed to have reached level 3, then it is a general 3 as opposed to a detailed one, which amounts to what you just said. so thanks again for your explanations. I wish there would be some kind of literature accompanying those numbers and this will be my comment to the teacher at some point this week ;)
ps: Coinoperatedgirl: we are talking about the SATS results at the end of year KS1 (year2), but this numbers 2, 3 etc.. amount to the national curriculum level, so pretty much the same thing. level 3c in year 1 (and level2) is very good, so no worries!

Feenie Sat 17-Jul-10 16:29:43

Sorry, coinoperatedgirl, I missed your comment above. Yes, it will be a teacher assessment - all children are teacher assessed constantly from Reception right up to Y6, with the odd test thrown in here and there (among many other things) to back up judgements.

CoinOperatedGirl Sat 17-Jul-10 18:08:22

Thank you feenie and katmini, they don't seem overly fond of explaining these things do they.

MumInBeds Sat 17-Jul-10 18:24:51

Wouldn't it be so much simpler if the levels were planned so they matched the year they were expected to achieved? A L2 in Y2, a L3 in Y3 and so on.

shouldhavebeenblonde Mon 19-Jul-10 13:29:50

what happens if your child hasn't progressed since last year? my ds got 4a for maths and reading at the end of last year and the same again this year. do i need to speak to the teachers about challenging him more? (he's just finishing year 4)

Feenie Mon 19-Jul-10 18:51:00

You need to ask them if this is a teacher assessment, if so why he hasn't made progress this year and what he needs to do next to make progress.

shouldhavebeenblonde Tue 20-Jul-10 19:22:40

they seem to think its ok seeing as he has improved in writing and science

sausagemummy Sun 25-Jul-10 22:06:16

From a teachers point of view, all children from Year 1 on are assessed accoring to APP (Assessing pupil progress) guidelines. These give a picture of objectives that need to be met inorder for a child to be assessed at this level. The tests at the end of year 2 should only really be used as a confirmation of the Teacher Assessment. This involves looking at all the evidence collected over the year to give the childs final level.
You may find this link useful nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/app if you want to find out more. Year 2 also use something called Building a Picture that is along similar lines.

lisawright2002uk Tue 14-Feb-12 23:36:40

My daughter is in the mid of year 4 she recently had her test, 3a for english, 4b for reading & 4c+ for her math. Can any one explain it to me pls. I am a bit worry about her English coz of her result for english is the lowest, is there any advice how can I help her to push her grade to the same level as the rest of the subjects? ( English is not my first language)
Many thanks

Lisa - don't worry about that. She is better in some subjects than others but she is better than national average in all subjects.

For example she is currently working at the same level as the average yr6 pupil in reading. I think for English a 3a is average yr5 pupil so still ahead of where she is expected to be.

pointythings Wed 15-Feb-12 22:16:07

I do worry about the feedback some schools give, or rather, don't give. I'm very lucky in that both my DDs' schools (primary and middle, last year of 3-tier here) give very concrete feedback at parents' evenings about what the children need to do to progress, stuff that you can really work with at home. I would be worried about no progress at all between two years, though DD2 did only one sublevel in maths last year (yr3) but did 3 sublevels the year before, so that levels out.

I'd also be worried about schools that said children 'couldn't' go beyond X level at a certain age - a teacher that knows what they are doing (and I have not yet had one that did not!) should be allowed to deliver an accurate assessment, not one that fits in with what the school or the governors want. I have one DD in Yr6, heading for the 5a/6c border in reading and writing, 5a in maths and science, and one DD in Yr4, aiming to his 5C in reading and writing this year - in both cases this is the level they are aspiring to, and they should not be stopped by artificial boundaries. I'm glad their schools agree with me.

lou2321 Thu 01-Mar-12 12:43:58

I find the levels confusing and meaningless, my DS1 age 5 (YR1) has a reading age of 10 years 3 months (reading just words test not comprehension), his reading book is a level 3c (lime level) but his reading level on his report is a 2a (I'm assuming this takes into account comprehension, grammar,punctuation etc). (His numeracy is not this high - 1A and writing is 2c so I understand he has scope to progress in these areas)

I not not really understand how Y2 cannot get above a level 3 if DS is already on the last level he can acheive over a year before the end of Yr2.

Do you think we shouldn't really be told levels until the SATs results as it is just confusing and worrying. Any advice from teachers on here would be good.

bijou3 Thu 01-Mar-12 12:50:00

Levels at KS1
W: 'Working towards' level 1 - very weak
Level 1: Below average
Level 2c: Just about level 2
Level 2b: A solid level 2
Level 2a: Good skills
Level 3: Excellent - likely to reach level 5 at KS2
Level 4: Amazingly able (and extremely rare)

Tests at Key Stage 2 - Year 6

U: Below level two
Level 2: Well below the required standard
Level 3: Below average
Level 4: The expected level for most primary children
Level 5: Very able

lou2321 Fri 02-Mar-12 08:37:46

Had PE last night and now I am really confused. DS1's teacher completely went against how some other teachers on here have said things will work in year 2/SATS. He said they will be expecting DS will be aiming for a high level 3 for literacy and level 3c at least for numeracy. Is this possible or will he just achieve a level 3 and the teacher will unofficially say whereabouts within level 3 he is?

Also, is the level 3 meaningless at the end of y2 as I have heard many y3 teachers say they never believe a child is that level anyway and rarely are!

Feenie Sat 03-Mar-12 14:51:51

Any Y3 teacher that says that about the Y2 teacher in their own school is talking rubbish, for reasons best known to themselves.

Y2 teachers report a teacher assessment - an assessment completed using many, many sources of evidence and the school's own assessment procedures. Therefore a Y2 teacher will use exactly the same criteria to assess as the Y3 teacher, and is probably even more knowledgable about assessment since they have to do so, so much of it.

There should be plenty of cross school moderation going on, so that all teachers know they are using the same procedures correctly.

I have some sympathy with Y3 teachers in separate junior schools, since some infant schools do not moderate their assessment with junior schools and are under pressure to produce good KS1 teacher assessment results before their Y2 children leave.

I don't really understand your level 3 question re your ds, lou - he will attain those levels and the school is only obliged to report them as a broad level 3. They may choose to report a more detailed sublevel, but that's up to them.

lou2321 Sun 04-Mar-12 11:07:36

Thanks Feenie, I think all I meant was that they said he would probably be 3a or 3c etc but I have read on here that they just level it as 3 (not sub level) so you have answered my question, thanks.

Feenie Sun 04-Mar-12 16:05:44

Glad it was useful smile

louisasimone Sat 07-Jul-12 23:48:36

Hi, my daughter received a 2 in speaking and listening but a 3c in science, reading, writing and maths. She was 7 in April, so she has completed Year 2. They accessed everyone before Christmas and put her in the year above for Maths.

brummie2 Tue 26-Mar-13 12:35:22

How can a child be assessed as level 2B in SATs but now, half way through year 3, be 2C despite making "good progress"?

Flisspaps Tue 26-Mar-13 12:38:41

Zombie thread

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