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.

noblegiraffe Thu 28-Mar-13 13:21:51

There is no norm when it comes to schools, intakes vary wildly. Without knowing the intake of your DD's school (which may vary from year to year) it is impossible to say whether a level 5 in set 3 is unusual.

In a high attaining school it might be fine. In your more bog standard comp it would probably be a bit more unusual.

If you are worried that your DD is in a low set for her levels, and are wondering why she hasn't been moved up ask the school. Seriously. They get phone calls like it all the time. They will be able to tell you where she is in her groups, if she is at the top of them, what's holding her back, if anything, whether a mistake has been made in the set changes, what you can do to help her move up a set.

It could be fine, there might be a problem. But strangers on the Internet aren't going to be able to tell you that.

sandyballs Thu 28-Mar-13 13:26:08

That's interesting, I have two DDs in Year 7 and their primary school SAT results last year were the best the school have ever seen. I don't mean my DDs, just generally, as a year group.

Blu Thu 28-Mar-13 14:38:50

Out of interest, how do people know what levels pupils in other classes got at primary? I know the levels of a few of DS's v close friends, levels, not sub levels a,b,c,because the primary didn't tell us those. I have absolutely no idea what the other kids in secondary got, how would I?

OP, do talk to the school, it sounds as if you have a v valid question. What did they say at parents eve?

JenaiMorris Thu 28-Mar-13 14:46:49

The only reason I know any of ds's classmates' levels is that I did the upside down reading thing on parents evening blush

I have no idea about any of his old Y6 friends' SATs though.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 28-Mar-13 14:47:03

Ds got a mix of 5b and 5as at end of yr 6 and he's in top set (of 3) for every subject at his non-selective independent (where the absolute high-fliers apparently left the prep dept for either out of catchment grammars or selective boarding schools).

They set based on sats and cats and movement is made every half term if necessary.

They are now working at level 7 in maths and science and ds is also achieving either 6 or 7 for all assessed English work. His teachers also said at parents' evening that this was a particularly high achieving cohort. Maybe there was something in the water in 2000...

BooksandaCuppa Thu 28-Mar-13 14:48:05

Slight lie. He's in bottom set for games...

BooksandaCuppa Thu 28-Mar-13 14:51:07

Oh yes, in ds's yr 6 at primary last year, 90% got level 5 reading and 70% level 5 maths so was definitely a good year group.

urbancupcake Thu 28-Mar-13 18:28:37

Goldirocks: That helps loads - thanks so very much. It's great to get the grammar school comparison. I suspect, they're able to test for level 7's as their papers go up to that level and beyond.

Tiggytape: thanks so much for your comments too (from logging on often and reading posts, I always think you give such great replies). Just out of interest, when you say:

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.

Would they have been level 5's across the top three subjects, as in 5,5,5, or a level five in maybe 2 and possibly a 4, as in 5,5,4 in the set 3?

Does your school stream or set?

urbancupcake Thu 28-Mar-13 18:33:05

BooksandCuppa - you are funny

Blu: Thanks for your support, in that you think it's a valid question. I sometimes feel as if I'm going a bit loopy loo. Will defo go back to them.

DS1 left Y6 with level 5 in all subjects. His report commented that he was particularly strong in Maths & Science. This was before they did level 6 papers in Y6. His teacher told me he was a confident 5a in Maths.

The children were put into sets after the first half term of Y7. He was placed in set 4 of 7. He and I were both a bit shock as we'd been under the impression he was quite able at Maths. He did say he felt the work wasn't very challenging in set 4 and the teacher mentioned that he was the top of the set by a margin.

He worked hard for the summer exams at the end of Y7 and was moved up two sets to start Y8 in set 2. He is now working at the middle of that set and he and I are happy that it's the right place for him.

Arcticwaffle Thu 28-Mar-13 18:47:21

Our primary tells us the number getting each sats level overall (not the specific children). 70% of last year's yr 6s got level 5 or above in English and Maths, I think. It's a small school (only about 13 in a year group by yr 6) so it varies a lot year to year, but this was a much higher proportion than in previous years.

My assumption is not that the current crop of 11-12 year olds is unusually bright, across the country, but that more children are getting l5 sats than a year or two before as teachers and schools get more used to the test and how to prepare for it (that happens with GCSEs and A levels too).

gazzalw Thu 28-Mar-13 18:49:51

My theory is based on DS's primary cohort at a very mixed school (not chichi but a broad spectrum culturally and socially). About 65% scored level fives. So even the middle table ones were comfortably getting 5As and 5Bs in either Maths or English (or possibly both). Of the class of 29, four got into grammar schools and two into the selective stream of comprehensives. And many of the others are in the gifted and talented stream at their comprehensives in a borough without grammar schools.

When SIL was at her grammar school her whole year was deemed to be very, very clever. Some years are and some are decidedly less so.

So it is entirely possible although not probable that you could potentially get two classes (in a comprehensive school which caters for the full cohort of local children) who are mathematically very, very able indeed. These 'blips' happen!

I get the impression, from what's happened to current Year 6s in our locale, that they are not such a clever cohort. Please don't shoot me down but that's just the way it is....

I am not sure what is better -I think it's probably better to be middle of the road but reaching for the stars in a bright cohort than coasting at the top in a not so bright cohort!

Do agree though, OP, if you are worried you need to address this with the school.

Schooldidi Thu 28-Mar-13 18:50:04

Well in my last school anyone with a 5a would have definitely been in top set, in fact we had a few children with 4a getting into top set because it was a small school with not a fantastic catchment.

In my current school I teach set 3 in y7 and they are a mix of 5a down to 5c. Our two top sets are indeed filled to bursting with very good 5as or higher. We had 75 pupils arrive in year 7 with a 5a, so we can't accommodate them all in the top set. We do the same curriculum with the top 3 sets though (the very top set do go a bit quicker and do more enrichment tasks). We're a big school with very good feeder primaries, so have 9 sets.

So set 3 out of 9 or 10 it's not unusual to have 5as in there. Set 3 out of 4 then it would be very unusual imo to have anyone on a 5a in there.

gazzalw: it's similar where we are. Fewer children in the current Y6 in our local primaries getting into selective secondary schools.

tiggytape Thu 28-Mar-13 19:01:54

urban cake - I don't know if the set 3 level 5 children only achieved level 5 in one subject or in all of them actually - maybe that might be a factor. However, our school sets not streams so it is possible to be set 1 for maths and set 3 for English.

The reason I know so much about the situation in our school is partially down to the children knowing their own SATS results and the set it seems to correspond to (there’s no 'red' table in secondary school - everyone knows precisely which set they're in and are a bit competitive about it). It is also partly because it was covered by a ‘setting’ meeting and a letter home explaining Level 5 children in set 3 were not a mistake and the school fully expect sets 1-3 to be gaining the top GCSE grades in time and to be working at a level that would assure this.

DS is my oldest so I don't know how previous year's sets have worked but the implication was very much that this was to reassure parents who might think it was a mistake or worry that being in set 3 was limiting. The point was made that parents with older children might find that the older child had started the school with lower SATS but higher sets than the current Year 7 child. That is why I was surprised to see gazza’s point earlier about this being a slightly freaky year group in terms of ability because in our area this seems to be true as well.

gazzalw Thu 28-Mar-13 19:09:02

Maybe it was all that champagne quaffing in the Millennium, Tiggytape wink???!!!!

tiggytape Thu 28-Mar-13 19:11:55

...or it could just be as Arcticwaffle says - more KS2 children are getting level 5's and 6's due to primary school focus coaching and it has stopped being exceptional anymore.

tiggytape Thu 28-Mar-13 19:12:38

You speak for yourself gazza! I was strictly on gin tea! grin

tiggytape Thu 28-Mar-13 19:13:05

.....not during the pregnancy of course shock

gazzalw Thu 28-Mar-13 19:20:12

No of course not!

gazzalw Thu 28-Mar-13 19:27:41

You could be right about the SATS though, Tiggytape. Although all the teachers at DC's primary school always said that DS's class was a very bright one. And there is no indication of an upward trend, over years, in SATS results. I would almost lay money on the fact that this year's Year 6 won't do as well. I cannot substantiate this hunch but it may all come out in the wash when they do their GCSEs - although if grades are factored by % achieving certain levels then maybe not.

Perhaps its a question to ask of the teachers when we attend Yr 7 cohort parents' evenings?

Iamnotminterested Thu 28-Mar-13 20:34:45

Dd is in year 7 and her year 6 teacher told me that, across the borough, she was in a generally able year.

I also have an inkling that this year 6 will not do as well.

gazzalw Thu 28-Mar-13 20:39:22

So a limited sample-size is indicating that current Yr 7s are maybe brighter than average ;-)......

seeker Thu 28-Mar-13 21:05:40

In a purely unscientific survey I have been conducting for the past 12 years, I think that every second year is bright. I have no idea why this could possibly be.

gazzalw Thu 28-Mar-13 21:10:57

Who would we ask to verify our hunches, one wonders?

JenaiMorris Thu 28-Mar-13 22:51:18

Maybe last year's SATs were a bit easy <Gove face>

BooksandaCuppa Fri 29-Mar-13 00:34:58

Last year's sats could have been easy, but, imho, the year before's were even easier (sorry year 8 kids) wink

gazzalw Fri 29-Mar-13 06:09:10

But even though the SATs may have been easier (but I'm pretty sure that did not apply to the Level 6 Maths), that doesn't account for higher marks in 11+ (and other selective exams) to gain places at super-selectives for the current Year 7 cohort compared with the 2012/13 Year 6 one!

BooksandaCuppa Fri 29-Mar-13 08:39:36

True that.

gazzalw Fri 29-Mar-13 09:48:30

wink!

notnagging Fri 29-Mar-13 09:54:59

I complained ( primary sets). Ds was reassessed & moved up to set 2.

seeker Fri 29-Mar-13 09:55:13

I am (semi) serious in my alternate year theory. I have two children with a big age gap, so I have been involved with the same primary for longer than anyone would wish, and a governor for longer than I should and the stats bear me out in my one small sample. I remember in one governors meeting we were talking about how we hoped OFSTED would hold off for a bit so they could look at the following years SATS rather than the current years- sadly they didn't.

teacherwith2kids Fri 29-Mar-13 10:38:20

Interestingly, DS's year (currently Y7) in his primary had the best Year 6 results for many years BUT the school did jump hugely in the local league tables, implying that it might have been a bright year IN THAT SCHOOL but that it was not especially bright in other schools.

And entry into local grammars (live in an area with some residual grammar schools, not a wholly grammar area) has been much greater for the current Year 6, rather tan last year's - though I think that this is more to do with a slow change in the socio-economic profile of the school, with more aspirational parents with the money and sharp elbows for coaching than it is to do with the relative academic performance of the school. Of the 10 kids with L6 maths, for eample, only 2 have gone to grammar, with the rest choosing local comprehensives.

Iamnotminterested Fri 29-Mar-13 11:05:10

Seeker - I think you are right. The current year 9 had the best set of results for my dcs primary ever, the 8's not so great (although still above national average), the 7's I think 85% level 4+, 6's as I've said not predicted to do as well, 5's an able year, 4's not as able and 3's able! How weird is that? Dd is in year 4 and is very able though so hopefully her predicted grades will get her to the top of the top set ;-).

bruffin Fri 29-Mar-13 11:23:36

Speaking to dcs ho maths the other day and they have 3 maths geniuses in yr 12 normally just 1.
And when Dd yr 10 started they said itcwasvthe brightest cohort they had ever had. My Dd got 89% in her maths ks2 sats and didn't make top set although she did got moved up in yr 8. This is a hugely improved school and i suspect each year is attracting brighter children. As they say success breeds success.

Loshad Fri 29-Mar-13 15:59:56

In my school a student could be in set 3 with solid 5a and not just this year.(High achieving comprehensive).

seeker Fri 29-Mar-13 16:07:39

My dd was in set 5 of 7 at a selective school with a 4a just off 5. So at a comprehensive school set 3 with a 5 sounds feasible.

urbancupcake Fri 29-Mar-13 18:17:27

Seeker - Thanks for your feedback, I was talking about a comprehensive as opposed to a selective though.

This is difficult to gauge also as it seems most who have responded so far are in schools that set as opposed to stream and with sets, it seems as though as a general rule, with all L5's a child could be in set 1 for some topics and a variety of different sets for others.

This streaming thing seems so dated also and sets a much better way to go. Still, doubt if the school will be changing their systems any time soon though based on my viewsmile, so am forced to work with what I have:0)

tiggytape Fri 29-Mar-13 19:03:57

Level 5 certainly doesn't mean automatic entry to Set 1 or even Set 2 in many comprehensives. This thread seems to confirm what is common in our area - in lots of non selective schools, more than half of Year 7 start on level 5 or above and therefore most of those children will not make the top set.

That isn't a bad thing as long as level 5 children in Set 3 maths for example aren't excluded from sitting the papers required for an A* grade at GCSE and the work they do is matched to ability (as far as any group work can be). If the school was more rigid (eg set 3 children automatically excluded from triple science even if they were on level 6 or 7 by Year 9) or if Set 3 work was far below the child's capabilities then I think there would be a real problem but as it is, it doesn't seem to be an issue except for upsetting some children who are quite competitive about it and confusing parents who are worried about it.
The fact we had a special 'setting' meeting to explain it and a detailed letter home put a lot of fears to rest so maybe other schools could take time to explain to parents how setting is done so they aren't concerned mistakes have been made. The letter home with the results of setting for example sepcifically said level 5b children being placed in Set 3 was not a mistake and explained the number of higher level 5's in the whole year and the higher curriculum they would still follow.

seeker Fri 29-Mar-13 19:56:35

"Seeker - Thanks for your feedback, I was talking about a comprehensive as opposed to a selective though."

I know you were. What I meant was that if my dd was in that set in a school which only had top set kids, your dd could be in the right place in a school which had all abilities. If you see what I mean.

urbancupcake Sat 30-Mar-13 19:07:33

@Tiggytape - Thanks for your really comprehensive reply. I totally agree, it's all but a number really. However, this is the problem, in my DD's school, set 3 miss out on subjects that are only taught in the other sets, one of those being, learning the science's separately.

The other concern of course, is the syllabus. when I look at what percentage sat and received A and A*, they could only have come from the top two sets, yet L5 put's you well within the ream of being able to achieve the same (B's and upwards statistically). You've pointed out another issue, as in the foundation paper where only a level C is achievable, I believe (prepared to be corrected). I know in some schools, this is only the option ultimately available to the mid - lower sets? This would be an absolute tragedy in DD's case, when with high level 5's, she is statistically able to achieve more but would be denied the opportunity.

Happy to be corrected however, so please let me know if I've missed something :0)

urbancupcake Sat 30-Mar-13 19:18:59

@Tiggytape: I think this is good about your school too:

The letter home with the results of setting for example specifically said level 5b children being placed in Set 3 was not a mistake _and explained the number of higher level 5's in the whole year and the higher curriculum they would still follow._

With all due respect, that can't be argued with as it justifies and makes it absolutely clear to the parents and child any decisions made. Wish our school did the same.

tiggytape Sat 30-Mar-13 19:27:45

No urbancake - if that is the case, you definitely should challenge it and question it.

In our school level 5 children in set 3 will still be able to do triple science (provided they are on level 6 in Year 9) and will still be expected to get A* - C grades in all core subjects.
If that wasn't the case - if they put level 5 children in set 3 and then excluded them from the higher science curriculum and only entered then for the lower maths papers - they'd be outrage and quite rightly so. If this is definitely what happens at your school, I think you need to call or go in and confirm / challenge this.
If they have too many level 5 children to put them in the top sets, they need to adapt set 3 work to make sure it still meets the needs of level 5 learners not expect level 5 learners to adapt to fit a predetermined notion of what set 3 is taught or what exams they do.

urbancupcake Sat 30-Mar-13 19:31:26

@Seeker - No confused??? I saw it that selective schools cream off the top so effectively their whole year 7, for example, are just one big set 1 and set 2, so could easily see how straight level 5's could be set 3. Whereas a comp who cant select by academic alone, would mean two classes of at least 6,5.5 (bearing in mind ours stream according to levels across the board) and a top set of roughly everyone achieving 6,6,5.

I can easily see that no problem in a grammar or selective, but even in the highest achieving comprehensive, even those who gave their children the special milk in year 2000, I don't know:0). Is that what you think is totally probable or am I still not understanding - which is possibe?

urbancupcake Sat 30-Mar-13 19:34:51

@Tiggytape - I adore you. Thank you so, so much. I always just want to check beforehand to make sure I'm not going potty or just a loopy parent on a rampage (I'm sure every school has enough of those to deal withsmile.

I'll keep reading your posts, as your so good at all this. Thanks againsmile

tiggytape Sat 30-Mar-13 19:52:47

blush - thank you urbancupcakes.
The first point of call might be your DD's form tutor rather than the individual subject teachers or, failing that, the Head of Year. I think you definitely have good cause to query the decision – you aren't a loopy parent at all. In your shoes, I would want answers and / or changes.
The school will hopefully be able to answer your questions or move DD's stream. It is in their interest too - if they have a significant number of level 5 children entering the school who are not being allowed to strive for top grades, it will show them up as not offering good value and failing to reach expected levels of progression. Schools aren't just judged on grades, they are judged on whether they help pupils meet their full potential. Preventing level 5 children getting good GCSE grades goes against that.

It might be that this blip year (if it is a blip year as seems possible from the feedback here) has caught them on the hop. I know our school have gone to great lengths to reassure parents regarding level 5 children not placed in top sets and have also changed the English syllabus to incorporate more complicated texts than they’d normally cover with Year 7 students. It seems they were suddenly presented with a brighter Year 7 than they’d expected and certainly far more level 5 children than normal. They reacted by making set 3 more challenging than it might be in other year groups. Maybe your school has the same problem but just needs to adapt a bit more to allow for this?
The trouble might also be streaming. I haven’t come across any school that still streams pupils – it must throw up a lot of problems in placing children in classes that meet their needs generally. Finally, you could also ask how easily and how often children move streams. If it is dependent on end of year exams, it may be possible, with a bit of revision, to get DD moved up fairly soon. Some schools however have less fluid movement than others so more pushing might be needed if that’s the case.

urbancupcake Sat 30-Mar-13 20:26:30

Tiggytape - I've printed off your reply. You're tops. Yes will go through the correct procedure.

You should set up a education/parenting consultancysmile

ps: just spotted my grammatical error in my earlier post - 'your', instead of you're. Daft parent, eh?

VivaLeBeaver Sat 30-Mar-13 22:02:27

My dd is in a comprehensive, though she did pass her 11plus.

So she is bright, got Lvl 5s in year six sats. Initially she was in middle set for maths and science. They did Cats and she was moved up for maths. She's now getting Lvl 7 in most of her homework and tests in all subjects. Well main subjects, I'm not counting PE, ict, etc.

tungthai Sun 31-Mar-13 08:21:03

I think the current year 6 is a bright cohort in our area. On the 11+ forum they were saying that the children had done exceptionally well in this years 11+ exams.

JenaiMorris Sun 31-Mar-13 11:49:38

Can you imagine what sort of standard any of this lot would have to be working at to get an A if we had normative assessment at GCSE?

BrunellaPommelhorse Sun 31-Mar-13 11:52:10

SATs and levels are generally shit.
HTH

seeker Sun 31-Mar-13 11:59:14

Assuming your children didn't do as well as you hoped, brunella! grin

BrunellaPommelhorse Sun 31-Mar-13 12:01:46

i'm jealous obvs grin

Mine all fine - did v well but i take all levels with a huge pinch of sel de subjectif

JenaiMorris Sun 31-Mar-13 12:14:42

Well ever since I discovered that quite so many classmates are working a couple of levels higher than ds, I've realised that SATs etc clearly measure the wrong things grin

tiggytape Sun 31-Mar-13 12:38:15

SATS are just the starting point though - or should be at a good school.
Even schools which use SATS alone for setting purposes should still allow movement between the sets when it becomes apparent that a child is much more able than their SATS suggest (or are struggling more than their SATS suggest).

When you've got 200+ children all starting on the same day in September, there is usually a pretty blunt tool used to assess them. There isn't time or money to spend weeks examining each child's strengths in detail. So they do a rough sort through at first and then tweak it as the year goes

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