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to think that the spread of ability is greater in EYFS than at GCSE?

(27 Posts)
pickledsiblings Fri 06-Feb-15 19:23:39

Does anyone have any data on this or any anecdotal info?

Obviously it depends on individual cohorts.

Vycount Fri 06-Feb-15 19:27:16

Ability or baseline? Children tend to start with a very wide baseline in EYFS, but of course that narrows as they work their way up the schools.
If ability, how do you measure that? I've never seen any school data measuring ability.

noblegiraffe Fri 06-Feb-15 19:40:20

The grades in maths GCSE go from a grade G which is equivalent to a level 3 to a grade A* which would be a level 10. Some kids get Us and some sit additional maths GCSEs so there's at least a 9 'level' difference between highest and lowest.

pickledsiblings Fri 06-Feb-15 19:57:49

Isn't a baseline just a snapshot of ability?

Vycount Fri 06-Feb-15 19:58:22

GCSE grades are achievement though, rather than ability.

ReallyTired Fri 06-Feb-15 19:58:58

Surely ablity gets wider. Some children start reception on the p scales and are still on the p scales 11 years later. However the different is that very few children are in 100% mixed ablity classes for keystage 4.

TheTroubleWithAngels Fri 06-Feb-15 20:01:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PesoPenguin Fri 06-Feb-15 20:06:42

Definitely not. Also do you mean children doing GCSEs or children of GCSE age because at age 16 there will be some children who are unable to read and write, with very poor maths skills and some who are capable of doing a degree already.

pickledsiblings Fri 06-Feb-15 20:25:14

I mean, if you take a group on 25 - 30 kids in a typical reception class vs the same group of kids at age 16 all schooled in the same system. Wouldn't the spread of abilities be greatest at the beginning of formal schooling?

Pipbin Fri 06-Feb-15 20:31:50

Don't forget that the difference between a child who is 5 of the first of September and one is 5 of the 31st of August is huge. By the time that class get to GCSE age the gap has closed.

ReallyTired Fri 06-Feb-15 20:33:48

I think it's a complex question whether ablity is wider in reception than GCSE. In reception September born girls are at a massive advantage. Boys statistically develop more slowly in the early year, but do catch up by GCSE. By GCSE raw intelligence and hard work make more of a difference than birthday.

I think that the range in ablity is greater at 16, but schools are set up to cope.

LokiBear Fri 06-Feb-15 20:35:00

I think you are trying to compare two things that are incomparable.

Charitygirl1 Fri 06-Feb-15 20:35:27

I believe the gap narrows during EYFS and KS1 but then widens from KS2 and throughout sec school so that the socioeconomic gap at GCSE attainment is big. Not sure of actual comparison between the two stages, but it would be apples and pears.

pickledsiblings Fri 06-Feb-15 20:40:42

I ask because I was surprised that none of our Y1 cohort have ability above age related expectations - I find that odd.

LokiBear Fri 06-Feb-15 20:50:57

It isn't odd, it is average, surely? My dd is 3.5 and her nursery gave started her practising simple addition and 3d shapes which they tell me is foundation stage learning (so the year above). She can't draw though. Yet, my niece is two months older and draws recognisable people and can colour in better than me. Seemingly lightyears ahead of her peers and dd. Whilst they are both average and show flair for different skills, they also both have their entire school lives to catch up with each other and learn skills. By the time you get to GCSE there is little time left and we teach them to test. Totally different and non comparable.

TooHasty Fri 06-Feb-15 21:13:18

The more a school under grades in ks1 the easier it is to show a good value added in ks2

ScarlettDarling Fri 06-Feb-15 21:27:03

Agree with TooHasty , many heads put pressure on eyfs practitioners and Y2 teachers to "mark down" so that the value added by end of Y6 is good. If a child exceeds expectations at the end of Foundation stage, then that child would be expected to achieve level 3s at end ks1 and increasingly would be expected to achieve level 6s by y 6. Which is tough! So, it could well be that your Y1 class do have children who are 'exceeding'... But who have been marked down. Or...you could just have a very average class?

But I don't get why you think that Rec children have a greater ability spread than GCSEs children?

Also, in answer to your question above, no, baseline isn't a snapshot of ability. In Reception class, baseline should reveal where the children are 'at', because of their experiences, age, maturity, SEN, cultural background...and their ability.

skylark2 Fri 06-Feb-15 22:57:49

Taking the question at face value... it's bound to be wider at GCSE age.

EYFS - you have some developmentally delayed kids who are still at the level of babies, and some very, very bright kids who are at the level of...eleven year olds? Maybe slightly older? I mean the total geniuses. But even they won't be degree level.

GCSE age - the very developmentally delayed kids are still at the level of babies. The total geniuses are now doing higher degrees.

egnahc Fri 06-Feb-15 23:05:49

The impact of age is more significant in EYFS than at GCSE. If you think some children will be 4 and 1 day and some 5 at the start of the year. So some were walking and talking before others were born. Whilst this is true throughout the education system the impact of the age difference reduces as pupils get older,

Being a summer born boy has a significant impact on EYFS attainment. Add in disadvantaged, Eal, Pakistani heritage etc and the gap widens.

From September 2015 schools will be able to opt into Reception baseline assessment.

Vycount Fri 06-Feb-15 23:08:06

Ability is about the quality to be able to do something. It's innate. Aren't most of you talking about attainment - you are talking about the levels that the children achieve? They are two different things. Attainment is affected by factors other than ability as children progress through their school lives.
That's why I asked my first question, I wasn't sure that Op meant ability as such.

fleecyjumper Fri 06-Feb-15 23:24:20

It depends what is being tested really. Is it intelligence or things that have been learnt. Being able to read is just the skill of decoding, it doesn't signify intelligence. So what if a child can read well at age three, there will be others in class that couldn't read at 3 but are at the same level at age 7.

fleecyjumper Fri 06-Feb-15 23:25:12

Cross-posted with vycount.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 07-Feb-15 00:13:52

I don't think it is odd. Firstly it depends on the cohort. One of my local schools is in a very deprived area, they rarely get children entering school at ARE, almost all are below or well below, so having many hildren working above after a year would be phenomenal progress.

Secondly the curriculum and assessment have changed this year, so it depends what you mean by above age related expectations. The end of year expectations for year 1 are higher and most of the new assessment schemes I've seen take age related expectations as meeting the end of year outcomes with a couple of stages below that for working towards. You might not necessarily expect a child to be 'meeting expectations' at this stage in the year.

sherazade Sat 07-Feb-15 08:23:01

The gap widens as children who are lower attaining lose confidence and are undermined by the system as they grow older . The lower attaining four year olds in my class still believe in themselves and are allowed to explore , play and learn at their own will ( mostly) . As they enter ks1 any creativity and freedom is gradually squeezed out of them as they are forced to conform to the Demands of the NC

Pipbin Sat 07-Feb-15 08:28:02

My question is: what is expected level for a GCSE student?
Expected level in EYFS is to be working at the correct level for their age, and most of the goals are obtainable
However, is the expected level for GCSE A? Are we expecting all children to be 'above average' like Gove?
I would think that expected level is a C.

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