Level 6 in SATs

(104 Posts)
VickySS Wed 08-May-13 21:58:54

Does anyone know what percentage of children have achieved (historically) level 6 at key stage 2 in Maths?

Sticklebug Wed 08-May-13 22:13:23

No, but interested to know as my DD I one of 6 in her year sitting this next week and 3 of them are also sitting the L6 English. My DD has told me that the pass mark for L6 maths was 28 in 2011 and 32 last year.

BooksandaCuppa Wed 08-May-13 23:17:29

Last year was the first year - since a gap of about ten years - that there has been a Level 6 test. Teachers could assess children as level 6 but there wasn't an externally assessed test. (To put it in context, in the grammar school I work in around 2 out of 120 children come up teacher assessed as l6 in reading and 2 in maths per year - up to 2012, that is)...

I think last year the percentages were tiny (less than 0.1% or something) because most schools weren't really geared up for it etc.

A lot more are taking them this year as it seems level 5 isn't good enough any more. Schools, children and parents are all a lot more geared up for them.

Arisbottle Wed 08-May-13 23:21:34

I think my daugter's school has three classes, so about 90 children and about 5 are sitting the level 6 test for maths and none or literacy. From what my dd tells me they only expect one or two to the level 6.

noblegiraffe Thu 09-May-13 08:42:14

At my secondary we had under 20 level 6s coming to us in a high achieving (but mixed ability) year group of 220, but as it was the first year we would expect this to increase quite a lot as primary schools gear up preparation.

lljkk Thu 09-May-13 08:44:57

0.5% last year, I found the stat recently. TES site, I think.

lljkk Thu 09-May-13 08:45:45

maybe 2.5% for English, or 3%?

Katryn Thu 09-May-13 09:42:43

My DS took level 6 in maths and English last year, and was one of about 4 in a class of thirty who took it and passed.

VickySS Thu 09-May-13 20:53:39

Thanks all, my DS has 3 class intake in his year and around 25 are sitting level 6 maths, less for English. In the mocks around half achieved the level 6 (including DS). As a July baby I'm pleased that he can help disprove the myth that summer babies struggle in school. No extra tution either. Hubby and I joked that, liked twins, the maths ability must have skipped a generation (us) ;-)) Good luck to all of your children who are sitting the SATs next week.

Yellowtip Thu 09-May-13 21:31:27

DD4 is in a tiny primary school where four year groups are taught in one class and of the six pupils in Y6, five are predicted L6 in Maths (I've just quizzed her), two are predicted L6 in reading and one is predicted L6 in writing. The rest are all high 5's in reading and writing except for the one child who is dyslexic. I find this odd in the context of this thread, which makes L6 sound rare. Of course I do get that these are only predictions and may not be attained.

My son got 65% on Level 6 maths on the mock tests, does this mean he would pass if they let him sit it next week?

VickySS Thu 09-May-13 21:45:27

Yellowtip that would seem very unusual. Ask the other parents in your child's class if their children sat the level 6 paper last Thursday afternoon? It's a separate paper to the one most children do.

QuintessentialOHara Very close either way, depends on what the government decide will be the pass mark when the papers are marked. I think it's expected to be about 68% but I'm not 100% sure. Hopefully someone else on here may have a definite answer. To be honest I would still be happy if DS gets a 5 as that's really good compared to the average.

Yellowtip Thu 09-May-13 21:52:46

I thought the L6 papers were in a week or two? DD4 is certainly taking L6 for everything, as she's apparently predicted L6 in everything. I thought whatever they did last week was a mock?

Yellowtip Thu 09-May-13 21:54:16

But no way am I asking other parents!! Tbh I don't really mind what she gets, I don't think it will radically affect her future.

5madthings Thu 09-May-13 21:58:46

My ds2 is taking the level 6 maths paper. Out of a year group of about 45? Maybe a fee more eight of them are taking the higher paper.

No idea re English.

My ds2 is also a summer born boy smile and he didn't get his maths skills from me, he has always been very good at maths and has amazing abilities to do maths in his head, he is very quick and finds it easy, its just his 'thing' iykwim. Hr likes to do maths for fun

5madthings Thu 09-May-13 21:59:09

The SATs are next week?

Myliferocks Thu 09-May-13 22:03:53

My DD3 is doing the level 6 papers next week in English and maths.
8 children are doing the English level 6 and 9 are doing the maths.
Out of these,5 are doing both English and maths.iyswim
Her year group has about 125 in it.

Yellowtip Thu 09-May-13 22:15:14

It looks as though either DD4's teacher is overly bold or other teachers are too cautious.

My DD is doing the maths but isn't expecting to get it. She is expecting the reading and writing though. The writing is based on an assessment of the last 4 weeks work I believe. There are 6 DC in her year group of 25 doing them both.

Yellowtip Thu 09-May-13 22:18:59

Does anyone here know exactly when these L6 papers are? Or are all papers taken on the same day? And what was it that happened last week? Just a mock?

Myliferocks Thu 09-May-13 22:21:47

DD3 said that the level 3-5 papers will be in the morning and the level 6 papers in the afternoon.
I think she said her SATs start on Monday for the week.

VickySS Thu 09-May-13 22:43:56

5madthings - have to start a support group for summer born babies not being disadvantaged ;-))

Yellowtip - I agree with you, we have secondary school to go through yet ;-)

Agree with Myliferocks re the exam timetable - so envious of you if life is as your name says ;-))

UnnamedFemaleProtagonist - not sure you are correct about the 4 week assessment. English is a separate exam assessed by government appointed assessors not your daughter's teachers. Exam is set by the government and will be sat next week.

SATs start on Monday, mocks (based on 2012 papers) were done last week.

Yellowtip Thu 09-May-13 22:51:11

So is English L6 new for this year?

VickySS Thu 09-May-13 23:00:24

Think it was reintroduced last year after about a 10 year break. Very few children put through for it as it really needs a deep knowledge of understanding comprehension and providing a very high understanding of reading and writing. Our head said last year only 0.03% of children achieved a level 6 in English, maths slightly easier.

lljkk Fri 10-May-13 07:38:58

L6 papers are same day as the other tests, just in the afternoon, half an hour each, I will find link to the schedule, just a sec.

lljkk Fri 10-May-13 07:40:19

Schedule Here, Last night DD was asking to see the schedule and how minutes each one, too.

This thread has more info I dredged up.

lljkk Fri 10-May-13 07:41:40

ps: writing mark in KS2 SATs is entirely teacher assessed I was told, so based on a series of marked work.

"To be honest I would still be happy if DS gets a 5 as that's really good compared to the average." VickySS that is what I told my son this morning. And that he should be very pleased with a 5 as it is still a very good mark. He has high expectations of himself however, and likes to do well at what he does. To be honest, I rather he was not put forward for L6 if it is causing him stress. If L6 had not been mentioned as a possibility, he would have just focused on L5 and been really pleased whatever.
I know it is good to stretch children, however,I dont like the idea of pitting them above because whether he now sits them and dont pass or he does not sit them, he will still feel "not good enough". It means a 5 will not be something to celebrate. confused

Myliferocks Fri 10-May-13 09:51:37

VickySS sometimes my MN name is said with truth and other times it is said with sarcasm!
It all depends on what day of the week it is and how the DC are being! grin

Myliferocks Fri 10-May-13 09:56:55

DD3's school have been telling them how many children take the level 6 papers and how many are expected to pass which seems to have helped with her attitude of she'll try but it's not the end of the world if she doesn't get a level 6
I really thought she would go into meltdown about taking them and I was ready to withdraw her if it became too much.
I've been pleasantly surprised!
She's enjoying the extra groups the school have put on. She has been doing one extra lesson a week for both maths and english and she has been loving it.
She likes the fact that the groups have been very informal and that there has only been 8/9 children in them.
Her head teacher has been doing the maths group and she was raving yesterday about how well he explains things and she wishes he teaches her all the time for maths!

ohforfoxsake Fri 10-May-13 10:16:45

Oh how I wish I hadn't taken my head out of the sand and read these threads! Can anyone explain to me the point of doing L6 on primary? Is it really all about personal achievement? (I am genuinely questioning the sense behind it, not being facetious).

DS1 is doing Level 6 and is miserable (I have actively ignored the SATS at home as school is making a massive deal about them.) At home he only has to do the bare minimum, has his regular homework to do and apparently his teacher is setting homework next week (she'll be getting a note from me excusing him).

I had heard rumours that the school was SATS obsessed but didn't really know to what extent. He is complaining about back-ache because from carrying his heavily bag, but says he needs it all.

I was on the verge of pulling him out but he had worked so hard already it didn't seem right either. I wouldn't say he's happy to do it, but he will go along with it because he's come this far.

DS2 may be able to do L6 next year. I probably won't say yes. I think I cocked up this year. sad

We are also not doing any revision at home, and he is doing the bare minimum, ie the homework set.

I want him to just enjoy life right now, chill, be on the trampoline, be a young boy, focus on cricket, and music and whatever makes him "tick"!

FoundAChopinLizt Fri 10-May-13 10:45:13

Quintessential we're the same here. He's my third so I'm getting progressively laid back as we are heading for GCSEs with the older ones shock

noblegiraffe Fri 10-May-13 10:46:50

I'm a secondary maths teacher and in completely two minds about the level 6 SATs. On the one hand, we have had many children coming to us achieving at or near 100% on the 3-5 SATs who have probably been bored at primary school and need catering for, but on the other hand, research shows that accelerating pupils through the maths curriculum leads to shallow understanding and shaky foundations which cause problems later on. If these level 6 children were achieving in the course of normal lessons that would be one thing, but giving them extra schooling to boost their levels mainly for the benefit of the league tables doesn't seem right with such young children.
And because it's a league table measure, schools will be under pressure to shove as many kids through as possible, regardless of what it does to their confidence or whether it's any good for them.

If they get level 6 in Y6, then what to do for the KS3 curriculum? They'll be done by Y8, early entry for GCSE causes all sorts of problems too.

Bright kids need enrichment not acceleration. And average kids need time to absorb what they're learning, not be shuttled through it as quickly as possible, with extra lessons on the side, to try to get as many as possible to a new high level.

lljkk Fri 10-May-13 10:51:37

Off top of my head:

L6 is part of monitoring of school performance, that's mainly what they're for. To document that the most able children have been stretched. They also are used to set KS3 & GCSE targets, BUT the school can and will figure out targets without a KS2 SAT result (this happened to DS). Often KS2 SAT results are consulted in borderline cases for streaming & setting, too (some stories about them being a bigger factor in setting groups in y7, seems to vary by school). DD happens to be ambitious and wants L6 for her own satisfaction (she is strange ). I suppose there will be satisfaction among school staff if she gets them, but she leaves soon & soon forgotten I'm sure.

If DD gets L6 it will be a pain because she'll have very high targets for GCSEs, I don't know if I will regret encouraging that.

Not all schools are SATs obsessed; what a waste when they are. sad 2 months ago I had to explain to DD's teacher what dates the L6 tests were held on. DD had loads of sport yesterday and recently, so glad her school is doing lots of other things.

Myliferocks Fri 10-May-13 10:56:31

DD3 goes to a middle school so doesn't leave this school until the end of year 8.
The school have cancelled the normal year 6 timetables next week and have other activities like sports and cooking for when they aren't sitting SAT's and the year 6's get extra playtimes as well.
DD3 hasn't been bringing any extra homework home if any thing they haven't had any homework really since before the Easter holidays.

Tingalingle Fri 10-May-13 10:59:21

If DD gets a level 6 it won't reflect on how the school has stretched her at all!

They did murmur at the start of the year about 'doing some extension sessions for English', but according to DD it only happened once.

Two of their more obsessive readers are sitting the L6 paper anyway, in the spirit of 'having a bash', and on the grounds that they tend to be the two who correct their teacher's spellings rather than vice versa...

Maths has been a bit more organised, with lots of extra sessions (not involving DD who looks like a rabbit in headlights over anything above 5 x table).

My dc school just got an ofsted outstanding in all areas. Having said that, it is not just the teaching that will ensure some children achieve L6, it is all the tutoring for getting the kids into independent secondaries from Y7!

slug Fri 10-May-13 11:11:46

Of the two classes in DD's year I think about 8 have been put through for Level 6 in each of the papers. DD is sitting the Level 6 in all. We confidently expect her to score well in the Maths as she's been hovering over the pass mark in all the tests so far. Her teacher has also put her in for Level 6 in the other papers, despite a few reservations on his part about her tendency to panic when asked to write at length.

Personally, I couldn't give a fig. I have refused to do any extra homework apart from encouraging her (not that she needs any) to keep up with her reading. She knows damn well that, as far as I am concerned, SATS are a measure of the school, not the child and it does not matter to me if she has a bad day during the test and does not do as well as expected. I hate the pressure put on children to perform well in something that, ultimately, does not matter for the children. The teaching to the test that SATS involves sucks the joy out of learning. I'm also incensed at how other topics, notably science, has been almost completely ignored this year in the pursuit of good SATS scores. I'm also annoyed that the pressure unduly falls on DD as on of the more advanced students to pull in the big grades to make the school look good.

<<rant over>>

lljkk Fri 10-May-13 11:19:22

actually, I noticed a bit of mollycoddling of the y6s right now (I work in the school, too).

they are getting fussed over & not being scolded half as much as usual, not asked to do as much around the school for others. It's like everyone wants to keep them sweet. In dinner hall they riotously sang Happy Birthday to one of their group, adding an even louder reprieve encouraged by staff.

Not objecting, just have a feeling no one would have invited the yr5s, 4s or 3s to do that.

Ds is very happy at the moment. Even headmistress commented on his cool new hairdo, and called him TinTin! There is a hairgel ban in school, but she just smiled and said "oh, but it is part of your style, so thats ok!" shock He has a little bit of his fringe (2cm long) sticking straight up, like TinTin - it is amazing, he actually looks just like him!) So, Lljkk, you have a point!

Yellowtip Fri 10-May-13 11:52:47

slug agree about the school approach. Last weekend was the first time in the whole year that she came home with any homework at all. I'm completely relaxed about the SATS, DD4 is too.

legallady Fri 10-May-13 12:09:09

DS came home yesterday and said they had been told that they are not doing the writing assessment test but that the mark will be based on teacher assessment over the last few weeks.

He's happy as that's one less exam. Not quite sure how they'll grade him though as he has been given 2 level 6s and 2 level 5As for the last 4 bits.

Anyone else heard about teacher assessment rather than exam for writing?

Pozzled Fri 10-May-13 12:21:52

There is no exam for writing, it is all based on teacher assessment. The assessment will be looking at the general quality of their independent writing, over a range of genres. It doesn't need to be completed for a few more weeks, so it won't necessarily be based on writing that has been completed up to this point. Schools will use the ir own assessment and moderation methods, and some schools will be chosen for external moderation to check that their assessment is accurate.

legallady Fri 10-May-13 13:03:39

Thanks Pozzled - it's nice to know someone knows what it's all about grin

Although parents aren't really supposed to get involved with all of this (or are they???) it would be nice if we received some information about what's going on. I get garbled messages through my DS about booster groups and mock tests but it's only the bits and pieces he can be bothered to tell me. The only official thing we've had through is asking whether our children will be coming into school early for the SATs breakfasts that are being laid on next week hmm

sinclair Fri 10-May-13 13:46:45

it's next week, the timetable is online, all L6 papers are pm.

We have been told he writing element of English is teacher assessed and based on a portfolio of work - the deadline our children have been given is 28 June, not sure if that is a national date. Some schools will be moderated but many not - ours will be as 'needs to improve' or whatever the current Ofsted label is.

DS most excited about the breakfast club!

School is putting ours under more pressure than has been the case in past years - I can't wait for it all to be over. Good luck to everyone next week

kilmuir Fri 10-May-13 13:53:59

Yes, breakfast club is causing much excitement

circular Fri 10-May-13 14:03:11

Nobilegiraffe That's really interesting what you saying about the maths.

My DD2 in yr5 was taken aside with 3 others last term and told that they should all be hitting level 5 (literacy) this year, with hints that level 6 would be on the agenda next year.
Same teacher has since told them that it is highly unlikely that the school will be doing any level 6 literacy, as it causes problems in secondary school, being too far ahead and getting bored.

Not a problem they seemed to think existed with maths though, as its expected to be competitive.

I would have thought English is far easier to stretch sideways and keep them interested?

ohforfoxsake Fri 10-May-13 15:00:21

Slug - I agree 100%.

Quint - I have your DS's twin here then!

Really helpful thread, thank you. I am wishing I hadn't encouraged him to do it.

ohforfoxsake Fri 10-May-13 15:03:18

We were given a letter about SATS and a form so we could buy practice pass papers. DS1's teacher said to the class as they were about to break up for Easter 'if your parents have any sense, they will have you doing practice papers every other day at least'.

Needless to say papers were not bought, and practice was not done. We did, however, have a lovely time.

FoundAChopinLizt Fri 10-May-13 16:26:59

I'd rather ds was spontaneously reading for pleasure than doing practice papers. Roll on the end of next week...smile

Yellowtip Fri 10-May-13 16:44:17

Our school has done no extra classes and only this single piece of English homework in the entire year, so no obvious pressure (in fact no pressure). I've just received the weekly newsletter which informs parents that these tests are next week so please can we give them good breakfast next week and get them to bed at a reasonable time. That's it.

lljkk Fri 10-May-13 20:01:51

Is the timetable so strict that all children sit the same exam at say 9:05 am kind of thing, nationally?

Pozzled Fri 10-May-13 20:51:05

No, lijjk. It is up to the primary school to set the exact timings, but obviously all children in the school sit it at the same time. The rules only state the date and say that 3-5 papers should be in the morning and Lvl6 in the afternoon.

Iamnotminterested Fri 10-May-13 20:57:56

It looks likely that a level 5 is going to be the old level 4 ie. the expected level.

FWIW most schools do not give a monkeys about SAT levels.

My Dc's school nod at them at best.

It seems to be for the benefit of the parents.

Pozzled Fri 10-May-13 22:06:26

Iamnotminterested These schools that don't give a monkeys, would they by any chance be schools that are already achieving very good results? IME schools HAVE to care very much about levels. Low levels or lack of progress will have a huge negative impact, both at a whole school level and at a personal level for the teachers. Under those circumstances, it's really difficult not to pass the pressure on to the children.

Pozzled Fri 10-May-13 22:08:31

Oh, sorry, I've just realised that you mean secondary schools. Ignore my post, I may be feeling a little stressed about the whole SATs thing right now.


teacherwith2kids Fri 10-May-13 22:48:16

Interesting thread.

DS sat L6 Maths and Reading last year. 15% of his year got the Maths - 2 form entry primary - but none got the Reading. For DS that was a fair reflection of his abilities - he was working well within Level 5 for Maths for around a year before SATs, but as a child with strong ASD traits, finds the inference / understanding of emotions and motivation in more advanced English texts hard.

For him and his school, L6 Maths was great. It meant that proper teaching continued right through Y6, as there was new stuff to teach even the most able. The school linked up with the nearby secondary, who sent a specialist Maths teacher in one afternoon a fortnight to do 'maths problem solving' for much of the year. There was no 'SATs coaching' at all - not that type of school - but there was a freedom and motivation to attack a more advanced syllabus than might previously have been the case.

His end KS3 predictions were presumably generated from these - 8A for Maths, 8C for English - and at this point in Y7 in his comp he is on track to achieve both (L7 in recent Maths tests) so at least for him it has not been too 'shallow' a learning experience. However, as more schools get geared up to the new tests, I can see that much more 'teaching to the L6 test' will occur, and the learning might become shallower.

apatchylass Fri 10-May-13 23:06:16

No pressure on at all at our school. DS has been doing swimming and drama all day and music and IT yesterday. But a handful are taking L6 in maths and English. DS is in English but not sure about the maths. Very relaxed about SATs - they're more a gauge for the school than the individual pupils' ability, it seems.

lljkk Sat 11-May-13 07:56:47

It looks likely that a level 5 is going to be the old level 4 ie. the expected level.

I don't think so. I suppose it would be a good thing if vast majority got 5s & many got 6s, but it'd be very surprising, too. Last year there was lots of palpable disappointment from MNers whose DC didn't get L6. I don't expect DD to get it in math.

DS is doing the level 6 in Maths and English along with quite a few at his school (about 10 doing each) I'd think he has more chance with the Maths.
I think whatever he gets will be something to celebrate, certainly will be proud of any level 5's. I think it's good to try for the one above what you're expecting really. I don't think it needs to be that pressurised. We're pretty chilled about them here really.

hardboiled Sat 11-May-13 15:31:49

DS is sitting L6 Maths and English, he wanted to sit them because he passed all mocks. If he hadn't, he probably would've refused because in his school every child the teacher dimmed able to sit L6 was given the choice. Some children refused to sit them feeling their chances were slim. So everything has been handled very well, taking into account how the children were feeling about it. To be honest, the handful of children sitting L6 have all been prepared for the 11plus by either tutors or parents, so that is obviously an advantage.

As I understand it, science and writing are assessed by the teachers this year.

We are all having a relaxed weekend and the word Sats has not yet been heard in this house since breakfast!

Feenie Sat 11-May-13 15:47:56

5% last year, I found the stat recently...maybe 2.5% for English, or 3%?

It was actually more like the other way around - not even 1% for Reading, so less than 0.5%, and 3% for Maths.

b1uesky Sat 11-May-13 19:52:56

Can someone please tell me if the the Level 6 paper were reintroduced in 2012 ? Just that I've found a 2011 level 6 English paper and I'm wondering why there's a 2011 paper, when level 6 was only reintroduced last year.
It shouldn't really matter except the 2012 paper is very similar to the standard of the 11+ but the 2011 paper is almost like GCSE standard. DD was only told yesterday (friday) that she'll be doing level 6 on monday afternoon. The school didn't provide any extra help to prepare DD so I'm really stressed out right now and I'm sure DD is too.

lljkk Sat 11-May-13 20:02:38

Can you find the link for the stats, Feenie? I think I found it on tes.co.uk, but can't find it now.

IMHO, it's not worth getting stressed out about. It's just an extra 30 minutes in the afternoon. The deadline for entry was back in March (I was told, long story). So teacher should have known for a while who was and wasn't entered.

Feenie Sat 11-May-13 20:22:56

No lljkk, have had the same trouble finding them. The reading paper pass mark went up by about 6 or 7 marks from the 2011 sample paper threshold, which scuppered lots if children entered.

Feenie Sat 11-May-13 20:24:18

B1uesky, the 2011 paper was a sample paper - 2012 was the first year since 2001 that the level 6 tests were officially set.

Please don't get stressed about your DD trying for the level 6 bluesky
I'm sure she'll be able to do some of it so it won't be too stressful for her. As lljkk said it's only an extra 30 mins in afternoon or whatever.
I think if we can be calm about them our DC's will be too.
My impression is they're more significant for the schools than for the individual children.
Worth a shot, and good practice for the future is my view !

b1uesky Sat 11-May-13 21:35:12

Thanks JugglingFromHereToThere, You're right there's no need to get stressed. In fact I'm going to give DD the day off tomorrow and forget about SAT smile

lljkk Sun 12-May-13 09:36:33

it's driving me utterly batty, I know I found a link that listed the pass rates for L6 in 2012 and I linked to it at least once from MN; CANNOT find it now. Back in Feb-March time of this year. I wonder if I linked from a Chat thread. Arrrggggghhhh...!

bigbuttons Sun 12-May-13 09:40:54

My daughter is doing level 6 in both english and maths. They have been crammed for it since Feb. She is exhausted. And whose bright idea was it to do them in the afternoon when they will already be tired after tests in the morning?

BoundandRebound Sun 12-May-13 09:53:36

For openness I am a secondary school Data and assessment manager

The level 6 is in my opinion a waste of time at primary and results in cramming and poor practices in many primary schools desperate to tick the box on their OFSTED questionnaire.

It was introduced last year when my child was year 6, and badly managed by his school with booster classes after school that they all hated. Not one of them got a level 6 and I know of 2 highly achieving maths children who didn't even get their level 5 because they were so confused.

Luckily it's all moot at secondary, none of the schools they have gone to, nor the one I work at, pay much attention to KS2 SATs - we base test and assess them on entry, set them loosely, re-set and re-target over first terms and have fluid sets over KS3

So do not panic. We normally see our english and maths teachers working furiously in term 1 of year 7 to get students back to KS2 SATs results as they tend to drop over summer and as a result of teaching to test practices or on the flip side see students soaring as they are taught appropriately at secondary level

(On a personal level my child achieved a high 5 in maths at KS2, didnt get level 6 so he felt like he'd failed no matter what we said and within 6 weeks at secondary -not the one I work at - his end of first term data report showed him at a 7c)

lljkk Sun 12-May-13 10:01:26

The numbers I want might be buried somewhere in here, I've got to run but anyone who wants to read more carefully might find them.

That link gives (pages 102+, pg. 107 especially) some stats that show that the number who achieve L6 will be a rather tiny % indeed. Agrees with what Feenie said about Reading test being the hardest one.

Also some interesting comment on the value of L6 tests educationally (or lack of value even). Suggested that 90% of secondaries use CATs.

Feenie Sun 12-May-13 10:24:56

The level 6 is in my opinion a waste of time at primary and results in cramming and poor practices in many primary schools desperate to tick the box on their OFSTED questionnaire.

It was introduced last year

The level 6 test was reintroduced last year, after a 12 year gap. However, teachers have always been able to teacher assess at level 6, and that result supposedly has 50/50 weighting with the test (but in reality really doesn't).

We have always been prepared to teach level 6 and have sent one ot two up to secondary schools as solid level 6s.

This time, there seems to be a huge rush to see if the higher level 5s can 'have a try', which is not what the tests are supposed to be for. Children should be comfortably working at level 6 in the classroom day to day before they are entered. The gap between 5a and 6c/6b is huge, especially in reading.

Slipshodsibyl Sun 12-May-13 11:49:25

Please correct me if I am wrong but though people say L6 was re introduced last year, i think this is not exactly correct. 10 years ago, it was possible to sit L6 but I seem to recall that the children were actually sitting Key Stage 3 papers rather than age appropriate papers ( maybe more relevant in English than Maths) which, if i am right, made the exercise a bit silly but more of a 'have a go and see how you do' affair than is described upon this thread.

I have always considered SATs unreliable indicators for secondary and very reductive in scope. I'd be interested to hear some more comments from teachers about how they are viewed now, especially at secondary level.

Slipshodsibyl Sun 12-May-13 11:50:14

Oh thanks Feenie - that is interesting

Feenie Sun 12-May-13 11:52:02

Please correct me if I am wrong but though people say L6 was re introduced last year, i think this is not exactly correct. 10 years ago, it was possible to sit L6 but I seem to recall that the children were actually sitting Key Stage 3 papers rather than age appropriate papers ( maybe more relevant in English than Maths)

No, I'm sorry, that's incorrect - they were KS2 Level 6 papers, and they stopped in 2001.

Slipshodsibyl Sun 12-May-13 12:12:19

Thanks. Do you know why they were originally stopped and would you share your opinion about the re-introduction please?

bigbuttons Sun 12-May-13 12:14:25

The deputy and class teacher of my daughter's school, tried to frighten the year 6 half to death by telling them the sats were so important that the results would stay on their 'paperwork' when they applied for jobs as adults! I was bloody livid.

Feenie Sun 12-May-13 12:23:02

I don't know why they were stopped, but I do know that teacher assessment at level 6 continued.

I think I have shared my opinion re introduction already - this time they are definitely being misused, and no wonder secondary teachers are pissed off! I suspect that is probably why they disappeared in the first place.

BooksandaCuppa Sun 12-May-13 13:28:31

It quite clearly said all over the DoE website that they are for children 'already working consistently at level 6' and not for level 5 kids to just have a 'go' at.

Last year at ds's primary they stuck to that and no-one did them, despite his little group of higher achievers being all level 5b/a all year in English and maths. This year I think half the year are doing them. I feel sorry for any of those kids who'll go to secondary and find out they're not really level 6 - especially in reading.

The texts studied at secondary are so much more sophisticated - and the fact that you have to write an essay not just answer a few questions means that in the case of English, at least, a primary level 5 or 6 is really not the same as a secondary one.

Tingalingle Sun 12-May-13 20:12:26

Ah. Wish I'd known that before agreeing that DD could have a bash at it.

breadandbutterfly Tue 14-May-13 11:18:58

Oh well,at my dd's primary lots of the kids - a third? half? are doing L6 -though I don't think all are expected to pass. I expect dd to pass Maths and the SPAG one but would be very surprised if she passed the Reading one (as would she). But she seems quite happy to have a go.

The downside of the L6s is that the year 6s have had to do much more work this year. The upside is that...they've had to do much more work this year. My elder dd (who would easily have passed at L6 in year 6) spent most of year 6 pretty bored, as the highest level then was L5 at primary. She had already done L6 equivalent maths for 11+ practice, so would have liked to have done L6-type work in class and to have her abilities 'recognised'. There have always been plenty of children who are above L5 in primary school - don't see anything wrong in them being stretched.

In the case of my dd2 currently in year 6, she has had to work quite hard to try to reach L6 standards but can see how she's progressed. I don't think children should feel forced to do L6 - but if they are happy to have the extra work, then it needn't be bad. All the practice for L6 tests has also helped the kids get used to exams so they're no big deal; also quite a useful thing.

PastSellByDate Thu 16-May-13 05:37:38

Very interesting thread - was just having a peak as DD1 will be facing SATs next year.

Just curious how senior schools/ grammar schools handle primary SATs scores upon entry?

If this has already been discussed at length on the secondary feed then please just direct me to the discussion.


lljkk Thu 16-May-13 08:10:38

Probably been discussed widely smile.
90% of secondaries set their own cognitive ability tests (CATs) to implement streaming & setting. They don't trust y6 SATs very much although SATs are usually used to set KS3 & GCSE targets, also sometimes consulted for streaming when the CAT results aren't definitive. hth.

chickensaladagain Thu 16-May-13 08:22:29

Dd is doing all the level 6s but she started the year on level 6 and has done no extra other than the normal class extension work she has been doing since reception I love dd's primary

Out of 55 year 6, 3 are doing level 6 literacy and 8 are doing maths which seems appropriate

The school down the road have entered a third of the year 6 for both and have been doing extra classes, lunch time sessions etc and came home this weekend with a pile of practise paper -yet locally it's seen as the better school and is over subscribed every year!

poppydoppy Thu 16-May-13 09:46:35

DS year 5 is working at level 6. I think its quite normal in private schools.

lljkk Thu 16-May-13 10:03:45

Not in the private school DS attended, lol. He was barely scraping L5c at end of y6 and was considered the very top ability pupil.

<sigh> so that was it.

DS did sit his Level 6 Maths papers today, and is now a nervous wreck. I knew it. He would have been happy as lark not sitting it and being confident of his mark. He now is really worried. I think they are too young for this type of worry. But, I have cooked his favourite dinner, and the brownies are in the oven so will have them for pudding with vanilla ice cream. Not that this will make up for him now worrying. He said 15 of the 20 were "really easy" but sure he has 5 incorrect answers.

Feenie Thu 16-May-13 18:21:57

My elder dd (who would easily have passed at L6 in year 6) spent most of year 6 pretty bored, as the highest level then was L5 at primary.

No it wasn't. There has never been a ceiling on KS2 teacher assessment, and level 6 was referred to in the statutory documents every year that the test was not in existence.

Your dd's school chose not to teach level 6 and to cap your dd's attainment, which is appalling.

LaQueen Fri 17-May-13 16:54:18

DD's school didn't offer the option of Level 6 until last year. Loads and loads of children were getting high Level 5s, but couldn't go any further.

They're offering it for the first time, now. Both DDs should get the Level 6 Maths, without much problem (both take after DH for maths)...but, I hear the English is harder, and more intense?

Secondme Fri 17-May-13 17:04:09

DD did it last year and said the English was a lot harder than the Maths. To practice they had done 1999 and 1998 Maths papers which were really hard but the actual paper was easy (according to DD). I think the reading questions required a lot more thinking but apparently they were easier than the reading test she did at the private school exam. I never knew they only restarted last year. At DD's school lots of people did Maths. About 12 and I'm pretty sure more than half got it. 5 of those people did level six English and 3 got l6 writing and 2 got l6 reading. dd and one other got 3 l6.

Feenie Fri 17-May-13 17:10:00

DD's school didn't offer the option of Level 6 until last year. Loads and loads of children were getting high Level 5s, but couldn't go any further.

Then they weren't following statutory advice. Was that their only excuse then - that they just 'couldn't' confused

LaQueen Fri 17-May-13 17:17:51

Feenie I'm not sure? My DDs were lower down the school, so only going on hearsay from friend.

I do know, they had a specialist in last year, to help them set up Level 6 provision for children.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 17-May-13 17:58:19

No, feenie, it only came in last year, didn't it?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 17-May-13 18:01:28

I mean, a teacher could say 'that child is working at level 6', but the actual SATS papers for them to sit weren't there until last summer, surely?

Feenie Fri 17-May-13 18:02:10

Tests reappeared last year - but the guidance has consistently referred to teacher assessment at level 6 every single year.

We teacher assessed a couple every now and again, usually in reading. It isn't fair to cap the attainment of, say, a Y5 child working at a 5A at the end of Year 5. They are as entitled to make progress as anyone else.

Feenie Fri 17-May-13 18:03:04

Tests and teacher assessment supposedly have equal weighting, TheOriginalSteamingNit.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 17-May-13 18:08:13

Sure, but i suppose the 'new' test last year was when the whole level 6 thing became a lot more visible, that's all.

Feenie Fri 17-May-13 18:15:32

Maybe to parents, yes.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 17-May-13 18:20:46

Which is of course what most of us are, so that makes sense smile

ChippyMinton Sat 18-May-13 07:22:24

Re the English tests appearing harder than the maths, DS's teacher explained it like this: elements of the English (reading?) require a level of maturity and insight to fully answer the questions. Whereas maths is technique - you either know it or you don't.

BooksandaCuppa Sat 18-May-13 09:39:45

And reading levels are more likely to get marked back down at secondary for this precise reason...(see my comments upthread).

lljkk Sat 18-May-13 09:47:05

Moving on.. has anyone looked at sample CAT questions yet? Some of them are diabolical !!, like

"If Y + D means Y is the brother of D; Y - D means Y is the sister of D and Y x D means Y is the father of D. Which of the following means that C is the son of M?

P x Q - C + S
P + CQ
Q - S
None of the above"

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