Is this unusual/common re Level 5 SAT's and Set 3?

(80 Posts)
urbancupcake Thu 28-Mar-13 08:51:34

My dd's school decide on sets (for all subjects) when they start the school based on their primary school SAT's results.

My dd received all level 5's in her primary school SAT's results and was placed in set 3 and after their exams in the new year, achieved all level 5a's but wasn't moved up. She's quiet and well behaved.

Is this usual/unusual?

lljkk Thu 28-Mar-13 09:26:31

Do they really set only on the SAT results? Do they just completely ignore the teacher assessments, the history of progress? Do they just toss that stuff out? They don't even do their own CAT tests?

It's considered bad practice by Ofsted to not allow mobility between sets, so if your DD is bothered or feels she is being held back, you cold bring school up on that point.

ByTheWay1 Thu 28-Mar-13 09:26:57

If there is a high standard intake into Y7 it is not unusual to have 4 or 5 sets where the lowest is a 4a..... my eldest went into top set with a 5a, her cousin - in a school where there is no local grammar, went into set 2 with a 5a+

lljkk Thu 28-Mar-13 09:27:01

*could not cold

seeker Thu 28-Mar-13 09:28:21

Is the work she's getting at the right level? Not too easy, not too hard?

JenaiMorris Thu 28-Mar-13 09:35:39

seeker's question is key, really.

I posted on here (highjacked someone's thread blush ) because I was quite taken aback by the number of children with L7 in ds's Y7 maths group. They're not even set until Y8 - looking at this (unrepresentative!) class, when they do set ds will be in the bottom set with his solid L5.

Notquite Thu 28-Mar-13 09:39:29

DD2 got an unexpected 5A in Maths in year 6, with lots of support from us and a school obsessed with SATS. She also got an entirely predictable 5A for English. She went on to our local high school, in a partially selective area (there are a few grammars, taking top10-12%) and was put into top set for English straight away, but 2nd set for Maths when sets were allocated after the first term. The setting was spot on for her - friends in the top set for Maths are working at a very high level and pace. Top set for English suits her fine.

If you're not so sure your child is where she should be though, do ask.

KittiesInsane Thu 28-Mar-13 09:40:12

How many sets?

DS1 was in Set 3 for maths and English. On enquiry, though, there were 10 lesson groups across the year, in pairs, so sets 1&2, then 3&4 etc. Effectively he was in set 2 of 5.

Quite why they couldn't call it Set 2 of 5 beats me.

JenaiMorris Thu 28-Mar-13 09:48:28

Notq ds's 5b was a bit of a surprise too. He started Y6 with a level 3-something! All those children with L7 in his Y7 class haven't passed on their skill via osmosis though - his last report had him at 5b still.

urbancupcake Thu 28-Mar-13 10:37:24

Hi, thanks loads and loads for all your replies.

IIjkk: CAT tests weren't done at the beginning before they formed the sets no, were done a month or so later. If school report was used then she had an excellent one. They don't give parents CAT results.

Seeker: Not being challenged enough, no, especially in Maths. Where she also sat for privates as a back up (and offered places), she's already done time and time again, the work there doing now, whereas in the higher sets there doing the work she had covered in preparation for the independent school exams.

Jenai: Note there is one stream for all subjects. They don't go into separate groups until 2 years time.

Kitties: five sets

So still quite keen to know of any in a set 3 with straight 5a's

smile

gazzalw Thu 28-Mar-13 10:44:21

Just to flag up, and I'm just going on gut-feeling, based on various conversations I've had over the past year, I think this current Year 7 are a very bright lot. Some years are. There must have been something in the water during the Millennium grin.

A child with a Level 6 might be in a top set one year but way down the set ranking in a different year group.

noblegiraffe Thu 28-Mar-13 10:44:31

It depends on the intake of the school. In a high attaining school it is possible that the top two sets are stuffed with children with better results than your DD.

If you are concerned that your DD isn't being challenged, you should phone her maths teacher and ask what your DD needs to do to move up a set.

teacherwith2kids Thu 28-Mar-13 10:44:43

So streaming - with all children kept with the same group for all subjects, but based on 'ability' - not setting - which is based on ability in each separate subject and can mean groupings are wholly different in different subjects?

I can't think of any excuse for streaming, tbh. Seems to me a terrible way of managiung things, much better to do it subject by subject.

I'd be asking about mobility between streams, in your shoes, and making a fuss if they say it's set in stone for the whole of the first few years...

teacherwith2kids Thu 28-Mar-13 10:46:46

Noble, I think - from the 'there is one stream for all subjects' comment from the OP - that this is a case of streaming, not setting, and so there would have to be an argument for moving her up a stream across the board, not just in maths, as that flexibility isn't there in a streamed system [which, as I say, is not great]

JenaiMorris Thu 28-Mar-13 10:54:23

Setting is when pupils are put in groups for each subject, so they could be in the top set for maths and the bottom for English.

Streaming is where they're all classified as "clever" "not so clever" "bit dim" "very dim" taking no account of their strengths in individual subjects.

I make no apology for the blunt descriptions there - imo streaming is that blunt and is basically a bit rubbish.

urbancupcake Thu 28-Mar-13 11:13:11

Yes, yes, yes, silly me - it's streamed not sets (always get them into a muddle)

JenaiMorris: Gosh, yes, that's basically it. How awful.

Gazzalw: So what is the likelihood/probability of two classes load of level 6+Maths, 5 English,5 science, children (not a grammar school), do you think?

Yeacherwith2kids: They did any class movements in the new year. My dd got straight 5a's in their exams and still wasn't moved.

ATJabberwocky Thu 28-Mar-13 11:17:26

It depends on the results of the whole year, but if you think she isn't being challenged enough speak to the head/teacher and ask for her to be moved up, even as a trial run to see how she fares.

I always found DS and DD worked better in mixed groups rather than tiered sets, what do other MNers find?

noblegiraffe Thu 28-Mar-13 11:17:55

No one here will be able to tell you, you need to speak to the school.

urbancupcake Thu 28-Mar-13 11:26:58

Noble: Nobody here won't be able to tell me if their dc were level 5 on leaving primary school and got streamed into set 3?

JenaiMorris Thu 28-Mar-13 11:30:30

ATJ ds is intimidated by some of the children who find school work easier - several teachers mentioned this at parents evening.

He might be more confident if he didn't always feel less clever in comparison, but I'm not sure if setting will help. In theory I prefer mixed-ability classes though.

noblegiraffe Thu 28-Mar-13 11:31:14

What would that tell you? That your DD is in the right group? That wouldn't solve your problems of feeling that she's not being challenged and going over work she has already done.

If you think she's in the wrong group, then it needs a conversation with the school about why she is in that group and how she isn't being challenged and what she needs to do to move up.

urbancupcake Thu 28-Mar-13 11:47:53

Hi Noble, I guess different things help different people, and for me, getting a general consensus of what's the norm, helps me loads.

Also, even if she isn't being challenged enough for Maths, for example, they can't move her into a separate set as they're not set up that way. It has already been recognised they are flaws with streaming in that's it's not ideal, so I'm having to work with what I have.

goldierocks Thu 28-Mar-13 12:31:31

My son's school (not a grammar) has quite a large intake; 7 forms of entry in Y7, with 27 pupils in each class.

They set in maths, English and science. First term setting is based on SATS, then the sets are fixed for the rest of Y7 based on CATS done during their third week. All other lessons are conducted in mixed ability form groups.

The first parents evening was done as a group session as the children had only been there for a month. The headteacher told us that the top two sets for maths, English and science were either level 7 or level 6. Set 3 was level 5.

He said this was the first year that he'd had 'a number' of children at level 7 and no level 5's at all in the top two sets. Some parents with older siblings at the school were quite shocked as their older child was in a higher set in Y7 with level 5's in previous years.

There are internal exams twice a year. Children can move up (or down) a set after these exams, although they will also move a child outside these set times if that is in the child's best interest.

I hope that helps.

JenaiMorris Thu 28-Mar-13 12:48:51

Why are they so bright then, our lot? <ponders>

tiggytape Thu 28-Mar-13 13:18:03

Just to flag up, and I'm just going on gut-feeling, based on various conversations I've had over the past year, I think this current Year 7 are a very bright lot. Some years are. There must have been something in the water during the Millennium

I have a child in Year 7 and I agree with gazza on this as a general observation. It seems to be an 'older' year group too with a lot of children born in the first half of the year and less summer babies (I have another DC in a different year group and her class has far fewer Autumn babies)

A 5a child in set 2 wouldn't be unusual at DS's school (ordinary comp with a few local children who commute to grammar schools out of area). Set 1 is almost entirely made up of children who were awareded the level 6 in their SATS plus a few who scored 5as but did very well in the tests set at the start of Year 7 (our schools uses SATS and Year 7 testing combined for setting purposes)

Set 2 is mainly 5as and 5bs and set 3 has some 5bs too. A lot of parents did not understand how a level 5 child could end up in set 3 but the simple answer was that most of the year group got level 5 or level 6 in their SATS. Even the teachers have said that the work they are doing with sets 1-3 this year is much harder than they have done with the same sets in previous years eg the books they have chosen to read in English are Year 8 books and the starting point for the maths curriculum is much further forward.

The set number doesn't matter of course as long as DD is getting work set at the appropriate level. If she isn't, you should take this up with the school. Hopefully the sets are fluid and there is room for her to be able to move up quite quickly.

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