Do all schools mark their reception reports in the same way? - feeling a bit deflated!

(310 Posts)
averywoomummy Fri 12-Jul-13 18:27:35

I got DDs reception report today and feel a little bit deflated. She got all expected except one which was emergent. I wouldn't expect her to get exceeding in everything but one or two would have been lovely especially in communication and understanding which I think have always been really strong points with her (and in fact her teachers said at open evening that she was working at a year 1 level in these).

I'm a bit more bemused because a friend with a DD at a different school says her child got every category as exceeds. I know the DD well and would have said that her and my DD are fairly equal development wise so was wondering how much consistency there is across the schools in terms of deciding on grades?

My head says I am being silly and that I should be pleased that she is where she should be...but my heart wishes there had been just one exceeds!

JeanPaget Fri 12-Jul-13 18:32:01

I would prefer my child's report to be accurate, rather than for the school to exaggerate my DC's abilities to make me feel better hmm

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Fri 12-Jul-13 18:34:49

Exactly what jean said

And surely the teacher is best placed to decide, rather than you assuming your dd and your friends child are working at the same level

EmmaGellerGreen Fri 12-Jul-13 18:35:49

I would be overjoyed with all expected tbh. No feelings spared here. It is very sad as ds is a good reader (his only exceeded in a sea of emerging) and he keeps asking to read his report. Sadly, I can't show it to him, it is so so bad. [Sad]

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 12-Jul-13 18:36:35

What does it matter at this age, she is on target, and agree with Jeanpaget.

Sounds as if you are being a bit competitive here.

onetiredmummy Fri 12-Jul-13 18:40:42

Does it really matter op?

My ds is on all the top tables , in the gifted and talented club, gets raved about in parents evening and his report is that he's progressing as expected. Not an excelling anywhere .

I don't care, as long as he's happy and academically is where he should be its fine by me.

Don't compare your child to anyone else's , there is no merit in doing so smile

Just relax, don't give her the impression that she's not good enough.

mrz Fri 12-Jul-13 18:44:31

I would be very suspicious of anyone who claimed their child got exceeding in everything

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 12-Jul-13 18:48:53

Emma sad Even emergings can be positive though, provided the child has made progress. I would hope that a school would be as positive as they can without covering up things that need to be worked on.

clabsyqueen Fri 12-Jul-13 18:49:13

It's entirely possible that your DD and that of your friend are working at exactly the same level developmentally. Where I work lot of time and effort goes into moderating teacher judgements across schools but it is SUCH a difficult task. This is about the 3rd assessment system in reception in as many years - the poor teachers are having to re-learn how to use the judgement statements every years bloody ridiculous! There's also the problem of using the rest of the class to judge an individual child by that I mean if a class has a high proportion of very low achievers it can make an 'average' achiever seem outstanding. You can imagine all the permutations of that kind of problem I'm sure. Teachers are always trying to avoid that bias but it is hard. Try not to worry; there's definitely more consistency as you move the school were systems have been tinkered with (relatively) less often over the years.

Fuzzymum1 Fri 12-Jul-13 18:58:08

The levels have been set very high. The reception teacher at our school said that my son would have got expected in pretty much everything on the new system whereas he got all 8s and 9s last year (typical being 6s)

Periwinkle007 Fri 12-Jul-13 19:01:17

from what I can work out from what people on here have said expected is working at Yr1 levels and exceeding is Yr2ish.

My daughter is very bright (IMO) and she is doing very well but I will be surprised if she gets more than 1 exceeds in this new 'grading' structure (she is sure to get one for her reading, I don't see how she can't) but it doesn't change what she can or can't do. it is just a title given to it. Had she been in reception last year I honestly expect she would have had 7s and 8s but they are now in expected so she is achieving the expected level, just very securely.

to be fair to the OP no I don't think you can compare across schools, it shouldn't be different but I have a feeling it is going to be. Teachers are finding their way with it, some will take it to mean they have to meet every criteria consistently and others will do a best fit (which is what I think it is supposed to be).

everlong Fri 12-Jul-13 19:01:46

onetiredmummy unfair and easy to say ' does it really matter ' when your dc is on the top tables and gifted and talented!

Periwinkle007 Fri 12-Jul-13 19:04:51

Emma - emerging covers a wide range, from those who really are only just starting to do the things to those who are incredibly close to expected levels just not quite close enough. say the difference between 1% in an exam with a pass mark of 40% and 39%. Your son might be right at the tipping point of expected but just hasn't quite demonstrated it consistently. I hope the blurb was more positive.

onetiredmummy Fri 12-Jul-13 19:14:53

Yep everlong I see what you mean, I wrote that comment on my phone so couldn't see it all at once & it didn't say what I wanted it to say in hindsight.

To clarify, I mean does it really matter because firstly, you know you have a wonderful girl who you will be proud of & you know how good she is at certain things & you don't need validation for them, but secondly if a 3rd party puts you under pressure for details of school reports, (like my IL's always do) then if I wasn't happy with the results then I would simply exaggerate them to get the IL's off my back.

Reports are only one teacher's opinion, as far as I can tell at ds's school nobody got an exceeding in the class. I think they are aimed at very very advanced pupils & there are none of those ion his year.

Your dd sounds lovely

chinup2011 Fri 12-Jul-13 19:16:02

Being honest, I would just enjoy your children whatever they achieve, especially at this age.
It really doesn't matter and worrying about reports when they are so young takes all the pleasure out of seeing them reach their own goals in their own time.
Their school career is long and anything can happen.
Just encourage and praise whatever report they get.

SockPinchingMonster Fri 12-Jul-13 19:23:13

I honestly think that there is a massive difference in the way that schools are grading the EYFS so I wouldn't worry too much. I got my twin's report today and was expecting them to get 'Expected' mainly - with probably a few 'Emerging' for my little boy who I feel could be much better with his writing. Both are great readers but neither are child prodigys and I was shocked that my dd got 'exceeding' in 13 categories with 'expected' in rest, and even more surprisingly ds got 'exceeding' in 5 categories, 'expected' in rest. From reading some of the threads on here, where people have children who are reading chapter books and doing complex maths, yet only receiving 'expected', I can only assume that our school has marked very leniently. So I'm not sure how much value should be placed on these grades and I wouldn't worry too much if I were you - although I can understand why you feel a bit disappointed with the term expected when you know yourself that your child is very bright.

Periwinkle007 Fri 12-Jul-13 19:33:55

I suppose whilst there are guidelines I suspect it will be no different to if schools graded children A B or C. in a high achieving school a child might get a C but if they were in a low achieving school they might be top and therefore get an A.

averywoomummy Fri 12-Jul-13 19:41:05

Hi

Thanks everyone. Just to clarify I wasn't trying to be competitive with friend (as she is lovely!) just wondering how easy it was to get consistency across the schools marking.

I have looked at the explanations with each grade and I suppose unless you have an exam with specific questions it will always end up as a value judgement in some way. Also interesting what people have said about children being compared to the others in their class as DD does seem to be in a bright class (if the school gate mums are to be believed!).

I actually feel a lot better about it now. This is why I really am against all this grading as it just serves to worry and confuse people and makes a lot of work for the teachers!!

simpson Fri 12-Jul-13 20:15:24

I have had several meetings about this and the HT at my DC school said that a child needs to be mid year 2 level to get exceeding (2C).

However another school I volunteer in are going by a 1A for exceeding.

Either one are very high for reception smile

tiredbutnotweary Fri 12-Jul-13 20:46:03

Possibly missed the boat here but as this subject is very close to my heart smile ...

I have seen some evidence of a lack of consistency, for example a thread on TES (the teachers forum) with a discussion between teachers of which book band a child had to be on to achieve exceeding - the lowest was blue and the highest was turquoise. Other discussions have teachers saying exceeding is as low as NC level 1C, but many more (those that have been moderated?) requiring NC level 2C (including my own DD2s school). This is despite the guidance (via the online FAQs) specifically stating that this (saying exceeding is only achieved at level 2) should not happen (well words to that effect).

Then there's the fact the judgement is supposed to be a best fit and a child does not have to have equal mastery of all aspects of an ELG - but from what I've seen it looks more like a tick box approach where a child must have demonstrated consistent evidence a number of times AND independently too. If you check the profile handbooks definition of independent work I don't think it will match the one many teachers will give.

I would go so far as to say that if a teacher closely follows the profile handbook they could give more exceedings and whilst I am sure that some children achieving many exceedings are G&T and / or autumn DCs I suspect that at least some of them are given them due to a lower threshold used by that teacher, school or even Local Authority.

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 12-Jul-13 20:54:16

OP, I felt exactly the same as you when I saw DD's report today. "Expected" for everything which didn't really marry up with the enthusiastic description in the report.

Having said that, I'm surprised she was "Expected" in her reading as I don't think she's doing very well in that.

I suspect next year's will matter more.

Periwinkle007 Fri 12-Jul-13 21:03:43

tiredbutnotweary - you would have thought that reading bands would be the easiest one to be consistent on but blue to turquoise is an enormous difference

fancyanother Fri 12-Jul-13 21:05:58

Wasn't there some survey a few days ago that said that nationally only 40% of children reached the expected level? So nationally, your DD is fine. My DS was exactly the same- expected in everything but a couple of exceeding in the 'nice kid' categories. I was delighted!

FWIW, I was top streamed for everything in my primary school (granted it was a million years ago). I was to streamed for everything in my primary school, top of the class in everything, thought I was a genius. Got to secondary school and discovered I was distinctly average! I have continued to be distinctly average throughout my educational career! Primary school reports, especially in reception don't mean anything in the long run. Children develop at different rates. As long as your child is doing OK, they are doing OK.

tutington Fri 12-Jul-13 21:06:50

The report here - see pg 18 - states that in the pilot results 1% got exceeding in ALL 17 ELGs. That means something like out of a 4-form school (120 kids), only one child would get exceeding in all 17 categories.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/results-of-the-early-years-foundation-stage-profile-pilot

They also have a scoring system and apparently national average is 32 points, with variations on gender, first language, summer/autumn/spring born etc. (pg 17).

My DD got 6 exceeding and 11 expected (no emerging) and so she's at 40 points. She's the youngest in her class (August-born) and her first language isn't English so I'm extremely happy with the result.

However, I suspect that a lot of other kids got the same or even higher results in her class... I won't be asking around because I think it's not relevant, but they should probably publish at some point the LA averages or even the school, in the same way that they publish ks1 and ks2, since they can now score the 17 ELGs.

fancyanother Fri 12-Jul-13 21:08:18

Wasn't there some survey a few days ago that said that nationally only 40% of children reached the expected level? So nationally, your DD is fine. My DS was exactly the same- expected in everything but a couple of exceeding in the 'nice kid' categories. I was delighted!

FWIW, I was top streamed for everything in my primary school (granted it was a million years ago) top of the class in everything, thought I was a genius. Got to secondary school and discovered I was distinctly average! I have continued to be distinctly average throughout my educational career! Primary school reports, especially in reception don't mean anything in the long run. Children develop at different rates. As long as your child is doing OK, they are doing OK.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now