If your year 8 child is streamed and in the top set, can you tell me what level they are working at?

(35 Posts)
pollycazalet Fri 21-Jun-13 10:50:46

Specifically interested in maths, english, science, history.

thanks if anyone can help.

Clary Sat 22-Jun-13 22:44:15

I teach MFL and my yr 8 top set are working at L5-6 (just) so I would expect higher levels for top set in the subjects you specify OP (as my Germanists have only been doing it for 2 yrs)

(note: another Cazalet name here!)

Myliferocks Sat 22-Jun-13 16:15:39

DD2 is leaving yr8 with level 5's across the board apart from mfl where she is level 4's. She is middle sets for most subjects.
The important thing is that she has improved her levels since the end of year 7 and is willing to learn and try her best.
It doesn't help though that DD3 is in year 6 and getting level 5's across the board and took level 6 sat papers and that they are at the same school.

EvilTwins Sat 22-Jun-13 16:05:38

I would be questioning the school about those grades- and I'm a teacher! There is no way that a school should allow a child to go backwards. At the very least, he should have maintained the earlier levels. That's why I asked if you we're sure the report was correct. The teaching is going badly wrong if they're reporting that a child has gone backwards.

Lljkk, I strongly suspect that marks are strongly school dependent and a grade that one school or teacher gives will be very different from the opinions of another for the same piece of work. As the national standard is something like level 5 by the end of year 9 your ds is doing really well.

lljkk Sat 22-Jun-13 14:05:46

Much more bothered that DS looks like such a numpty compared to other thread replies! But then what else did I expect from MN. I do hope DS pulls his act together sometime.

EvilTwins Sat 22-Jun-13 13:31:16

lljkk I'd be questioning that May report if I were you- students are meant to make 2 sub levels of progress per year. That report would suggest your DS has gone backwards a whole year. Is the report correct?

spanieleyes Sat 22-Jun-13 12:05:51

I was hauled into my son's school at the end of year 7 and harangued for 10 minutes on how to support his performance as he was below his targets in several areas, the targets being set on the basis of his English, Maths and Science SATs results in Year 6. I was informed that, even though he was above target in most subjects, they were concerned that he wasn't reaching them in Art, PE and DT.

They shut up when I explained that he was severely dyspraxic and perhaps the targets were slightly unrealistic for these particular subjects!

lljkk Sat 22-Jun-13 10:36:35

Streaming is the system where they decide that your child is high ability and gets put in top ability groups across the board regardless of how bad they may be at a few of the subjects, right? Does that mean very different results from kids who were merely in sets? Is OP only interested in selective schools?

Technically I don't know what DS school does, insists he's in top groups, yr8.

March report: math 6A, english 6B, science 6A, history 5A (hates history).
May report: math 6C, english 5A, science 6C, history 5C

(I hadn't noticed the reduction across the board until now, hmmm!). He is on target.

Relative to classmates, we think he's in middle of most things except bottom by a big margin for math.

DS1 is finishing Y8 at a partially selective comprehensive. He had exams a couple of weeks ago and got the following:

Maths: 7A (set 2).
Science: 6A (set 1).
English: 6C (mixed ability but we've been told he's one of the more able ones).
History: 7C (same as English).

diabolo Fri 21-Jun-13 17:13:00

My DS who is just about to leave Year 8 is a 7a in Maths, 7b in Science, History, Geography and RS, but only a 6b in English which is not his best subject.

As his senior school he will be in top set for all but English. I'm hopeful that a change of English teacher will help. (the one he's had for the last 4 years doesn't rate any of the boys in his class and is very "airy fairy" iykwim.

Dd has been set the same target level for every subject,so at the end of year 8 she is supposed to get 7c for every subject, which is plainly bonkers as being academic doesnt mean that she will also be good at the more practical subjects and as you say they start at a much lower level for some subjects.

So as we can see that she is working hard and that she appears to be getting good input from her teachers, I don't actually give a rats arse about her levels. Well i say that, but I'm secretly pleased where she is doing better than expected but thats just a big headed parent thing I think the only person who will care is the one analysing the school results.

It might be worth you having a chat with your ds' tutor or HOY if you think he is cruising because next year, depending on how the school works, it could influence the choices he is allowed to make.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 21-Jun-13 14:37:54

>How would targets in languages and geography be set?
I thought they set these during yr7?

DDs school gives the target levels (which I think aren't supposed to change) but also the expected level, which can. They also give a guide as to what the levels at the end of yr9 will typically translate to in terms of gcse grades. This varies by subject (maths needs higher levels, MFL a bit lower than the others) and is based on past statistics for the school.

mumsneedwine Fri 21-Jun-13 14:24:43

Please blame successive governments for the targets set. Students have to make 2 levels progress from KS2 -3, so a 4 to a 6, and these can't be changed (how we love OFSTED). Even in subjects they have never taken before !! How PE relates to maths abilityI have never been sure. Aspirational targets can be changed and I agree its ridiculous when they surpass their targets early. I would talk to his Head of Year and explain that he needs higher aims and even if 'official' targets can't change, why he can't be given yearly grades to aim for.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 21-Jun-13 13:58:22

polly only in some subjects. But he no longer feels 'thick' which was how he thought of himself at primary school so we are just over the moon really. 'clever at maths rubbish at english' isn't perhaps the best self image to have but it's a darn sight better than 'rubbish at everything' which was his (false) self image before.

I didn't know there was another book in the offing. I will keep an eye out!

I'm sure your DS is doing really well, even if he doesn't look like he is breaking a sweat. Schools are now judged on not dealing with brighter kids effectively, so they have to make the effort even with the quieter ones.

pollycazalet Fri 21-Jun-13 13:53:49

Yes - read the books at a very impressionable age when Polly was my favourite character - I wanted her happy ending. Reread a couple of years ago - they are definitely one of those books you read very differently with the benefits of age and kids! EJH is writing another one apparantly as she wanted to catch up with all the characters.

Glad your year 8 has been better than mine - your DS sounds like he's doiung extremely well, despite challenges.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 21-Jun-13 13:38:21

polly (did you read the book? I loved it when I read it, many years ago now though) Actually for us Y8 has been a massive improvement on Y7 - DS missed practically the whole of the summer term with whooping cough. So it's just so great to have had a year where he hasn't had any significant time off at all. A day here and there, he still has issues which were caused/worsened by the WC (he was already asthmatic) - but basically, a full year of school has been had. And he has made on paper incredible progress in everything, because on paper his Y 7 results were from the easter tests. But, he was set work while he was off, and he did it (because he was bored rigid a lot of the time) and when he did it, they set more....and I think he ended up getting much more input both from his teachers and from us, than he would have got had he been in school. Like, a term of private tuition. Hasn't helped his dyslexia. But it has had a big impact on maths, science and MFL.

pollycazalet Fri 21-Jun-13 13:28:27

Titchy that's really useful but does that apply across non sats subjects too? How would targets in languages and geography be set?

I agree Russians - I have an ambivalent relationship with the grades and targets in that I want the information but don't particularly understand it when I get it. But totally understand schools needing to say that it's indicative and not guaranteed!

I also have found year 8 the year which is least focused on by teachers - for very understandable reasons as they're not unsettled year 7s, in year 9 with choices to make or mid-GCSE. But it's felt like a year of treading water unless you're on the case.

titchy Fri 21-Jun-13 13:21:24

Well I suppose it would depend on his KS2 levels....

Assuming he got 5A, then he should be aiming for 7A by the end of Y9, so an average of 2 sub levels a year, which means he shouldu be 6A or 7C by now.

If he got 4c though at end year 6, then 6c would be expected progress, so 5b by now.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 21-Jun-13 13:12:48

Wouldn't we all. Sadly the system is designed to make people think they are being given genuinely useful information while at the same time ensuring that this is exactly what they don't receive.

But then, when you see the way people seem to treat grade predictions (as done deals, with concomitant outrage if they are not achieved) then you can't really blame schools for preferring to keep us all as much in the dark as possible.

pollycazalet Fri 21-Jun-13 13:06:21

Russians - I have real problems understanding the levels and where the boundary is between what's expected at this age and what's performing beyond/ below that.

Especially in subjects like languages and science where the levels might be lower than those for English and maths just because they are newer subjects in year 8.

I'd like a bit more contextual info to help me understand.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 21-Jun-13 13:03:37

DS is now a whole NC level above his aspirational target for the end of Y9 in Maths. We suggested to his maths teacher that maybe the target needed to be adjusted. Apparently that can't be done.

pollycazalet Fri 21-Jun-13 13:01:25

I do agree that you need to be looking at targets for your individual child.

I have asked the question to better understand the levels my ds has been set - in my view he's got a bad attitude to school at the moment and whilst he's doing ok with his (not particularly stretching) targets he might benefit from being pushed a bit more and the teachers having higher expectations of him.

He's quiet, well behaved, doesn't put his hand up but can always answer when asked. And so is able to coast quite effectively without really breaking a sweat to achieve his targets. IMO.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 21-Jun-13 13:01:16

We have never had any information about levels for any subject from DD1's SSGS. It's like a different microworld where all performance is talked about in the context of 'better than expected for X school, 'expected for X school' 'not quite' and 'oh shit' (I might be paraphrasing the last two).

For DS's school, which is a comp, we get his aspirational target (we have been told these are quite tough, reachy targets, but they are still essentially based on the SATs and CATs from the beginning of Y7) and his current level. We are not told average/expected levels for either the school or the nation/LEA/city - thus the information we get about him is almost entirely context free. So, even though it is expressed in NC levels, it is less useful than the infomration we got about DD1.

gazzalw Fri 21-Jun-13 12:53:51

Thanks for answering, Mumsneedwine! DS has had three reports thus far and they do give effort marks and indicate a grade (A,B,C,D,E) as a colour block (together with the number of boys in the class getting that grade) for academic attainment. Still not an entirely helpful way of assessing one's child's abilities though. I guess it will all come out in the wash.

I know that DS has been rather demoralised by being "just average" rather than the high-achiever he always was at primary school - it would be useful to have level indicators just to put matters into perspective for him.

mumsneedwine Fri 21-Jun-13 12:45:24

Gazzlaw, we get reports 4 times a year with our kids current grade, predicted for end of KS3, the average for the year group and the range for the year group. We also get an effort mark. It is helpful to the kids but they should know where they are roughly from their teachers. Maybe at a super selective they think its not necessary in Year 7.

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