4As in Yr4 - how unusual?

(242 Posts)
SilverBellsandCockleShells Fri 15-Mar-13 07:15:28

I went to parents' evening yesterday. We've recently moved our 8yo son because we knew he was bright and felt he was underperforming and our decision appears to have been vindicated! After predicting a 3a for him by the end of the year after their initial assessments, they have now assessed him as 4a for maths, and 4b for English, and reckon he will improve to 4a by the end of the year if he continues to focus and improve as he is doing.

Obviously this is good! grin I was just wondering how good. Are they the kind of levels you would expect the top children in a yr4 class to be achieving? Or is it more exceptional than that. I'm vaguely considering scholarships but don't want to push him if he is just averagely outstanding, if such a thing exists!

rabbitstew Fri 15-Mar-13 12:56:31

Last time I looked, SATs tests were not intelligence tests. So far as I'm concerned, his results are outstanding if at the school he is attending, that is outstanding. It is that school which is teaching him what he needs to know in order to tick the right boxes to satisfy particular levels, after all - and his parents.
As for scholarships, you can have academic scholarships for pure brilliance in entrance exams, music scholarships if you enter your child for one specifically, or sports scholarships if your child is a brilliant sportsman. They do not expect children to be hogging all 3 types of scholarship for themselves - that would be greedy!

and you think this would qualify as 'pure brilliance' material?

CURIOUSMIND Fri 15-Mar-13 14:00:16

I found this: www.devon.gov.uk/fostering-national-curriculum-levels.pdf , thought it explained nicely.

binkybonk Fri 15-Mar-13 14:11:00

As a primary teacher can I just say... Step away from the levels. What a royal crock of shit they are.
I teach out of the country now (thank god) but still in a UK curriculum school. Most children at this school achieve L3 in English and maths at the end of Y2. (FYI the 'expectation' nationally is for them to reach L4 at the end of Y6, it is not a level per year, although similar to the introduction of A* etc, L5 is the new L4) Parents here are OBSESSED with levels and think it is an indicator of intelligence, which of course it was intended to be... But it's not now, they've become corrupted and prepped for for years now not just that awful term in Y6. Poor kidlets, jumping through hoops instead of learning how to learn and to develop their own knowledge and interests. confusedconfusedconfused
Anyway, little rant over.
Your DS is doing really well at school- well done him grin what a superstar, he deserves serious high fives for that grin
put him in for the scholarships if you think he'd have a lovely time at the other schools. You know him better than any level wink

cassgate Fri 15-Mar-13 14:16:03

DD year 4 is at 4bs across the board. This was before half term and her teacher predicted 4a/5c by end of year 4. The teacher said they would be looking at level 5 stuff after easter. There is a small group of about 5 children (including dd) in the class all around this level. Teacher said that dd is one of those who should go on to get level 6s at end of year 6.

Amphitrite Fri 15-Mar-13 14:19:05

My DD3, now in Y6 was level 4a for reading and writing and 4b for maths at the end of year 4. She is high level 5 now and expected to get L6 in English and possibly Maths in her KS2 SATS. I would say she is in the top 20% of her year group. I think at Y4 it is really early to tell but what do you mean by 'push him'. Surely, whatever his eventual achievement you would be encouraging to work hard and do his best? Genius is 90% perspiration after all! Setting up a good work ethic and an enthusiasm for learning in Y4 is a far greater predictor for ultimate academic success than any amount of so-called 'ability'.

Farewelltoarms Fri 15-Mar-13 14:47:34

Blimey my son's clearly a right loser in comparison to all these others...
And there was me thinking he was doing quite well.
Note to self: step away from threads asking questions about sats levels or relative brilliance.
a) OP in such cases might be being a wee bit disingenuous
b) all those replying will firmly tell OP that actually L6 in yr1 is completely normal and actually distinctly average.

In terms of where to go from here, I would encourage reading a wide range of books, including some children's classics if he's up for that. This will increase his vocabulary which will boost his writing and provide a good foundation for secondary selection tests in Y6 if that's the route you choose to take.

In Y4 and Y5, DS2 enjoyed reading books like the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series, the Ingo series, The Hobbit, The Mouse and His Child, The Phantom Tollbooth, The Water Babies, Tarka the Otter and Swallows & Amazons.

Oh, and The Neverending Story and The Last Unicorn.

ByTheWay1 Fri 15-Mar-13 15:07:44

I saw a quote recently on facebook shock that sums it up nicely....

"Childhood is not a race to see how quickly a child can read, write and count. Childhood is a small window of time to learn and develop at the pace that is right for each individual child."

much nicer to think of learning like that than by comparing to others or to "levels" all the time.

My girls have developed in their own particular way at their own particular times, they have at times raced ahead of their peers, at other times they have plodded along the way - but with our support, encouragement and praise for good effort, they are able to shine at different times in different subjects/hobbies.

caffeinated Fri 15-Mar-13 15:07:54

Here those that are secure level2 at end of year 1 are those who generally will get level 3 end of year 2. At our school that's 50% across the board so not really special at all.

ooh never thought of reading the neverending story - we love the film and the series.

mind you ds has just turned 6 and is still loving having the faraway tree read to him.

i'm not saying the OPs child is average at all btw - don't think anyone was. i was merely pointing out that the expected levels etc are about averages and include everyone therefore if you have an able child getting good support at home of course they should be doing better than average.

rabbitstew Fri 15-Mar-13 15:35:29

swallowedAfly - I wouldn't use SATs results to assess ANY kind of brilliance. There is a huge difference between brilliance and doing well or even incredibly well in SATs... You just have to look at what is being looked for to get particular levels in SATs and it has nothing to do with brilliance...

SilverBellsandCockleShells Fri 15-Mar-13 15:54:25

I hope I'm not being disengenuous. I know these are just figures plucked out of the blue, but I'm genuinely interested as to whether these levels show genuine potential or are just averagely good. I know that children develop at different potentials with different plateaus and peaks, I was just hoping for a guideline, which I think I now have. He is somewhere between 'just above average' and 'just below Einstein'! If we were to contemplate scholarships, 'pure briliance' would be all we would have to go on as sports and music are a wash-out!

Thanks for the input, one and all!

mrz Fri 15-Mar-13 16:58:42

I'm afraid you need to accept the "above average" but recognise he is
" considerably below Einstein" in ability I'm afraid.

all it tells you is above average and as i've said 'average' is the sum total of non english speakers, children in care, low attenders, children from illiterate homes, children with severe SEN and everyone else.

he's doing well. as he should be for an able child with supportive parents. his grades reflect: no SEN, involved parents and reasonable teaching.

RaisinBoys Fri 15-Mar-13 17:03:56

What did parents talk about before they were routinely notified about levels?

4A/4B is very good at this stage. Your DS is very bright and will achieve very well by the end of his primary school career.

Is he exceptional? Yes! All children, in my humble opinion, are exceptional, if by that you mean special and outstanding.

If he's happy, stimulated, challenged and motivated too, then he's a very lucky boy.

Incidentally secondaries routinely assess very early in Y7. Perhaps they take primary levels with a pinch of salt!

just to make that clearer - if he had those things (english speaker, involved parents, no SEN, reasonable teaching etc) and was only performing at the national average that would likely tell you they weren't doing great. if all those things and performing under average i'd be genuinely concerned and looking for what on earth was the issue re: undiagnosed SEN, unhappy at school, eyesight/hearing whatever type issues.

i would say no he isn't average but it's probably about average for a child with the said things (no SEN, involved parents, reasonable teaching etc).

it means that hopefully your child should have no significant problems or barriers set in stone to achieving good educational outcomes. of course new barriers can arise but there's nothing set in stone from the outset likely to hold them back and they're starting out on a solid footing.

for me what comes next is ensuring the school are stretching and extending and not letting 'cruise control' kick in whilst focusing on less able kids and ensuring ds knows that he has to work hard and keep moving forward because luck of basic ability and being a bit further ahead than others will not carry you anywhere without work, enthusiasm and a desire to do your best. then watch and wait.

absolutely raisin - i was a secondary teacher and the levels primary schools claimed they had attained and the actual levels often bore little in common. all subject teachers did an informal assessment or formal in september because we knew we couldn't take primary school reporting too seriously.

i had kids who actually weren't even a secure level 3 coming in at year 7 with claims from primary that they were level 5.

i preferred cats to get a clue of who was in my class and what kind of support/extension etc that they would need. mine was a literacy based subject in many ways and the 'v' scores were the best indicators i found.

MirandaWest Fri 15-Mar-13 17:11:50

My sister was performing at below average levels until year 5 when she suddenly blossomed. Then later on she studied at Cambridge.

I was precocious - could read chapter books before starting school, very competent at maths etc. Didnt exactly stagnate but wasnt as good at A Levels or degree. We both had same parents and same input but were very different in terms of what we achieved and when at school.

TheSmallPrint Fri 15-Mar-13 17:20:26

It's definitely a good grade for his age. My DS was 4Cs at the end of year 3 but actually dropped in his reading and writing this year due to laziness so it can change (he did go up in maths though). The highest I have heard in his year (Yr 4) is a 5b for reading which I think's pretty amazing for an 8yo.

yeah i had a friend on my postgrad course who'd been held back a year at primary level because they thought she was (in those days terms not mine) sub-normal. she was one of the brightest people i've met, studied at oxford and believed being held back a year was the best thing that ever happened to her as she got some time and some experience of being near the top rather than at the bottom of the class and blossomed from there.

developmental patterns are different from person to person.

I have 32 in my year 4 class. I've got three of them at 4A for Maths (and a 5A!), six at 4A or higher for Writing and seven 4A of higher for Reading.

I also have five working at 1B / 1A / 2C in all subjects. Love differentiating for my class!

pointythings Fri 15-Mar-13 18:28:20

I think SATs do distort things enormously, and I do take levels with a grain of salt. This is also why I refused to do SATs revision at home with DD1 last year, and will be refusing again with DD2 next year.

Your son is bright and doing well, and that's great. And if your DS enjoys school that's even better.

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