NC levels. Is 1 sub level progress ever OK?

(51 Posts)
seeker Fri 09-Jul-10 17:23:27

I know that 2 sub-levels of progress is what's expected. Are there any circumstances in which it's OK for a normally bright child who hasn't had anything traumatic happen to him and who appears to have had a normal sort of year to only make 1 sub level of progress?

WarrenPeace Fri 09-Jul-10 17:24:09

God i haev had kids go backwards.
that might just be my teaching though blush

MaamRuby Fri 09-Jul-10 17:24:39

I think it can sometimes mean a child had just made it one one sublevel then progressed to just missing the next level, so has very nearly made two levels progress.

primarymum Fri 09-Jul-10 17:49:31

Technically it is two whole levels over 4 years or one whole level over two years ie from 2b in yr 2 to 4b in yr 6 so one sub level one year followed by two the next would be perfectly acceptable!

Feenie Fri 09-Jul-10 18:28:21

Sometimes children, especially those who have been used to making accelerated progress, just aren't ready to progress any further. They aren't little robots, and so sometimes don't make neat little jumps over pockets of time.

It's important, however, that those same children are tracked even more carefully the following year to ensure the same thing doesn't happen, and to find out the reason behind it if it does happen again, so appropriate action can be taken quickly.

seeker Fri 09-Jul-10 19:31:41

So if my ds was 4c and 4c at the end of year 3 for reading and writing, should I be relaxed about him being 4b and 4b at the end of year 4? ? His writing is still a bit "boy-like" but he is reading The Lord of the Rings at home slowly, but with much enjoyment and understanding (I know, I check regularly because I think it's a bonkers book for him to take on at 9 and the minute he shows me he's mot understanding it I'll take it away and give it back when he's at an age where he won't spoil it for himself!

God, I am turning into one of those mothers I dispise!

TheFallenMadonna Fri 09-Jul-10 19:35:19

You are turning into one of those mothers!wink You know that children don't do things on a nice steady gradient; they have fits and starts, the shoot up and plateau off. We measure our DC's height twice a year, 6 months apart, and it is never even. I don;t expect their academic development to be completely even either. It's a long game I reckon...

seeker Fri 09-Jul-10 19:39:02

Hit me with a wet fish. Repeatedly. STOP ME truning into one of THEM!!!!!!!!

Shaz10 Fri 09-Jul-10 19:40:39

Despite the government's best efforts, children do not progress in a straight line.

schroeder Fri 09-Jul-10 19:55:18

This hits a nerve with me though. My ds was achieving a 4 in year 3 and now at the end of year 6 has got 4s in everything except reading in which he got a 5.

Now I am feeling pretty cross that his class teachers haven't spoken to me about his lack of progress. I know he is not underachieving, but I'm thinking that he's missed out on more help that he could have been given just because he's quietly able, polite and shy.

A nasty vision of the future for my ds. And a worry for my (younger)dd as she progresses up the school.
sad

seeker Sun 11-Jul-10 12:35:37

Part of the issue for me is that I am a governor at the school, and part of our school plan is a relentless drive to raise standards. So I'm looking at this from two places at once "Why hasn't this bit of our school plan worked in thie case?" with my governor hat on and "Oh No - ds is destined for a life of academic failure and shelf-stacking" with my paranoid parent hat on!

Needaname Sun 11-Jul-10 20:24:10

4b at the end of y4 is very good although there is usually greater disparity between the writing and reading levels. He has obviously taken great strides further down the school. Y3 - Y4 is difficult for big jumps in writing because if a child is good at spelling in Y3 it counts for more than it does in Y4. If he goes up two sub-levles per year for the next two years he will be 5a by the end of school and that's the highest he can possibly be. If he only makes the expected progess of one level he will still be well above average.

Don't forget that a lot of writing marking can be quite subjective too and teachers have a vested interest in making sure they hit targets or they don't send children up at a level that's hard for the next teacher to do anything with. Pressure from above can certainly alter the results!

Feenie Sun 11-Jul-10 21:18:42

"Y4 is difficult for big jumps in writing because if a child is good at spelling in Y3 it counts for more than it does in Y4"

How so?

Needaname Sun 11-Jul-10 21:59:56

I understand that the marks awarded for spelling in Y3 count for a larger proportion of the overall marks than in year 4.

Feenie Sun 11-Jul-10 22:10:06

But fgs, we are not back to levelling children from a snapshot test over 45 minutes, are we?

What happened to careful, considered balanced teacher assessment from a variety of sources, giving a day to day picture of where the children are?

Levelling judgements purely from optional SATs are from the bad old days <shudder>

Needaname Sun 11-Jul-10 22:19:23

Teehee Feenie. Your innocence touches me. Or maybe it's just my HT who prefers a snapshot rather than trust the teachers' assessment. But with the relentless drive to improve standards in OP's school I would think that their HT is taking the tests as the hard evidence. It would be interesting to know though OP?

One sub-level is still prefectly fine though in your case OP.

Feenie Sun 11-Jul-10 22:23:13

Using the tests as hard evidence can only take place once a year - are you seriously telling me that your school only assesses children once annually? Where is your tracking? And I think it is just your HT, yes. Or do they over-rule the LEA when it comes to Y2 assessment, then?

Feenie Sun 11-Jul-10 22:39:36

And, in a relentless drive to improve standards, a single test is the bare minimum any school could do for assessment, and is nowhere near enough to inform anyone of anything.

mumtoabeautifulbabyboy Mon 12-Jul-10 18:30:45

Feenie,
I am also a primary school teacher, we use APP and Teacher Asst throughout the year to track progress as well as a whole range of AfL strategies on a day to day basis.

However the level we tend to report to parents is the Otional SAT one. Obviously if the child usually performs bettr/worse than that then we inform parents of this but I am assuming from the OP that the optional SAT level is the one they have been given.

OP, your child has made excellent progress through their time in the school and is still progressing well. Children do need time to consolidate their learning and so do not always make the 2 sub levels per year every year.

singersgirl Mon 12-Jul-10 18:36:25

In any case, at some schools (even if Feenie says this is not supposed to happen and doesn't happen at hers) children are 'pegged' at a minimum teacher assessment to demonstrate good value-add. So, for example, 3c in Year 2, 3a in Year 3, 4b in Year 4, 5c in Year 5 to arrive at 5a in Year 6. They may want to slow your son's apparent rate of progress down, otherwise he'll present as having made less than satisfactory progress for their figures when OFSTED comes a-callin'.

Feenie Mon 12-Jul-10 18:39:15

How strange - to track children so carefully throughout the year within school,only yo report a one-off snapshot to parents which isn't even statutory?

singersgirl Mon 12-Jul-10 18:43:16

Well, I suppose the teacher assessment means that the children are definitely working at at least that level and they may also have test results that show a higher level, if you see what I mean.

Feenie Mon 12-Jul-10 19:03:51

Not really....

seeker Mon 12-Jul-10 19:25:21

singersgirl - I don't think they do that at our school In any case, they would be a bit bonkers to do it in this case, me being one of the governors with oversight of the bit if the school plan related to raising standards standards and all!

Tanga Mon 12-Jul-10 19:29:34

Bottom line, when they do GCSE's that's a snapshot of a couple of hours, isn't it? How they respond to tests is a fairly important thing, even when they are at primary.

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