oK- another sschool report for interpretation..

(50 Posts)
seeker Sat 22-Dec-12 18:45:33

ds has just had his first year 7 report. It has target levels and the level he's currently at in all subjects. It doesn'r say when the targets are for.

So. Which is more likely? The target levels are for the end of the year, and he has already met 3 of them, but has to make 11 sub levels of progress in Spanish, 7 in Art and 5 in music in the next 6 months, or....
The target levels are for the end of KS3- and he has already met them in 3 subjects or....
Something completely different which makes sense, because neither of the first two options do?

BoundandRebound Sat 22-Dec-12 18:52:11

End of key stage I think

He hasn't met them per se just this term he has been working at that level, these can fluctuate dependent on the type of work covered eg in science a student can be great at biology but the following term doing physics in science and their level could drop. I only say this so you don't feel too worried

Spanish, art and music are all new subjects to him I would imagine so his level will start low but rate of progression will be faster

Hope that helps

Boozeandadietjinglebell Sat 22-Dec-12 18:52:29

DH says that his targets will most likely be for the end of the academic year. Expected progress over one year is two sub levels. His targets will be based on his ks2 English and maths sats results. Spanish music and art may be at a lower level than English and maths because he hasn't done them before, so to reach targets he'd have to make drastic progress.

BoundandRebound Sat 22-Dec-12 18:53:00

Also targets will be reassessed probably at the end of the year

weblette Sat 22-Dec-12 18:55:33

Targets more likely for end of KS3. He'll have started at base level for Spanish and other subjects not assessed in Primary so will of course have more to cover.

seeker Sat 22-Dec-12 18:55:43

So they are expecting to make 11 sub levels of progress in Spanish in 6 months! He'd better get his act together then!

noblegiraffe Sat 22-Dec-12 18:59:09

It means that the school don't know how to sensibly set targets for their students.

Boozeandadietjinglebell Sat 22-Dec-12 19:01:37

Lots of schools are using ks2 results to set targets for new subjects. It's bonkers - a kid that is great at English/Maths won't necessarily be as good at Art or Spanish. DH is a progress tracker and he spends a lot of his time interpreting reports for parents!!

weblette Sat 22-Dec-12 19:02:00

End of KS3 is at the end of Yr9 so plenty of time to do that.
At dd's grammar all children start two languages at the start of Yr7, by the first term in Yr8 best they are given is 4a/5c because of what they have covered in the curriculum. Progress in languages can be very quick once they get to grips with it.

BoundandRebound Sat 22-Dec-12 19:04:57

What's a progress tracker?

seeker Sat 22-Dec-12 19:05:13

Presumably they'll give him new targets next term for the ones he's met? Well, they will after I've been in to talk to them in the new year anyway!

weblette Sat 22-Dec-12 19:07:09

Have they said if he's working to/above/below expectations?

Boozeandadietjinglebell Sat 22-Dec-12 19:11:47

He's a teacher, but also responsible for making sure that the kids are on track to achieve their targets - so many spreadsheets and data, and elaborate traffic light systems.

seeker Sat 22-Dec-12 19:16:40

No, but he's got 1s and 2s for attitude to work.

Millais Sat 22-Dec-12 19:21:47

The language levels are a constant source of confusion! All mine looked like they were struggling in their first year of the subject and ended up getting As and A*s after 2 or 3 years.
I'd imagine they are end of KS targets and will constantly be changed. Did they use Fischer family trust or Yellis(?) to set them? That is what my dc's school uses.

seeker Sat 22-Dec-12 20:06:08

I presume they use Fischer Family Trust. It just annoys me that they don't explain it properly- grr. I will be Having Words in the new year!

pointysettia Sat 22-Dec-12 22:17:42

Well, the only targets DD got recently were end of year targets, nothing about end of KS3 targets. She is also Yr7 and I think this is very sensible - you need to give children time to settle into secondary before you can predict what they're capable of.

DD has already met her end of year targets for science, English and maths and her teachers have made it very plain that these will be reviewed and adjusted upwards - couldn't ask for more, really, it seems sensible and flexible.

3b1g Sat 22-Dec-12 22:26:05

It is more usual to give end of year targets than end of KS3 targets on a mid-Y7 report.
Subjects he hasn't studied before should still have an achievable target for the end of the year. The MFL targets seem a bit different from other subjects. DS1 started German at the beginning of Y7, 4A was his target for the end of Y7.

BrianButterfield Sat 22-Dec-12 22:33:26

We haven't seen FFT data for our y7 and were supposed to set them targets just after half-term - well, our assessments are half-termly and they'd barely finished them so in English at least their targets were basically set off the back of their KS2 results which are not very useful to us anyway. So they're largely fictitious. Do I think this is helpful to anyone? No. But I simply didn't know them well enough or have enough data on them six weeks into their secondary school career to set a proper target. I didn't even have their CATs results.

The next set should be much better.

seeker Sun 23-Dec-12 06:13:28

Anyone remember what their year 7 actually got for a new MFL at this stage in the year?

TheFallenMadonna Sun 23-Dec-12 07:02:22

We don't use FFT now, just levels of progress, as that's what OFSTED care about apparently.

Anyway, you need to be taking levels, and especially sublevels with a pinch of salt at this time if the year. I teach Science. My year 7s have done two topics this term. I have assessed them using APP (to follow on from primary) and using SATs questions. Different levels. One topic was chemistry based, and one was Biology based. Different levels. My reported level to parents takes into account all these different assessments.

I genuinely think that more qualitative reporting would be better mid year.

However, to answer your question about MFL, my own DS's French report said 4c, and his teacher was happy with that.

bulby Sun 23-Dec-12 07:03:32

Schools have pretty much no choice about 'getting to know pupils before setting targets'. The government expects a minimum of 2 levels progress through ks3 so that's how they're set. As you get to know a pupil they can be put up but not down. Government GCSE targets are set against ks2 data. It's a nightmare because pupils are hot house for ks2 sats then have totally unrealistic targets which schools are judged on 5 yrs later. I've been in the position of having a pupil come up with a level 5 who in my opinion was barely scraping a level 3. I had to set his yr7 targets as 6c when he couldn't read, write or understand even basic concepts- poor kid.

BoundandRebound Sun 23-Dec-12 07:27:01

You can adjust down, the national expectation does not fit all, although we are measured for all. I think thats school policy.

seeker Sun 23-Dec-12 07:32:17

That's interesting. One of ds's targets is actually lower than his than his KS2 SAts results- I wonder how that happened!

<caveat> I am not at all worried about his progress- settling in is all i ask for in term 1. i'm just interested in the process.

LoopsInHoops Sun 23-Dec-12 07:36:10

For languages, parents often worry. Even if they have done some MFL in primary they will start on a level 1. End of KS3 you are looking at level 3(v weak) to 5/6/7 (top). For an average/bright pupil, MFL levels are likely to go something like this:

y7 term1 - level 1, term 2 - l2/3, term 3 - l3/4
y8 t1 - l4, term 2 l4/5, term 3 l4/5
y9 l4/5 t2 l5, t3 l5/6/7

Levels aren't like in other subjects, they are about the skills learned rather than the ability in those skills. A very basic explanation would be:

l1 - uses words
2 - sentences
3 - sentences with opinion, basic connectives
4 - paragraphs with opinions, connectives
5 - one other tense
6 - 2 other tenses
7 - all of above and some degree of fluency

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Dec-12 07:38:38

Typo? In my school we are endlessly copying data and targets from one system to another, (mainly Excel to SIMs), I'm sure mistakes are made all the time.

And once the report software was accidentally programmed to print MFL targets in the maths column, that was confusing.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 23-Dec-12 07:43:07

Our targets were changed mid year from FFT to levels of progress. Without warning. I was filling in in my reports, and did a double take.

seeker Sun 23-Dec-12 07:49:59

You know, I didn't think of a typo!

I wonder if that could explain the random 4 (unsatisfactory) among his 1s for homework handing in? Maybe I'll reinstate Christmas grin

seeker Sun 23-Dec-12 07:53:10

Thank you, loops, that's very helpful. But it does indicate that these targets are for end of KS3- his Spanish target is 5a. Which makes the others odd!

3b1g Sun 23-Dec-12 08:29:16

5a does seem ambitious for the end of Y7 if it's a language he has only started learning in September. I think I would email the school at the beginning of next term to query this.

NewFerry Sun 23-Dec-12 09:03:38

DD has just finished first term of Y7, her targets are for the end of the year.
French, she's working at 3C, eoy target is 6C. In fact all her targets are 6C except English which is higher and science which is lower.
Her current results are split pretty equally between level 4 & 5, with a 3 in French, and a 6 in science.

To be honest, I think the end of term results prob reflect where she is at now. And as long as they improve over the year then I will be happy. I very much doubt she will hit all these predicted 6s though. HTH

LoopsInHoops Sun 23-Dec-12 14:36:30

No way will y7 MFL end of year be 6, sorry.

DizzyHoneyBee Sun 23-Dec-12 14:41:14

end of key stage 3 I expect.

DizzyHoneyBee Sun 23-Dec-12 14:44:14

My DD had a target of a level 6 for the end of year 7, but round here they start learning French when they are 7/8 so have done it for 4 years by then. She hadn't done so (moved from neighbouring county) but caught up so it is do-able.

NewFerry Sun 23-Dec-12 14:51:41

Loops, I agree. DD has only started French properly this year.

LoopsInHoops Sun 23-Dec-12 16:15:08

No, it really isn't.

The levels I gave as examples are assuming most primary pupils have done the MFL since year 3. Not that it makes any difference, they will still start at level 1 in y7.

LoopsInHoops Sun 23-Dec-12 16:22:04

(Sorry, that was to Dizzy)

LoopsInHoops Sun 23-Dec-12 16:24:10

seeker, what are the other levels?

5madthings Sun 23-Dec-12 16:31:56

I would think they are targets for yr9. That is how my sons high school reports have been done.

But worth clarifying, we always get a little leaflet that explains about the levels and the targets and key stages etc.

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Dec-12 16:34:06

My school used to give targets for Y9 and has now decided to switch to end of year targets, so it's probably quite confusing for all involved.

LoopsInHoops Sun 23-Dec-12 16:36:07

To be fair, often the staff are confused - it could well be a mix.

glaurung Sun 23-Dec-12 17:28:49

Sounds as if different departments are setting targets differently to me. MFL prob end KS3, rest end of year and I think a lot of teachers make them up in any case. Throw in a few typos and they may as well just randomly generate them.

DizzyHoneyBee Sun 23-Dec-12 18:28:57

Loops, at DD's school they don't start at level 1, they assess them and then base their targets on that.
Should be the same system across the country really.

BoundandRebound Sun 23-Dec-12 18:53:33

There is no cohesiveness across the country, each school works as a mini dictatorship.

DizzyHoneyBee Sun 23-Dec-12 19:16:25

I have heard it said that all teachers are control freaks...as I work in the education sector I am saying nothing! grin

weblette Sun 23-Dec-12 20:00:35

At dd's school they don't give projected grades, just the level they're currently working at and whether or not that's above/at/below what the teachers expect of them.

circular Sun 23-Dec-12 22:01:50

Seeker - From memory, DD1 (now yr11) had a yr7 MFL target of 4a, which she reached. But was only at 2a by end Iof first term.

In yr8 and 9 she hit her end of year target by the second term but stayed at that level for the remainder of the year. This was because she had hit the target in French, but not yet in German (or vice versa) due to the way MFL was taught.

Ingles2 Sun 23-Dec-12 22:08:47

Seeker... Ds2 has just had his 1st yr 7report as well..
For German, his current grade is 3b, and his target for end of key stage, 6b.they finish ks3 end of yr 8 here though. Is that any help?

cumbrialass Wed 26-Dec-12 12:44:39

I was hauled into school at the end of year 7 to discuss why my son was below target in some subjects. After several minutes lecture by his form tutor expressing disappointment in his efforts, I asked how the targets had been set and was told they were all based on KS2 SATs results, as he was level 5 across the board in KS2, they expected him to achieve A's in all subjects at the end of year 7-which was fair enough, he is a bright boy.
EXCEPT, they had given him targets of A for Art, PE and DT and he had "only" achieved B/C's-which was why I had been summonsed. I explained carefully that, as he had severe dyspraxia, he was lucky to be able to hold a pen, let alone achieve an A in art!
I ignored targets after that!

Yr 7 son report. He hasn't done languages before.
french - working at 3a target end of year 7 is 5a (Blimey)
German - working at 3b target end of year 7 is 5b.
Hope that helps.

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