Should I speak to Y2 teacher about this?

(32 Posts)
alluc Thu 29-Aug-13 17:47:51

Hi - DS was given IMHO very low levels at end of Y1 report which completely didn't represent his abilities. I had a meeting with Y1 teacher and head at end of term as I just didn't understand it. Either he had made hardly any progress during the year (which I know wasn't the case) or he had been wrongly levelled.

He started Y1 as 1b for reading,writing and maths and ended on 2c reading and 1a for the other 2!! At the 2 parent consultations during the year we were told he is in top ability sets for all subjects predicted to get all level 3s for end KS1 and he is a 'very able boy' ( so I'm not just being biased about his ability!)

This is despite progressing in reading from stage 6 to stage 12 and reading with full comprehension at home things like Charlie and choc factory.
Writing he has come on loads as evidenced by his literacy books we got home at the end of term.
But it's the maths level that is really annoying me as this is DS's strong area. The meeting I had at school was not very satisfactory. I was told- yes he has made loads of progress, yes he is still going to be in top ability sets for everything and yes he is still on track for all level 3s at end y2!

I was told that it was problem solving ability that made him a 1A and to practice this at home. Well out of interest I have now done 3 practice level 2 sats papers over summer. The last one was the 2004 actual paper. With no help DS has consistently scored high level 2A. Getting 28/30 on the 2004 paper.
Yes I know the doesn't mean he's a 2A as the level is based on teacher assessment mainly but...... Surely there's no way he can be. 1A when he gets virtually full marks on a level 2 paper!!
This just confirms to me how wrong his end of y1 levels are.

So... Should I speak to his new teacher a couple of weeks into term about my concerns or leave until October parents evening. Any advice appreciated - thanks.

messybedhead Thu 29-Aug-13 17:59:55

I think it's a shame that your DS spent his holidays sitting SATs papers.

I hope you haven't allowed your DS to know that you are disappointed in his levels.

BackforGood Thu 29-Aug-13 18:04:36

I agree with messy. The poor lad's doing really well, making progress, in the top group, and you are disappointed with him sad.
As for making him do SATs papers in the holiday..... why ???? confused

In answer to your direct question - I really would leave well alone the Yr1 teacher and HT will probably have already told the Yr2 teacher of your pre-occupation with levels.

mrsmindcontrol Thu 29-Aug-13 18:06:44

Jesus. I didn't know mothers like this existed in RL, making their 6year old boys do school tests in summer holidays. Poor boy hmm

mrsmindcontrol Thu 29-Aug-13 18:07:48

FWIW, I don't find these grading assessments particularly objective. My DSs both got variable scores from different teachers. Whatever their score, they know I love them.

caffeinated Thu 29-Aug-13 18:11:59

Now I put my hand up as a pushy parent myself here.

But...I would wait until November half term before broaching it. The new teacher will do her own assessments anyway. You are risking k

caffeinated Thu 29-Aug-13 18:15:14

Sorry phone posted it.

you are risking looking a bit crazy. I'd wait til parents evening and say considering feedback from previous teacher you were surprised at end of year levels and seek her opinion. As a parent a few years ahead I'd say chill a bit.

I have a son who was 2b's end of year 1 and is now plateauing out at the end of year 3 and I wish I had been more chilled. He's just 6.

sittinginthesun Thu 29-Aug-13 18:18:45

One of the reasons I am pleased our school don't give out levels, other than end of key stages.

Definitely leave until half term - parents' consultation time is probably about right.

Children's progress is not linear, and children behave differently at home compared to school. Maybe he can do the work at home, but not when he is distracted at school?

alluc Thu 29-Aug-13 18:31:05

I assure you he hasn't spent all summer doing tests!! He has spent 1.5 hrs in a 6 wk period doing a few 'quizzes' and no of course I didn't tell him I was disappointed with his levels don't be so stupid!!
I just was told by school to practice problems and thought that the sats papers had problem solving otherwise I wouldn't know what sort of problems to ask him.

He has been spending summer playing cricket, tennis, surfing , football and generally being a little 6 year old boy having lots of fun. I can't help it if I take an interest in DS getting the correct assessment from his school so stop being so nasty!!

NoComet Thu 29-Aug-13 18:32:55

As caffeinated says, chill until parents evening and then ask in a relaxed manner what level they think your DS is at.

Some teachers assessments are really generous, some insist every tiny skill is demonstrated every single time before ticking off a level. It honestly isn't worth worrying about.

You should get sensible SATs grades at the end of year 2.

Then you may get three years of debatable results until Y6, assuming they still do proper SATs (there is time for many variations).

Then in Y7-8 if you get utter rubbish, that makes primaries look competent.

Finally in Y9, setting for GCSE seems to bring sense.

Believe me if you start stressing about levels in Y1 you will drive yourself mad.

alluc Thu 29-Aug-13 18:35:40

Yes you're probably right I should chill out a bit!! DD about to start school and I'm sure ill be a lot more chilled out about my 2nd child.

NoComet Thu 29-Aug-13 18:36:19

And no you are not being unreasonable wanting sensible assessments, unfortunately you often don't get them.

The NC level system is insanely complicated and just not fit for purpose.

sparklekitty Thu 29-Aug-13 18:38:28

Sats papers don't test lateral thinking or problem solving. This is why his level would have been inflated by the test. The NC weighting for problem solving I'd quite high.

The level he gets in his sats won't always be the level he is reported at.

messybedhead Thu 29-Aug-13 19:02:26

You should practise his problem solving practically.

Not by sitting tests.

Do it during every day tasks.

So when cooking for example, I am using 150g of pasta... How much will we get each?

Or ask him to work out if your jug is big enough to fit 150 mls of water and 300 mls of milk (or whatever).

Levels given at end of Year 2 are from teacher assessment not just the SATs paper.

The teachers will be assessing how good your son is in solving problems during maths activities, not just by writing correct answers on a piece of paper.

alluc Thu 29-Aug-13 19:07:51

Thanks messy- yes to be honest we do ask practical problems in everyday activities and do lots of baking together. The teacher specifically said it was on a beginning of term test that he had not done well on problem solving questions and that was the only reason she could give me for that level. Hence why I thought I'd do the tests.

messybedhead Thu 29-Aug-13 19:29:25

Hmm okay I can't really offer any more help than that.

Just don't pay too much attention to levels at this stage. You know he's able, the teachers think he's on his way to level 3s next year... Everything will be fine.

TBH, as a mum and a teacher, I would say that what you see in the classroom (with lots of things going on around a child) and what you see at home (at the peace of the dining table) are often very different. Unless a teacher sees evidence in practical activities orin written work, she cannot say he can do something, so the level may seem a little low.

As he gets more confident in his ability he will show it more often in school and it can be noted. So a child working independently at home may not do it at school until they are absolutely sure they have 'cracked it'.

I hope that makes some sense! I'm not sure I explained it clearly...

freetrait Thu 29-Aug-13 21:43:27

Does it matter? He is 6 and doing really well at school. Do the numbers really make a difference?

I think they don't like to pitch them too high at the end of Year 1 so that they can be sure to look like they've made progress by the end of Year 2. My DS is similar to yours, he was given a 2b in reading, which IMO is much too low, however I don't really care about the numbers. I can imagine that when he is given a 3 at end of Y2 it will show he has made good progress! grin.

nennypops Thu 29-Aug-13 22:10:28

I agree with freetrait, my first reaction was that it doesn't really matter. These grades are more important to the school than to individual children, and if he is in the right sets according to his ability it will make not one jot of difference to your son.

Panzee Thu 29-Aug-13 22:19:02

Levels only exist as a stick with which to beat teachers.

I know it can be frustrating when you know your child is more capable than the assessment shows. But they really are just pointless numbers and letters. Try not to worry too much.

Biscuitsneeded Thu 29-Aug-13 22:40:53

Oh gosh, I really wouldn't sweat it. He's a bright boy, they say he's doing fine... I'm sure he will get all L3s at the end of Y2. My Ds1 did and he is no genius, just a normal fairly able boy - yours sounds more advanced at end of Y1 than mine was. My Ds 2 is the same age as your boy and still reading Biff and Chip; can't write more than a sentence or two. I'm not remotely concerned; I know he's clever and I couldn't give a monkeys what level he's been given (in fact I didn't ask). I think if you make too big a deal of it your child might one day fling it all back in your face...

NewNameforNewTerm Thu 29-Aug-13 23:04:02

I'm a Year 2 teacher. I'd ask the same as a previous poster - does it really matter at Year 1? He's doing well, he's on track for level 3s and in theory sub-levels don't exist (and in 12 months time neither will levels probably). I find Year 1 teachers at our school are very conservative with their levelling, which I don't mind as it makes it look like the children are making even more progress in my class wink.

Levels from Year 1 make no difference to how I teach or what I expect from children. They all develop differently, they develop in fits and starts. Ability is not set in stone. But would be wondering if you were going to be a challenging parent if you came into ask me this in the first few weeks of term. I'd have the back of mind that you would challenge every assessment I made and wonder if you thought you could do my job better than me.

As an aside ( and as you noted) getting a level on a SAT paper doesn't mean a child is actually working consistently at that level. Just because they've achieved it on their own at home on a paper with you doesn't mean they have evidenced it regularly at school. A few parents have challenged me that their child can do X, Y & Z at home when I've never seen it in the classroom. I've actually asked a parent to hear their child read with me watching as they told me the child was reading a very challenging book with 100% accuracy and at school they were reading four stages lower with less than 90% accuracy. Turns out the parent was unconsciously scaffolding the child, so none of it was independent.

richmal Fri 30-Aug-13 07:37:56

I'm a parent who hates cooking but loves doing maths. Why is one activity seen as a good thing and the other a bad thing to do with your child?
I love teaching dd maths and my dd enjoys maths. From a very young age, doing maths at home has advanced her ability to do maths.
I too had all the problems of the teachers insisting she was not as bright as I thought and IME going into school did nothing. I was told it was teacher assessment that counted rather than ability to do tests.
For building ability in problem solving nrich website is great.

singinggirl Fri 30-Aug-13 08:21:03

Levels are only a basic guide to what a child is achieving. Sometimes there is one area that stops a child hitting the next sublevel. What levels they achieve in KS1 do not necessarily represent what they will achieve later. DS1 got a 3 in reading and science,2a in Maths and only 2b in writing at the end of Y2. At the end of Y6 he was level 5 across the board, except for a 6 in Maths! So being marked lower earlier on has certainly not held him back!

lljkk Fri 30-Aug-13 08:32:35

Decide what do you hope to achieve by speaking to teacher. Are you afraid he'll be given too easy work? ime, those who excel above the group they're in get moved up a group or 2 within a half term, so they prove themselves soon enough. It's considered good practice by Ofsted, too.

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