Y3 help?

(120 Posts)
ihearttc Fri 15-Feb-13 19:07:31

Sorry didn't quite now how to word this!

Just wondered if any teachers could help if possible? DS1 is in Y3 at a Junior School (this is relevant I think). When they did their SATS last year he got 3's across all the subjects. It wasn't written what levels on report but teacher said he was 3B in Maths and 3C in literacy.

When they assessed them at the start of Y3 he was apparently 3C in Maths and 2A in literacy...fair enough to be expected after holidays I suppose despite the fact that he did reading and maths in the holidays. They have now been assessed again and he is now a 2A in Maths and a 2C in Literacy. He is a little boy that takes everything to heart and is so upset and I don't quite know what to do to help him.

I totally understand about different teachers and with it being different schools (they are linked though) then obviously there will be variations but is it really normal for him to both fail to improve and in my opinion fall quite drastically in that period of time?

He isn't fond of writing I will say that but Im a bit stuck as to why this has happened? He is "free reading" if you can call it that...school books are a bit short on the ground (well the ones he enjoys!) so he is reading some Michael Morpugo ones (Billy the Kid etc), David Walliams and he has just finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. What sort of level is a 2C?

It honestly doesn't matter to me what level he is on...just want to make that clear but Im surprised that he has "fallen" this much and he is bothered by it and I want to help him.

Oh and if anyone can point me in the direction of some more books he might enjoy that would be great!

learnandsay Fri 15-Feb-13 19:19:49

I've heard before of teachers saying that children they've inherited have been marked up and of them therefore having had to reassess them at lower levels.

mrz Fri 15-Feb-13 19:52:48

Schools must report levels to parents in Y2 so you should have had a written report from his infant school.

For his new school to assess him as 2A in the autumn and 2C now is more of a concern to me.

ihearttc Fri 15-Feb-13 20:28:13

We did get a written report but it just says
literacy level 3,maths level 3 and science level 3...it was only when I asked that they gave me the actual levels. I thought it was slightly high even then and did query it especially in literacy but assured me it was right.
I expected him to go down in september but then to go down again is whats concerning me? I can only assume its his writing thats doing it because as far as Im.aware his reading is ok? He writes neatly and spells reasonably well...the only thing is he perhaps doesnt have a huge amount of imagination. He uses capitals and punctuation, speech marks etc which was drummed into him by yr2 teacher. What else is he supposed to be doing?

Always happens at half term doesnt it so now can't speak to anyone and my little stresshead is going to worry himself silly.Just one small question-should they constantly be told their levels like this? I understand they should be assessed and they need to know where to improve etc but its really not helping him at all.

Taffeta Fri 15-Feb-13 20:45:50

My DS dropped all his levels in Y3, it's quite common I think, the transition form KS1 to KS2, certainly reading for eg they are assessed quite differently.

He's back up again now in Y4 but Y3 was a backwards year.

Taffeta Fri 15-Feb-13 20:47:21

...and the other question to ask is, is the assessment a test result or a teacher assessment based on work in class?

Taffeta Fri 15-Feb-13 20:49:29
MerylStrop Fri 15-Feb-13 20:50:32

Um, why on earth would you tell him what his level was?

ihearttc Fri 15-Feb-13 20:50:44

Thats good to know taffeta thank you! All his friends have gone up...they tell them their levels out loud in front of the class so he knows unfortunately hence why its hit him so hard.

In what way is it assessed differently do you know-just curious?

I honestly cannot see how he has gone down that much but Im.obviously not a teacher!

MerylStrop Fri 15-Feb-13 20:53:23

Although a over marking at the end of Ks1 when going from a separate Infants school must be more likely. Not necessarily any consistency with the Junior School and also the pressure for the Infant School to claim best poss results, without a sense that this will be "found out" in KS2

What a ridiculous, messed up system

ihearttc Fri 15-Feb-13 20:53:55

Merylstrop-I didnt tell him his level. The teacher tells the entire class their levels in front of everyone so he knows what he got and what everyone else got as well. That in itself seems wrong to me. He is 7 and doesnt need to be worrying about levels at all but as he has been told and is worrying about it I wanted to find out why he has dropped so much and try to help him.

Taffeta Fri 15-Feb-13 20:54:44

Also not a teacher but reading that link, they are assessed against the whole level 3 curriculum in Y3 whereas to get a level 3 in Y2 they just need to exceed level 2 expectations.

mrz Fri 15-Feb-13 20:56:14

Not true Taffeta

MerylStrop Fri 15-Feb-13 20:56:42

That is absolutely terrible! Poor kid.
That cannot be acceptable practice, surely.
That's one step away from Victoria Wood being told to sit at the back and do raffia.
I would query that.

Taffeta Fri 15-Feb-13 20:59:29

Is MN link wrong mrz? I am just going from that, which seemed to tie in with my experience.

Floggingmolly Fri 15-Feb-13 21:04:43

Reading out the levels in front of the entire class is really, really wrong.

mrz Fri 15-Feb-13 21:08:13

Yes Taffeta ... I did point it out to Pearsons some time ago

ihearttc Fri 15-Feb-13 21:10:10

Should they be told their levels constantly anyway? All its doing is stressing him out.

Can't they just assess and be told a level at the end of the year?

simpson Fri 15-Feb-13 21:11:08

I would be fuming if my DC knew their levels or were told by the teacher in front of the class. My DS is in yr3 and he does not even understand levels let alone know which one he is.

teacherwith2kids Fri 15-Feb-13 21:12:59

The drop in levels between infant and junior schools is a well-documented phemomenon.

A drop of 2 sublevels within the junior IS worrying. However, are these results of proper continuous teacher assessment, or are they just using single tests to assess levels? The latter is far more susceptible to variation e.g. child has a bad day / unusually good day / is enthused by the topic etc.

Am absolutely horrified by the 'reading out levels in class', btw.

simpson Fri 15-Feb-13 21:13:51

I was told my DS's levels at parents eve back in October so I don't know what they are now.

We will have another parents eve in April so will find out then. But I do not see the point in knowing more often than that (for a parent).

IMO it is pointless and demotivating to tell a child their level as they are not going to ask what they need to be able to do to get to the next one (as well as making them feel pants sad).

ihearttc Fri 15-Feb-13 21:23:15

Thanks everyone...I wondered if I was being a bit too sensitive about it after seeing how upset he was but clearly its not the done thing to tell levels let alone in front of everyone.

I will talk to his teacher after half term and see what they say.

As far as I know it was a single assessed piece. They had a whole week of various assessments and they were all told it was a "test" from what he told me...maybe he doesnt do well in "tests" I don't know!

Just want to go and wake him up and give him a huge cuddle and tell him its not important.

mrz Fri 15-Feb-13 21:25:40

I'm looking for the well documented research which identified the dip as a myth teacher ... children moving from one school to another may appear to regress slightly until they settle but children do not un learn what they previously knew and certainly not by a whole NC level. If a child falls back they were never secure at that level.

mrz Fri 15-Feb-13 21:26:12

or they were never actually at that level in the first place.

ihearttc Fri 15-Feb-13 21:33:37

Thats pretty much what I thought mrz...so either the levels he had last year were wrong (which is quite likely) or he actually doesnt know how to do it at all (which is also likely).

But why would a y2 teacher assess higher than he actually was? And wouldnt they assess higher across the class...whereas everyone else seems to have gone up (according to DS) and he has gone down.

mrz Fri 15-Feb-13 21:40:10

I would be inclined to think he wasn't secure at the level reported but showing some aspects. As I said I'd be more concerned that his levels have dropped since he started his new school and would want to discuss this with his teacher.

teacherwith2kids Fri 15-Feb-13 21:43:15

I agree with your ppint, mrz, that the 'dip' if it occurs is due to the child being insecure at that level or not being at that level in the first place.

Having been on both sides of that particular divide, I would say that opposing political pressures operate on infant / first and junior schools, and when this pressure is extreme on particular schools, this might on occasion result in an optimistic assessment on one hand and pessimistic assessment on the other....

ihearttc Fri 15-Feb-13 21:52:46

Thank you so much mrz thats really helpful...We have parents evening immediately after half term so will ask questions then.

If his classwork is of a higher level would that mean less cause for concern...Im just wondering if he just did badly on the day.

I very much doubt he was a level 3 last year tbh but I am also struggling to understand how he could have dropped that much since being at that school.

Once again thanks so much.

Taffeta Fri 15-Feb-13 21:59:03

FWIW op my DS dropped to a 2a in Nov and last week got a 4. (No sublevel given). Teacher assessment prob therefore more meaningful than test result.

PastSellByDate Sat 16-Feb-13 01:54:48

Hi ihearttc

I think I'll answer your last query first. Why would a y2 teacher assess higher than he actually was? The system seems to be that each year a teacher is required to demonstrate 2 sub-levels improvement on the previous year. Now each school plays this system differently:

TYPE A (let's call them honest schools): They assess through a mixture of standardised tests and teacher assessment continuously throughout the year and report progress as verifiably achieved.

TYPE B (let's call them inflating schools): They are in a catchment where parental pressure/ expectations is that their DC will be brighter than average - so the pressure is to tell parents Johnny is NC Level 3 and end KS1.

TYPE C (let's call them sliding scale schools): They have a system where each year the child progresses the expected 2 sub-levels (at least) by having the next teacher along lower the NC LEVEL score from the end of the previous year. For example, DD1 finished Y3 working to a 3a (so effectively 3b) - but started Y4 working to a 3c (with the usual she's 'lost a bit of learning' over the summer months but we'll soon catch her up banter at our first parents' evening in October). Miraculously she finished Y4 having improved 3 sub-levels (one full NC Level improvement because she'd basically been moved back 1.5 sub-levels at the start and swiftly achieved those again).

I've found that the Campaign for Real Education's documents on what should be covered & mastered in a given year is a brilliant reality check. You have to bear in mind that this is gold standard stuff and your school most likely isn't working to this - but basically this does help to clarify what should be taught when. Link here: www.cre.org.uk/primary_contents.html


jalapeno Sat 16-Feb-13 08:53:39

Ah we've had this at parents evening this week. DS ended yr 2 on level 3 in every subject (no sublevels given), only found out this week it was 3b in reading and writing and he is still a 3b in both hmm Ours is a primary school so not likely about inflation last year.

Teacher says he has progressed ok and not to worry as he is doing better than expected still. I accepted this in the room and went home and now it is niggling at me- at what point do I start asking questions about what they plan to do to help progress- or what we can do at home? THere are behaviour issues so I don't know whether I should even worry about this whilst that is going on or whether both things are linked?

He has gone from 3c to 3b in maths so that's good smile

Acinonyx Sat 16-Feb-13 10:12:09

It's been an interesting experience seeing dd's sats over the last year. She finished yr 2 with 3s across the board. Re-assessed at new juniors yr 3 with 2 all sats knocked back - two of them back from 3b to 2a. This term - just 4 months later, she is back up to 3b, 3a, 3a. So a whole nc level, apparently in just 3 months. hmm I think not. I think perhaps her original sats were not unrealistic.

So I am a lot less naive about sat levels now. What's the betting that dd falls back again starting yr 4 hmm. Really surprising, given that she always seems to progress so much more over the summer than during term time.....

SunflowersSmile Sat 16-Feb-13 12:25:18

Do things relax a bit teaching wise in year 3 at schools?
A bit phew no SATs for a while and thumb twiddling?
Sorry to go off track.... but do wonder what others think.

prettydaisies Sat 16-Feb-13 12:40:12

Sublevels don't actually exist - they have been 'made up' by teachers to help track progress within a level.
If a child leaves Year 2 as a 3B say, then expectation is that they will be a 4B at the end of Year 4. It is quite possible to go 1/2 a year without changing sublevels, but still be making progress.

mrz Sat 16-Feb-13 15:35:32

I think there is a lot of consolidation work in Y3 to ensure children are actually secure at the level rather than just hanging off the edge

Feenie Sat 16-Feb-13 15:41:46

Sublevels don't actually exist - they have been 'made up' by teachers to help track progress within a level.

I do know what you mean - but I wouldn't level grin this accusation at teachers - the marks in the Y2 tests, for example, have always been sublevelled within level 2. That's not teachers.

lljkk Sat 16-Feb-13 15:58:17

Don't KS2 SATs have meaningful sublevels?

I must admit for DS1 (now in yr8) the whole thing seems nebulously meaningless. He has no KS2 SAT results, was never given CATs. So I have no idea how they set his targets and I imagine there's a large error margin in his attainment assessments, too (2 minutes appraisal on each bit of work, I should think).

I do read this a lot on MN. About dip from y2 to y3, that is.

I seem to have the only child on MN who had a "transition boost" from y2 to y3. Gawd knows why. Yr2 NQT was too cautious in her assessments?

gabsid Sat 16-Feb-13 15:58:55

My DS is young in his year and immature for his age and has also started Junior school this year. His levels suggest that he has not progressed since last summer but I found the new school is quite a different place in comparisson the the Infant school.

Now he suddenly has to be and work more independently, the assessments appear more grown up, he moves classes for maths, does quiet reading, is meant to be responsible for doing his homework, and from what I see he is expected to do his own research and write more complex stuff and in maths he seems to move to bigger numbers and is expected to just get on with it.

I feel my DS is not quite ready for such a 'grown up' environment and he struggles to be independent but is slowly getting his head around it. I feel my DS has a lot to deal with this year and hopefully things will soon improve.

iseenodust Sat 16-Feb-13 16:09:05

To answer your book question;
Tom Gates' Genius Ideas
How to train your dragon series
Goosebumps series
Lemony Snickett

Feenie Sat 16-Feb-13 16:14:29

Don't KS2 SATs have meaningful sublevels?

Nope. Just 3s, 4s or 5s.

iseenodust Sat 16-Feb-13 16:17:46

Feenie So when DS gets a 4c that is solely a subjective teacher's 'score' and could vary between schools? (Not yr6/official SATS.)

prettydaisies Sat 16-Feb-13 16:57:08

If he's been assessed as a result of a test, then it's likely that the marks needed for a level 4 have been divided into thirds - bottom third 4c, middle third 4b and top third 4a.
Teacher assessment, then who knows? There are lots of suggestions on the web. They may use APP grids. I would suggest there are some elements of level 4, but not very secure yet.
Sorry about KS1 level 2 - I'd forgotten that, but still there are no official guidelines for a 2C as opposed to a 2B.

jalapeno Sat 16-Feb-13 17:10:37

Feenie this sublevel thing is terribly confusing...so if DS was assessed as a 3b at the end of yr2 was that meaningful? Or is a 3 then and a 3 now ok? Of course he may have been a 3 for some time in year 2...so when do I worry about lack of progress?

toomuchicecream Sat 16-Feb-13 17:10:42

Back to the original question, it could be that the level the teacher has given the class is based on 1 piece of writing rather than a range, as it should be. If it was a level given for a single piece of writing, it could be that your DS just didn't perform on that one piece for some reason. I've been marking writing this weekend and have several children who've performed less well than normal. One child obviously got so excited by her idea she forgot to put in punctuation (when it is in the other writing in her book). Another got so caught up in his own idea he forgot that his writing should relate to the given subject. And that's without allowing for children not feeling well, being distracted by something that happened at home/on the playground etc etc etc. So it's perfectly possible for a child to produce one piece of writing that's below their normal standard, and that's why levels should be based on a range of writing produced over a period of time not one piece of work.

ihearttc Sat 16-Feb-13 17:30:12

Thank you toomuchicecream...and everyone else as well!

The level was definitely on one piece of writing as far as I know...so its good to know that it should be assessed over a range of writing and thats possibly something else to bring up with school at parents evening.

I know he's not particularly talented in the writing department...if anything he concentrates a great deal on punctuation,spelling, grammar etc rather than the content and as I said before doesn't have a huge amount of imagination but I honestly don't think he has dropped that much overall. Yes obviously he has on this piece for whatever reason but I really don't want him to worry too much about it.

Thank you for the book suggestions as well...we've raided the library today and got Lemony Snickett funnily enough before I saw the reply. He has tried How to train your dragon before and didn't like it but its definitely worth another try. He absolutely loves non fiction books and will read them for ages-he finds them much more interesting than fiction ones which perhaps isn't helping the literacy aspect. The task apparently that was levelled at 2C was to write some sort of short story.

I know at the end of the day these levels don't really matter but its a huge amount of pressure on them if they are told...some children are obviously not bothered by it but DS is so am just going to try to help him as best I can.

Feenie Sat 16-Feb-13 19:10:50

Feenie this sublevel thing is terribly confusing...so if DS was assessed as a 3b at the end of yr2 was that meaningful? Or is a 3 then and a 3 now ok? Of course he may have been a 3 for some time in year 2...so when do I worry about lack of progress?

Depends what they used to assess him - school use APP grids and moderation to get some kind of consistency and work very hard to show progress. But historically the levels were supposed to be used as a best fit, as a previous poster has said.

jalapeno Sun 17-Feb-13 08:07:07

Thanks Feenie, I don't know what an APP grid is so will just trust them for a bit longer and do a bit more with him at home.

mrz Sun 17-Feb-13 16:33:57

APP stands for Assessing Pupils Progress and is a method used by some schools to do just that.

jodieworld Tue 19-Feb-13 09:27:16

Am a teacher and have taught Year 3 so wanted to share a few things that I hope will take off the worry.
Firstly someone said if you are a 2B at end of Year 2 you should be a 4B at end of Year 4. This is not the case. If you are 2B at end of Year 2 you should be a 4B at end of YEAR 6. Progress in KS2 is not meant to be as fast as KS1. The subject matter goes into greater depth and concepts take longer to "bed in".
Secondly it is very much normal for Year 3 children to look as if they have slid backwards from Year 2 tests, particularly in Writing and Reading. This is partly due to the change it tests. In Year 2 Reading Comprehension for example the teacher just has to ask a couple of questions about the book. In Year 3 they are suddenly dealing with a massive written test with loads of questions about subtle inference and emotional intelligence which is a big jump for some children. You can support him in that by asking inference questions when reading at home, "Why did he do that?" "how would he feel?" "Why was the day special for him" etc
Thirdly Teachers do not make up sublevels they are clearly defined by government standards. Yes teachers will all have slightly different ideas of what a Level 2 "looks like" but the sublevel is assigned based on a points score.
The Year 2 level was not a "true" level 3. They can guess the sublevel based on the points but actually the Year 2 test is not set up to assess at Level 3 and therefore this can only be a guess.
Fourthly it is very much normal for a boy who isn't a massive reader (i.e. most of them at that age) to really go off it for a while when they hit Year 3 and reading is no longer just for fun and decoding words but suddenly they have to not only read the thing but someone is going to ask them very hard questions about what they read when all they wanted to do was pass the "reading" test. This is a huge leap and many boys struggle here.
Lastly Ofsted insist we tell children their levels. They will ask random children what their level is and what their targets are. I hate it. All teachers hate it but this is why they MUST know their level in school.

However the other children do not need to know their level. This is the only complaint I would be having at this point with the school. Go and tell the headteacher you disagree with the children's levels being read out to everyone. Each child has the right to have dips and struggle a bit but none of them should have it paraded. As others have said he may be suffering with the move of school and so highlighting him as lower levels than others is not going to help the situation. Levels wise please do not worry at this point. Give him Year 3 to settle then tackle it in Year 4. Spend time at home doing bits of work that are fun but educational. Take him to the zoo, chat about animals, mess around, then write about it when he has a fun exciting memory to write down. Etc. But do not worry about the piece of paper coming home. Teachers are great (I have to say that) but the person in the best position to help your child who knows him the best is you :-) Enjoy his childhood. If he was way below national expectation I would recommend extra support but at this stage he is doing just fine!

mrz Tue 19-Feb-13 10:11:39

However the level reported at the end of KS1 is not from a test jodieworld NOt from a test as you seem to believe

GooseyLoosey Tue 19-Feb-13 10:23:54

Almost all the boys I know got going with reading with the Beast Quest series. He may be just a bit old for them but they may be worth a try to get his confidence up. Once they are in to them, they wizz through them at speed.

Ds never got on with the How to Train a Dragon series either (but oddly loves the audio-books). He loved Eva Ibbotson (Which Witch and her other fantasy books), the Famous Five, Wimpy Kid, David Walliams and anything funny really.

Feenie Tue 19-Feb-13 10:47:18

jodieworld - what you've said about

Feenie Tue 19-Feb-13 10:51:01

jodieworld - what you've said about tests was true up until 2005, but you are 8 years out of date with your information. As mrz says, year 2 assessment is now teacher assessment, and the tests play a very small part in this. Year 3 assessment in most schools has also moved on - it's very bad practice to assess using tests only.

Feenie Tue 19-Feb-13 10:54:17

Also, the y2 test is just asking a CPU

Feenie Tue 19-Feb-13 10:58:40

Also, the y2 test doesn't necessarily involve a 'couple of questions' - teachers may choose to use the level 2 reading comprehension paper, albeit not timed like y3's. But assessment should never solely involve tests in either year, like the bad old days. It just isn't an issue now, whereas ore 2005 we had all the difficulties you describe, because the two assessment systems were incomparable then.

Taffeta Tue 19-Feb-13 14:22:08

jodieworld "Fourthly it is very much normal for a boy who isn't a massive reader (i.e. most of them at that age) to really go off it for a while when they hit Year 3 and reading is no longer just for fun and decoding words but suddenly they have to not only read the thing but someone is going to ask them very hard questions about what they read when all they wanted to do was pass the "reading" test. This is a huge leap and many boys struggle here."

Thank you so much for posting this, I have never read this on MN before and it is exactly in line with my DS's experience. It has taken a big, big effort on his, the school's and my part at home in getting his reading back up in Y4.

Acinonyx Tue 19-Feb-13 14:46:53

Interesting. Dd was a really voracious reader and well ahead. But from entering y3 (this year) she just stopped reading voluntarily completely. I'm quite sad about it and hope that her interest will come back. I've mentioned her total aversion to reading but no-one cares in the least as she is well-ahead when tested. sad

In fact, the fact that no-one cares how she feels about a subject as long as she's doing well bugs me. Dd hates maths and cries over her homework - but I have been told firmly (several times) that everything is absolutely fine and I 'should be very happy with her progress'. But dd clearly isn't happy sad.

jodieworld Wed 20-Feb-13 23:48:29

I am a current (outstanding according to Ofsted btw) teacher, I cannot be 8 years out of date am afraid. Teacher assessment is the level that has to be included for results to the LA and beyond but you clearly thought I meant "test" in the way you think SATs. testing is done to inform teacher assessment. this is taken into consideration along with ongoing work results ie a number of pieces of writing.And in majority of Year 3s a QCA test is used to inform Teacher Assessment. which is exactly the jump for the child I am talking about. I work with a lot of teachers and schools on assessment. Although a teacher assessment is used for final level, 90% on average inform this with some sort of formal test or lots of mini tests through the year. I was trying to allay fears and be constructive. I am sorry others feel the need to attack me for my comments

jodieworld Wed 20-Feb-13 23:52:03

Also, I am not saying I advocate use of testing to get results/determine lebels. But I can tell you the fact is it happens. Especially among New teachers who often feel ill equipped to judge a level just from reading a piece of writing. Where APP is used it is often 6 children per class tracked on APP as a moderation of levels.

learnandsay Wed 20-Feb-13 23:58:23

Don't worry, jodie. If you stick around long enough you'll find out that some of the teachers hereabouts do group replies, or attacks, as you've phrased it. You can think of all of them as a composite but single response.

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 00:23:23

It has not been my intention to cause any offence I can assure everyone. I am new to Mumsnet and just saw a topic I thought I could help on I.e. to reassure a concerned parent. I have obviously not realised some protocol and apologise for that. I will read more forums and see what protocol is. Not sure if group message means I should only respond by name? Most forums I use group response in thread is the norm so maybe is wrong here? Help appreciated.
ps nickname changed to reflect lower status :-) Will stay as jodieland now :-)
I have genuinely joined mumsnet not as a teacher but wannabe parent. I only chose this thread first as it stood out as something I could offer advice on as teacher - cannot offer mum help yet as no babies yet. Hoping the experienced mums can help me there! x

learnandsay Thu 21-Feb-13 00:30:03

Jodie, the only protocols are the ones published by mumsnet. The only other "protocol" is if you want to post your opinion then post it. It's a public forum. The people who choose to make group postings only do it because they want to behave like that. There's no protocol for doing it.

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 00:32:35

thank you learnandsay for helping a newbie :-)

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 07:40:02

Teacher assessment is the level that has to be included for results to the LA No jodieland Teacher assessment is what has to be reported page 26 of the ARA

8. Reporting results of the end of Key Stage 1 assessments to local authorities

Schools must report the following for all children:
• a teacher assessment level in reading, writing, and speaking and listening;
• a separate teacher assessment level for each science attainment target; and
• an overall teacher assessment level in mathematics and science.

Schools are not required to report task and test results to their local authority or the next school when a child moves.

I'm sorry you feel attacked but misinformation is misinformation

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 07:43:42

I am not saying they report the test result. The teacher does a test and uses that result to "inform" their teacher assessment. It is a very common practice and in some LAs is encouraged.

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 07:56:11

mrz you are correct in that is gov guidelines but I see the practice in schools I work with. Teachers sit with their head/deputy each term with two columns. Test and Teacher Assessment. They must then explain any vast differences between the two. The teacher Assessment column is the only column that has to be seen by anyone but the school but some schools feel they cannot justify if the test and TA are vastly different. Not all schools. I know many who have dropped all summative testing and trust the teacher judgement. But using tests to inform teacher assessment is also still very common even though not required at DfE level.

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 08:04:21

It is a legal requirement

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 08:07:10

If teacher assessment and task and test results differ, the teacher assessment results should be reported, provided the judgement is based on an appropriate range of evidence from work completed in class.

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 08:12:19

The ARA is a legal document not government guidelines jodieland
Schools cannot drop summative assessment in Y2 as it is a legal requirement.

Feenie Thu 21-Feb-13 08:14:08

Then those schools will inevitably come across the discrepancy you describe which was the problem pre-2005 - what atrocious practice.

Many LEAs have a set checklist for moderation which includes a check to ensure schools do not 'over rely' on test results.

I'm surprised you see the test option as widespread - that certainly isn't borne out by evidence from TES threads or on MN, or moderation forms from other LEAs. I'm not sure there is evidence if it in the OP's school either, so am not sure those comments were helpful, but am prepared to be corrected.

I disagree strongly that it is standard practice - and we are allowed to disagree on MN!

Your comments on level 3 papers were also absolute rubbish, btw, but I let those go wink

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 08:15:34

I am not disagreeing with these guidelines at all mrz you are very much correct. But wrong as it may be it is happening at many schools. I work with many schools on assessment and am always delighted when I find one following these rules. But I am afraid the majority still do testing as much as they had to under the old 2005 requirements. I moved schools for this very reason not so long ago as my teacher assessment "had to be informed with formal tests and could not be then altered by more than one sub level"
I wish I didn't have to say that but it is unfortunately the truth.

Feenie Thu 21-Feb-13 08:17:07

Government guidelines? That's quite funny grin

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 08:17:24

jodieland you keep calling them guidelines they aren't they are statutory requirements that schools must follow by law. If schools aren't following them they are acting illegally

Feenie Thu 21-Feb-13 08:18:20

It's a statutory document - heads can be prosecuted for not adhering to it! Guidelines, lol.

gymboywalton Thu 21-Feb-13 08:20:36

he shouldn't KNOW what level he is-why have you told him what level he is?

very often kids come into year 3 with an elevated mark- senior management will look at the stats and wonder who they can bump up a bit.

a drop for 2a to 2c in literacy would worrry me too-can you talk to his teacher about it?

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 08:35:51

Feenie I am really pleased you have not seen it as widespread. I certainly have in most London boroughs but this may not be indicative of UK wide and I would much rather you were right in all honesty. As I said, I left a school because of it being pushed so hard. Every child was expected to know their levels to the point of quoting where they lost points! Was disconcerting to say the least. There are more schools moving away from tests thankfully.

Feenie Thu 21-Feb-13 08:43:42

Most having been doing this since the publication of this document, back in 2005. If testing is prevalent now, that would suggest some LEAs have gone back the other way, which is disappointing.

What role do you have, Jodie, where you currently teach but have oversight of assessment in all those LEAs?

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 09:10:38

Well my main role now is in a consultancy capacity. Up until last year was still in class but now do teach a bit but am no longer a class-based teacher. My main remit is actually ICT consultancy (so my teaching is mostly around using technology to enhance learning in literacy and maths) but often this requires helping a school with their assessment data - how to make the most of excel spreadsheets and various assessment/tracking software. Which is how I see a lot of schools still wanting to input a separate test score as well as the Teacher Assessment score. I will show how to extract the Teacher Assessment data - making graphs with it for Ofsted and the like - but they still want to input a test results every term for each class. Which is where my experience is coming from.
As I say, Feenie, I would much rather it was not the case and that I was wrong (always happy to be proved so but unfortunately speaking from experience here).
I hope the test score does die out completely or at the very least teachers feel more empowered to make the judgement themselves.
As my role moves further from the classroom it is no longer my issue I guess in that I no longer have to have meetings showing those test results and discussin them but I do feel for the teachers still in this position.

Feenie Thu 21-Feb-13 09:25:19

Confused now - you described yourself as a current, outstanding teacher confused - now you are a consultant? That's not really current.

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 09:35:07

Well current is as current does ;-) but Feenie you are right. Current as in current academic year. My ex-teacherspeak I guess ;-)
Current was more a reaction to the assumption my knowledge came from 2005 (I actually qualified as a teacher in 2007 so going back to 2005 would be tricky :-))
On that basis I should have probably said current consultant helping schools with assessment but am still a teacher and until this academic year will hang onto that :-)
After that I doubt I will be in class much. It's a tricky transition for a teacher to make to be honest but I assure you I still teach and my ofsted result was very recent being at the end of 2012 so still current academic year. I would not presume to talk about what it is like to have a class right now but I do see the current use of assessment data a lot.
Sorry if you feel misled - not at all a intention!

Feenie Thu 21-Feb-13 09:40:04

And not getting at you personally at all - but I think allowing a teacher to be a consultant after only 5 years teaching is daft. Although it does explain some of your misconceptions, such as the ARA only being guidelines grin

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 09:46:57

Well I don't take it personally at all, Feenie. I am happy with my job as are the schools I work with so am not at all concerned to be wrong on some points too! Always love to learn new things hence joining forums at all :-)
I may be new but I am very good at what I do. I took on a lot of extra responsibility in my NQT year as had a lot of management experience before being a teacher so I guess it all came together.
Am not sure how long you have been a teacher but assume much longer than me and have full respect for that. Misconceptions possibly. I think mostly my hurried wording and typing on phone is my undoing more than anything!
I do know what I see in school and can only speak from that experience.

Feenie Thu 21-Feb-13 09:58:41

Fair enough, Jodieland smile

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 10:00:27


Taffeta Thu 21-Feb-13 11:18:30

Jodieland - FWIW as a parent and regular lurker, occasional poster on MN Education boards, I found your post Tuesday 9.27am one of the most helpful and informative I've encountered.

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 11:23:38

informative but incorrect confused

christinarossetti Thu 21-Feb-13 11:39:15

Do Ofsted require all children to 'know their levels'?

I know that they ask children about their targets, but surely not the letters and numbers?

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 11:40:23


jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 11:40:37

Taffeta thank you very much am glad it was of use.

mrz am sorry you found some incorrect. I assure you I know this stuff as per my own experience as mentioned but maybe did not word it correctly and get that point across to you as well as I would have liked.

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 11:45:37

unfortunately taffeta for one has read what you have written and accepts the errors as facts which is how inaccuracies are perpetuated

Feenie Thu 21-Feb-13 11:49:12

It's quite common, unfortunately - we had a Literacy advisor on here last year telling parents key stage 1 tests were 'optional' shock

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 11:53:37

My experience, mrz, is correct. What I see in schools as I have described is correct and factual. What I have been trying to describe is the practice I see on a regular basis covering the span of my experience.
I have no need to be right all the time on facts you would like to discuss but you cannot possibly argue that my experience is wrong for all those schools, not because you know fewer facts than me but because you have not been in my shoes. Just as I have not been in yours and do not suppose to assume what you have experienced.

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 12:05:20

The problem is the more time people repeat these "facts" the more people believe they are true

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 12:08:43

Just because you have seen it doesn't mean that it is correct jodieland.

I have no need to be right all the time on facts surely you are responsible for being accurate and not providing incorrect information shock

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 12:36:45

Ahh. You mean that it is not correct for schools to be doing it, mrz? That is not a discussion I have tried to have.
The word correct has been used by me as the meaning that I am correct that this practice exists.
And who am I supposed to be responsible to exactly? Schools don't hire me to tell them whether they should do a QCA reading test or not. They hire me to help them assess the data coming from them.

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 12:38:19

no jodieland I mean what you wrote is incorrect regardless of what you have seen

Feenie Thu 21-Feb-13 12:41:12

But surely as an advisor you are responsible for telling schools what good practice re assessment means?

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 12:49:41

I am not an advisor on assessment Feenie. I am an ICT geek essentially. I can make the data easier to manage ie spreadsheets and graphs. I train teachers on how to input their data into systems and how to analyse the data. It is a numbers and computer game. It helps teachers to spot children who have not progressed/gone backwards easier and group them by need but what they do with that information is down to the teachers and the school.
I do, of course, have discussions with headteachers but most of their practice is influenced by the LA who I do not work with as I am there to help the school individually. Schools often ask me about what other schools are doing so where I have seen great practice or know of a school who did well in inspection etc then I can pass on anecdotes but my remit does not go beyond that.
If I were an assessment advisor then yes that would be different. It can be frustrating to not have that remit but as you know my experience is not advanced enough for that - I have never been a headteacher or deputy so cannot advise on that level of issue. It is not an area I originally intended to get into - I mostly advise on use of tech for teaching and learning. But schools often need help with data so I often get asked to look at it while I am at the school training on ICT use in class. I used to be in charge of the data for my first school - not the assessment coordinator but again the making the graphs for Ofsted and borough inspections - and it was from that I learnt I had a nack for it and Ofsted were always very pleased with the data presented. So it is a role that has grown out of schools' needs rather than any desire from me to get into assessment too deeply. Although I do find it geekily fascinating ;)

Feenie Thu 21-Feb-13 13:09:34

So you are an ICT advisor who doesn't work with the LA?

Now I am even more confused!

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 13:13:42

No, Feenie, I am freelance. Most LA ICT advisors have been made redundant after the Harnessing Technology Funding was stopped by the new government. So I work mostly in LAs where there is no LA ICT advisor left.
I sometimes work with LA as some LAs still need occasional ICT help, i.e. a workshop available to all their schools, but mostly I work direct with schools.

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 13:17:34

I'm getting more confused with every posts sorry josieland

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 13:19:48

My job role changes and evolves from school to school and week to week really, Feenie. It confuses me too at times ;-)
I do whatever schools need based on my expertise. Anything outside of my expertise I pass the work on to someone better placed to advise on it.

Feenie Thu 21-Feb-13 13:21:49

Ah, so no one 'allowed' you to become an advisor after 6 years - you are self-appointed?

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 13:21:57

Sorry mrz - never meant to confuse anyone! :-) I don't have one specific job role but to try and explain everything involved would take forever and would change again tomorrow I expect so will leave it there!

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 13:24:42

Yes I guess Feenie. I was often asked to go and support other schools within my own borough originally. My headteacher was always happy to allow that where possible. But gradually the need outside my own school grew and so I decided to take the move to working from home - mostly as I didn't want my class to keep having a supply teacher but also I didn't want to keep refusing help to schools. It felt like the right decision. Time will only tell and I suspect I will find a different role at some point when demand dies down!

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 13:26:21

curiouser and curiouser

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 13:34:00

Hehe mrz and Feenie. I am just bemusing myself as I spend most of my online time chatting to other people doing a very similar role as myself so it is the first time I have tried to explain it to people outside that network. Never realised I was so curious! grin

jodieland Thu 21-Feb-13 13:38:25

Back on topic for a second though I notice ihearttc wanted book recommendations. I haven't used them personally but hear a lot of good things about the Rising Stars collection All Star High collection which is aimed at struggling or reluctant readers www.risingstars-uk.com/all-series/all-star-high/ if that is the kind of thing he may be interested in? It says interest age 9-11 and reading age 7-8 so may have some words higher than 2C level but might be worth seeing if he may be interested in them?

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 14:00:59

I think the overall literacy level may be lower due to lower writing levels if the OPs son is reading Dahl, Morpurgo and Kinney for pleasure.

ihearttc Thu 21-Feb-13 16:48:58

Crikey...I haven't been on for a few days and wasn't expecting that many replies!!

Yes I think mrz is right...the reading and overall comprehension etc seems to be absolutely fine and Ive come to the conclusion that its the writing that its causing the problem which I assume will have a fairly drastic impact on the overall level?

There is no way I could get him to read those books Jodieland but thank you for the suggestion though...what he actually wants is to just read information books which is absolutely fine Im pleased he is reading but Im sure thats not going to help his writing much! He loves David Walliams and Roald Dahl because they are funny so need something to appeal to his sense of humour. The Michael Morpugo books he has read have been football related as he loves that as well!

I can't remember who else it was that asked but just to reiterate...I never told him his level at all. The teacher told the whole class in front of everyone.

I know that its probably not a great idea but got some English/Literacy exercise books from WH Smiths yesterday and looked at them with him to see what he could/couldn't do mainly if there was anything I could do with at home...I actually picked up a Y4 one and he has whizzed through it no problem at all. So I think he knows what he needs to know but cannot get it down on paper in the form of a story or whatever...for example he knows where to put speech marks,punctuation etc but its the imagination and story telling part he is struggling with so thought I could encourage him to try a write a short story and try to write a bit a day so that he is really thinking about what he is writing?

No idea if it will work but its worth a try!

Many thanks for all your help everyone...it really is much appreciated!

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 16:59:17
Tidypidy Thu 21-Feb-13 17:10:20

I found the Laurence Anholt books very popular with yr 3/4 boys. Most are based on traditional stories with a twist so cinderella becomes cinderboy who wants to play for royal palace united! Might be worth a go.

Feenie Thu 21-Feb-13 19:44:57

Ah, back on my pc now as opposed to my phone, and have reread the thread - Taffeta, I am really concerned that you found jodieland's post of Tue 19-Feb-13 09:27:16 9.27 the most helpful and informative you have encountered, since it contains such a huge amount of misinformation. It's hard to find anything in it which is accurate, actually, starting from the opening line (Am a teacher) and ending at the 'Lastly' point.

Seriously - massive pinch of salt.

ihearttc Thu 21-Feb-13 20:18:11

Oh Tidypidy...have never heard of those before but they sound great and just the thought of thing which would appeal to him! I did let him make a book list on amazon at the start of the week but it was literally full of football books, horrible histories and stuff like that! Will try to steer him in the direction of those I think...very gently though as if he thinks I want him to read it he won't!!

Feenie Thu 21-Feb-13 20:23:34

They are here, ihearttc - as a collection and as singles.

Little Horrors are also popular, and Mr Gum books are never in our library as they fly off the shelves the second I get them in.

teacherwith2kids Thu 21-Feb-13 20:24:22

DS - another football boy - loved the Jack Stalwart series, and I used them very successfully with a Year 3 class.

There are also some good short historical fiction books by Terry Deary and others that may be sufficeintly 'Horrible History-like' to be acceptable but are actually fiction IYSWIM? A search for 'favourite period in history' (e.g. Victorian / Egyptian / whatever) in Children's Books > Fiction in Amazon is usually worth a try!

teacherwith2kids Thu 21-Feb-13 20:25:52

Mr Gum also a favourite. And as you probably know, Rob Childs and Tom Palmer have produced many, many books of football fiction ... at least better than reading the various football encyclopedias!

ihearttc Thu 21-Feb-13 20:37:34

We have had loads of the Tom Palmer ones but not Rob Childs...will add those to the list and I had no idea Terry Deary did fiction ones as well. Theo Walcott has written some football ones as well but no idea how good they are!

I think its much easier with girls books I have to say or maybe I have just got a boy who is difficult to please...I did suggest he read The Enchanted Wood the other day mainly for my benefit as I loved it so much but he read 3 pages and pronounced it "rubbish" apparently so am going to read it to myself!!

Thanks once again!

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 20:46:08

Our boys love Mr Gum Jack Stalwart Astrosaurs, Axel Storm

Feenie Thu 21-Feb-13 20:50:24

I have met Tom Palmer a couple of times - very nice bloke smile

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