What do these levels mean?

(10 Posts)
MovingBack Fri 13-Sep-13 12:03:28

We recently moved to England from another English speaking country with a VERY different education system. After the first term (summer term) we received reports including levels for reading, writing and maths - I've read the accompanying info but I'm finding it hard to understand what they mean in everyday terms, in particular are they doing ok or not? Parent teacher meetings aren't for a while yet and I will of course raise this then. Meantime if anyone could help me understand what they mean in plain English I would be really grateful - my youngest has had a real crisis of confidence and thinks that she's 'dumb' because she got these results :-( I can't seem to make her understand that they don't mean that at all....

DD1 - end of year 5 - reading 4A, writing 4C, maths 4C

DD2 - end of year 3 - reading 3B, writing 3C, maths 3C

Thank you

redskyatnight Fri 13-Sep-13 12:20:57

The levels increase from 1 upwards depending on who well the child has achieved against national curriculum goals.
Each level is split into sublevels a,b,c where a is the highest.
So the levels go 1c-1b-1a-2c-2b-2a-3c etc

There are expected levels at the end of Year 2 and Year 6.
At the end of Year 2, a child is expected to reach a Level 2 and at the end of Year 6 at child is expected to reach a Level 4.

There are no prescribed expected levels at the end of any other year.

However, assuming a child performs in a nice linear fashion (which of course most don't) the expected levels at the end of each year would be
Year 2 - 2b
Year 3 - 2a/3c
Year 4 - 3b
Year 5 - 3a/4c
Year 6 - 4b

So DD1 and DD2 are pretty much where you'd want them to be in writing and maths and ahead of expectations in reading.

In terms of progress a child would "be expected" to make 1-2 sublevels of progress each year, making a whole level of progress over 2 years. AGain, this is based on the nice linear child.

dilbertina Fri 13-Sep-13 12:21:53

They are both doing fine! This link explains the levels really well:

www.devon.gov.uk/fostering-national-curriculum-levels.pdf

MovingBack Fri 13-Sep-13 12:27:32

Thank you both so much - the degree of assessment that they seem to be undergoing all the time, and the grouping of children into ability groups for different subjects is making them very irritated or anxious, depending on how they feel on the day! I'm a terrible worrier and feel very stressed about this constant assessment, even though it's not me being assessed (although I do of course hide this from them!)

keepsmiling12345 Fri 13-Sep-13 13:00:43

I think you need to consider why you (and they) are feeling anxious and stressed about something which is supposed to help your children learn to their full potential. Unless you're school is doing things very oddly, the "constant assessment" you describe is simply the teachers trying to ensure that each child is learning at the appropriate pace and is being supported or extended if they are finding the work hard or easy. The DC at my DD's school are very comfortable with the fact that different children work in different ability groups in different subjects because they simply see it as obvious that different children find different things easy or hard. The parents and children who worry are those who feel the only "good" outcome is to be in the "top" group.

MovingBack Fri 13-Sep-13 15:21:28

Thanks AlienAttack but maybe my original post wasn't clear - the education system in the country we lived in before is completely different e.g. no differentiation in lessons and little formal assessment beyond spellings/tables. We've not even lived here 6 months yet so I'm sure most children/parents in this new-to-us situation would be anxious, not just those who aspire to the 'top' group. Of course the children who have been in this system since Reception would not have the same anxieties!

I've been reassured by previous posters and will of course discuss this at the parent teacher meetings.

Thanks all

curlew Fri 13-Sep-13 15:27:19

Could you say a bit about the constant assessment? Is it possible that your girls, because they aren't used to the system,are misinterpreting something? Because they really shouldn't be doing tests all the time.......

MovingBack Fri 13-Sep-13 15:47:18

Yes I think that's it curlew :-)

Dysgu Fri 13-Sep-13 16:11:23

Glad you have been reassured MB and that things are starting to make a bit more sense.

The English system can seem/be very different from other countries. I taught in another English speaking country like the one of which you speak - where everyone covered the same work in class, no differentiation, whole class reading texts, no national system for 'leveling' the completed work and everyone was expected to 'make the grade' by the end of the year.

It took me a while to adapt to the differences in the systems and I moved both ways! Also, the apparent constant testing may be because the summer term tends to be lots of ed-of-year assessments ready to have data to compare with start of that year; and the autumn term starts with the new teacher doing assessments to check where children are. This is different from your/my previous system where each grade/year covered different curriculum. Here children progress through the levels at their own pace.

Good luck!

MovingBack Fri 13-Sep-13 20:29:53

Thank you so much Dysgu thanks

The penny has dropped! Your explanation is spot on for both their previous school and the new one.... phew!

I can't tell you how grateful I am, it's like a weight has been lifted off me now that I understand what's going on grin

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