Year 1 attainment levels: part II

(42 Posts)
lovecheese Tue 09-Feb-10 14:46:38

Continuing an earlier thread about KS1 levels, what is the average level that children are supposed to hit by the end of year 1?

ElbowFan Tue 09-Feb-10 15:19:49

'Age Related expectation' at the end of Year 1 is 1B / 1A so that the child can reach the 'expected' average of 2B at the end of KS1. There will of course be those higher than that, and those below that, other wise it would not be the average!

lovecheese Tue 09-Feb-10 15:48:45

Thanks ElbowFan - using those criteria, do you know what a child who had reached 1B at the end of reception be expected to reach in KS1 SATs? (sorry to pester)

starstudent Tue 09-Feb-10 18:40:13

They would be expected to reach 2b in KS1 SATs, though at this stage many children progress rather quickly, so the level they achieve could be higher - it all depends on the individual!

lovecheese Tue 09-Feb-10 19:31:40

starstudent thanks for replying, but am slightly confused by your reply; My DD hit a level 1b at the end of reception, is she only expected to "go up" 1 level to a 2b at the end of yr2? doesnt seem like much progress??

starstudent Tue 09-Feb-10 19:36:11

Goodness, no! Sorry about the confusion. As I said before, it depends on the individual, but I would expect your DD to be attaining a level 3 by the Year 2 SATs.

Hope that helps.

Smithagain Tue 09-Feb-10 19:56:41

The guidance notes attached to our school reports state that "expected" progress is one third to two thirds of a level per year. More than that is given a rating of "outstanding" progress.

RacingSnake Tue 09-Feb-10 21:15:50

But remember things don't always go in a straight line. Sometimes children 'plateau' academically while theyare developing fast in other areas. So don't get too hung up on levels.

ElbowFan Wed 10-Feb-10 12:51:19

You may be interested to have a look at the age related expectation as published by National Strategies (http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/171919)
On Page 64/65 you will see how progress is expected to be made on a year by year basis, and how children are expected to make a given number of sublevels progress each year.
Your dd levelled at 1B at the start of Y1 should be aiming higher than 2B at the end of Y2!
Hope this is helpful

RacingSnake Wed 10-Feb-10 13:17:00

But remember that it does not always go in a straight line! Sometimes faster, sometimes slower, depending what else is happening in their development at the same time.

lovecheese Thu 11-Feb-10 14:56:14

Ta Elbowfan for that link, will look later; p.s I love Elbow too, if thats what you mean, and not a penchant for arm joints.

Cortina Thu 11-Feb-10 16:38:23

Isn't this all very prescriptive? Shouldn't a child who is a W or so at the start of year 1 should be as likely to reach a level 3 in year 2 as a child who began the year a grade or so higher?

Why do we expect a child who enters year one at a higher level to do 'better' a year or so on? Spurts and dips in performance are the norm especially at this sort of age.

Looking at the National Strategies website so much of how 'well' a child does at KS1 is about drill rather than ability. If they 'demonstrate' what a teacher is looking for in terms of writing formation etc.

Everyone tells me things are fluid and no child is labelled in any way but this tells me otherwise?

Sorry don't mean to be negative. In prep schools things seem to be much more fluid and children all children are expected to do very well. Or is this just my impression?

Feenie Thu 11-Feb-10 20:06:41

A measure of expected progress is needed in case something is amiss - if a child makes no progress, the possible reasons can then be addressed quickly. If a child makes more than expected progress, fantastic.

Most schools set themselves challenging targets and aim to have children making good progress, as opposed to just satisfactory.

Once again, Cortina, no one puts any kind of ceiling on children's learning. It isn't what any of us teachers here came into the profession for.

Feenie Thu 11-Feb-10 20:10:14

making good progress - got my italics mixed up with my crossings out blush

lovecheese what do your child's teacher(s) say about how they are doing now? Do they seem to be satisfied with how your child is progressing? Are you happy?

I have a Year 1 child (don't know what level he was at in any subjects at the end of reception but his teachers and I were happy with his progress). I know I can have a tendency to get myself fixated on levels etc but I think there is more to a child's life than what levels they attain in Year 2. I am happy to be convinced otherwise though.

SailAway Thu 11-Feb-10 20:29:06

In each 'level' 1, 2, 3 you have 3 sublevels (a, b and c).
They expect your child to go up by 2 sub levels each year. So starting Y1 with a level 1B, they should be at 2C at the end of Y1 and 2A at the end of Y2.
At least that's what ds1 teacher has been telling me (he is in Y1).

I also agree it will vary a lot. Depends if your dd has been working to her level in reception or taking things gently for example (eg ds1 has move by much more than 2 sublevels in maths this year but is on 'target' for litterature iyswim). How mature she was etc...
It's more for teachers really to see if there are some problems looming ie why has this child not progressed as we would have expected? Let's look at what is happening type of attitude.

Cortina Thu 11-Feb-10 23:52:03

Once again, Cortina, no one puts any kind of ceiling on children's learning. It isn't what any of us teachers here came into the profession for.

Feenie, I don't think you do. From what I see on the ground though this can and does happen. Not in a malicious sense and from what I've seen it can happen in the classroom of the most dedicated teacher in the world. It can happen at a subconscious level, Malcolm Gladwell describes some of it in Outliers and other writers I've mentioned do the same thing and quote various studies to back up their findings.

I wonder whether we unwittingly put a ceiling on children's learning as soon as we begin to think about them in terms of whether they are 'bright' or not?

The head of our primary gave a talk and mentioned how the children in her care smashed their year one and year two targets and so on and so forth further along, from what I see the targets given underestimate what the children are likely to achieve. For example DS has targets for the end of year one which IMO he surpasses by a couple of levels at the moment. These may be revised going forward but as these targets have honestly been set they would be able to quote it as per their figures etc.

This is no real problem in itself but isn't there a danger, if this is broadly the case more generally, a parent could 'believe' a child should be on course for say 1B at the end of year one in writing or maths so shouldn't be pushed too far out of comfort zone etc? What if they were turned off learning for life? Etc.

From what I can see sometimes there is a lot of erring on the side of caution. The next level might prove too much etc. It's better that X should stay with a lowing achieving group to boost confidence. All of these things may be the right thing to do in some cases but I think have the potential to limit children. My kids seem to rise to the level of the group they are put with, whether that's swimming, school or learning the violin. What's wrong with real challenge?

I've heard parents say 'I am not putting little Johnny into the school play/concert as one of the bears who has to speak. He's not to be pushed, he's not confident in this way unlike little Freddie'. This may be true but I wonder sometimes whether their little Johnny is actually any different from Freddie? I know little Johnny and he's perfectly confident and capable IMO. Of course it might be he really doesn't want to go on the school trip/read to the class/be in the play. Fast forward a few years and you might have a scenario where you have a under confident Freddie who believes there is a ceiling on his ability in certain areas. Why has it been decided by a parent or teacher that Johnny shouldn't be challenged but Freddie should?

Perhaps there's nothing in what I say, I hope so. I probably think about these things too much. I am not blaming teachers. In the non selective prep down our way we have children all getting the top SATS grades possible at 11. Before I had children of my own and looked into what SATS were and what was expected I assumed that inherent ability was key. While this might play a part I now see it's possible for an average child to ace the tests. The test results shouldn't matter going forward as many say - so perhaps it doesn't matter what grade our children end up with at KS1 or KS2?

What matters far, far more is that our children believe in themselves and their capabilities and I believe challenge is very healthy.

Feenie Fri 12-Feb-10 12:41:25

<throws her hands in the air and gives up>

Cortina Fri 12-Feb-10 14:49:45

Feenie, I am sorry , really.

I am honestly interested in all of this and doing lots of reading at the moment.

There seem to be so many studies that back up what I see but seemingly not many people out there who agree? Does this mean that what I describe doesn't exist or is very rare? Do you really think there is absolutely nothing in what I say? Not even the smallest grain of truth in any scenario?

claig Fri 12-Feb-10 15:02:32

Cortina, anyone can see that you love the subject and are very interested in it. Have you ever thought about training to be a teacher? because I think you would be a natural at it

Cortina Fri 12-Feb-10 15:09:52

Do I detect a hint of sarcasm Claig ?

Seriously, I am honestly very interested. Things do seem to be very prescriptive from what I see. It seems things really do vary from school to school.

claig Fri 12-Feb-10 16:33:09

no not sarcastic at all, you have misread me. I can see that you are very interested in it, and I think that in some cases what you are saying is probably likely to happen

dorris44 Fri 12-Feb-10 22:37:19

Hi
I am really interested on this. My dd is in yr1 and got 8 in reception in her foundation stage reports & a 9? in something. her yr 1 teacher won't give me her end of year1 targets. He says they are for him and the subject leaders. What should I be expecting her to get?

IAmTheEasterBunny Fri 12-Feb-10 23:17:08

Cortina, I don't really get your point. You make it sound like teachers are 'teaching to a level' all the time, whereas we are teaching to the next objective that the child needs to meet.

We are aware of the objectives within levels and we are also aware of where our children need to go.

Feenie Sat 13-Feb-10 00:32:15

Thank you so much, IATEB. I understand Cortina's worries, but I want her to understand that they are SO FAR from teachers' objectives and aims.

Cortina Sat 13-Feb-10 02:40:44

Thanks, Claig, it is something I might consider in the future, I do really care about our children's education etc but it's a real vocation and not something I would do lightly. Up late tonight. Easter Bunny and Feenie, thank you.

Without wanting to be negative, I do see some what I am discovering through my reading in the classroom. I believe that any average child should do extremely well in SATS etc. It shouldn't be the be all and end all if they don't of course, but I believe most will be capable of excellent results. I am seeing that you need to give a great deal of support and encouragement at home too. The results are not as important as the children being confident, enthusiastic beginner learners by then.

Easter Bunny it's about what can be messaged on a subconscious level (see above for details that concerns me. I get that teachers are teaching to the next objective and so many do so much more than they need to. We seem sometimes to see things in a linear, prescriptive way in terms of what children should achieve. For example I believe it's as possible for a child that enters year one at W+ (assuming there are no real underlying learning difficulties) to get a level 3 in year 2 as it is for one that enters the year at 1A, see Bill Claxton's research for details. Dips and spurts are (he says) the norm not the exception yet we expect the high fliers at 11 to be the 'best' at 16 or we've failed them.

The danger is that it may not be believed a W+ is level 3 material (on a subconscious level) there will be more 'concern' about them than a child who is 1A at the start of year one. Of course any teacher would be delighted to see a child do very well. This 'concern' can unwittingly be limiting for the child. There's a danger that the W+ himself might not have such an expandable view of his ability than the 1A. I see this in my own children via their view of 'ability' tables in the classroom.

Bill Claxton has proved that small adjustments in the classroom by the teacher can make a huge difference. He talks a lot about building learning power in children, which many teachers do and are doing already but not all. His excellent 'What's The Point of School' puts things much better than I do.

Christchurch Primary School in Wiltshire took on board some of Claxton's ideas and they found that their SATS results improved. Over the next 4 years the percentage of children achieving level 4 and above in their Key Stage 2 SATS rose from 59% to 86% in English, 55% to 86% in Maths and 67% to 94% in Science. Averaging all 3 core subjects the % of children over-achieving for their age (who got level 5) rose from 13% to 40%.

Claxton's idea that children who have great learning power (regardless of IQ) achieve beyond their years was bourne out by an experiment Jane Leo did with her year 6 children (St Mary's Primary School, Thornbury, Bristol). She had been working all year on building learning power in her class.

After they had taken their Key Stage 2 tests she gave them the Key Stage 3 Maths paper, (designed I think for 14 year olds). She said 'have a go, have fun'. Some of the questions were on unfamiliar topics, as you'd expect. Jane said 'by applying your thinking and using what you already know, you ought to be able to have a go at much of it'. The children who were not confident with maths at all were allowed to work in pairs. She allowed the children to ask 'clarifying questions' only, which she answered by encouraging them to trust their own judgement. Jane told Bill Claxton most of the questions stemmed from not believing the questions were as easy as they were!

The result? All bar 5 got level 6, many jumped a whole level over their performance in the actual KS2 tests they'd taken a week before. The other 5 all improved on their acutal SATS performance by at least 2 sub levels.

Jane Leo said:

'I believe their willingness to have a go stemmed from a year's worth of teaching them how to learn and knowing themselves as learners. Through Building Learning Power, they know how to tackle a challenge; what questions to ask themselves; how to apply what they know to new situations. They know themselves as learners, and they see learning as a journey, not an end - if they couldn't do a question it wasn't because they would never be able to but they hadn't seen the way there yet.

Jane's children didn't mind being faced with something they hadn't prepared for, one said 'strangely I really enjoyed that' and another 'that was good it makes you see the links between everything'.

Claxton talks about teachers modelling learning. Children need to become good learners not secure knowers (in traditional schools teachers modelled knowledgeability).

He believes it should be a requirement teachers are visibly engaged in some project that stretches their subject knowledge (as if they don't have enough to do)!

An English graduate might regularly pin up drafts of a poem they are struggling to get right, a science teacher might be running an experiment in the corner of her lab, something she is genuinely interested in and doesn't know the outcome.

Peter Mountstephen (head of a primary school in Bath) commits to learning a musical instrument that he has never played before. On the first day of each school year there is a whole school assembly and Peter tries to play a new instrument. Last year the bagpipes, everyone laughs as he makes a total hash of it. He says to the kids he is going to learn it and talks about what 'learning muscles' he is going to need, perseverance, commitment, time to practice, courage to ask for help etc.

He goes round to each class and asks the children what they find difficult and they talk about shared challenges and difficulties. They talk about themselves as learners.

His commitment is to be obviously bad at something and to be seen putting in the learning required to get better at it. It encourages kids and enables them to be 'bad' at something without feeling bad about themselves.

Sorry if I am going off point but wanted to include these examples, especially Peter Mountstephen. I think his is a brilliant idea, what a great Head!! This story really inspired me I am trying to do similar at home with my children.

Feenie Sat 13-Feb-10 11:13:30

Cortina, your belief in having high expectations is commendable but also very normal in the teaching profession. You are reading widely, but most of us were made to read that kind of thing when we trained, took what we should have from it and moved on. In short, it's nothing we haven't heard before, it isn't revolutionary and it's something most teachers have paramount in their minds anyway.

I do believe, from what you've described, that there are possible issues in your child's classroom. But you are just seeing one snapshot of our education system and treating it as the norm.

"Christchurch Primary School in Wiltshire took on board some of Claxton's ideas and they found that their SATS results improved. Over the next 4 years the percentage of children achieving level 4 and above in their Key Stage 2 SATS rose from 59% to 86% in English, 55% to 86% in Maths and 67% to 94% in Science. Averaging all 3 core subjects the % of children over-achieving for their age (who got level 5) rose from 13% to 40%"

Results similar to my own and lots of schools then - and they bloody well needed to bring their results up, they were awful! grin

This Bill Claxton reminds me of any one of a number of people who deliver useless INSETS on airy fairy concepts. Yes, high expectations are very important - so important that they almost go without saying - but good teaching is absolutely vital, and that's what drives standards.

mrz Sat 13-Feb-10 11:44:59

"Christchurch Primary School in Wiltshire took on board some of Claxton's ideas and they found that their SATS results improved. Over the next 4 years the percentage of children achieving level 4 and above in their Key Stage 2 SATS rose from 59% to 86% in English, 55% to 86% in Maths and 67% to 94% in Science. Averaging all 3 core subjects the % of children over-achieving for their age (who got level 5) rose from 13% to 40%"

Description of the school from OFSTED
The school, which is larger than average, serves the relatively prosperous small town of Bradford-on-Avon. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities is below average. Pupils are mainly of White British origin and almost all speak English as their first language. There are two single-aged classes in each year group. Almost all pupils have attended
private pre-school settings and arrive in the Reception classes with broadly average abilities.

given the description of the school the results are appalling

My own school which serves an area designated "socially/economically deprived"
English 93% level 4 or higher Maths 71% level 4 or higher Science 100% level 4 or higher ...

Cortina Sat 13-Feb-10 11:47:00

Feenie that was really encouraging and heart warming to read. I would be a very happy parent if every teacher read and absorbed some of the texts I bang on about 'Mindset' most importantly. Sounds like many do.

Bill takes a similarly dim view of 'airy fairy' concepts. I don't do him justice here at all. Whilst I am not a teacher I think he makes some great points.

For example, Bill Claxton mentions something called 'assessment for learning' (AFL). He says this is a well researched set of shifts to classroom practice that produce impressive improvements in exam results. The shifts included teachers sharing and discussing criteria for success with students, waiting longer for answers to questions, asking open ended question - generally all good stuff he says.

AFL's core idea (and am sure all v familiar to many teachers) is that teachers can go on to diagnose difficulties and so make their teaching better targeted and more effective.

I am talking about this as an example of a concept gone wrong. He says that when politicians got hold of this good and sensible idea they bent it out of shape so it became a justification for even more surveillance of learning and even more dedicated record keeping about every child. So he says while it's spirit chimes very well with his Learning Gym and Exploratory ideas (see his book for details) it has overwhelmingly been used to improve exam results. He would prefer to have seen it used as a way of helping students develop portable attitudes and habits of learning.

As Claxton sees it many positive innovations fail to escape from what he calls the 'gravitational field of traditional aims and familiar methods'. He talks about the early reasons for education and schooling and then about how things are today.

He has strong words to say about 'Happiness' lessons too - he sees 'happiness' as the fruit of successful learning rather than teaching children to 'manage their feelings' etc. He thinks stress and unhappiness springs from the fact children do not always know how to learn or what they want to learn about. He says if we can help them to discover the the things they really want to get better at, and develop the confidence and capability to pursue those passions, then more happiness and less stress will result. No, I am not his wife .

As others have said, is there room for my kids in your school/class please?

Cortina Sat 13-Feb-10 11:49:19

mrz - guess the point is the results have improved significantly?

Interesting to get that perspective. I wonder if they've improved again since then? (2007-2008 I think).

Cortina Sat 13-Feb-10 11:54:54

Feenie, you said:

I do believe, from what you've described, that there are possible issues in your child's classroom. But you are just seeing one snapshot of our education system and treating it as the norm.

Just to add I may well be and I hope so. What scared me is my experiences chimed with the alleged more general flaws of our education system I've been reading about.

Feenie Sat 13-Feb-10 11:55:41

Aw, I'm gonna have to post ours now, mrz! We are also in a socially/economically deprived area - 93%(L4 or higher) in 2009 for all three subjects.

Feenie Sat 13-Feb-10 11:56:33

It was a very gifted cohort this year though.

mrz Sat 13-Feb-10 12:00:30

Sorry I should have said my own school was given a notice to improve because of poor KS2 SAT results in English
English 61% to 83% Science 76% to 100%

mrz Sat 13-Feb-10 12:01:54

sorry that should say English 61% to 93%

mrz Sat 13-Feb-10 12:05:30

By Feenie Sat 13-Feb-10 11:56:33
It was a very gifted cohort this year though.

EXACTLY !!

Feenie Sat 13-Feb-10 12:10:31

grin

claig Sat 13-Feb-10 12:34:27

I agree with Feenie. I would much rather trust an experienced teacher like Feenie, who has real experience at the coalface, than some of these gurus with their new-fangled theories. They remind me of the 25 year old management consultants, with MBAs from the top business schools, who charge experienced business people top dollar for borrowing their watches and telling them the time.

These gurus are in business to sell their books, theories and consultancy. They often talk about the need for "radical reform", and the necessity of "overhauling" everything that has worked for the last 100 years. Sir Ken Robinson is another in the long line of these gurus.

I prefer confident teachers who have learnt a thing or two along the way, and I would worry about teachers who would listen to the siren voices of these gurus. Too often these gurus helicopter in, give everyone the benefit of their wisdom, instigate radical reform, cash their cheques, and never return to view the consequences of their recommendations. Even though experienced teachers may make some mistakes, I think they do a far better job than these gurus.

primarymum Sat 13-Feb-10 13:32:27

""For example, Bill Claxton mentions something called 'assessment for learning' (AFL). He says this is a well researched set of shifts to classroom practice that produce impressive improvements in exam results. The shifts included teachers sharing and discussing criteria for success with students, waiting longer for answers to questions, asking open ended question - generally all good stuff he says.

AFL's core idea (and am sure all v familiar to many teachers) is that teachers can go on to diagnose difficulties and so make their teaching better targeted and more effective"

Sorry, but this is what AfL means in my ( and I'm sure many other) schools too. But it isn't some miraculous new concept, it is simply doing what all good teachers do all the time, look at what a child can currently do, what they need to learn to do next to develop their knowledge and understanding, and identify how best to teach it.In my class we agree success criteria for each unit of work we cover, both as a group and our own individual success criteria,all children have individual targets to work on, and when they have acheived them they get another! ( even if they have achieved their "predicted" level, they are simply given a higher predicted level) No-one stops challenging and stretching a child just because they have achieved some notional level of expected progress, if you do you end up with bored, disconsolate children rather than interested, well motivated and enthusiastic ones, and I know which I prefer!

Cortina Sat 13-Feb-10 15:15:34

Hi primarymum not sure when it was introduced? But Bill's point was not that good teacher's weren't doing this anyway etc but that it was bent out of shape by the Government so it became a justification - in his opinion - for even more surveillance of learning and even more dedicated record keeping about every child. It's initial purpose was distorted.

Claig, from what I am discovering I agree 100%. Claxton isn't one of these, as I say I don't do his work justice on here. From what I've been reading - he would agree with all you say. From what I've seen professional development for teachers is big business, and consultants and trainers are continually on the look out for impressive, pseudo-scientific soundbites to wow their audiences.

mrz Sat 13-Feb-10 16:39:52

Why are you so sure "Claxton isn't one of these" ?

Cortina Sun 14-Feb-10 02:12:00

Up again and it's late, because I know of him, he's a friend of a friend. I know he isn't interested in making a fast buck and is passionate about all he does. If you google there are links to his talks IRL. I quote him on here but don't do him justice. He's writing a new book at the moment 'New Kinds of Smart' or something like that which looks to be very interesting - again you can google. He works out of the University of Winchester.

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