KS1 results and infants schools - always accurate?

(28 Posts)
rubyextravagance Wed 19-Jun-13 13:19:26

Just reading another thread where someone mentioned something along these lines that got me thinking.

WDYT about KS1 grading in infants schools? Considering infants schools are graded on their results, is there an incentive to inflate them or is that just ridiculous?

I noticed a funny thing when looking at schools as part of a house move, I noted that the infant school I'm interested in has between 93% and 98% of their kids getting level 2s and 35% getting level 3s (noticeably above the national average), so this is fairly respectable taking account of how many families have 'worse than average circumstances' (ofsted). However when you look at the junior school the ofsted says that 'children entering have broadly average attainment', but clearly the ks1 results show above average attainment? And all children from the infants go on to the juniors and the juniors don't take from any other school. Also, the number of level 5s at the junior school are at or even below the national average (about 20%) for the last 3 years, although the number of level 4s are good (Between 83-93% depending on subject.) The value added (is this the same as progress score?) is only 98.6
Ofsted have given this infants school outstanding on everything, including teaching. Is it the juniors letting things down, or is the infants school grade inflating?
Ofsted mentions that the infants school 'has an extremely good system for tracking pupil progress' so this would imply the juniors is at fault? Would the juniors put you off the infant school? Or would you be more interested in the pastoral care (which sounds excellent btw with monthly meetings to look at the kids work and lots of emphasis on parents reading at home in the newletters etc, the school was also praised for its ability to partner with 'disengaged groups of parents'). However, I'm worried that if we need to move again in a few years time my DS might go to his new school (probably not an infants) unprepared if the teachers aren't grading him accurately, pastoral care aside.

So what do you think about this KS1 grading business?

BabiesAreLikeBuses Fri 21-Jun-13 22:22:44

I work at a sep ks1 and 2, moderation is improving each year but....
We find that reading and maths levels are accurate, writing levels over generous for lots - many come at a 3c but we baseline them as 2a in september.
Our assessment tools are different - to get the level at ks1 you need to throw in a joining word and show less accuracy with punctuation than we demand. Also we measure over time and genres whereas ks1 rely mostly on a test. We have shown them our assessment tool and some newer teachers surprised by how rigorous our demands were and were keen to use the same.
I can well believe that some primaries intentionally keep it lower...

Feenie Fri 21-Jun-13 22:28:00

If they do, then they are not following statutory rules set out since 2005 which state that teacher assessment is to be used - tests support the assessment conversation.

See this document Building a Picture of What a Child Can Do

What do they do when they are moderated? Some moderators will not even look at the tests - they want much more than that ime.

BabiesAreLikeBuses Fri 21-Jun-13 22:38:35

This year's moderation much more rigorous, looked at a portfolio of pieces over time. Results are significantly lower in writing than previously. Also more ks2 and smt staff involved this year. I get the feeling they have been encouraged to keep them as high as possible to maintain their outstanding status - some felt a sudden drop may trigger an inspection...

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