Parents informed about Level 6 SATS

(97 Posts)
lisson Tue 19-Mar-13 10:40:48

Do primary schools tell the parents if their child is going to sit the level 6 SATS?

DeWe Tue 19-Mar-13 11:16:31

Mine didn't.
Probably to stop parents boasting and others rushing to to complain that their child should.

I got told last week that DS1 is "being given the opportunity" hmm to sit the Level 6 maths.

Thankfully no mention of a level 6 for Literacy - she said he is a secure 5b, working towards 5a for that.

TBH, most parents I've spoken to whose children are sitting the level 6 papers are more worried about the pressure on them than boasting about it.

Myliferocks Tue 19-Mar-13 11:24:45

We were told at parents evening in February that DD3 would be sitting the level 6 paper in literacy but we were only told because it was parents evening iyswim.

lisson Tue 19-Mar-13 11:44:43

I've been posting elsewhere about DS. To cut a long story short, he could do with a confidence boost right now.
He's working at level 6 in maths and has passed a test paper. He doesn't mind doing maths exams (prob because he hasn't encountered one that matters yet), so I think it would be good for his self confidence to leave primary with a level 6 in maths.
The cut off date for registering the children for level 6 SATS is this Friday (I found this out by accident yesterday when looking for something else). However, the school haven't said anything even though it was parents night recently.

BooksandaCuppa Tue 19-Mar-13 12:27:44

It's the pressure of the test itself that I think parents are concerned about but the five years of pressure throughout secondary that they must achieve A* for the school to show progress. I wouldn't let my ds sit level 6 paper for that reason. A lot can happen in 6 years.

Ds went off to secondary officially a level 5 and is working at level 7 in year 7. Not doing the level 6 paper didn't hold him back.

BooksandaCuppa Tue 19-Mar-13 12:29:05

Sorry, *not' the pressure of the test itself...

lisson Tue 19-Mar-13 13:26:50

I hadn't thought of that. In fact, I didn't even know that secondary schools need to demonstrate expected progress too. It makes sense though given that primary schools have to do it. And, of course, you are right, if some primary teachers are willing to pass their stress onto the children, then secondary teachers will have no problem passing their onto teenagers.

lisson Tue 19-Mar-13 13:27:46

mind you, it would only be one more sublevel from a 5A ...

TomArchersSausage Tue 19-Mar-13 13:31:45

Oh gawd don't tell me there's potentially another layer to all this sats nonsense. I'd pull mine out of the whole thing if I couldhmm

drivinmecrazy Tue 19-Mar-13 13:40:27

Agree wholeheartedly with BooksandaCuppa fortunately DD1's yr6 last year weren't put in for level 6 but this years yr6 are having breakfast clubs and after school lessons for those that are sitting level 6 papers. DD came out with all level 5s and now is happily working at level 7 english and maths in yr7, and is exceeding all targets in other subjects. What a shame that their last year of primary is spent stressing over exams. My DD had a glorious final year at primary, lots of fun and focus on the last year of no academic pressure. she looks back at last year as a magical time

lljkk Tue 19-Mar-13 14:08:04

DD is not because of timetable conflict. Unless she sits last yrs L6 test voluntarily & is internally marked (her teacher is looking into it). I think just as well for her to have reasonable targets in KS3/4, too.

I understand writing level is internally marked, anyway, so maybe will have a shot at 6 on that.

ChippyMinton Tue 19-Mar-13 14:17:55

We were told at parents evening, and are also having breakfast club twice a week (although I think it's for all of Yr 6).

Interesting to hear what BooksandaCuppa said about expected progress - that explains the teacher's remark about the secondaries not liking the primaries sending kids up with a level 6.

Apparently the Literacy is harder to achieve than the Maths because it requires a level of maturity of understanding found in a 14 yo. As opposed to Maths which is based on facts, I suppose.

lisson Tue 19-Mar-13 14:24:49

The maturity angle makes sense. Isn't it true that most genius mathematicians produce their best work in their early 20s and burn out/ have a nervous breakdown before they are 30? So, I guess that maths is one of those things that you can do exceptionally well at an early age.

Not that a level 6 when you are 10 or 11 years old is exceptional or the mark of a genius....

StuffezLaBouche Tue 19-Mar-13 19:02:51

I have parents' evening next week and will suggest it to parents then. I am dreading the backlash though, as I know how competitive the parents are. I have already had one ill-informed mum come in to tear a strip off me, asking why her level 4 child isn't receiving level 6 tuition when x, y and z (who are far stupider, obviously) are.

Luckily my level 6 maths candidates have been having one level 6 lesson a week with a specialist since September, so there should be no shocks there.

Feeling a little deflated and ready to let fly, tbh, as I've been doing 3 early morning revision clubs for various groups all this term. Physically couldn't give any more.

Myliferocks Tue 19-Mar-13 20:43:10

My DD3 goes to a middle school so stays at the same school until the end of year 8. There's 10 of them out of a year group of 125 doing the level 6 literacy paper. They are doing one session a week extra preparation for the level 6.
I don't know about Maths.

We've been told that DS2 will be doing the level 6 paper for Maths. About half of his English set will be sitting the level 6 paper.

teacherwith2kids Tue 19-Mar-13 21:18:14

DS's teacher - who had his psychology down to a T - told him that IF some children made it worth her while, she COULD order some Level 6 Maths papers. But she wouldn't unless they made it worth it...

A far as I remember, 15 % of the year group got Level 6. They did have a secondary maths teacher from the local secondary come in to teach the more able kids one afternoon every fortnight - not specifically Level 6 material, much more problem solving, team maths, talking about maths - and I suspect that was to allay any fears from the secondary that the children weren't really that level. Certainly DS in Year 7 has a target level of 8A at the end of KS3 and is getting low level 7s in tests at the moment.

teacherwith2kids Tue 19-Mar-13 21:20:20

(DS did do the Level 6 reading paper, but got a Level 5, which I think is totally fair given his rlative immaturity and how this affects his understanding of subtext [he has many ASD traits and finds non-literal meaning very hard]. His end Year 9 target for English is 8c)

Sparklingbrook Tue 19-Mar-13 21:24:29

DS2 will be doing the level 6 English paper, don't know about Maths.

areyoubeingserved Tue 19-Mar-13 23:29:33

DD is doing the English and Maths 6, am aware isn't a proper 6 in the sence, more like a 5* as a secondary level 6 is much more in depth. Not a fan of them tbh, though DD certainly wants to sit the papers as do her teachers. Sats work is mostly done through homework and practice session once a week during school time and we are doing no extra revision at home.

I've told her getting a 5 is fantastic, so that's her goal but know she'll do her best hopefully in the day. Can't believe they're doing the level 5 and 6s on same day! The 6 was done the week after last year. Grrrr.

bangwhizz Wed 20-Mar-13 09:18:59

We had a letter home to ask permission that she be put in for L6 but she didn't do any extra classes or anything like that

lljkk Wed 20-Mar-13 09:36:56

15 % of the year group got Level 6
There's 10 of them out of a year group of 125 doing the level 6 literacy paper. (8%)

Blimey, it's 0.5-3% nationally. I get the impression that about 3% at DD's school are working at or near L6 (in something).

RUBingServed: Can't believe they're doing the level 5 and 6s on same day! The 6 was done the week after last year.

Well that's very strange. DD's teacher was adamant that this year the L6 is the week after. (I think teacher meant L6maths, did you mean maths?)

Myliferocks Wed 20-Mar-13 09:43:37

DD3 says she's doing the level 5 and 6 on the same day.

MadamNoo Wed 20-Mar-13 09:53:18

I had parents' evening last night for ds Y5 (state primary). Since he is at 5b and 5c levels now, I was told last night that he would be put up for level 6 next year. I think about 4 or 5 out of the yeargroup of 30 are expected to sit level 6. I had never beard about the effect on secondary pressures, that is interesting. I didn't get the impression that we could refuse to have him put in for a certain level either.

lljkk Wed 20-Mar-13 12:15:18

Is that Maths, Myliferocks?

lisson Wed 20-Mar-13 12:22:49

maths paper B level 3-5 are on the Thursday morning and then the two level 6 papers are in the afternoon

lisson Wed 20-Mar-13 12:24:02 (look for the table halfway down the page)

lisson Wed 20-Mar-13 12:24:25
TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 20-Mar-13 12:24:55

Yes, ours did.

NoThankYouToSideSalad Wed 20-Mar-13 12:31:45

DS doing Level 6 papers in maths and literacy. No extra preparation from school, though. Thankfully, he is chuffed to bits as he "likes exams". confused

areyoubeingserved Wed 20-Mar-13 12:36:29

Yes lljkk both maths and English papers are being done on same days as level 3-5. Thursday especially I think is a long day!

nipersvest Wed 20-Mar-13 12:37:10

dd is doing level 6 literacy, i know this because she's having extra lessons at school, no-one at school has told me directly she's doing level 6 though. there is a parents meeting soon about the yr 6 sats, so am going to ask a bit more about it then.

from asking dd, i understand there is a small group doing level 6 literacy, a small group doing level 6 numeracy, with a handful doing both, all are getting one extra lesson a week per subject, plus extra homework.

areyoubeingserved Wed 20-Mar-13 12:37:34

Ah just seen lisson posted the timetable.

areyoubeingserved Wed 20-Mar-13 12:43:39

The English is much harder to get tbh. Seemingly only 900 (lower than 1% of entries) children got it last time. I know is a bit different this year with the new spelling punctuation stuff but I think is a challenge even for the more able ones.

lljkk Wed 20-Mar-13 12:44:58

Oh bother, this creates a problem, because DD's teacher insisted otherwise. Even in the face of DD's hysterical tears & angry strop.

DoE agrees with you lot.

DD's residential holiday is the following week. There should be no timetable conflict. DD is extremely keen to do the L6 SAT (did I mention the hysterics?), or I would not pursue this.

Do I show DD's teacher the DoE page and ask him to explain how there can ge a timetable conflict, WWYD!!??

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 20-Mar-13 12:46:14

Lisson - my DD2 is in year 5 and they have already told us they are getting in specialist L6 support for her and a couple of other kids from next term. This is part of a school improvement plan though, they have to demonstrate how they are catering for the really high achievers. So I'm guessing the unexpected information about the specialist support was in order to (a) demonstrate that they are doing that and (b) forestall complaints from one of the other parents (who specialises in complaining).

slug Wed 20-Mar-13 13:09:11

Frankly, I don't give a damn. The sats are for the benefit of the school, not the child. DD already has her secondary school place and it matters little whether or not she has level 6 for anything at this point in time.

At the Parent/Teacher evening we were informed she would be doing level 6 in maths and asked our opinion of whether to put her forward for level 6 in literacy. My comment was "ask her". She knows that her father and I aren't that fussed and that we know she will do well in maths and even if she does do badly then this is not a reflection of her but the result of a bad day.

I hate the amount of testing children are forced to do in this education system. It angers me that subjects like science are sacrificed during the latter part of year 6 in favour of exam preparation. It damages, in my opinion, the overall experience of children and I don't think it's any surprise that disillusionment in education starts around this age.

lisson Wed 20-Mar-13 13:09:31

did I mention that the cut off date for schools to register children for the level 6 exams is this coming Friday?

lljkk Wed 20-Mar-13 13:12:40

You did say that, Lisson, and that's putting the pressure on me for thinking I have to confront DD's teacher about this.

I'm not kidding, she had an almighty meltdown when I told her about the timetable conflict.

How do I confront her teacher without saying "You were lying, weren't you?"

lisson Wed 20-Mar-13 13:13:30

Your DD was upset to not be sitting L6 exam papers?? Why?

lisson Wed 20-Mar-13 13:15:43

You say to the teacher that you noticed on the DoE website that an alternative series of exam dates appears to have been arranged which is good news given the timetable clash problem. Would he like the URL?

LaQueen Wed 20-Mar-13 13:17:54

It's keep fairly low key at the DD's school. Infact, an awful lot is kept very low key. The school doesn't, as a rule, even inform parents if their child is G&T.

lisson Wed 20-Mar-13 13:24:46

I decided the easiest way to find out was to just ask the school! Unfortunately, there is no way of having a quick word with DS's teacher, so I dropped a note into school. Its a simple YES/ NO question, but I have a feeling that I won't get an answer for a long time if at all.

lljkk Wed 20-Mar-13 13:59:36

I think that I will say (50% lie) I was chatting to "a friend" in London and her high achieving DD is doing L6 same day, then I looked on DoE website (handover printout) which says the tests are same day, so can DD sit L6 after all, maybe the dates have changed? It's just finding the right tactful manner when I say all that.

Why did she have a meltdown.... she's competitive & ambitious, I guess that's it. She likes exams. She likes proving herself. At Oct. parent Eve teacher said she might be put in for L6 exam, I asked DD how would she like that (explained what L6 test meant best as I understood) and her eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. She is well-psyched.

Final mark of "only" 5a or 5c even wouldn't be half as disappointing as not being given any chance at 6, iyswim.

lisson Wed 20-Mar-13 14:14:45

In that case, I can't think of any reason why the school would not put her in for the exam. There's no downside for the school if a child sits and fails it, is there? Or does it open the teacher to suggestions that they should prepare the child for the exam?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 20-Mar-13 14:56:36

Lisson No downside that I know of for the school or the child, only that they might not want to put a child in for a test they needn't do, if in their judgment that will cause more stress and upset than any good it might do.

Last year was the first year this happened, so our school was definitely finding its feet - I think about 5 did the L6 in Maths, about the same in English, with the sort of overlap you might expect in such groups.

DD only did the English one - and she'd previously been going off with the Special Maths Teacher for Special Maths in a group of 6 or 7, which suddenly went down to a group of 5 - so DD and the other 1 child were obviously confused and upset. I asked the teacher what had happened, and he explained they'd decided to make it an L6 prep class and so the make-up had changed.

I think he was anxious that DD and I might be angry she wasn't doing L6 Maths (as the parents of the other child indeed were), and he explained really sensibly that they just weren't going to put anyone in for it who might find it more stressful rather than an enjoyable challenge etc etc.

lljkk Wed 20-Mar-13 15:47:37

Update: DD's teacher still insisted L6 was different day & then looked genuinely surprised & confused when I showed him DoE printout. confused Said he would double check.

Am I the only person in history of MN to campaign and almost demand that their child be allowed to do a SATs test? grin

lisson Wed 20-Mar-13 16:08:32

lljkk - is your DD's teacher usually so ill-prepared as to not even know exam dates? Presumably he wasn't planning to put any L6 pupils forward then?

No, you are not alone with wanting it for the benefit of your child. I am doing it as well, lljkk. The school haven't said either way to me and I don't want to ask the parents of the other likely candidates in case they think I am being pushy.

DS has just been quietly expecting to do it, he's in the G&T group but I am not sure whether they've been doing L6 prep or just extension maths. Maths exams don't worry him. He'll be ok if he fails whereas if he passes he will get a much-needed confidence boost. So I can't see a downside for him. I have no idea why his teacher just hasn't replied with either "yes he's doing it" or "no, he's not".

lljkk Wed 20-Mar-13 17:30:51

He said that DD could take the test if she didn't go on the residential trip, her choice. He was insisting that the L6 tests were following week, not same dates. I cannot understand why he would have wrong dates, though.

I was there when Dd asked about another pupil who I guess she feels is similar ability, other girl is going on residential too so couldn't do L6 test either. I don't know if they thought anyone was going to take L6 tests.

Am I going to make him feel like an idiot? blush grin

Myliferocks Wed 20-Mar-13 19:11:29

DD3 has come home today saying she's doing the level 6 Maths as well as the level 6 English.
They're doing an extra Maths session one lunchtime a week and an extra English session in tutor time one day a week.
She's very blasé about it all.
It sounds like her teachers are being very low key about it and aren't pressurising the children at all.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 20-Mar-13 21:06:37

How does extra tuition not constitute pressure?
Just a thought

StuffezLaBouche Wed 20-Mar-13 21:14:24

It doesn't always, morethan. I tutor my level six children at lunch time and repeatedly stress they do not have to attend - they have been given revision aids to work through at home as well. I don't force them to d any of this. They all come every week because they genuinely enjoy the things we do and they enjoy learning.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 20-Mar-13 22:15:49


I am not being judgmental at all and am finding this thread really interesting. My older dc did Y6 SATS many years ago and I find it so different now. Both the parents and the children in both schools they attended had no idea when they were doing them. There were no revision classes, homework etc. They did related lessons in the classroom but weren't aware of it. I wonder if any schools operate like this now. Probably doubtful as they all seem to happen in a designated week across the nation.
The whole idea of assessment of learning is very interesting, as a qualified teacher I can see the importance of it in both the system and classroom. As a Home educator, I think its nuts and a complete time waster. I'm not suggesting I will never assess learning having taken place, but the idea of finding levels and targets is meaningless now.
As I say though I can completely see the importance in the education system because teachers have to work to targets.

StuffezLaBouche Wed 20-Mar-13 22:28:17

I didn't say you were being judgemental..?
In reply to your comments though, (briefly as eyes almost shutting!) I think most children being put in for level six would need some extra input, further than just differentiated work in class. For example, my kids working at 5a for Reading should get sixes, but at present wont as I need to work with them on answering questions in the required way.

If I had children I would love to home educate them, and I agree that in your circumstances, all this business of levels, sub levels, etc is pointless. Unfortunately there has to be some measurable system for all schools and all children. Such a shame it's so flawed!

morethanpotatoprints Wed 20-Mar-13 22:41:36

StuffezLaBouche grin I know you didn't. Although I am ever mindful of coming across judgy.

Oh yes, I totally agree about the school system and I think you all do a terrific job. I read your post about the flaming from the the parent and after all the extra work you have done. shock. I can't help but having a silent gloat when I think of lack of pressure for dd with levels and SATS. Don't get me wrong I have an indication of where she's at and where she struggles, abilities etc. That will do for me.
Thank you for replying to me and hope your parents are all nice to you from now on

AChickenCalledKorma Wed 20-Mar-13 22:49:38

We have a timetable for the tests - all the level 6 tests are on the same day as the equivalent level 3-5 tests. I can't believe anyone thought that was a good idea. DD1's school is normally very good during SATs week - gives them a nice breakfast and runs special fun activities each afternoon to balance out the day. But I guess those doing the level 6 papers will miss out on that sad.

StuffezLaBouche Wed 20-Mar-13 22:49:41

Sorry, I misunderstood your post! :-)
I don't blame you for your silent gloat - if I had children I would home educate as far as I could. I do feel sorry for some of our year sixes. Out of interest, what year is your dd in? Will go to school for her secondary education?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 20-Mar-13 23:01:04


She is in y4 and won't go to secondary unless she wants to. She was in school until this year but wanted to leave to practice and perform her music. (long story) but exceptionally gifted in music, composing at age 4 etc. Level 8 in y3 grin average at maths, not very good at English, probably dyslexic. Very good at reading now, having found her passion about a month ago. (It was Pippy Longstocking that did it) grin

lljkk Thu 21-Mar-13 17:48:32

The point of SATs is to assess the school, not the pupils. It's an accountability system, it also means parents get a kind of external objective indicator of how their child is doing compared to the national cohort.

(Can't believe I'm defending SATs!).

Actually, I wouldn't mind all that so much IF 1) NC levels didn't come across as tickbox assessment, and 2) IF school avg KS2 SATs were not published. It's the publication that I think creates problems & pressure. Or could be published as categories or percentiles (maybe those would be better).

This thread is yet again MNers mentioning extra revision sessions, extra homework, lots of pressure. None of which is evident in my y6 child's life. Instead, neither love nor money seems to be enough to enable DD to take the SAT test she wants to take and can probably get a decent mark on. I swear I live in a parallel Universe from rest of you, I really think this thread is final proof of that.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 21-Mar-13 17:52:45

Your dd has had no stress thus far, lljkk; that's not to say she won't at secondary, especially if she goes up with all level 6s. I don't mind Sats at all, but did not want ds having teachers expect A*s from him and talk about this to him from first thing in secondary. This can happen.

Though maybe you do live in a parallel universe if your teacher still insists they're on a different week wink

lljkk Thu 21-Mar-13 18:54:20

I wondered about that, if DD having Level 6s would lead to stupidly high targets. DD pushes herself so hard, I don't want external stress as well, just support. We have half plans to move house and maybe after that I would finally find myself in same universe as rest of you. smile

SherbertStraws Thu 21-Mar-13 19:05:47

Does it really matter if they get level 6s? I am asking that seriously. What do they gain from getting level 6s instead of level 5s?

Sparklingbrook Thu 21-Mar-13 19:07:31

I think it's more what the school gets TBH Sherbert.

jeee Thu 21-Mar-13 19:14:55

lljkk, my DD sat level 6 papers last year the week after the normal SATs. My son is sitting them this year, and the school has said that this year they intend for them to be taken on the same day, but in the afternoon, as the other papers. So it may be that the teacher is thinking of last year.

In fact, at least some of my son's teachers are under the impression that the level 6 papers will be taken the week later. I don't think it reflects on their ability to prepare the children for level 6.

lljkk Thu 21-Mar-13 19:31:21

Don't think they gain anything at all Sherbert, Dd just wants it for her own satisfaction and in a way it's a good experience in terms of her learning to handle exams excitement/stress/pressure.

I may be a complete idiot by trying to push for her to do the L6 test, though. I am on a learning curve.

Could even be a bad thing to get Level 6, because (I hear) their yr9 & yr11 targets are made on the basis of what their yr6 SAT results were. Obviously this might be undue pressure, especially on a cohort that is probably overwhelmingly very bright or self-motivated anyway.

*y8 DS never did y6 SATs and the state school seems to have plucked his targets out of thin air, so I am not sure truly how much the y9/y11 targets have to be fixed from KS2 SAT results.

LaQueen Thu 21-Mar-13 20:31:35

I think though, if a child can gain Level 6s, then they're really not under that much pressure at secondary school are they?

I just had this talk, with a friend who turned her nose up at my expectations that my DDs will go to GS...'Oh, but think of all the pressure they'll be under...etc'

But, the way I see it, if they can leave primary school with high Level 5s/possibly Level 6s, and pass the 11+, then they're really not going to be under that much pressure at GS/secondary school.

I think taking your average child, and drilling them, and drilling them, and making them sweat blood to get high Level 5s/a Level 6 is what would put them under pressure at secondary school.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 21-Mar-13 20:55:23

On the whole, LaQueen, I suspect you're right. But a lot can happen between year 6 and year 11: hormones; peers; motivation; illness; family disruption...let alone the difference in curriculum/skills which might mean a high flier does not necessarily continue to be so.

I just hate the idea of a school constantly pressuring a dc to achieve an A*. Honestly, anything less for a level 6 child would not be accepted.

LaQueen Thu 21-Mar-13 21:16:27

No one can predict what's going to happen Books - but, all things being equal, if a child can score Level 6s (without really breaking a sweat) then I think they'd probably be okay gaining the A*s at secondary, even if they hit a few (minor) bumps in the road along the way.

I think it depends on how well you can detach your intellect from your emotions, if you see what I mean?

I sat my Finals knowing my Dad only had a couple of months left to live, and if anything my exams helped me, because for just those few hours I could switch off the emotion, and let the intellect take charge IYSWIM? And, it was relief.

But, obviously it depends on the individual.

lljkk Fri 22-Mar-13 08:09:27

DD would be breaking a sweat for sure, she relishes the challenge because she worked for it.

There are so many stories of very clever people who failed the 11+ because of a recent death in the family, floundered in vocational schools, only to eventually find their way back to clever academics by the most circuitious routes; they truly were badly affected by adversity.

lisson Fri 22-Mar-13 10:10:53

Apparently DS's school are going to inform the parents if their child is doing any level 6 next week. Its probably not a coincidence that this will be after the deadline for registering the children has passed.
As a parent, its irritating to have this info withheld but from the teacher's perspective I can see that its quite brilliant because if any parent wants to change the decision either way, it will be too late. (That's assuming that the teacher considers the parents' involvement as unwanted interference , but, in this case, I think that's a given!)

BooksandaCuppa Fri 22-Mar-13 22:46:29

not quite 'either way', lisson as you can ask for them not to do level 6, just not to do it!

Am sorry about your Dad, LaQueen; as you say, for some people it is a great comfort to escape into study; it is for me too (not quite the same as you but my stepmother was also terminally ill during my finals).

AChickenCalledKorma Sat 23-Mar-13 17:45:19

In response to ShertbetStraws: "Does it really matter if they get level 6s? I am asking that seriously. What do they gain from getting level 6s instead of level 5s?"

Speaking for my own child - and for her teachers (assuming they are telling the truth!) It doesn't really matter if they get level 6s. What matters is that they are being given the opportunity to work, in a structured way, towards something that will challenge and engage them, at a stage of their education where they have pretty much nailed everything else they are expected to do at primary school. DD1 is in a small group of children who are "having a go" at level 6 - they are enjoying learning some new stuff and they are not bored brainless from repeating the same work that they already know. The level 6 test is giving their teachers official permission and freedom to continue engaging them beyond what has previously been the limit of what is on offer at primary.

So, weirdly, I also find myself in the position of defending SATs. And DD1 is not showing any symptoms of pressure - on the contrary, she is doing extra maths for fun, because she likes learning new stuff.

lisson Sat 23-Mar-13 17:56:50

Does anyone know where/ if the level 6 SATS get published in league tables? I can't find the 2012 ones.

Feenie Sat 23-Mar-13 18:08:02

Yes, they will, and they were reported in 2012 aswell - Maths was 3% and Reading 0% (they upped the passmark considerably, was very different to the sample they had given).

teacherwith2kids Sat 23-Mar-13 18:11:59


That was exactly what DS gained from doing Level 6 maths. He, his class and his teacher were all energised by having a challenge to work for and new curriculum material to cover. As they did their level 6 work in class time (it's a school which treats SATs very lightly, with just 2 'familiarisation papers' during trhe whole of Year 6, and where all maths is taught in mixed ability classes) it also brought on the whole group - the number of Level 5s was also very high and I think that the energy and interest and curiousity modelled by the 'top table' filtered down as a 'buzz' to everyone.

lisson Sat 23-Mar-13 18:22:17

Feenie - do you know where they are published for 2012? I thought they would be in the DofE performance tables pages (because they seem to have every conceivable statistic there) but they weren't.

0% for reading? Presumably that's 0.49% rather than no one passed??

Feenie Sat 23-Mar-13 18:23:14

Indeed, would be rounded. I found them last week, can't find them now - will keep looking.

lljkk Sat 23-Mar-13 18:32:04

Try TES website, it's linked to from some of the fora there.

I recognise what chickenkorma said in DD; she wants the challenge.

DrownedGirl Sun 24-Mar-13 08:04:27

Isn't the most likely explanation that the school doesn't think she is l6 material and was fibbing about the date to avoid having to tell you that? There is no way the school doesn't know the timetable for the tests.

lljkk Sun 24-Mar-13 09:09:10

(Assuming DG was talking to me): Teacher is insisting she is able enough, just that he was sure there was a date conflict (like last year). Would have been easy enough to ignore DD's tantrums if simply not that able.*

I once described how DC school offered mini-pizzas for morning snacks and had MNers shrieking that I was a troll, couldn't possibly be a state school in England that would offer such an unhealthy snack.

So I am used to being told by MNers "That can't possibly be right!" about DC school. grin

I read stuff on here that astounds me about how other schools are run, too.

Feenie Sun 24-Mar-13 09:57:20

What does a date conflict even mean? confused

Timetable here - page 8

mrz Sun 24-Mar-13 14:52:08

He's looking at last year's dates. The level 6 tests were the week after the 3-5 tests

Chocolatemoosemama Sun 24-Mar-13 16:19:08

Two thirds of y6 pupils at my ds's school are currently having extra lessons for level 6 sats. The lessons are being tutored by teachers from the local academy.

The decision on who should attend these lessons was taken after they all completed practice papers earlier in the year. Anyone who didn't make it into the group was discretely moved down a group. This resulted in some pupils, who had previously always been in the top set and were predicted a comfortable 5 to lose confidence and self-esteem. The effect is compounded by there being very few y6 pupils around on the mornings and break times that the level 6-ers are having extra tuition, which makes the ones who aren't being tutored feel like they stand out as less-than.

The thing that confuses me is the need for extra tutoring for those put in for level 6 SATs. Surely, if they are good enough to get a level 6 they should be put in for it and if they pass, fantastic, if not it shouldn't matter. However, why are the top performing students getting extra lessons and support to gain an even higher grade in their SATs when the lower performing ones continue to just have their normal lessons and no additional support.

It doesn't make sense to me, as my way of thinking is that those that are exceptional should have the opportunity to attempt the level 6, if appropriate for them. Those that will comfortably get decent SAT results should be put in for standard SAT papers and those who are the lowest performing should be the ones to get additional help and support, because they are the most in need of it. confused

In our family, ds1 was one of the children who was moved down a group and it did knock his confidence, especially as he had made a monumental effort in y5 and been told he had earned his place near the top of the set and should be proud of himself. He didn't perform as well as expected in their first test papers last Autumn, for various reasons and ended up feeling a failure as a result.

He's ok with it now, as I have told him all he has to do is do his best and that's that, whatever he achieves, as long as he does his best, is all anyone wants or expects. Ds2 is a couple of years away from year 6 and he is a strong mid-range student, so I wouldn't expect him to have or need any additional tutoring either and to be honest I feel he's better off for it.

I was surprised our school has gone this route with level 6 tutoring, because historically they have always had excellent SAT results without excessively pushing the year 6 pupils. (They only start revising at Easter and the rest of the year it's business as usual.)

I get the impression, contrary to what others have said on the thread about secondaries not liking pupils to come into y7 with level 6's, that in our case the pressure has come down from the local academy, which is very results-orientated and rapidly becoming highly selective, despite being state funded.

DS, at lunch today has just told me he has been told this morning he will also be sitting the level 6 reading paper.

He is unimpressed as that means 2 full days of tests - one for reading, one for maths, as he is doing level 6 for both.

lljkk Wed 27-Mar-13 16:35:00

That sounds like way too public a selection procedure, Chocolate.

Maybe DD's "I don't even know what dates the L6 tests are on" teacher's style is way better.

100% (1000%) I agree with you on the "Why should so much extra tuition be required" point. I say the same thing about private schools that give out lots of homework. Small classes, selective well-behaved intake, what are parents paying for if pupils need to come home & do lots of work on top of the regular school day? confused

DD brought home some mock papers to look at over Easter, has a fuzzy idea who else not that I shamelessly probed is sitting L6. No extra lessons for her that I know about (yet?).

Doesn't feel like they've been drilled at all for SATs, though, anything but, loads of other things going on. I am very pleased about that.

lljkk Wed 27-Mar-13 16:46:00

total gossip now... but from DD said maybe 5 girls & 1 boy are sitting at least 1 L6 test. is that to be expected? Yr group is about 50:50 boy:girl.

I think I'd feel extra pleased if I had a boy who was up for it.

cumbrialass Wed 27-Mar-13 17:00:52

I have 13 year 6, of these 4 are doing level 6 in maths and 5 level 6 in english. One is a girl, the rest boys. Last year my brightest group were all girls, the year before all boys! It's just the luck of the draw!

lisson Wed 27-Mar-13 21:52:36

We, the parents, were told in the end (i.e. today). DS is doing L6 maths. He's pleased about it, looking forward to the challenge.

If only I'd felt like that when I was doing my finals!

Foundapound Thu 28-Mar-13 09:23:23

Just found this thread, very interesting. I was unaware of the existence of separate L6 tests, until our school started a maths club for the top 10 kids (there's 30ish in the year), with a teacher from local secondary coming to teach them once a week. Those kids seem to be loving it, and they're competitive in a supportive way - dd has been coming home chuffed with her marks, and amazed at the 2 lads who're doing the best, iyswim. They all seem quite excited at the prospect of doing L6s. dd is getting L5a in everything at the moment, but they've only mentioned L6 in maths.

There's no pressure on the kids as far as I can see as it doesn't matter at all what mark they get (unlike when dd did 11+, where as out of catchment child she needed to get the best mark she could to get into the only school in the area that teaches Latin which she is desperate to do!). All of the L6 maths kids did 11plus bar 2, so they have some experience of exams already.

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Thu 28-Mar-13 11:29:28

I think the L6 paper is a good thing. It seems to be motivating the children rather than stressing them out.

TheBuskersDog Thu 28-Mar-13 22:25:29

I agree with previous posters that say extra tuition surely defeats the purpose. The SATs are supposed to test what level the school has got the children to, not what level can the children get to with extra, targeted lessons.

Regarding secondary school, it's not pressure so much as expectation. Based on KS2 results and analysis by the Fisher Family Trust the school will have predicted GCSE results. On my Year 11 son's progress reports it has his score at KS2 (he got 5as, they didn't do L6 then) and then a table showing what most children with that score achieve at GSCE i.e. what he 'should' be able to achieve.
This doesn't take into account the different skills required for some subjects, just because he did well in maths, english and science in year 6 theoretically he should be able to get A/A* in art, drama, P.E etc. Even in english just because you are good at reading comprehension doesn't necessarily mean you'll be good at writing essays analysing poetry or Shakespeare. Pressure is on the school to meet the targets.

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Fri 29-Mar-13 18:34:43

I don't know, busker, I think it's a pretty good predictor. I was excellent at English and I know this was the reason I got a good grade in my drama GCSE....the coursework (essay writing) saved me. I'm definitely no thespian!

Good command of English will help with any course that requires essays to be written. You also can't underestimate the advantage that being told you are clever gives you. You assume you will (and/or want to) be top in every subject. OK, PE and art are different as they require actual talent, but everything else should be easy enough for a bright child with a good memory.

lljkk Fri 29-Mar-13 19:40:13

...with a good memory and the right work ethic AND not emotionally or other wise distracted. That's the problem with human beings, we aren't robots.

I was always told I was clever but assumed it was total BS.

I think the L6 thing is motivating for children who want to be motivated. Pointless for others, regardless of innate talent.

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Fri 29-Mar-13 19:57:42

Absolutely, lljkk.

choccyp1g Fri 29-Mar-13 20:15:48

Mychilddoesn'tneedsleep "you can't underestimate the advantage that being told you are clever gives you"

But what about all the others, who are effectively being told they are "not clever"? A subject for a whole nother thread methinks.

lljkk Fri 29-Mar-13 20:18:35

Why couldn't they take it as "you need to work harder!" rather than a permanent statement of lack of ability.

I didn't give a damn what my grades were until I was 14. Then I turned into a high achiever because I wanted to be one. Not because of how clever anyone thought I was or wasn't. That never made any difference to my attitude.

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