Can a child achieve higher than level 3 in KS1 SATs?

(43 Posts)
Fuzzymum1 Sun 24-Mar-13 20:23:23

Are there KS1 SATs tests that can show where a child is if they're working above level three?

6yo DS3 is in year 1 and is currently working at level 3C in reading, as measured in school by a reading comprehension test. When he started school 18 months ago he was able to sound out CVC and occasionally CCVC words so has gone from almost no reading to level 3 in a year and a half so presumably he will be capable of more than two sub- levels in the next 14 months before SATs.

I'm not one for getting hung up on levels especially but I am interested to know where he is if possible. His teacher plans to let him sit this years SATs after the year two children have done them (he's in a mixed Y1/2 class) because she is interested to see what he can do and knows he will enjoy the challenge.

FastLoris Sun 24-Mar-13 21:45:05

My DD is in Y2 and currently level 3A reading, and at last parent-teacher meeting her teacher said they would probably have her sit a level 4 paper. Also at the primary where I work, they had some Y6 kids sit level 6 SATs papers last year after they'd scored high level 5s in the normal ones for the age.

So yes, it does happen. My understanding is that they do this after the normal round of SATs testing, once they see who got an exceptionally high score in it. Not sure what the requirement is though, or whether it's set by central government or up to the discretion of the school.

neverknowinglyundersold Mon 25-Mar-13 14:15:19

It's down to the common sense of the school. If your ds is working well above the sats key stage 1 levels (which only go to level 3) they have the option of sitting him on other papers. Be aware though there is a difference between key stage 1 and key stage 2 papers. A level 3 at key stage 1 is not quite the same as a level 3 at key stage 2. This is because emotional maturity is also a factor

bringonyourwreckingball Mon 25-Mar-13 14:29:14

Dd1 who is 7 and in y2 is doing a level 4 paper. I'm not convinced it's a great idea as it can knock her confidence badly when she finds things hard but the teacher said she wouldn't be challenged by level 3. So the option is there, although dd1's teacher did say they don't usually do it.

Idratherbemuckingout Mon 25-Mar-13 15:47:50

We are nowadays all so bound up with levels at sats and fulfilling the national curriculum that letting children mature at their own pace and leap ahead if they want to seems almost to be frowned upon whereas getting the masses up the the perceived average is the goal of most schools.
I am old but when I was at school we were streamed and those in the top stream soared ahead and those in the other two streams weren't phased because they were not in the same class and so were not outshone by cleverer classmates.
Sadly the trend nowadays is not to do this and it has the dumbing down affect that this poor mum with a probably very bright child feels slightly embarassed and has to excuse herself to post this question. She should not be. Her child deserves her to fight his corner and make sure that he is not lost to a world of mediocrity and averageness where his excellent reading will be overlooked so other children can be sure to get a level 2 and help the League Table Position of the school.
A crying shame.

Fuzzymum1 Mon 25-Mar-13 16:59:12

I understand that at the different KSs a 3 means different things. I was a primary school governor in the past and remember the school saying that children couldn't show more than a level 3 (or 5 at KS2) but now there are level 6 papers for KS2 I was wondering if there was an equivalent for KS1. I don't think it's a case of him not being allowed to reach his potential - he has an amazing teacher who I couldn't be happier with who has a small group of similarly able children who are being stretched - I volunteer in school with a reading improvement scheme so I am involved in some discussion about children's abilities so I know how his teacher works. For one thing I would hate for her hard work and dedication to not be measurable - I would like her to be able to show how much he has improved under her teaching (he will have her again next year as it's a small school with mixed age classes). We do a lot of reading at home, we try and expose him to lots of opportunities for learning by experience, and take lots of opportunities to turn a basic experience into a learning opportunity. Depending on how he does in the SATs he sits this year I will speak to his teacher about the possibilty of a level 4 paper for reading next year.

Iamnotminterested Mon 25-Mar-13 18:12:05

DD2 was a level 4 in reading in year 2; at her parents eve in feb (she is now in year 4) we were told she was a 5c and should be 5b by the end of the year. There shouldn't be any limit to a child's ability just because they happen to be in a certain year.

Iamnotminterested Mon 25-Mar-13 18:14:18

DD2 was a level 4 in reading in year 2; at her parents eve in feb (she is now in year 4) we were told she was a 5c and should be 5b by the end of the year. There shouldn't be any limit to a child's ability just because they happen to be in a certain year.

Iamnotminterested Mon 25-Mar-13 18:15:03


Feenie Mon 25-Mar-13 18:17:26

KS1 assessment is teacher assessment only which uses a test as a small part of the evidence. There isn't a level 4 test for KS1, but some schools choose to use a KS2 test instead. They don't actually have to use a test at all to assess at level 4 in Y2, however.

Feenie Mon 25-Mar-13 18:19:42

I understand that at the different KSs a 3 means different things.

No, it doesn't - schools have to assess using whole school assessment procedures, so a level 3 has to mean the same throughout the school (since 2005). It's sometimes an issue in infant only schools who don't moderate with junior schools as they should, but it shouldn't be.

jrabean Tue 23-Jul-13 17:31:48

Realistically schools should assess year 2 kids beyond level 3.

Many kids will reach level 3 in reception so otherwise there is no sign of progress for two years!

Older kids in particular will be getting level 3 in reception.

anitasmall Tue 23-Jul-13 18:48:41

Can you, please, advise me how can somebody get 4 at KS1 test. Does it mean that the child's test was 100% or that he did well at the KS1 test and than set another test.

anitasmall Tue 23-Jul-13 18:49:22

Can you, please, advise me how can somebody get 4 at KS1 test. Does it mean that the child's test was 100% or that he did well at the KS1 test and than set another test.

Sticklebug Tue 23-Jul-13 19:02:43

My DD sat the L4 english SAT in yr2. She was working at a L3A in yr 1, so they decided to enter her for the L4 in yr2. She still did the KS1 paper, but then did an extra paper for the L4. Her secondary school was a bit sniffy about how the infant school had assessed her, but she got a 4a in her end of year 3 tests - so they have since conceeded that she was a L4 in yr 2!

Iamnotminterested Wed 24-Jul-13 09:06:03

anita, DD afaik sat the level 3 reading comprehension paper only in year 2 but her teacher assessment was a level 4.

metranilvavin Wed 24-Jul-13 17:05:09

But regardless of their actual level, a child can only be reported as being at a level 3 maximum by the school.

So some schools see that as the bar, and don't assess higher; other schools do.

Having said that, for reading in particular, a lot of what counts towards the higher levels is actually maturity, not just reading ability, so I don't think that NC levels are a very useful way of measuring advanced readers in particular. For maths, it's more straightforward.

Wafflenose Wed 24-Jul-13 21:16:33

My DD got a 4a for reading (was originally told it was a 5c, but it wasn't quite) and a 4c for writing As metranilvavin correctly says, her English result was reported as a 3.

simpson Sat 27-Jul-13 09:15:28

"Many kids will reach level 3 in reception..."

hmm not sure about that one!!

"Older kids particularly will be getting level 3 in reception.."

I would not have thought a reception child is mature enough for a level 3, totally ridiculous!

Periwinkle007 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:54:51

level 3 in reception????

wearingatinhat Tue 30-Jul-13 19:41:02

Ds was a level 3 in reception but then he did go into reception as a very advanced reader. By mid yr 3 he tested as a 5b, so it does happen. He does have a very high IQ and is doing well in all his subjects, but in many ways is a totally normal child.

He is very mature for his age (in some ways) and yes there are some things that he would not understand simply due to lack of life experience, so occasionally will miss an inference but he certainly tested as a 5b recently, so he must have the maturity. Who knows how common this is as many schools do not regularly test for these levels (including our own) even when children hit test ceilings.

simpson Tue 30-Jul-13 21:14:21

Well done to your DS smile I am not saying it does not happen ever.

DD has just finished reception on a 2A for reading but lacks the maturity/life experience to reach level 3 (as you mentioned).

anitasmall Tue 30-Jul-13 21:38:02

Well done to your daughter!
However each school should test high achievers not just some.

jrabean Mon 19-Aug-13 23:27:17

Not ridiculous at all. My son was level 3 in reception. Was happily reading Harry Potter etc but is nothing special at all. Just a typical kid who find school boring except playtime football matches.

Sats levels are set low to cover millions of kids and the focus is on finding kids who are badly behind to give them help. Irrelevant for most kids.

RiversideMum Wed 21-Aug-13 16:41:27

The school could give a very able child the Y3 test. Y2 and Y3 tests are conducted in a different way.

ffsx2 Sat 24-Aug-13 13:39:56

That's too bad, jrabean. A shame when kids get nothing out of the social life in school. Or art/history/drama/music/etc. Plenty of non-G+T kids have the same problem, of course.

simpson Sat 24-Aug-13 18:52:31

I do standby my original point that it is ridiculous to say that many kids will reach L3 in reception. It does not mean that no kid ever will obviously.

I find it a bit hmm though to say a 4/5 yr old child finds the whole school day boring, especially in reception when they can do pretty much what they want.

sparklekitty Sat 24-Aug-13 19:06:56

They'll be reported as L3+ to the LA but in teacher assessment they'll be whatever level they are.

Don't forget as the levels go up they also get bigger (ie more to achieve) so 2 sub levels may not happen automatically. It also depends on maturity, for example the reading levels above L3 include a lot of inference which, in my experience, is hard for younger ones to achieve just because they've not read as much and are not as mature as the older ones.

WhoreOfTheWorlds Fri 30-Aug-13 20:45:49

I had the same experience as you OP.

Because my dd was doing so well in Yr 1, her teacher got her to sit the Yr 2 SATS paper, I think the reading one, just to see what she could do and she got 100%. We knew nothing about it until months later when it was mentioned in her report.

The following year in Yr2, she came out with all Level 3s in her SATS but her teacher confided that she hadn't even broken a sweat and had finished long before her friends. Not surprising really, I guess.

She's just finished Yr4 with a 5c and 2 4a. But to be honest she's never been given a piece of homework she couldn't zip through, even the special extension work doesn't stretch her. Her teacher confidently predicts she'll leave primary school with Level 6s, but doesn't seem able to really give her anything to get her teeth into.

So, I've given up worrying about SATS and the tests. The problem with them is that they're not really designed to deal with the very clever children. I'm just glad that dd will be going to a good grammar school where she'll be challenged for the first time.

papooser Mon 21-Oct-13 12:45:30

It might depend on the school - I was told at parent's evening this week that our school will not award higher than a 3B at KS1 because if they do, it's a struggle to get the expected two levels progress by Yr 6. DTs ended KS1 on 3B for maths, which didn't seem right to me; however at Y3 parent's evening this week was told they are at Level 4 which seems a better reflection of their level.

FunLovinBunster Mon 28-Oct-13 21:46:43

My DD was 6 when she sat KS1 Sats and got level 3 in all her papers.

itsnothingoriginal Mon 18-Nov-13 20:47:38

This is interesting - we had DDs parents eve today and were told she was aiming for 4c in literacy at the end of this year (yr2). She isn't G&T so I did wonder how it would be assessed at that level based on papers and also how this sets her up for the onward trajectory through primary level? Teacher didn't suggest there was anything unusual or remarkable in gaining a level 4 in yr 2 though..

bamboostalks Mon 18-Nov-13 20:54:51

Just to reassure any anxious parents reading this. In 20 years of teaching, I have never taught or encountered a child reading beyond a 2A in reception, there have only been a few 2As too. Most have gone on to be very successful academically too without this early acceleration. There a skewed demographic on this site. Very few have exceeded 3s at year 2.

simpson Mon 18-Nov-13 22:11:13

I had a meeting with the KS1 Head at the beginning of this school year about DD and in passing she said that a child can not get higher than a 3A in KS1 SATS.

No doubt I will find out more nearer the time as she is only at the start of yr1!

alwaysneedaholiday Mon 18-Nov-13 22:19:10

Thanks bamboostalks. Panic was beginning to set in!

MirandaWest Mon 18-Nov-13 22:29:47

This thread is definitely the sort that would only appear on Mumsnet grin.

There really aren't lots of children getting level 3 in reception.

For KS1 children are assessed using teacher assessment. They will use a test to inform their assessment. A child could get a level 4 in a test but not be reported as being a level 4 as the teacher might assess this as being a one-off.

I am also of the belief that a level 3 should be a level 3 whichever key stage you are in.

avocadosandwich Wed 07-May-14 12:46:00

Our school refuses to give out levels in yr1 which I find really irritating as I think it's helpful to know how my kids are doing. He was assessed as level 3 across the board in KS1 SATs so out of interest, I downloaded some of the KS2 SATs papers for him to have a go:

We only did a few papers but he didn't get above a 3 in anything - I guess schools don't generally cover the KS2 curriculum in KS1, so he hadn't gained the actual knowledge to get above level 3, even if the brain power is there.

MumTryingHerBest Fri 09-May-14 00:04:54

It will be interesting to see how the new SATs gradings will demonstrate a child's ability progression as they advance through infant school through to the end of junior school.

My DD will be the last year 2 to be given SATs results in the existing level format. I am curious how this will translate to give a comparison of performance using the new sliding scale scores when she gets into yr6.

MumTryingHerBest Fri 09-May-14 00:17:40

avocadosandwich it is really bad that the teacher does not give you any indication as to how your DC is performing. Do they not have parents evenings/consultations and if they do what are they used for it they are not updating you on your DCs progress?

The school that my DCs attend don't give out any SATs results until yr2 and from yr3 onwards. However, they do give a very clear indication as to how DCs are performing in relation to their class mates. I do know that the school uses PIPs which is considered, by some, to give a better indication of potential attainment rather than assessing information retained on a single given day.

Mind you, where I live, you could have a level 9 SATs and still not get a place in a local secondary. The majority of secondary schools are semi-selective (7 out of 9 schools) and require the 11 plus.

Fuzzymum1 Fri 09-May-14 21:59:46

I spoke to DS's teacher today and she said that she's contemplating giving him a paper that could demonstrate he's working above level 3. She said his reading comprehension is incredibly mature and she would love to be able to demonstrate that she has a child working at level 4! That would put a bit of pressure on the KS2 staff to show progress but she doesn't want to 'do him out of a level 4 if he's capable of it!'

mumeeee Mon 12-May-14 14:04:29

Just thought I'd mention you don't need SAYs to assess how a child is performing. The child's teacher should be able to tell you how they are doing just by their normal class work and knowing your child. My children are all grown up now but I know there are not any SAYs in Wales.

Fuzzymum1 Mon 12-May-14 20:43:16

His teacher thinks he's generally working at high level 3 possibly into level 4 and wants to use a test to see if that agrees with her assessment.

teeththief Mon 12-May-14 21:40:23

fuzzymum My y2 DD has been levelled a 3a in reading too. They asked if I would be happy for her to do a level 3-5 SAT paper to see if she would get a 4. My reply was that, considering the SAT results are based on teacher assessment, I didnt want to put that pressure on her and if she is a 4 then surely they'd know anyway.

My other concern was the pressure she would have put on her in future years to carry on progressing at the 'expected' rate.

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