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...to assume that a child who achieved a Level 5 at the end of KS2, and a 5L at the end of KS3 has made no progress?

(13 Posts)
Shakti Thu 14-Jul-11 10:57:18

The results above are for science but the other subjects show a similar story of under achievement. I have spoke to the school endless times about what we can do to encourage DS2 to want to learn; he will never be a happy academic but is nonetheless fairly bright. He had an assessment for dyslexia and was found to have difficulties especially in processing auditory instructions and the school have paid lip service to this but do not seem to have taken it seriously. I have asked for an appointment with the Head tomorrow but would really like a range of opinions first.

AIBU to assume that little (any?) progress has been made?
AIBU to presume that the school should have been more proactive to avoid this situation?

Any ideas on how to try and turn this around so he gets 5 GSCEs? At the current rate/predictions he will struggle t come out with any.

I am trying very hard to think what to add...err...he achieved 4 in English and 5s in Maths and science at the end of KS2. I suspect although have not followed this through he has more than a touch of ADHD and I am positive that he has real difficulty getting started with tasks, recalling instructions etc. His attention span is poor and he works best with one to one and lots of attention. His confidence is rock bottom :-(

bigTillyMint Thu 14-Jul-11 11:03:42

It certainly seems that no progress has been made, but...

Given that you say he works best with a 1:1, he will probably have been heavily supported at primary school, particularly during the SATs where it is possible to give extra support if necessary in maths. If this is the case, he may have acheived higher levels than at secondary school where he would have had little or no support.

It sounds like he may have some SEN's - have they been identified by the school? Does he have an IEP?

TartyMcFarty Thu 14-Jul-11 11:05:41

You also need to take inflated ks2 results into account, which in themselves tend to follow inflated ks1. But you are right to be concerned at no progress on paper whatsoever.

basingstoke Thu 14-Jul-11 11:08:18

I would go in and talk to the teachers concerned. I have had a number of these conversations with parents. They will probably be expecting it!

Shakti Thu 14-Jul-11 13:36:20

No IEP.

He is 14, I feel as though I have let down badly for it to come to this now.

It sounds as though IANBU though.

I would appreciate any challenges, get into practise for tomorrow!

Basingstoke, how do you conduct such conversations?

turCENSOREDss Thu 14-Jul-11 13:47:34

Hi, I used to be a teacher. Your son has not made progress if you look at the figures (although secondary schools often feel that the primary levels are over-inflated). However, if someone is getting level 5s in Eng/Maths/Science at the end of Yr 9 then they certainly be expected to get Cs or above in all those subjects and thus can easily attain Cs in other subjects too. Also, he will have done another test in Yr7 to predict his potential at GCSE. Different schools use different exams for this but a common one is the Fisher Family Trust test. They tend to give more accurate predictions for GCSE than Sats (especially Yr 6 ones).

Can you afford private tutoring (about 25/30 pounds an hour depending on where you live)? It's well worth it. (Don't use private tution centres; they are not as good for really boosting grades).

catwoman2011 Thu 14-Jul-11 14:07:20

I have a few ideas for you - try them/don't try them, it's ok.

What is he passionate about? Any skill related sport is great, football/rugby, F1 racing etc. All of them can be used for science and maths. He can work out the curvature of the ball (maths), how the camber of the roads surface can reduce or increase the speed of the vehicle (science).

You can ask a question about something (you might know the answer but that doesn't matter) and get him to write a mini report on it. You can keep asking questions about things he likes until he learns to relate the things in the classroom to things in real life.

I am due to start my degree in October and then become a private tutor for 13yrs upwards. I already have all the teaching qualifications through the army and currently work in a FE College so if you would like some remote help, just send me a message. Having worked with 12-18yr olds in alternative learning for 14 years, I've kinda got a knack for it now.

basingstoke Thu 14-Jul-11 14:13:54

It depends entirely on the child. Some children come in with high KS2 results but just don't have the ability in Science to maintain the two levels of progress. Some children are unmotivated and don't work (we would have already had a conversation about that!). Some have other difficulties in school or at home that are affecting their learning. There are lots of reasons! I would go through our interventions and talk about a plan for KS4 and making sure that he managed to reach his potential (and I would be quite explicit as to what I thought that potential was). Have you had regular progress reports? We report on progress every half term, so there should be no surprises at the end of year 9.

basingstoke Thu 14-Jul-11 14:18:05

Fisher Family trust estimates certainly do take into account prior achievement at KS2, and are not a test.

Shakti Thu 14-Jul-11 16:04:08

This is great. Thank you everyone for your time.

Basingstoke (we may live quite close!), you have given me some good ideas for questions to ask. Yes, it has been noted throughout that he does not focus/concentrate. His motivation for working is poor (understatement).We have done our best to overcome this e.g. he was due a huge treat if this report (effort not attainment) was better than last.

I think what is really troubling me is that he has no confidence and I suspect this is affecting his achievement. Staff have been reminded frequently NOT to compare him in class to his academic brothers, to recognise his messing around as sometimes (not always, he can be a little git as well!) due to him not recalling instructions and not wanting to ask again.There is understandably given class sizes etc a tendency for teachers to become impatient as being asked by him to repeat instructions and this leads to him quite literary not knowing and therefore having nothing to do. I have asked that when possible he is given brief written instructions for his desk.

The technique of choice when he is disruptive is to send him out of the room. Again I can understand why this is sometimes necessary when you have a lad distracting other students from learning but it only compounds the difficulties he has. One thing we have noted is that, if for example, someone helps him get started he can then sustain effort over a couple of paragraphs before drifting off. It is the getting started that is the biggest hurdle.

He is bright, doing long division in his head at age 10 for example. Now the sums are too large for mental manipulation he struggles because he hates (can't?) write the figures down. If you sit with him and talk him through an argument or piece of scientific writing he does very well applying and using concepts and a broad appropriate vocabulary. If you then walk away to leave him to write it up he loses interest. The school have had difficulty getting him into the right sets. he needs short tasks but some of the lower sets simply do not provide interest for him. The work is too easy even if he fails to do it properly if that makes sense. Personally I think this was one reason he did better at primary, I think he is one of those who works well within mixed ability groups.

I really think that his grades are accurate in that they reflect the lack of progress, in almost all subjects not just science that was just one example. Last term I sat with him and looked through his primary school work and he recognised that he did better then. What I want to know is how we (school, home and DS) are going to address it. It does not help, in my opinion, that the school has an increasing, above national average gap, between girls' and boys' attainment. If you talk to him he has ambition at present but much longer and I fear he will be totally disaffected. We have agreed that he can do a vocational option over the next two years, and I think he will not only be a fab mechanic but this will hopefully give him a much needed break from the discipline at school! I want him to get those GCSEs though!

tur - the school themselves have suggested that getting 5s at the end of KS3 bodes badly for GSCE results.

cat - good suggestions; his does have interests and skills and did his last writing assessment in the form of a report about Boxing!

Thank you for reading

Shakti Thu 14-Jul-11 21:14:12

Quick bump in case any evening people can help prepare me for tomorrow!

MigratingCoconuts Thu 14-Jul-11 21:34:29

Hi, I am a science teacher at secondary school and I would say (bluntly) that a 5L at KS3 would indicate a likely D/C grade at GCSE science. However, that is without your DS's clear special needs where his verbal recall is so much better than his written work.

It is a shame that our system is so much dependant on a narrow method of assessment.

I think you can definately point to a lack of progress. I would have expected some sort of progress by at least some sub levels, which you have not recieved.

I would insist on an assessment by the educational phsycologist for exam entries. If he has been diagnoised with dyslexic traits, find out if you can push exam consessions for him from the exam board.

This would provide support for your son and also try to force the school to take note.

Have you got in contact with dyslexia societies for advice? If the school is not supportive, they may be.

I think your attitude about his future beyond school is spot on...but getting there may take a bit of a struggle. However, he sounds like some one who will be successful inspite of schooling and, in my experinces, that is actually a great position of strength for someone. You can beat that kind of intelligence.

Shakti Thu 14-Jul-11 21:54:43

More than that he is actually the most caring gorgeous lad in the world.

<just very slightly biased>

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