What's needed to move.from a 2a to 3c in writing?

(57 Posts)
numbum Sat 24-Nov-12 14:47:59

Just curious really. I've scrambled my brain trying to work it out for myself using online grids.

Can any teachers (or anyone else in the know) simplify it for me?

numbum Sat 24-Nov-12 14:48:31

Excuse the random full stop in my title! Oh the irony...

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 15:28:34
BetsyBoop Sat 24-Nov-12 15:30:46

There is a lot more to it than this (as you know from looking at the APP grids already!) but I quite like this simple pyramid that shows the progression for what is expected from L1 to L3:- PYRAMID

mrz Sat 24-Nov-12 15:38:22
omletta Sat 24-Nov-12 15:46:49

BetsyBoop what does the CL stand for in the punctuation line?

EcoLady Sat 24-Nov-12 15:48:44

CL = Capital Letters :-)

learnandsay Sat 24-Nov-12 15:52:28

For level 4

Can use sophisticated connectives, eg. nevertheless, uses justification and deduction! That's funny. I know lots of adults who can't do any of these things!

omletta Sat 24-Nov-12 16:10:31

Thanks EcoLady...tis obvious really.

numbum Sat 24-Nov-12 16:39:00

Thanks all. I'll have a look at the links later when I'm less frazzled!
Mrz, as a teacher, if you had a year 1 child working consistently at a level 2a, would you push them on to be a level 3 or develop them further in different directions with their writing? Is that even possible?

DD's teacher has said they'll be working to move up levels but I'm not sure I'm happy about it

(I'm concerned about DD, I'm not boasting)

mrz Sat 24-Nov-12 16:44:49

Developing them further in different directions would essentially be moving them towards a level 3

numbum Sat 24-Nov-12 16:46:10

Ok that's what I thought. So it all goes hand in hand then.


eviekingston Sun 25-Nov-12 12:11:14

Moving levels as far as SATS marking is concerned requires the child/teacher/parent to identify which aspect of writing is most in need of work. For some children their grammatical skills, punctuation, handwriting etc are great, but the 'composition and effect' may be weaker. Or vice versa. When I taught Year 2, we would usually end up with around 8-10 3c writers by the end of the year, and for most of them composition and effect was a real strength and raised them up to level 3. They tended to be articulate children who used expressive language in both spoken and written form. Also, bear in mind that many schools are reluctant to level children too high (ie a level 3 in Year 1) because if they enter Year 2 as a level 3c they are meant to move 3 sub levels in a year and that would mean them entering KS2 as level 4. Unfortunately as teachers are under massive pressure to 'prove' how they have moved the children on each year, you end up with a ridiculous numbers game. But I won't get started on that...!

numbum Sun 25-Nov-12 13:07:12

* because if they enter Year 2 as a level 3c they are meant to move 3 sub levels in a year and that would mean them entering KS2 as level 4*

That's a major part of the worry for me. That's a of pressure for such a young child. Writing does seem to come naturally to her but I dont want them scaring her just because of targets

mam29 Sun 25-Nov-12 13:35:19

I find it mad that we dont just level them to what they should be.

I thourght they accepted less progress at keystage 2 then keystage 1.

so are lots of teachers dumbing down kids grades or not helping them to achieve potential because of these targets?

eviekingston Sun 25-Nov-12 13:41:07

I wouldn't worry about the school putting pressure on her as she is obviously way ahead of her peers in writing. The pressure on teachers (and children) is more about getting the required numbers of children to reach national expectations by the end of a key stage. End of year expectations for year 1 would be 1b.depending on the school, there will also be an expected number of 2cs (your daughter has already exceeded this). When she gets to Year 2 her teachers will be asked to predict the children who are expected to achieve level 3 by the end of the year. She will doubtless be one of these. I expect her current teacher may actually leave her as a 2a 'officially' until she is in Year 2. If writing comes naturally to her and she is doing so well, I wouldn't worry too much about her levels. The Year 2 teacher at the school may also be a good person to talk to about expectations, as the Year 1 teachers will be focusing on getting the majority of their children to a 1b let alone a 2a!

mrz Sun 25-Nov-12 13:44:39

The problem is children don't progress in a nice linear upward slope because they are human so sometimes they have spurts and sometimes they have periods of consolidation which most schools and teachers understand which is the danger of taking what was a target for a whole key stage and chopping it into yearly targets ... 2 full levels a key stage is a realistic target ... expecting it to happen as a sub level per term is stupid IMHO.

Djwkin Sun 25-Nov-12 13:52:38

I believe that very high achieving children should not be expected to make 3 levels of progress in Year 2. If you are on 2a or 3c at the end of year 1, 1.5 or two sub levels of progress during the following year is still very good. The reason expectations for progress in key stage 2 are lower is that it takes a lot longer (and more maturity) to move through levels 3 and 4. Levels 1 and 2 are more about developing the basic mechanics of reading and writing, and can be achieved relatively quickly if there are no difficulties. From that point on, the higher maturity and range of skillls and evidence required make slower progress likely . Data analysis in key stage 1 dont take account of this, although the situation is usually unusual enough (ie a child achieving above 3b in year 2) for teachers to take account of this in individual cases . This is another example of how standardised measures of progress fall down

youarewinning Sun 25-Nov-12 13:53:26

Started reading this with interest as am going through the same thing with my DS. Trying to get the extras needed to move to level 3.

He, however is 8yo and year 4 grin

Djwkin Sun 25-Nov-12 13:55:06

My comments apply more to literacy and particularly writing: continued fast progress in Marhs is plausible, and able readers can develop fairly mature inference skills in Year 2, although this would be rarer

Djwkin Sun 25-Nov-12 14:07:00

Therefore, as they are working at a higher level, a child who entered year 1 working at 2c or even 2b swould still be doing very well if they were working at 3b/a 2 years later, moving forward 1.5 sub levels a year.

Djwkin Sun 25-Nov-12 14:08:54

A child who entered year 1 working at 1c and completed year 2 at level 2c would be more of a concern, as you would expect faster progress through levels 1 and 2 if there were no additional needs.

mrz Sun 25-Nov-12 14:13:30

2C is a huge sub level Djwkin which is why children who are 2C when they enter KS2 take a long time to progress ...much longer than to move from 2A to 3C IMHO

Djwkin Sun 25-Nov-12 14:16:16

I know that with year2 writing says, you could achieve level 3 by getting a high score for composition and effect, even though your writing would be completely invented (though phonetically plausible and readable) spelling, rudimentary or absent punctuation, and capitals and lowercase mixed. As long as sentence structure and expressive language was used, the child was assured a high level.

Djwkin Sun 25-Nov-12 14:20:29

I agree Mrz that 2c is another broad church that children can also stick at. Level 1b can also take some time (children not achieving key things that keep their level down). Once something clicks (eg full stops) the teacher can assess them as 2b. However, levels 1 and 2 are still traversed more quickly than higher levels as a general rule I feel.

Djwkin Sun 25-Nov-12 14:22:56

I can see that a 3c is a level 2a that is sustained, independent and shown in a range of contexts, and that this move can be effected fairly quickly. 3c to 3b/a does take longer though.

mrz Sun 25-Nov-12 14:26:35

It's another problem with the whole neat progression concept.

Djwkin Sun 25-Nov-12 14:29:16


numbum Sun 25-Nov-12 14:55:32

So if my DD does what she's doing now but in different context (posters, letters, poems, diary entries etc), then she'd be a 3c?

And if she progresses according to the 'recommended' progression she should be a 3a/4c when she starts KS2?

That scares me tbh sad, but I don't know why!

mrz Sun 25-Nov-12 15:00:44

I don't think many 7 year olds have the maturity to write at a level 4 which after all is the expected level for 11 year olds.

numbum Sun 25-Nov-12 15:06:52

So she'll probably stagnate for a while I imagine then. Can I be the first MNer to say I hope she doesn't move up levels for a year (but still retains her love for writing obviously!) grin

mrz Sun 25-Nov-12 15:10:35

I doubt she will stagnate but she might spend some time consolidating skills and developing others.

learnandsay Mon 26-Nov-12 17:08:13

Where does maturity fit in? Isn't the assessment of what's level 4 and what isn't a technical one? There seem to be a list of criteria and if it's met then it's level 4 and if it isn't it isn't.

mrz Mon 26-Nov-12 18:12:44

learnandsay the point is most 7 year olds lack the maturity to achieve the technical aspects of what constitutes a level 4 ...

simpson Mon 26-Nov-12 19:49:46

Mrz - that is exactly what my DS's teacher said at parents eve about maturity etc...

He is currently working at a 3c (yr3) and working towards a 3b which in writing seems quite tough tbh.

He needs to be using lots of words with "feelings" and words that set the mood for what he is writing. His punctuation and spelling is both very good as is his actual handwriting.

Very interested to read about a child who has a higher target than the "expected level" may not make 3sub levels of progress(it does make sense though) as DD is targeted a 1a for the end of reception....

TalkinPeace2 Mon 26-Nov-12 20:03:38

Q What's needed to move.from a 2a to 3c in writing
A Time and variable genetics

learnandsay Mon 26-Nov-12 20:22:05

Interestinger and interestinger... I've read elsewhere about specific ten year olds being unable to write descriptively. I'm pretty sure prosaic description involves a purely teachable methodology. But writing about feelings? Well, there's an element of straightforward description in writing about feelings too. There must be an attribute or attributes to level 4 writing which go beyond that. Can anybody point a few out to me?

Morebiscuitsplease Mon 26-Nov-12 21:21:28

I thought pupils were expected to make 2 sub levels of progress a year..not 3!

Feenie Mon 26-Nov-12 21:23:20

That's in KS2, Morebiscuits.

simpson Mon 26-Nov-12 21:54:42

Feenie - do you mean KS1?? Or am I being thick blush?? <<highly probable>>

I thought a child in KS2 was supposed to make one whole level (3 sub levels in 2 years)...

mrz Mon 26-Nov-12 22:03:36

The expected progress is 2 full levels over each key stage in primary but many schools set their own targets of 2 sub levels per year in KS2 ...

Feenie Mon 26-Nov-12 22:04:03

Too make good progress (which most schools now target - as opposed to expected/satisfactory), KS1 children have to make 3 sublevels progress in one year, and KS2 children have to make 2.

simpson Mon 26-Nov-12 22:23:51

Gosh,that is a lot for KS2 IMO.

Although having said that DS (yr3) is targeted at 3a for the end of the yr (he is now a 3c) and I feel it might be too high for him (in writing only).

He did have to make 3 sub levels of progress in KS1....

Tgger Tue 27-Nov-12 20:50:23

Ooo, clearly I am a dinosaur as I am not interested in these numbers or levels shock. DS (Y1) is "above age related" in writing and that'll do for me. Perhaps I will be eating my hat in a couple of years, we shall see. I have seen how much his writing has improved since Reception so I'm happy. He wrote me a story tonight just before tea. It came to rather an abrupt end, but then tea was ready smile.

simpson Tue 27-Nov-12 21:38:37

As a parent I am not bothered about levels too much as long as my DC are progressing.

But his teacher has given me ideas (which are easy to do at home) to help him move from a 3c to a 3b and I am happy to help her....(in writing - without actually writing)...

mam29 Tue 27-Nov-12 21:48:04

Im having issues with writing levels.

basically picked up dds book from old school.

one writing book at her writing from

year 1
year 2-term 1

at back was typed up forms that looked like kind of grid.

The things dd had achieved were highlighted.
then at bottom corner as grade 1bsad

I was gutted as did lots of writing with dd over summer
she got 1b end of year 1 assumuming assessment done june/july.

new teachers looked at it today told me not to worry she doubts its accuracy but hasent got enough written work as yet shes week 4ne school to regrade yet. reason she doubts is year2carbon copy of whats highlighted in year 1.

dds freind whos still at old school got 1a end of year 1 and her mum was told at parents evening 2eeks ago her child as currently sitting at 2b. I have seen her dds writing its very messy I know its more about neatness just all seems bit odd that her dd made 2sublevel progress in 8weeks and mines made none they were same class same teacher.

Im tryin g not o stress over it I can see her writings improved just not showing on grades just concerened more as shes year 2 and sats this year.

simpson Tue 27-Nov-12 22:12:03

Had your friends child gone from a 1a end of last school year to a 2b now??

If that is the case I would be a bit hmm tbh....

DS made the usual 3 sub levels from yr1-2...

mam29 Tue 27-Nov-12 22:26:48

yes simpson freinds dd is july birthday she belives shes gifted,

They were different classes last year-diffrent teachers.

They then combined classes in year 2

my dd was bottom table for literacy.

she got 36/40 in year 1phonics group so was same phonics group as freinds dd.
At end of term one my dd was just one reading level behind hers.

her dd got 2c reading, 1 a writing.

my dd got 1b in everything-schools target was 1a so slightly below.

This means dd had to climb 3sublevels to reach required 2b.

over summer

we wrote poems
she kept holiday diary
she even wrote and illustrated her own book
started writing letters to penpal
played scrabble

I even read letts revision guide to keystage 1 writing for idea.

she used correct punctuation capital letters, fullstops
her spellings not dire she spells phonetically so often wrong
she can write length peices whole page of a4 in year 2.
shes got neater, can use joined up writing.

There wasent huge amount given in folder most of the stuff was reception and year 1.

freinds dd had parenst evening 2weeks ago and was told her dd was at 2b already . she had rcently been over our house in half term as freind needed babysitter as was working and her writing was really bad. Im thinking maybe its her vocabulary thats wider?

seems huge 3sublevel gap with her dd climing 2sublevels in 1 term 8weeks.

new teachers doubts its accuracy ad thinks year 2teacher just copied what year 1teacher had put.

dds just starting 4th week and new teachers had to chase up school to send records and then they said they asses 1st week back of new term which dd had left at that point started new school after half term and only told her the grades from year 1. I had to chase them for exercise books.

new school seems to have diffrent veiw of her reading and maths and thinks they better than old school.

they both state primaries same lea.

got meeting with new teacher 2weeks time so hoping by then she have time to asses and will see if shes made any progress as over summer did extra maths, writing and reading.

learnandsay Wed 28-Nov-12 08:53:19

simpson, doesn't that depend on what one means by progressing? If there is no record of what has been achieved so far then how can progression be observed? Then there's relative progression.

I see what you mean in a way. (But you do understand how the levels are calculated, whereas some people don't. So, for you it's a choice.)

Sub levels are a teacher's tool. And if a parent doesn't know what's in a particular sub level then how can the knowledge of the sub level be useful? But sometimes raw data is useful. (Shoppers often don't know how nutritional information on packaging is calculated. But they can still compare packets.) If the consumer/parent doesn't understand the data she can still use it as a rule of thumb/rough guide.

mam29 Wed 28-Nov-12 09:01:55

im just baffled how in 1term year 2 1 childs made 2sublevel progression and my dd made nonesad. They same flipping class teacher different literacy tables. unless just like maths and spellings they set the bottom groups easier stuff and less of it hence why wasent enough evidence to show prigression.

Hoping new school will have suitable strategy as right now im worried she wont even get level 2 in year 2sats.

new school has handwriting group.
been told old school now has even more homework including handwriting.

Their last ofsted did list writing as weak reason I focussed on it during hols.

numbum Wed 28-Nov-12 09:40:24

I'm guessing from your post that your DD and your friend's DD aren't at the same school? Are you sure she's telling the truth about her DD's levels? It's not unknown for some parents to blatently lie to make their child look better stretch the truth slightly

crazygracieuk Wed 28-Nov-12 14:35:10

Have you considered the possibility that your friend is lying or maybe the girl was writing 2c stuff but was missing one 1a target so is now 2b?

Some school are more generous with grades than others. I have 2 kids move school and both of them went down a sub level which is fine as I now know that sub levels are not an exact science and there is a lot of guessing that goes on.

Do you see an improvement in your daughter's writing? If so, relax.

mam29 Wed 28-Nov-12 14:38:14

I dont know numbum.
her dd attends my dds old school.

we moved.

shes a freind I met through school

end of year 1report came out she phoned me saying her dd got 1a writing, 2c reading ,2c maths and 1 a science.
she then got told at parents evening 1st week back this trem that her dd was on 2b for everything. Have no idea if she would lie.

Of course its seperate issue its not that im jealous im just baffled how so many sublevels in 1term as dd did that term in same class yet is judged end of october as 1b so no progress since year 1.

current teacher doubts this mark and thinks perhaps it as done in arush once we said we were leaving as looked like carbon copy year 1teacher did.

If freinds dd is where she says she is then i question the accuracy ad teaching of the old year 2teacher.

But doesnt help me or dd right now as have no idea where she is yet hoping parents meeting as missed both school parents evening will shed some light on it as new schools was last term when she was at old school and old schools was when they went back-dd had left.

dd new year 2teacher leaves next month and will have brand new teacher to school but as sats are all teacher assessment want to make sure after xmas we know where about shes is and what we need to do to improve.

mam29 Wed 28-Nov-12 14:48:01

I do think her writings improved yes shes getting quite good.

They had diffrent teachers in year 1 so maybe the 1teacher leveled up as all the youngets in year july were mostly on top tables in year 2 class.

Will not worry new school says no huge worries they impressed by her so far and think shes better at things than other school,.

Spoke to year 4mum monday and her dd had parents evening at old school and is a year behind in writing and reading.
So glad we moved.

I doubt in reality with change of teachers wont really know until easter how shes leveled as will take time for teacher 2 and teacher 3 to work out here she is.

Unsure when sats are hoping may as gives dd time.

She has no learning issues, no senco so think last year

the teaching was poor
or the support was bad as she got stuck
she found reception -year 1transition hard.
I dont want her continually being behind and playing catch up each year. Part of reason for move was I felt they had labelled her in the slow lane and were not going to challange her she would have been left to coat and achieve minimum needed.

On the plus side can hopefully see less of overcompetative mummy freind at old school moaning her dd amazing, gifted not stretched enough plus her dd was mean and competative to mine about being on higher reading levels.

simpson Wed 28-Nov-12 17:05:37

SATS are usually May but are done throughout the year too (teacher assessment) so if she goes in and fluffs it (not saying it will happen!!) she will still be recorded as the grade/level she has shown consistently in class iyswim.

Has your DD's new teacher not told you what levels she is at??? If not I would ask, she has probably been there long enough for her to have been assessed (without waiting for records from old school)...

mrz Wed 28-Nov-12 17:09:28

The tests at the end of Y2 are only used to confirm teacher assessment and aren't reported.

Electricblanket Thu 29-Nov-12 14:47:31

It's parenting error to be bothered what other children's levels are. It could be stretched, but does it matter?

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