SATs results today. I hate Gove!

(100 Posts)
auntiezzzzz Tue 09-Jul-13 23:39:57

OK this is going to sound like a stealth boast so I'll get it out of the way early - my DD is good at maths. I'm very proud of her but just so pissed off at how children are put through these ridiculous tests at such a young age.

DD came home today and told me she'd "failed" the maths paper. Of course I said she can't have failed. It's not that sort of test. Anyway turns out she got 30/50 on the L6 paper. The top mark in the school. Obviously a fantastic achievement and I am so proud of her.

But no - she thinks she failed because she didn't get the L6.

My issue is why the fucking fuck is my 11 yr old daughter getting upset about "failing" when it's the last two weeks of primary and she should be practising her sack race skills.

If these tests are for the schools, government etc then why do they have to even tell the kids and parents. And if they're for the kids / parents, shouldn't there be some sort of sliding scale for achievement. Not just a cliff-edge pass / fail mark.

Anyone else's DCs just miss out on the next threshold up? Are they upset by it, or are most kids not bothered?

Oh man, it's such a new thing to put Year 6s up for the L6 paper anyway, and it's so hard. She did brilliantly.

Last year I had a top set in Year 8 (English, so different, but still) and a good chunk of them were still not regularly achieving L6.

Fizzypop001 Tue 09-Jul-13 23:54:24

why be upset by it a level 5 should be achieved by 13 year olds not 11 year olds so you should be proud of her. she has achieved what she should have achieved when she was 13 so no i don't think you should be upset by it at all. make it clear to her that she didnt fail and that she did really well and make her feel happy

NoComet Wed 10-Jul-13 00:09:50

Tell your DD a very big well done from me too! Remind her this is the expected level for something like Y8/9 and primary schools are only entering DCs to keep Ofsted off their backs.

Since she's good at maths she might well see the stupidity of Ofsted/Gove, apparently wanting all schools to be better than average. Nothing more cheering to a DC than seeing adults being stupid.

Fortunately, DD2 was very level headed about this.

She did extra maths after school, so as to have a go at the L6 paper. I believe they upped the pass mark massively on the first year. Anyhow, she didn't get it.

I thought she'd be upset and cross, but she was very mature about it. DD2 is fantastically unpredictable, sometimes she's very grown up and sometimes she's about five.

But, why on earth should an11y have to be grown up about it. A simple percentage would suffice, no need to make them feel they've passed of failed at a level most DCs don't get to for several years.

Oh it's all bollocks isn't it OP. I'm fed up to the back teeth of this crap. My poor dd1 has been given A* targets for all of her GCSEs. All of them. Meaning that either she gets the * and is as expected or she in her mind fails. Last week we had melt down over a B she got in a test. In what crazy screwed up world is a B not good enough?

Bloody Gove!

auntiezzzzz Wed 10-Jul-13 00:15:44

Thanks all. Hoping a good night's sleep will make her forget all about it and we'll never have to give them a passing thought again.

StarBall - Your DD sounds great. Well done to her for putting in the extra work. My DD is also very unpredictable and can be like a little adult at times, but unfortunately tonight was not one of those times. They're so up and down at this age with hormones anyway that I never know what to expect.

Anyway as my mum said - at least we haven't been through the 11+. Now that's real pressure!

NoComet Wed 10-Jul-13 00:16:55

And don't get me started on how unfair it is on secondary schools, being expected to make 3-4 levels of progress when primaries are cramming DCs after school and teaching purely to the test.

Had DD2 scrapped her L6, no way had she done enough variety of problems and practice to be securely at L6 after 4 weeks fun and the long summer holidays.

BeQuicksieorBeDead Wed 10-Jul-13 00:17:15

Gove is the only man I have never met that I would cheerfully smack around the chops. Seriously.

There are loads of reasons to want to do him bodily harm.

NoComet Wed 10-Jul-13 00:22:42

Her's hoping sunshine and end of term fun make them all Y6s forget the word SATs forever.

(DD2 certainly isn't always level headed, she failed her grade one piano, due to doing no practice and she wasn't level headed about that. She has refused to open a music book ever since).

prh47bridge Wed 10-Jul-13 00:43:48

Why blame Gove for SATS? He didn't introduce them. Admittedly he hasn't withdrawn them but neither would Labour if they were in power.

BeQuicksieorBeDead Wed 10-Jul-13 01:29:25

If I could pin the grassy knoll on him I would. He needs to be stopped before he completely wrecks the system.

NoComet Wed 10-Jul-13 02:36:39

No Gove didn't introduce SATs nor invent ofsted, but he hasn't considered the effects these things have on DCs, parents or teachers.

I, think, they were both a necessary evil. My primary was pretty poor and my secondary had some truly awful teachers.

However, they have gone way beyond what was necessary to monitor and improve standards.

Most schools, now, are doing a pretty good job.

Ofsted are having to split hairs, to separate good from SM (DDs secondary school has gone from good, to satisfactory, to SM while the results have got better confused) Their old primary has gone from satisfactory to good because results have improved (true, but the class sizes are tiny,no way are these results statistically valid)

Many primaries get 50%+ L5, so L6 was brought back just to show schools were still improving.

Much of this down grading and upgrading of schools and pushing age inappropriate SATs levels is just noise. Very stressful, damage causing noise and Gove encourags it.

Silverstar2 Wed 10-Jul-13 07:57:52

My DD got a 4 in maths, and was one point away from a 5! This is great for her as she entered year 6 a 3a, and maths is not her strongest subject, so we are very proud. I know how hard she found it, and how hard she has tried. The school say they are sending her paper off to be remarked to see if they can 'find that extra point' but really, what will that prove? Hardly a secure L5.

We are happy with our almost-5 :-)


How do you know what your children achieved? A letter, word of mouth from your child, a print out? Nowt here. Our kid doesn't know.

My DS was put in for the L6 Maths too (and some of the English - how does that work confused?) - but he's away on a residential this week so not getting results just yet I guess. Actually, that's another thing, won't they be giving us, the parents, the results ? DD(14) also got to see her report before me this year as it was online (generally we either look at it together or I have a quick read first)
Anyway, DS is very level headed so think it's very unlikely he'd look on it as "failing" anything. We certainly wouldn't be giving him that impression at all, and would be very annoyed if anyone else did.
If you come top in the school you can't really have failed can you ?

Silverstar2 Wed 10-Jul-13 08:12:11

At our school each child was told individually yesterday, and given the results on a sheet to bring home - they were told not to talk to anyone else about them, not sure if they managed to keep quiet all day though.

DD came rushing out with clutching a piece of paper to tell me. I think they should know before parents, they did the tests after all.


lljkk Wed 10-Jul-13 08:16:52

Um... I dunno. DD tried very hard in the SATs & she will be gutted if she doesn't get what she wanted. But to me that's an opportunity. You know, to learn life's lesson about dusting yourself off, get up and go back and try again.

Now this sounds stupid but the secondary that DD has chosen (I might not have chosen) is very ambitious. At induction evening the other night the HT went on about this quite a bit. That Achievement was about trying your hardest, giving it your best, and therefore that failure was a huge part of the process. So he didn't want kids to think in terms of success or failure, he wanted them to think in terms of giving their All. (he said all this much better than me).

(Damn that man is charismatic & inspirational).

The hall completely lapped it up. Cheesy as this is to admit, he was spot on.

sanam2010 Wed 10-Jul-13 08:17:17

Don't blame Mr Gove, blame the teacher or yourself for not explaining her what the paper is about correctly. What does he have to do with your daughter thinking she failed?

I think the SATS are fantastic by the way, I come from a country with ZERO transparency on results and I think it is brilliant that I can see such detailed results for all my local schools.

Well, I remember we were meant to hand our reports to our parents un-opened throughout secondary years (back in the Edwardian age !) - then you could open them if they said so. Even if it didn't always work quite like that, I'd like to see results in an envelope addressed to parents at primary school I think.
Am I very old-fashioned ?

Ragwort Wed 10-Jul-13 08:20:45

I agree with Boys - how do you know the results? Isn't it the fault of the primary school for telling the children? My DS has been at 3 different primary schools, none of them has made any 'fuss' over Sats, no extra tuition needed, no playground stress, no competitive 'boasting' amongst parent.

I sometimes wonder if there is a parallel world on Mumsnet? hmm.

Secondary schools will do their own 'grading', just chill out about Sats. smile.

lljkk Wed 10-Jul-13 08:27:48

I sometimes wonder if there is a parallel world on Mumsnet?

I conclude that daily! On every topic.

auntiezzzzz Wed 10-Jul-13 08:28:02

Well she's all smiles this morning so clearly it's all forgotten now. Yes whoever said it's part of life's lesson. I think you're spot on and I think she'll benefit from the experience.

That's really interesting about how other schools handle it. Yes all DCs were told yesterday in class together. They already knew their maths % marks last week, so she had the glory last week of coming top. Yesterday's news was just the threshold which is why I think it came as bad news not good.

I can assure you that she absolutely hasn't heard that it's a failure from me. The school is a total SATs factory so I'm pretty sure I know where she's got the message from.

And yes - point taken about Gove. He didn't introduce them and I guess he's an easy hate figure at the moment. I still hate him though!

auntiezzzzz Wed 10-Jul-13 08:29:41

Should have added DD said three of her classmates cried when results were given out as they hadn't hit their targets. Perhaps I should be reconsidering where my anger is directed!

Glad it's all blown over somewhat this morning AuntieZzz

I think I'd just focus on telling her she came top in the school - maybe give her some little reward/prize for that ?! And tell her school sometimes gets a bit crazy about these things, but you are very proud !

FadedSapphire Wed 10-Jul-13 09:28:02

Sanam- the problem with published SATs results is they do not give a clear picture of the school. The bottom line does not tell you how many children with EAL started in year 4 or 5, children joining or leaving the school close to SATs, the background or ability of the cohort.
Please be wary of judging a school just on the blunt instrument of reported SATs results.

curlew Wed 10-Jul-13 09:34:11

I have to say that I would be seriously pissed off that the school put her in for the level 6 at all. They don't have to- they should only put in the ones who are as close to a certainty as possible. If 30/50 was the highest mark then I don't think the school should have put any in for the level 6 test.

DocMarten Wed 10-Jul-13 09:35:18

everything about SATS is crap.
The cramming the child.
The results have no bearing on the future.
Secondary schools take no notice of them and do their own streaming after a few weeks anyway.
Kids worry.
Parents fret.
And the league tables are skewed.

Pile O Shit

TheMoonOnAStick Wed 10-Jul-13 09:39:35

My ds did level 6. I'm not interested in SATS one way or the other but they must have thought he was ok at English to put him in for it. I've no idea what he got but the minute SATS were done the school have have put yr6 and 5 together and he's now left to work with a group a year younger than himhmm

I'll be glad when this absurd year is done tbh.

curlew Wed 10-Jul-13 09:42:01

Secondary schools take no notice of them and do their own streaming after a few weeks anyway."

Don't assume this- some do take a lot of notice- check what your secondary school does!

piggywigwig Wed 10-Jul-13 09:53:42

They're meaningless to us - when DD2 goes to secondary, they do CATs to stream. In YR7 at DD2's superselective, there's loads of children who have come from independent schools and so have never taken SATS: so they're pretty meaningless to the school in some respects, too.

curlew Wed 10-Jul-13 09:59:33

Well, at my ds's school, they set according to SATs and primary school reports, and you stay there til January. Which is a long time to be in the wrong set...........

bruffin Wed 10-Jul-13 10:01:28

At dcs school they use SATs and CATs to stream and target so it complete nonsense to say that secondary schools ignore them. They are streamed from day 1 and CATs are taken on transfer day in July.

NoComet Wed 10-Jul-13 10:08:29

Very bad form not giving Y6s results in an envolope for parents and not telling them what it is.

They are too young to share results if they don't want to.

Secondary was different, we all got our subject test results in class and read each others reports. School didn't bother with envolopes, they knew no one wouldn't open them.

DDs' secondary ones are on the web, so completely private, which is how it should be. Only trouble is school have very easily forgettable parental login codes and a sytem that crashes. Therefore, I'm not convinced all parents ever bother to read them.

SoupDragon Wed 10-Jul-13 10:19:42

But no - she thinks she failed because she didn't get the L6.

Technically she is right in that she failed to pass the L6 paper. What you need to do (although not given she seems happy today!) is explain what this means. ie she didn't pass that paper but she did pass the level 5 which is still above average. It's like "failing" a GCSE aged 11. Her achievement is still fantastic.

I think children now don't get to "fail" very often as there seems to be a general lack of competition in schools. They don't always get that "failing" isn't necessarily a bad thing and it isn't the end of the world.

SoupDragon Wed 10-Jul-13 10:20:41

I agree that results should always be given to the parent so that disappointments can be dealt with in private.

FriendlyLadybird Wed 10-Jul-13 10:28:48

We haven't got ours yet. An ENTIRE CLASS took L6 maths at my DS's school. I'd always said to DS that he didn't have to take it if he didn't want to, but they did all get rather pushed into it. Unless they really are all very brilliant (which my DS isn't, certainly in maths -- good, but not brilliant) I can't help thinking that there will be a load more disappointment than there needed to be.

littleducks Wed 10-Jul-13 10:34:54

I will admit to not having read the whole thread and while I agree with the sentiments about testing I don't understand why you are blaming Gove? He had plenty of failing but I'm not sure thus is one...

I did the level 6 maths says paper 17/18 years ago (and didn't pass it as it happens but passed 11 plus maths which was far more important to me) so its not a give policy surely.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 10-Jul-13 10:51:38

I don't understand what this has to do with Gove, this was all in place long before him.

I also don't understand the issue with aiming high and maybe not quite getting there. Children need to learn to cope with 'failure' and sooner that idea becomes part of normality so that it doesn't floor them completely the better. This idea that our children shouldn't try to do anything incase they don't quite get it right is completely unrealistic.

I agree that results should be given to parents rather than made public in class.

Fifis25StottieCakes Wed 10-Jul-13 13:34:37

Mine got 5 5 5 but has been so worried about her Maths, she missed out on a 5 by 2 marks so now she is upset, i don't push her, i said a 4 was great as she was really struggling, she sat and stewed about it last night

chicaguapa Wed 10-Jul-13 13:45:09

We haven't got DD's results yet but had a conversation about them last night. She said she bets she's failed the L6 papers, but I had to point out that it is not a pass or fail scenario and that we had talked about the difference between L5 & L6 at the time. Then she said 'oh yeah' and walked off!

We will take her out for a meal at a restaurant of her choice whatever she gets, because we want to celebrate how brilliantly she approached these SATs and her whole attitude towards them. We were really pleased with how motivated she was to do well, without getting herself all worked up over it.

We have said all along that it's her attitude towards these tests/ exams that will make the difference to her as an adult, not necessarily the results she gets. So that's what we'll be focussing on anyway.

Lancelottie Wed 10-Jul-13 18:41:28

DD, bizarrely, appears to have got Level 6 Spelling/Grammar, but 5 for everything else -- even her bete noire, maths.

She is pissed off.

Weird kid.

clam Wed 10-Jul-13 18:44:39

It doesn't get any better as they get older. My son got 9 As and 2 A*s at GCSE, plus a couple of Bs. He was upset, because the media (and his peers) had led him to believe that only A*s count, a bit like Olympic golds.

Arisbottle Wed 10-Jul-13 18:47:37

My daughter also did not get her level 6 for maths and came home gutted. I am relieved because it means she will not have level 8 targets for maths at the end or Year 9, So if she achieves a level 8 she will see this as the great achievement it is and not just the expected.

A level 6 for spelling and grammar is impressive .

FourLittleDudes Wed 10-Jul-13 18:49:47

My ds has dyslexia and I wanted to withdraw him from the SATS but was told his results would make a difference to how much funding he will get for extra help when he starts senior school.

He got level 3 for most things, a 4 for maths and a 5 for science, I have no idea what these stand for, I'm just glad its all over and done with.

mrz Wed 10-Jul-13 19:12:45

It means he's at the expected level for a Y6 child in maths the expected level for a 14 year old in science and slightly behind in English

FourLittleDudes Wed 10-Jul-13 19:15:36

Thank you, seems he's doing well then smile even to get a 3 in English is better than expected as he really does struggle and have lots of 1-2-1 and SN classes. He had a reader to read his papers to him, just a shame they didn't write it down and spell it for him too wink

Elibean Wed 10-Jul-13 20:00:58

I don't have a problem with SATS, really, and certainly don't blame Gove for them.

But I do think a certain relationship exists between the pushiness of certain schools, and Gove's attitudes and policies.

And I loathe and detest what pushy schools can do to children, and childhood.

Luckily, unpushy parents are a good strong antidote (and luckily for me, my dc don't go to a pushy school) smile

OP, congrats to your dd - I hope she enjoys the rest of her term and celebrates with her friends!

How do you all know the exact marks they got and how close to the next level they were? Our's just said the level they achieved. DS got a 4a in maths but in his mid year report it said he could potentially get 5c, just curious how close he was, and actually very proud of him to be slightly above average in maths with me as his mathematically challenged mother! He is also v. proud of himself for the 5's on the other papers but has immediately asked for a reward. F'ing reward culture!

Also a pushy school and v. sad to hear of a number of children being disappointed with their results, what a horrible thing to have to feel as an 11 year old sad

NoComet Wed 10-Jul-13 20:26:53

Why is Mr Give to blame, because he is Education minister

As Elibean said "I do think a certain relationship exists between the pushiness of certain schools, and Gove's attitudes and policies.

And I loathe and detest what pushy schools can do to children, and childhood."

Precisely, Mr G may not have invented SATs or my other least favourite organisation OFTED, but he has done the opposite of reining them in and reducing the harm they cause.

NoComet Wed 10-Jul-13 20:39:56

DD2 did extra maths after school purely because the school had been down graded in it's OFSTED three years before for poor results.

I happen to know this was a total farce because those 'poor' results were DD1's class.

It's a small school, each DC is worth 7-10% of the marks, a couple of DCs having a good or a bad day makes a ridiculous difference.

DD1's cohort are way less confident and way more likely to have a bad day than DD2's bunch and that's what happened, two or three of them missed their L5s by the the odd mark.

I have only read the OP, but I am fuming with you.
(We dont have the results yet.) And this is exactly why I was not keen on my DS to sit level 6, and I told him that it was ok to tell his teacher he did not want to do it. If he had NOT sat L6, he would have been pleased as punch with a L5, but now, he will feel a failure. He was even crying after the exam saying he would have let his school down if he did not pass. hmm

I am proud of him whatever he gets. He came from Y3 in Norway to Y5 in Britain and had only done subtraction and multiplication when he came here! He had to learn fractions, algebra and geometry at light speed to catch up.

SoupDragon Thu 11-Jul-13 07:37:26

What is the point of the level 6s? I looked at the full results for DSs primary for 2012 and there is no mention of them, just 5 and above. Seems odd if they don't count.

SoupDragon Thu 11-Jul-13 07:44:25

And do the children actually know what the levels mean? ie what age they are the expected level for. Would pointing this out to a child who feels like a "failure" help. I think they need to understand how not passing something does not mean they are a failure - it's like being able to win the sprint rate at their sports day but failing at Olympic gold.

mrz Thu 11-Jul-13 07:45:41

Level 5 is the expected level for a 14 year old so definitely not a failure

SoupDragon Thu 11-Jul-13 07:46:43

So what is a level 6? 16 year old?

TheMoonOnAStick Thu 11-Jul-13 08:58:08

Dd is yr 9 (so age14) and they talk much of levels 6/7.

I completely don't understand the logic of suddenly pushing someone 3 yrs younger into work aimed so much higher. Esp as the school hasn't even been teaching it. The first my dc saw of level 6 type work was when they piled it all on in a cramming fashion merely for SATS and most of it was chucked home for us to cope with as homework.

If he even got level 6 after all that (I have no idea if he has or not) I can't see how the school can take credit for it.

Having identified an 'ability' (for want of a better word) to work at a higher level, post SATS, what have they done to capitalise on it? Absolutely nothing. They've done very little academic work at school since. He even told me that they'd been told to work with year 5's in English for a while.

tiggytape Thu 11-Jul-13 09:16:59

I am not sure it is Gove's fault - the SATS exams and worry over scores or league tables existed long before his input. However I do agree that the whole Year 6 focus on them and the tendency to make children cram and revise for a Level 6 is just bizarre.

The secondary schools are forced to accept a level 5 or 6 child as being genuinely at that level and set targets accordingly. In most cases however, it is obvious that most children are not securely at a level 5 let alone a level 6. And nor should they be - level 6 is the standard of very able pre GCSE students so it is hardly surprising that children who pulled it out of the hat on exam day after months of cramming don't actually perform at this level day in day out.

To give an idea - in order to qualify to sit the hardest science papers at many schools, children need to reach a 6b by the end of Year 9. It is expected that only the top children will do so. How then does this tally with expecting a large proportion of Year 6 pupils to achieve similar levels 3 years earlier?

At secondary school a level 6 in Year 7 (or maybe a level 7 for maths) is considered exceptionally advanced whereas primary schools are somehow of the opinion that more and more 10 year olds can reach this standard long enough to pass an exam.

TheMoonOnAStick Thu 11-Jul-13 09:27:34

Agree with you Tiggy. It's madness.

Schools that get a good Ofsted score on the back of level 6 results are giving the impression to future parents that they are identifying ability early, nurturing it, responding to it. Not the case though. They are merely cramming more able pupils at the last minute purely for one test and hoping for a quick result which will reflect well on them. This hardly has anyone's best interests at heart other than the school.

What would be the point of yrs 7,8 and 9 if children are (supposedly) already at that level by the end of yr6?

Lancelottie Thu 11-Jul-13 09:52:02

I have to say our school really, really didn't cram the kids for Level 6, they just let a couple of them have a bash. I gather from reading MN that that wasn't what was meant to happen either!

Neither of them got the Reading L6, but DD did manage the L6 grammar test and the other child got L6 maths, i believe.

Is L6 reading really what's expected of age 16? Bloody hell, no wonder it was a tall order for a (just) 11 year old!

Lancelottie Thu 11-Jul-13 09:54:00

I've just googled it, and it looks like L6 is 'expected of an average 14 year old', which sounds a bit more realistic.

TheMoonOnAStick Thu 11-Jul-13 09:59:01

Sorry, I disagree, I don't think it's realistic. A level 6 (14 yr old) has been educated through three more years worth of school.

auntiezzzzz Thu 11-Jul-13 10:16:04

I agree with whoever posted above that I'm glad DD didn't "pull it out of the bag" on the day and scrape three more points. It would have meant unrealistic targets being set for secondary. She is going to a secondary where they set based on SATs but I'd much rather she was set and targeted based on L5 than an unrealistic L6.

The school tried to cram them for the L6 paper but it was all a bit too little too late. They only started the extra classes after Easter, and they were with the headteacher. The week before SATs DD asked me to teach her how to multiply and divide fractions because the HT couldn't remember!

The school is petrified of a snap OFSTED. I know this because the deputy head told me so. The whole of Y6 (until May) was devoted to focusing on the children who were borderline, whether it was 3/4 or 4/5. DD was on a 5A for maths from early in Y5 so she was effectively ignored. I found out yesterday she got 98% across all the L3-5 papers, so they obviously did a great job consolidating that.

She's completely over the L6 thing now. She's chuffed with her 98% and so she should be. If I'm honest I'm a bit cross with the school. Not because she didn't get the L6, because who cares? but because she has coasted for 18 months when she could have been developing her maths skills and gaining confidence and skills ready for secondary.

Still - I could have gone in moaning about it and chose not to, so I guess if I want to be a pushy parent I need to be less wimpy!

missbopeep Thu 11-Jul-13 10:21:32

Who raised her expectations of achieving a L6? The school? If so they are the ones to blame. Not Gove. I'd be talking to school - especially if you have other children there- about giving pupils mainly unrealistic ideas of what is expected, and not praising them enough for their achievement.

Lancelottie Thu 11-Jul-13 10:25:04

TheMoon, I only meant 'more realistic than trying to get an age 16 level'!

lljkk Thu 11-Jul-13 19:08:31

Playing devil's advocate here, but what's wrong with raised expectations? You don't get if you don't try and you don't try if you don't hope?
The problem is how to deal with setbacks constructively, not to avoid them altogether.

Lancelottie Thu 11-Jul-13 20:18:06

Yep, I told DD that it was important to rise above disappointing results and move on. She gave me a very withering look and said she hated it when grown ups say that.

missbopeep Thu 11-Jul-13 21:14:51

I couldn't agree more about having high expectations but each child is usually given a target and it should be one within their reach and that is realistic.
The 'average' or ' target' is Level 4. Most schools are delighted to have some L5s. It is a rare exception for a yr 6 child to reach L6- many year 9s don't achieve that.
Most schools are too busy pushing their L3s up to a L4 so I just wonder which type of teacher or school is hoping some children will manage a L6.

Feenie Thu 11-Jul-13 21:43:23

The ones that have children who are a high level 5 at the end of Y5 - they have a right to make progress too, (check the G&T boards) but in some schools have been historically told 'sorry, the highest possible level in Y6 is L5'.

(Not true, btw - a TA of 6 has always been possible.)

teacherwith2kids Thu 11-Jul-13 21:58:08

DS's Year 6 target in Maths was, rightly, a level 6. His Year 7 target was, again rightly, a 7c, which he exceeded, getting a 7b. His Year 9 target is an 8a, which is unlikely to be revised upwards (I believe L8 is the highest that can be formally be recorded at that age) though if he only achieves that his progress may well have been artificially slowed by the 'cap' on recorded levels.

he has the same right as any other child to have targets that he has to be taught the material for and challenge himself to achieve. It isn't 'pushing', it is giving him what a child nearer the 'average' has every day - teaching and targets that give him a chance to make progress.

teacherwith2kids Thu 11-Jul-13 22:00:13

(I seem to remember that last year 15% of DS's mixed ability state primary year group got L6 maths - they don't teach to the test, and they don't do SATS revision or practice. They just teach. Very well.)

trace2 Thu 11-Jul-13 22:10:42

we live in a village with 4 small primary schools and after talking to friends with children at the other schools in our area put lots of children in to the level 6s thinking some will scrap through, but ds school said at start of year that they would only put children through for level 6 if they got over 97% in the 3-5 test paper! and ds was only one who managed this in maths so was put forward for level 6 and no extra work load or stress smile and we told him if he didn't want to do it just say we would support him . he did pass and been told he is the only one in all the 30 years of the school, and he got high levels of 5 in other two. i would say your dd as done very well tbh i would be happy with what ever mark they got as long as they try there best smile

morethanpotatoprints Thu 11-Jul-13 22:18:42

Hello OP.

Well done to your dd, what a talented girl. I agree, tell her what the teachers have said on here about level 6 being the expected level for y8.
as much as I think Gove is incapable of doing his job, the pressure for SATS results and level 6 has been going for some time.

Feenie Thu 11-Jul-13 22:21:36

And then Gove reintroduced the level 6 tests....

morethanpotatoprints Thu 11-Jul-13 22:24:14


Sorry, I'm a bit dim. Are you saying that if a child is particularly bright/advanced in a subject their targets set by the school should exceed those for the average to encourage them to reach their potential?
If you are I totally agree with you, otherwise they will be wasting valuable time, become bored and not be challenged the same as other children.

lougle Thu 11-Jul-13 22:47:32

Maybe it was because we are not in a Grammar area, but we were never aware of 'levels' at school when I was there.

I remember doing a science investigation coursework in Year 9 and the teacher telling us we should be aiming for level 6,6,6, but don't worry because we'll do 3 investigations and they'll use the best results. I got a level 9,9,9 for my first one. I got a certificate of achievement and the science teacher seemed really pleased. I thought 'oh, that's nice.' I had no idea of its significance until about two days ago, when I suddenly thought 'ooh if level 6 is average 14 year old equivalent, that's why they made a fuss of my science investigation all those years ago...'

FormaLurka Thu 11-Jul-13 23:10:08

To summarise, your DD took the L6 paper, scored the highest mark on the school but didn't get the L6 and feels a failure. And it's Gove's fault.

This is the best anti Gove rant I read in s long time.

curlew Thu 11-Jul-13 23:13:43

As I said, if 30/50 was the highest mark on the level 6 paper, the school shouldn't have been putting any of them in for the test.

busymummy3 Fri 12-Jul-13 00:13:06

My youngest DC will be sitting SATS next year. Just got report yesterday has achieved 5 in both moderated teacher assessments and QCA papers so hopefully will maintain this level for next year .
What I would like to know is do they have to sit these level 6 papers because I would rather DC didn't, there is enough pressure on them in secondary school without giving them a higher target to achieve by end of their first year.

FormaLurka Fri 12-Jul-13 08:54:52

At our primary L5 papers was the highest we went. If your schools put your DCs in for L6 then why is that Gove's fault?

And it's a bit silly picking a pushy school and then complain that it's too pushy.

Sorry, but a lot of kids struggle just to reach the national expected L4. I just can't get worked up over a couple of kids that feel a failure because they didn't get L6.

rabbitstew Fri 12-Jul-13 09:30:53

What politicians often appear incapable of comprehending is that setting high targets does not improve teaching, or patient care, or whatever else it is they've plucked a silly target out of the air for (a bit like the candidate on The Apprentice who picked the figure £5million out of the air...).

The next mistake they make is that in an attempt to respond to the above point, they seem constantly to be looking for some kind of formula that if followed to the letter will result in exceptional results at very little expense, regardless of the dimwit following it. The result is, they alienate genuinely talented people by treating them like dimwits who need to be told what to do, and encourage dimwits to think if they tick the right boxes, they are doing the right thing, regardless of the miserable kids' faces in front of them/neglected patients lying in their own filth. The more they interfere, therefore, the worse they make the overall situation.

That's what's so bl**dy stupid about the whole thing - lots of schools putting pressure on children and cramming them and hoping they have exceptionally engaged parents pushing them too, to make it look like they've been taught well, when the same children could have got to that point without all that if they'd been taught effectively and consistently in the years before the test, rather than crammed at the last minute. Higher targets and new curricula result in lots of energy being expended on making things LOOK good on paper and nobody having time to sit down and ask themselves whether it's all genuinely working, or just winding people up unnecessarily and punishing them for no good reason.

FormaLurka Fri 12-Jul-13 09:50:44

It sounds like of lot of you either have kids at primaries where they coasted for years and then had to cram OR you are at pushy primaries where kids are pushed into taking L6 papers. Either way, why is it Gove's fault?

BreconBeBuggered Fri 12-Jul-13 10:46:27

busymummy no, they don't have to sit the L6 papers. They all have to sit the 3-5 ones and they can leave it at that.

Feenie Fri 12-Jul-13 10:54:42

That's not true - no consent is needed to enter children. They need to sit the test that's appropriate to the level they are working at.

Of course, you can't force a child to take any test, whatever level. But none of the tests are optional.

auntiezzzzz Fri 12-Jul-13 11:12:59

I deliberately picked my DD's school because it wasn't pushy. There was lots of focus on music and drama, I had it recommended to me by a neighbour because they were the only school in our small town that did a nativity every year. It's also our local school and the only one that didn't involve a drive every morning.

The local "pushy" school where some of my neighbours take their kids was rated outstanding when we were applying for primary places, and I think DD's was "Needs improvement" or whatever the term was in those days.

This is clearly no longer the case. The school is now top of the league tables in the town and as a result is actually full with a waiting list for this year's intake for the first time. It's not the same school DD started. This year the school have cancelled the Y6 leavers' play, because it disrupts the Y5s. This is despite having the same headteacher throughout.

My point is blaming parents for picking a pushy school when their child was 3 is fairly redundant. Schools change beyond recognition in 7 years. I've seen it happen both ways.

FormaLurka Fri 12-Jul-13 11:25:02

Actually I think that your DD feeling a failure is a good thing in the long term. Your DD is obviously very bright. Judging from your comments, you aren't a particularly pushy mum so your DD will need to push her herself and to motivate herself.

rabbitstew Fri 12-Jul-13 11:33:37

You're not a failure if you work hard and do your best. I strongly disagree with FormaLurka that feeling a failure is a good thing - it can be a colossally demotivating thing, if you think you have worked hard and done your best and still "failed."

curlew Fri 12-Jul-13 11:37:23

"Actually I think that your DD feeling a failure is a good thing in the long term. Your DD is obviously very bright. Judging from your comments, you aren't a particularly pushy mum so your DD will need to push her herself and to motivate herself."


auntiezzzzz Fri 12-Jul-13 11:42:27

Yes I expect you're right, and I hope so. I'd much rather she did it for her own sake than because I nag her.

It's hard to say whether I'm pushy or not. I'm the product of a very pushy dad, who now has pushy granddad tendencies! His reaction to her getting 98% in her L3-5 paper was "What did you get wrong?"

I don't need to push her in maths. She loves it, and sets herself very high standards. She does it for fun at bedtime instead of reading some nights. I do sometimes push her a bit in literacy. She enjoys reading but hates writing and I do actively encourage her to do a bit more out of school to improve her skills, so I couldn't claim to be a completely non-pushy mum. I am deliberately trying to encourage her to be self-motivated in that area though, as I think the earlier they realise they are learning for their own sake, the better.

Anyway despite my rant and her upset on Tuesday she is now really proud of her results and totally over it all, and I'm relieved that she won't be set unrealistic targets for secondary, so I think it was a bit of an overreaction by both of us.

auntiezzzzz Fri 12-Jul-13 11:46:35

Sorry rabbit and curlew - xpost.

It was the "failure" bit that upset me on Tuesday. Nobody likes to see their kids upset at failure, particularly when it's not a failure to get a L5 by anyone's standards. It's a great result. I still maintain that the SATs are designed for schools and government, and the impact on the kids hasn't been thought through properly.

FormaLurka Fri 12-Jul-13 11:53:37

curlew - Why "wow"?

Isn't it better than having a bright DC and doesn't give a feck whether they pass or fail something?

rabbitstew Fri 12-Jul-13 12:09:51

I wonder who's more likely to suffer mental health problems in later life: the bright person who is robust enough to think that if they failed something, they can deal with it and sort that out if they want, because they aren't a failure, just someone who didn't put in enough work; or the person who crumbles because they think they're a failure who's made a mess of things and will never be good enough?

hadboiled Fri 12-Jul-13 12:19:58

Anyone else's DCs just miss out on the next threshold up? Are they upset by it, or are most kids not bothered?

DS got L6 maths but did not get L6 reading because of a change in threshold - one or two points below it I think. His score would've been a L6 last year, but not this one. So he is fine, feels he did the best he could, but feels a bit disconcerted by the change in threshold. Children need certainties, and what was a L6 in the practice papers is suddenly not enough in the actual exam.

And I believe the same happened with L5. I think children should be assessed on their work, not on where they stand in their cohort? It would be easier for them to understand.

To everyone who rants against Sats, assessments are part of life and they will have plenty of those in secondary school! I think it's good training and we have to let our little ones grow. [takes cover]

SoupDragon Fri 12-Jul-13 12:22:49

I think children need to learn the difference between failing an assessment and being a failure.

SoupDragon Fri 12-Jul-13 12:24:10

I think children should be assessed on their work, not on where they stand in their cohort? It would be easier for them to understand.

But I think all exams are based on where they stand in their cohort. Thresholds change.

NoComet Fri 12-Jul-13 12:32:10

The OPs comment about cancelling the school play says it all

This mess is Gove's fault because he doesn't believe our children deserve a childhood angry

We are having a similar fight at the DDs' senior school to maintain extracurricular and enrichment activities.

Gove and Ofsted keep piling the pressure on schools and therefore children to achieve more and more younger and younger.

This may lead to a few DCs getting better GCSEs I suppose, but at what cost?

Squeezing the fun out of school and spreading the stress into children's home life does not create well rounded future citizens.

It especially angers me that cutting lunch time sport and subsidised outward-bound trips, impacts most on our senior schools more disadvantaged pupils. Those who depend on the bus and can't afford the expensive trips ski trips etc that happen in the holidays.

hardboiled Fri 12-Jul-13 13:03:39

But I think all exams are based on where they stand in their cohort. Thresholds change.

Thanks Soupdragon. I didn't know. I thought marks are marks. I am used to a different education system. If you get 80% is a grade, if you get 90% a different grade, etc. It does not depend on what everyone else got that year.

SoupDragon Fri 12-Jul-13 16:28:02

I may be wrong.

I know all DSs school exams are graded depending on the cohort - they are marked and then the grade boundaries are decided. I also thought they did this for GCSEs

Also, wasn't there a big argument last year when they shifted the boundaries for GCSE English?

hardboiled Fri 12-Jul-13 22:33:15

Yes it was a big thing but I'm not sure it was determined by results...or just a change in the score needed. Anyone knows?

BabiesAreLikeBuses Fri 12-Jul-13 23:02:47

Exact scores change each paper - they are similar year on year but not identical. Fwiw although ks2 reading threshhold higher this year we all felt it was a slightly easier paper, our predicted levels are accurate.

As for the rest of you we need to start a new political party to put the care back in hospitals and joy back into learning. None of us remember our best memory at primary being the day we passed a level 6 paper! Then we can fire all the people assessing the performance of others and save billions. grin

hardboiled Sat 13-Jul-13 10:08:56

But to be honest, DS best memory from primary will not be passing L6! IME, if that is the case, if the children are slaving for Sats, if plays and trips are cancelled, it is not so much the fault of Sats but of the school in question. DS' school has combined both in a masterful way, with over 65% of children achieving L5 whilst having a good time and a rich curriculum, going on several trips including a residential week, putting on a fantastic play... It can be done!!

Like I said, assessments are assessments. It is the sign of a good and well oiled school to handle them in a way that, whilst preparing for them and caring for the result, they do not let them take over school life.

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