KS2 Year 5, Level 4b & 3C??

(82 Posts)
Leaveitbabe Tue 10-Jul-12 09:50:22

Forgive me if this has been answered but I cannot get a clear answer via google. DOE pointed me here:


DD is Y5 and achieved
3C in handwriting this sounds low even though she has a glowing report for her handwriting i.e. very neat etc.
4b in Literacy and Mathematics

What do these scores mean?

Many thanks in advance.

MajorBumsore Tue 10-Jul-12 10:05:28

Are you sure it's in handwriting and not writing (ie the content)? I have been teaching for 12 years and never known levels to be given for handwriting.

Losingitall Tue 10-Jul-12 10:06:16

It's writing - the content.

"English" as we knew it.

Leaveitbabe Tue 10-Jul-12 10:39:06

Ah, yes, you are probably correct. I skimmed the report this morning and knowing my daughter that would make sense!

Shouldacouldawoulda Tue 10-Jul-12 10:54:18

Strange that writing and literacy are separate- would be clearer if they did reading, writing and speaking and listening as 3 areas. But maybe she is an articulate child who reads well but her writing is still catching up?

letseatgrandma Tue 10-Jul-12 11:36:53

I presume it's a 3c for writing and a 4b for maths and reading? Literacy generally isn't given as a separate score unless it's a combined reading/writing level? The 'expected' level (rather than the average) at the end of y5 is 3a/4c so it looks like a great maths/reading score, but a bit below expected for writing. Handwriting is pretty irrelevant (though good handwriting is always a plus!)-it's more the content/structure/word choices they will be assessing.

Though sub levels don't really exist anyway ;)

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 12:07:37

It's not great results really - pretty average to low average - did you get the feeling that others in the class were doing better this year ?

Sorry if she's been struggling or has a SEN, assuming she has no difficulties learning I'd be a bit dissapointed with those scores to be honest.

Feenie Tue 10-Jul-12 12:38:02

Have you misread, RosemaryandThyme? This child is in Y5 - 4b is the expected level for the end of Year 6, so Maths and Reading are above average in Y5.

3c is very low though, and needs addressing. She would have been on a writing intervention in my school with a score that low.

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 12:57:46

Didn't mis-read - just of the view that the expected levels as set are actually a bit low for the average child for maths and reading.
Even from the early years profiles the maths boxes seem to be so much easier to achieve (box 9 - bit of understanding of numbers to 20) compared to english (box 9 - understands and uses common punctuation) - and it carries on through the maths papers in primary, very little challenging stuff for the average child in my view - possibly the new EYFS will start to address this as they are (in theory) toughening up the maths side.
So in terms of an individual child reaching their max potential I would hope for an above expected score in maths and reading, and expected scores for english with correlation between reading and spelling.

letseatgrandma Tue 10-Jul-12 13:00:06

I would hope for an above expected score in maths and reading

But she has got an above expected score in maths and reading!

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 13:04:46

Well not really

Year one = level one
year two = level two
surely year five she could be getting level 5 ?
slight deviations for a/b/c so Y5 4a or 5 would be good no ?

letseatgrandma Tue 10-Jul-12 13:08:17

*Well not really
Year one = level one
year two = level two
surely year five she could be getting level 5 ?
slight deviations for a/b/c so Y5 4a or 5 would be good no ?*


National expectations are

so, by default- Y4=3b.

Expectation for Y5 is between the levels for Y4/Y6-ie a 3a/4c

LadyWellian Tue 10-Jul-12 13:12:20

Rosemary according to my Y7 DD's school report which I read yesterday, all children are expected to achieve at least a level 5 by the end of KS3 - that's Y9, not Y5! (though I do think a 5 at the end of Y9 would be aiming a bit low in any of the core subjects).

What has been clear to me is that there is a lot of level inflation at KS2. DD has made huge leaps this year but some of her levels (even in subjects where she has made the most progress) are now below what they apparently were at the end of Y6.

seeker Tue 10-Jul-12 13:16:36

So, rosemaryandthyme- you would expect all children to get above average scores? grin

PastSellByDate Tue 10-Jul-12 13:24:39

Hi Leavitbabe:

At the bottom of the Mumsnet Education page "Progress through the [National Curriculum] levels" - there is a nice chart which shows what the notional average child should be achieving at the end of each school year. Link here: www.mumsnet.com/learning/assessment/progress-through-national-curriculum-levels

So for Y5 according to these pages a notional average child should be doing work at NC Level 4C.

So 3c Writing (which I think we all agree is content not formation of letters) is a bit low and clearly needs work.

4b for reading/ maths - sounds slightly above average and doing well.

If you're having a parent/ teacher meeting I'd talk to the school about your DD's writing. Try and get at what the problem is - vocabularly, punctuation, structure, focus, etc... can all be issues that she may need to work on. See if the teachers can't give you some ideas of what to work on over the summer; however, some obvious ideas include:

Have your DD send postcards to friends, family, even teachers - and really say something, don't allow just a quick 'Hi! Having a good time'. Insist she really writes something.

Encourage your DD to keep a diary. Write about the things she enjoys or the things that bother's her.

Encourage DD to write reviews of what she's been reading.

Also - get her reading progressively more complicated books. The more she reads the better. Maybe join a summer reading club at a local library.


RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 13:25:08

Not quite seeker - I would anticipate that average children perform better in reading and maths than the folk who set the standards expect.

Littleplasticpeople Tue 10-Jul-12 13:26:08

Not really sure where you are coming from rosemary hmm I have taught year 5 for years and would view a 4b as a good score at the e d of year 5. 3c in writing, though by no means unusual, is usually inthe 'booster' group region I.e. not a sen issue but requiring some intervention.

The top end children in year 5 will usually achieve 4a/5- this might be only a few per class. IME more will be at that level in Maths than any area of literacy.

Feenie Tue 10-Jul-12 13:27:41

Weird thread to air your erm...against the grain views, Rosemary....

seeker Tue 10-Jul-12 13:31:38

"Not quite seeker - I would anticipate that average children perform better in reading and maths than the folk who set the standards expect."

And this is different from expecting everyone to do better than average exactly how?

seeker Tue 10-Jul-12 13:33:48

Actually, yes, sorry- this is a wholly inappropriate thread for this side debate and i'm feeding it,Apologies, op.

bigTillyMint Tue 10-Jul-12 13:35:05

RosemaryandThyme is Goves user namewink

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 13:35:16

because the "everyone" in your statement includes everyone - everyone is not average - many are below.

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 13:38:50

whoops sorry yes - me too - will go off to be weird elsewhere.

seeker Tue 10-Jul-12 13:39:21

Can somebody explain to RosemaryandThyme what average means? I would do it myself, but my head might explode.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Tue 10-Jul-12 13:39:36

Funnily enough 50% are below average! grin

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 13:54:21

No, - that's a fallacy of average calculations - 50% of children wouldn't be below average - the high and low scores pull-up or deflate an average figure - so if your in a class with a lot of strugglers the average say maths score will be lower than if your in a class of very bright kids.
what I'm saying is that the child who has no learning problems will be capable of exceeding the 4b for end of year 6 figure that is frequently described as expected progress.
I believe this because from day one of pre-school the maths standards are set too low and this low setting continues to grow year on year.

witchwithallthetrimmings Tue 10-Jul-12 14:21:41

dons anorack, the targets 2b and 4b are not average levels but targets. In most schools the majority of pupils will meet or even surpass them. Thus the average student will be working at a higher level unless the school only teaches up to the target level. If so the average score will in fact be below the target

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 14:26:39

Exactly witch - the average student will be working at a higher level than the expected 4b for Y6.

So a 4b for Y5 is not overly good, and in the absence of any SEN, less than the OP's child is capable of.

ByTheWay1 Tue 10-Jul-12 14:28:57

well said witch... that is it exactly.

they are a level which most children are expected to meet - not an average.

letseatgrandma Tue 10-Jul-12 14:29:42

So a 4b for Y5 is not overly good

However, by your own criterea-if a Y5 is expected to be a 3a or a 4c, then achieving a 4b is one, if not two sublevels above!?

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 14:31:25

No - by my criteria a Y5 would be achieving 4a/5 in maths.

SandStorm Tue 10-Jul-12 14:33:08

Alternatively, let's focus on the progress a child has made rather than writing their future in stone based on a snapshot of 45mins during what may or may not have been a good day for them.

tiggytape Tue 10-Jul-12 14:34:16

Is it me or has it all gone a bit weird on here today?

A 4b in Year 5 is very good and you should be very pleased with that.
If your DD achieved that exact same score in Year 6 it would mean she was exactly where she was supposed to be or to put it another way, plenty of children go off to secondary school with such a score and would expect to have no problems with that as a starting point.

A 3c for writing is perhaps a little on the low side. It depends whether that's based on one assessment or her work overall. If you are worried you can ask her teacher but children can make very fast progress in this area once they get the hang of it - punctuation consistent, confident to use more complex sentence structures etc.

Levels don't work Year 1 = Level 1, Year 5 = Level 5, Year 6 = Level 6. That's not how they go at all so a 4b in Year 5 is above what is expected.

tiggytape Tue 10-Jul-12 14:36:22

Rosemary and Thyme - only the very top children will be a level 4a or 5 in maths at the end of Year 5.
To give you an example level 5 at the end of year 5 is the expected standard quoted as being required for children who will go on to pass super selective grammar school exams where only the top 6-8% of children get a place.

letseatgrandma Tue 10-Jul-12 14:38:10

No - by my criteria a Y5 would be achieving 4a/5 in maths

Can I ask how old your own child is currently?

anklebitersmum Tue 10-Jul-12 14:50:02

I'd say DC is doing fine OP.
If they're getting 5a/b's at the end of year 6 you are on a heading to a top stream in most schools, if they're getting 6's they're well above the curve. Don't forget that the SAT's are only a snapshot of what DC is doing. Useful for taking a spot benchmark and spotting issues but are not the 'be all and end all' as regards how DC is faring.

Also, the curve slows considerably as they hit senior school as each incriment becomes more complex in it's requirements-hence the 7's in year 9.

I'd be giving out a big "well done you" and having a conflab with the teacher as regards the 3C if you're concerned. grin

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 14:52:10

leave it Rose...leave it...

Yes I agree that at the moment only a small proportion of children would be getting 4a/5 in Y5.

I feel that many many more are capable of this.

I feel that they get lower marks because the setting of maths in particular and to some extent reading is far too low, right from the start of the EYF profile.

I have a great concern for any child who scores lower than this because as an FE teacher of the 14+ age, for over ten years I regularly encounter children who have slipped what seems tiny amounts, who at stages like the Op's many would describe as doing fine or being on target or needing a little help with writing. Playing this forward does not bode well for the academic outcome at secondary, at all.

This is the group who for the past 10 years have been channeled into Btec courses, I have taught over 500 - and yes I would be worried if any of my children were in this position.

I have three children, 3, 5 and 7.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Tue 10-Jul-12 14:55:12

So weird, some of the statistics quoted on here! If you take a large enough sample of children's grades, you would get a normal distribution or bell shaped curve, with the majority of the children being pretty close to the mean and only a few significantly above or below. It wouldn't produce a very skewed curve like Rosemary and Thyme is describing, with lots more DC below the mode than above it.

The 4b level at the end of Y6 was, when originally devised, the mean average that children across the country were achieving. Later on it was decided that this 'average' should become the target, so children were deemed to be reaching unsatisfactory levels if they were below the target. Obviously a fair few would be bang on the 4b at that time at the top of the curve, but it is still ridiculous to turn an averege result into a target. If the top of the curve 4b was 20% of children 40% would be below a 4b.

Standards and teaching have improved and the current average is higher than 4b for the end of Y6, but not greatly so. If a child has a 4b at the end of Y5 they would probably get around a 5c by the end of Y6, which would still be above average.

Leaveitbabe Tue 10-Jul-12 14:59:24

Thanks MN-ers for this. I am at work and only just logged back on and it is great to see the helpful replies. I am awaiting a call from teacher this afternoon. I am a bit disappointed about the 3C as I thought she was doing OK, at least that was the impression we got at the Parents evening. Having said that but they always comment that she could expand her answers. She reads a fair amount too.

I am pleased that the 4b is good as we have been really bashing away at the maths this year but clearly to the detriment of literacy/English.

Thanks again and v.happy to hear further feedback.

tiggytape Tue 10-Jul-12 15:02:31

Rosemary - if children have started with a 5c or 5b (as OP's child is set to do) yet your setting has been unable to help them achieve academic qualifications from that starting point then I do not think it is the primary schools who are to blame. Those levels are high and indicate a very proficient grasp of English and Maths.

I think you must be refering to lower ability children to be honest because OP's child would not be described as "on target" - she would be described as exceeding target by some way. As said before the target is actually a 4b at the end of Year 6 so OP's DD exceeds this by 1 year.

The top scoring children who go on to win places at some of the best performing and highly selective grammar schools in the whole country will 'only' be getting Level 5's in Year 5 (some might even still be on 4a in one subject) so I don't really understand how you think vast numbers of children are capable of exceeding this when the very cleverest (who are also often also highly tutored ready for exams) generally don't.

anklebitersmum Tue 10-Jul-12 15:03:23

Agree with the sentiment Rose but the fault here is clearly with the school for not setting out what's what and doing what all too many do-just handing out a list of 3c 4a 4b and not putting in a table explaining what the national averages are.

Not everyone's children are going to achieve the same-one child's best may well be another child's lazy.

OP wanted to know where her DC sat and saying 'well, above average to average but that's not saying much with todays standards' isn't really that helpful in my opinion. Especially when it is a snapshot test.

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 15:13:31

Yes it is lower ability children that are fed from secondaries into FE collages for NVQ level 1 qualifications - this is the heart-breaking groups I have taught.

At some point every single one of them slipped a tiny bit in their learning.

At that point neither school nor parents patched the gap.

The gaps grow.

Regardless of whether or not you or I think that 4b is good today, it is my strong view that any gaps in knowledge should be addressed immediately - if it were my child i would be looking to stretch that 4b to a 4a and the 3c to a 3b and to do so now, over the summer holidays and the next term.

Feenie Tue 10-Jul-12 15:18:22

But this thread is NOT the right place to air your views. The OP asked if she should be concerned and several posters were able to put it in perspective for her.

Start your own thread on your points, Rosemary, and people will happily debate. But don't give a worried parent misinformation about how you feel about national expectations, that's not fair.

tiggytape Tue 10-Jul-12 15:29:57

O.K Rosemary - that is probably a fair point but not at all relevant to the OP whose child is not in the lower ability bracket and whose scores actually demonstrate good ability.

As Feenie says, you are going to scare people telling them anything less than a Level 5 in Year 5 is a worry when this isn't true and when your own experiences are very unlikely to have included teaching someone who was once a Level 5 in Year 5 but is now only suited to a Level 1 NVQ.
The children you are concerned about, probably quite rightly, are highly unlikely to have entered secondary school on a Level 5 and then slipped to the standard you describe. And if they did, it is the secondary school not the primary school that would need closer scrutiny.

Leaveitbabe Tue 10-Jul-12 15:56:36

OK. Teacher has called back there is a typo and it should be 3a not 3c. So I think there is some work to do but he says she is where she should be. He also said that there should have been an explanatory note with the report explaining the results. We will receive that this evening. Is 3a acceptable at Y5??

EllenJaneisnotmyname Tue 10-Jul-12 16:01:16

If she improves by the usual 2 sub levels next year she should be a 4b, which is the expected level. So I would be happy with that. She is reaching the expected level at the subject she is weakest in and doing better than that in her strongest subjects. There's always room for improvement, she may do better than 2 sub levels!

anklebitersmum Tue 10-Jul-12 16:08:22

3a is just short of a 4c. If you're concerned go in and have a chat to the teachers-they'll know whether it was a good, bad or indifferent result for DC, based on their usual level of work.

Personally I'd be discussing where we could improve things but I don't think there's any reason for mad panic at this point grin

Piffle Tue 10-Jul-12 16:17:55

My daughter is yr 4 ( visual SEN and fine motor issues)
She has 3B numeracy 3B for one writing and 3A for reading
She is moving onto typing in future as her output is compromised by her physical limitations
It is well worth asking what strategies they are putting in place to support her to make those sub level movements concrete.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 10-Jul-12 16:30:04

Rosemary your first post on this thread is just plain bitchy and appears to be aimed at putting the OP in her place.

Others have explained how the expected and the average levels are not one and the same better than I, and that the OP's dd's levels are nothing to worry about, so I'll leave it at that.

Although I can't quite resist throwing a hmm at Micheal Gove Rosemary. Sorry grin

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 16:42:48

Bitchy, weird, etc etc for daring to suggest that children can do better then an anonymous standard setter has decreed - what's so wrong with aiming high.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 10-Jul-12 16:48:48

There is nothing wrong with aiming high (assuming you're not setting children up to fail that is...).

Reread your first post, Rosemary. Surely you can see how your tone might be construed?

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 16:52:11

tiggy - See feenie's post on the thread "Nationally how many people get 4b's" unless I'm reading it wrong I think it's indicating that something like 80% get 4+ - that's why its' the base line expected, not the average, which is the same mistake ellen is making.

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 16:55:23

fair point ahve just re-read and it does come across as snarly, funny i wasn't at all feeling like that at the time but am now totally p'd off.

tiggytape Tue 10-Jul-12 17:11:47

I'm pretty sure I've used the word target not average throughout as that is exactly what a 4b in Year 6 is and what I have always understood it to be. Apologies though if I've slipped in a post (I can't spot it if I have).

OP's DD is above target and doing well. To suggest otherwise is unfair and will scare a lot of people whose children will not be reacing a level 5 or anywhere near it in Year 5. Aiming high is great. A level 5 in Year 5 is fantastic. Not many, and certainly not most, children will reach that level though which isn't the problem you seem to be asserting.
There is a big gap between Year 5 high achievers and the children you describe who at 14 cannot take an academic route at all. Most children are in the middle of those two extremes and that is just fine. OP's DD is at the higher end of that middle bracket that most children fall into.

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 17:29:38

tiggy - your post reads as very reasonable.

Most parents here and in RL will agree, and not see any cause to enhance childrens' knowledge at home.

But if parents got to see their childs papers, if parents were given full knowledge of how many points were needed for each level, I truly feel that they would be surprised at how little extra input is needed (on a 1:1 at home) to progress between sub-levels in maths.

for example my sons papers showed that he did not answer correctly questions on co-ordinates, measuring the spines of a hedge-hog, and algebra - had he done so he would have gone up a sub-level (subject to teacher asessment).

Now he's not super-bright, and i'm in no way a primary school teacher, but I do think if I had gone through these areas several times with him over this year he would have understood them.

So I do think children are capable of quite a bit more.

Feenie Tue 10-Jul-12 17:36:36

But of course children always have next steps! Learning never ends. So of course they can do a bit more - that's where the teacher will take them next, and next after that.

The OP asked if she needed to worry - we were able to place her query in perspective to let her make a judgement. You just went off on one! Not fair on the thread of an anxious parent.

Using your logic you could go on anyone's thread, regardless of progress/attainment/achievement and say exactly the same things.

MirandaWest Tue 10-Jul-12 17:44:38

Are there any statistics on what the average levels at the end of year 6 are as oposed to the 4b target? I can see RosemaryAndThyme's point although I would be unlikely to have put it quite like that.

At DCs school we got reports today and found out they only give levels in year 2 and year 6 so no idea what levels year 1 and year 3 DC are at anyway.

seeker Tue 10-Jul-12 17:45:08

Year 6 SATs national % 2112

Reading- 8% level 3, 41% level 4, 42% level 5
Writing 20% level 3, 55% level 4, 20% level 5
Maths - 14% level 3 45% level 4, 35% level 5

juniper904 Tue 10-Jul-12 18:07:14

2112 seeker? Wow! And to think I only target set for a year!

Re bell curves and normal distributions- most children will sit within quite a small region, and some will be on either side. Whether or not we, as teachers, assign numbers and letters to those children, they are still a bell curve. A class is a small sample. My class is unusually bright, so the average for my class is far higher than the national average. There is still a bell curve, just as my sample is so small it doesn't match the national.

The national average is 4b. This may be counted as low for some schools, and high by others. But that's why it's a national average.

seeker Tue 10-Jul-12 18:15:46

That's Michael Gove for you!

morethanpotatoprints Tue 10-Jul-12 19:06:04

Why are so many teachers and parents hung up on levels? It really surprises me that when the education in this country is laughable that anybody gives a monkeys.

juniper904 Tue 10-Jul-12 19:40:29

* monkey's

juniper904 Tue 10-Jul-12 19:42:05

1) because we want to ensure no child is left behind, and monitoring levels is one way to keep a track.

2) because, from September, our pay will be affected by pupils' progress.

Mainly 1

Wellthen Tue 10-Jul-12 21:49:33

Now he's not super-bright, and i'm in no way a primary school teacher, but I do think if I had gone through these areas several times with him over this year he would have understood them.

What you appear to be saying here is that with one to one support a child will progress well.

Would it be rude to say....duh?

Can I ask when you last read a peice of 4b writing, or saw the level 5 questions in the Year 6 maths papers? To me the skills necessary are roughly equivilant to what you would expect from an adult. A normal, run of the mill adult. With maths, yes you probably would expect them to know more because they cover a wider range of things. But in level of complexity at level 5 is what I would expect an adult to be able to do. It isnt easy by any means. Manageable, wouldnt push you. But then, you're not 10.

These are 10 and 11 year old children. I think the bar has been set high enough. Children writing at a level 6, then a 7, then an 8 may possible. But why is it desireable?

RosemaryandThyme Tue 10-Jul-12 22:13:13

Why is it desirable for children to be passing SAT's at levels 6 then 7 then 8 - because (admittedly only in my view) - they can.

If what your saying in your post is essentially good enough is good enough, don't keep pushing for higher achievement, then thats I would completly disagree with.

seeker Tue 10-Jul-12 22:20:33

Level 5 is pretty for an 11 year old- level 6 even more so. And there is so much else for them to be doing at this age- time enough for level 7s!

tiggytape Tue 10-Jul-12 23:03:11

Rosemary - I think what Wellthen means (and Wellthen can tell me off if I am putting words in her mouth) is that you have so far only experienced KS1 SATS and you've come to realise that a little extra practice on very specific topics would have perhaps led to your DC getting a whole sub level higher. If only he had been more confident on coordinates for example, this would have changed the outcome. You are trying to apply this to KS2 where things just aren't the same.

In KS2, the scores reflect skills that are more set and more general and everything is almost at an adult level. They say that most adults write at about a level 4 standard for example.
A child who finds tables hard to retain is going to struggle on several aspects even if tables have been drummed into then for 3 years. Some kids just don't have that recall. Ditto algebra - some kids just see the solutions as totally obvious in the way others so and that is something you cannot teach. You can improve it but not teach it. Some children (like some adults) may never totally get a natural feel for making those mathematical connections.
And it is the same in English - you can teach them correct punctuation and a range of writing techniques but you cannot teach them to naturally devise complex sentence structures and highly descriptive styles of writing if these things aren't natural to them. In short KS2 is much closer in many ways to natural ability than KS1 where scores can be improved by a set of box ticking tasks (no offence to KS1 staff or children).

And the jump from Level 2 to 4 is huge. To level 5 it is much higher. If you read a piece of Level 5 writing you would see that the standard is extremely high - along the lines of what a very proficient secondary school pupil may produce and far better than many adults could manage.

Hamishbear Wed 11-Jul-12 04:51:50

I think Rosemary's message is actually a positive one - children are often capable of more than we know & we should have high academic aspirations where possible.

I live in Asia and I see children with 'average' intellect increase that intellect through purposeful practice daily. I see ordinary children achieve the extraordinary quite often.

I was told that one of mine is unlikely to get a 5a or level 6 at 11 due to end of KS1 level (youngest in year). The trajectory is already set & cohort divided into high, middle & low ability. In Maths they won't be exposed to enough material to get a top grade in time. They can move set but it's going to be a slog. I expect teachers to push for the maximum a child can achieve & not just settle for 'good enough' ever.

Hamishbear Wed 11-Jul-12 05:20:36

Just to say IMO the responsibility also lies with parents & the good news is the summer holidays loom & there are loads of interesting free resources on the internet smile.

Wellthen Wed 11-Jul-12 16:11:02

I wasnt quite trying to say 'good is good enough' but I can see how it reads like that. But I dispute that you were saying 'some can do this' - from my reading of your first post you were saying the bar is set too low at foundation and so MOST children can achieve better than a 4b at year 6.

I am not suggesting we shouldnt encourage the children that can get a level 6 at year 6. But I think you are wrong in saying that the expectations of the primary curriculum are too easy and that we do children a disservice by not acting when they are slightly below. Hence why I asked if you had recently seen a 4b peice of maths. I think if you, and many parents, saw the work Year 6s produce they would be quite surprised.

Hamishbear Wed 11-Jul-12 16:27:16

Not sure if you were directing that to me PP? I am not OP & previous comment first on this thread.

Generally I think many can acheive more - when I lived in the UK our non selective Prep got 99 percent to a good level 5, many do. It's about boosting attainment, to think you can get to the standard of a low level 4 & that's your permanent limit that year doesn't make sense to me.

seeker Wed 11-Jul-12 17:22:07

The is no such thing as a non selective prep.

tiggytape Wed 11-Jul-12 17:24:58

A non selective prep might be seen as a contradiction in terms for the purposes of general or national achievement levels. It is unlikely for example that they would have the same demographic as a typical state school in terms of EAL, SEN and children from very impoverished or very troubled backgrounds. Not to mention the smaller class sizes and specialist teaching in maths, English and other subjects.

As Wellthen says, if you are talking about all children then the current levels are actually very challenging and the work produced by most in Year 6 working at expected levels is much higher than people seem to assume. It is on a par with what many adults are capable of. But if you are talking about the group of well supported and naturally able children, then of course it is not wrong to expect most of them to get level 5's and most of them do. It is just in many schools there are less of this type of pupil then there would be in a fee paying prep school.

RosemaryandThyme Wed 11-Jul-12 17:30:14

No Hamish it was directed at me.

I do definatley think that we do children a disservice by not acting when they are slightly below, I think that is the very best time to act.

I have not seen level 4 SAT's script, most children DO acheive 4b or better - see above confusion from folks about the difference between average and expected, 80% of children at y6 achieve level4 (per feenie).

seeker Wed 11-Jul-12 17:30:16

Year 6 SATs national % 2012

Reading- 8% level 3, 41% level 4, 42% level 5
Writing 20% level 3, 55% level 4, 20% level 5
Maths - 14% level 3 45% level 4, 35% level 5

Just in case this got buried earlier.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 11-Jul-12 17:56:12

The trajectory is already set...In Maths they won't be exposed to enough material to get a top grade in time.

Hamish, I don't remember what ds's level was at the end of KS1, but in his Y5 optional SATs he achieved a 3a in Maths, as the teachers had predicted. In his Y6 SATs, he got a 5 (he tells me he got a score of 85, which would be a 5b if they did sublevels - tbh if 85 = 5c or blinking 4a then I'm as pleased as punch!).

I don't think it was the marking - a couple of others have gone up 3 sublevels but the rest have moved up 1 or 2 (caveat: I'm relaying what ds has told me!).

What I'm getting at is that the trajectory isn't (or at least shouldn't be) set as such. There's an expectation that a child will achieve at least Level x by a certain point and if they don't, the school/parents would want to know what was going wrong (or at least ascertain that it wasn't just a lull). But it is not a limit.

anice Wed 11-Jul-12 18:00:16

why the confusion about the words "average" and "expected"? 80%ish get the expected, so the NC expected levels have nothing to do with where the average is.

They are a cut off for the bottom 20%.

PastSellByDate Sun 15-Jul-12 06:57:40

Sorry OP & other posters:

I fear I picked up the term 'average' from the Mumsnet learning page " The number of sublevels an 'average' child might make is..." and their grid at bottom of page - link here: www.mumsnet.com/learning/assessment/progress-through-national-curriculum-levels

As usual language and meaning are at the root of this interesting and sometimes heated discussion.

I think Mumsnet learning (but maybe someone from Pearson can come on about this) mean 'typical' - and I wasn't specifically thinking through anything statistically myself.

I suspect that this is about the 'median' on the Bell Curve. An example with IQ is discussed on this QUB website: meds.queensu.ca/courses/assets/modules/types-of-data/symmetrical_and_asymmetrical_data.html

So what they're talking about is the 50th percentile child at the peak of the Bell curve (persuming normal distribution = symmetrical curve) - and that has been taken to be the notional 'average' (meaning here typical) pupil. And from the point of view of explaining expectation that's statistically reasonable - so I'm presuming 4a (from Pearson) would represent the peak of the curve with approximately 48%-49% doing slightly worse and 48%-49% doing slightly better.

I don't know - but someone out there may know whether KS1 and KS2 SATs results are distrubted normally (symmetrically) or not.

Now teachers please do correct me if I'm getting this wrong or have wild notions but:

1) 2 sub-levels a year progress tends to work as a rule of thumb from my experience. Typically no sublevels reported in YR because EYFS scoring, and therefore Year 1 you get first NC Levels & sub-levels (if reported to you by your school). These usually are in the NC Level 1 range for most children.

From there on it seems to make sense with levels working c to b to a then up to next main level (e.g. 1c - 1b - 1a then 2c, etc...) then at the end of each year progress would look like:

YR 1 - let's say a 1c/1b
YR 2 - let's say a 2c (2 sub-levels & level 2 for SATs)
YR 3 - 2a
YR 4 - 3b
YR 5 - 4c
YR 6 - 4a

2) The general expectation is for schools to get the vast majority of pupils to Level 4 or better.

3) The tracking of 2 sub-levels a year is about tracking progress (at least for me). If there is good communication between teachers and myself, I'm able to understand that DDs are improving and mastering what they're taught or if they aren't progressing through an early warning that they're struggling/ stalling in some areas.

It's useful for me at home, where I do a lot to support my DDs, and hopefully also useful to track at school. (I can't speak for all schools, but our school does track 2 sub-levels progress per year for all pupils in KS2).


EllenJaneisnotmyname Sun 15-Jul-12 12:20:20

Pastsellbydate, someone who understands statistics! smile

For progressing through the levels, two levels are expected each key stage, so in KS 1 that's one whole level in Y1 and another in Y2. In KS2 it's one whole level every 2 years. So if you left Y2 on 2b, by end of y4 you should get 3b and by end of y6, 4b. And these are expected levels, as you say, not median. Looking at seekers stats, median would look to be 4a ish at the end of Y6.

anice Mon 16-Jul-12 12:15:45

PastSellByDate - they have to be normally distributed across the population.

The only way they couldn't be would be if there was abnormal interference in the education system e.g. if all teachers brought a child to a basic level and promptly suspended that child's education to focus on the others until they also reached that level. Or some other inappropriate policy.

Parents of children at the two tails often grumble that their child is not getting the education they would most benefit from, but there would be uproar if this kind of engineering really did take place.

anice Mon 16-Jul-12 13:10:11

I am not sure if someone has already posted this link but it explains how to interpret the levels better than anything else i've seen before:-

Leaveitbabe Thu 19-Jul-12 16:11:20

That is super helpful @anice.

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