7a maths

(173 Posts)
Wobblypig Tue 22-Jan-13 21:27:42

My dn has been given a end of year maths target for yr 7 as 7a. We don't know what this means is terms of achievement or in terms of topic covered. Anyone know what would need to be mastered for this level? Is this a good level for 11 year old?

JenaiMorris Wed 23-Jan-13 15:31:26

I always assumed that's where the name "Prep" comes from. Preparing for Seniors (in actuality, preparing for the 13+).

And yes, yes, yes please will people stop insisting that L7 in Y7 is common!

seeker Wed 23-Jan-13 15:40:45

Wildirishrose- that does depend a bit on the prep school!

But the language used by the kl does suggest state school

Wobblypig Wed 23-Jan-13 16:58:29

Dn in state comprehensive , seeker, I would never dare devalue anyone's achievements. These levels don't normally hold interest for me hence my lack of knowledge. When I first heard it I assumed the levels correlated to the years so that 7a would be a good yr 7 , 7b a middling and so forth.
If dn does achieve this I will be proud mainly because she has had a hard time in many ways

seeker Wed 23-Jan-13 17:05:42

No- I didn't think you would. The issue is all these people saying that it's perfectly normal and loads of people get level 7s in year 7. They don't!

gazzalw Wed 23-Jan-13 17:26:55

I can well believe that many children are at that level. DS got a D in his first term Yr 7 super-selective report (their marks relate to positioning in the class so it is all comparative) but upped to a B this term. But he's always been very competent at maths. If he started on a level 5A (not tutored) but was still initially in the bottom 5 in the class it just shows where the other boys are, don't you think?

As very wise SIL, who went to Cambridge, said, maths is the sort of subject that DCs can get well ahead in if they show an aptitude and have the talent nurtured at home as well as at school (and by continued tuition so it seems) whereas English is a more levelling subject because it requires a certain maturity too. So on that basis I can well believe that some Year 7s (regardless of whether they are at comprehensives or grammars) are probably at GCSE level already, although judging by DS's homework think they are far ahead of us at the same age/stage (and that was at grammar schools too!).

I am quite interested that you all know about the projected levels for Yr 7 end...we have had no such indication from DS's reports thus far. As I said all grading (old fashioned As, Bs, Cs etc..) and then shown in the context of the rest of the class's abilities...

JustinMumsnot Wed 23-Jan-13 17:27:25

Seeker - we are not, or I was not at any rate, saying loads of kids get a level 7 in year 7. What I was saying was that it was not unusual to get a level 7 in Y7 in that you might expect the top 5% or so of an ordinary comprehensive intake to do so, or that has been my experience anyway. That doesn't mean a L7 is normal or to be expected, but in the top set of a an average 10-form entry comp you might find maybe a third of the class working at that level. So I was responding to the 'no other child would be working at that level' comment. And if you think that is just me or other posters trying to boast about our clever offspring then it wasn't. Just trying to put it in context for the OP who I felt was unfairly getting a bit of a hard time.

LynetteScavo Wed 23-Jan-13 18:13:24

gazzalw DS1's school send us a chart telling us what GCSE grade he is likely to achieved based on current levels.

I would imagine just as many Y7's are working at L7, as L3. There are always going to be exceptional DC on each end of the scale.

gazzalw Wed 23-Jan-13 18:29:04

Thanks - we definitely haven't had one...will have to ask at the next parents' evening!

phlebas Wed 23-Jan-13 19:35:00

in my dd's school (comprehensive in non selective area) there are 176 children in year 7, 28 in the top maths set (level 6c and above). Of those 4 have just been given level 7s as their current working level (dd & two others got 7c the other one got a 7b). I'm assuming that some of them will have a 7a by the end of the year - it's less than JustinMumsnot's 5% but not totally unusual.

(I only know this because the school have just had 'know your level fortnight' & it is all the children are talking about)

lurkingmum Wed 23-Jan-13 19:37:27

My year 8 dd is at a grammar in a London borough. I have just checked her end of year 7 report and her latest one. Her maths level in both reports is a 7a and her end of year 8 target is a 8b. She is in a top set but she says most of her classmates are on the same level. It tranpires that a level 7a at year 7 is not unusual in grammar schools. Not sure of comp though.

seeker Wed 23-Jan-13 19:56:14

I hate to go on, but less than 5% is pretty bloody unusual!

basildonbond Wed 23-Jan-13 21:06:24

I think people were quibbling with your (and other posters') use of exceptional

Exceptional to me is the kind of achievement you'd really only expect one child in a year group of 200+ to have - if that .... it'd be the year 5 child taking grade 8 piano or the sports prodigy, or in academic terms the year 7 child actually taking GCSE maths - and getting an A* .... (none of those children belongs to me grin)

Level 7 in Y7 doesn't belong in that category - yes it's very good, but in certain cohorts it's not that unusual - top set of a large comp in a relatively affluent area, grammar school, prep school. Also no-one was saying that only children with level 7 in Y7 are going to go on to achieve fantastically well at GCSE ....

EvilTwins Wed 23-Jan-13 22:41:08

To wade on in here... Students are expected to make two levels of progress during a Key Stage (in my school anyway). If a DC has a target of 7a at the end of Yr 7, where are they supposed to be by Yr9? In my school, that would make their end of Yr 9 target 9c, which, um, doesn't exist.

EvilTwins Wed 23-Jan-13 22:44:02

It would also mean that the child's baseline level (ie what they came in with) was 7c. Does anyone really think that 7c at the end of Year 6 is anything other than exceptional?

areyoubeingserved Wed 23-Jan-13 23:08:33

Gosh there was none of this level stuff in my day, or at least I don't think there was. I'm getting rather anxious about levels tbh. DD shall be taking level 6 papers (English/Maths) in May. She is at a state primary, yr 6. Frankly I'm in two minds whether is of benefit to her if she gets this level 6, high achievers tend to push themselves imo and I can already sense she really wants to get the 6's and will probably be a bit downbeat if she doesn't. I'm very confused about levels, and although academically wise I want the best environment for her, her being happy, sociable and a well rounded young girl are also very important. If she tips that level 6 going into yr 7, are her educational years already going to be mapped out for her? So she should be reaching this level by then, then this level?

We've done the GS exam route and she did very well, but finding it hard to work out fundamentally what shall be the better environment for her, GS or local comp? Things shall be clearer come March 1st I hope.

basildonbond Wed 23-Jan-13 23:22:41

eviltwins why would it mean that they came in at level 7c? At ds's school they're all tested in the first 3 weeks and ds was assessed as 6b with a target of 7a by the end of the year. His set will be finishing KS3 maths at the end of Y8 and doing the GCSE course in Y9 and 10 so I'm assuming his end of year target will be 8b or 8a .. which er... does exist!

gazzalw Thu 24-Jan-13 06:53:37

Just asked DS and he says at their grammar school they're working towards a 7C target for end of Yr 7 but he did say for some boys he thought it would be higher....

seeker Thu 24-Jan-13 07:26:28

I see I'm fighting a losing battle- maybe my definition of exceptional is different!

For what it's worth, I've dragged my dd's year 7 grammar school report and she had a target of 6a for the end of year 7, and she wasn't in the bottom set. And she went on the get an A at GCSE.

I will continue to campaign for people not being terrified by the above average nature of all mumsnet children!grin

tiggytape Thu 24-Jan-13 07:43:32

seeker - I'm with you. Whilst it can happen, it is not usual and it is not a prerequisite for achieving all A*s at GCSE. A child who leaves primary school with a 5a in maths will be on target to achieve a level 7a or level 8 by the end of Year 9. This equates to a predicted GCSE grade of A*
Of course, if a child has been taught the maths curriculum necessary, they could reach a level 7 much sooner but there is nothing higher than an A* they can achieve from this. It may just mean take successfully take a maths GCSE early.

gazzalw Thu 24-Jan-13 07:50:35

You have it in a nutshell, Tiggytape: "Of course, if a child has been taught the maths curriculum necessary, they could reach a level 7 much sooner"

I think this is often the case. I get the impression from DS that some of the boys in his class are already on a trajectory for medicine or accountancy and they are being pushed in subjects like maths and the sciences.

I also get the impression that the teachers don't like it because it means they are already having to teach to very varied levels in maths in Year 7 (they haven't been put into ability groups yet)

seeker Thu 24-Jan-13 08:19:24

Don't start me on the utter idiocy of early GCSEs...........

Oh, except, I suppose (grudging concession) in maths. Which is what this tread is about.grin

<goes to make more coffee>

gazzalw Thu 24-Jan-13 08:26:20

SIL was top set maths in a grammar school some many moons ago. The top set all took maths Autumn Term equivalent of Yr 11 (and got As in the O levels) and then did statistics in two terms and all got As too....At the same school, all the girls took English language end of Yr 10 (and all bar a handful passed and most got As and Bs) so this has been going on for some time..

I do also think that when we are looking at these exceptional maths targets, we have to look to the Yr 7s primary school Yr 6 maths experiences too. DS had a teacher (in Year 6) who had no real aptitude for maths and aside from the extra maths DS took on board to do his 11+ exams (which we taught him at home) I am not sure that his maths level went up at all in Year 6.

JenaiMorris Thu 24-Jan-13 08:34:44

I'm totally with you on your campaign, seeker.

And yy to tiggy and 'not a prerequisite for achieving all A*s at GCSE'.

I have no idea what levels everyone else is at in ds's year btw. Is it common for people to be told?

gazzalw Thu 24-Jan-13 08:36:18

We don't know for DS JenaiMorris -only what he told us yesterday evening but sometimes he makes it up as he goes along so really we are totally in the dark. There's not even any indication of an average-for-year target.....

seeker Thu 24-Jan-13 08:44:02

No, it's not common to know everyone else's levels.

My children tell me- but I regard it in the same way I regard "everyone else has a PS3 and and X Box and a Wil and an IPad and goes to bed at 1 in the morning"

Mind you, my early career as a Civil Servant means I am excellent at reading lists upside down on teachers' desks..............

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