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To be extremely concerned that DS (yr9) school has decided that achieving GCSE level 4s in Maths/English will be good attainment for most pupils.

(111 Posts)
sunshield Thu 13-Oct-16 18:12:35

I came back from DSs yr 9 parent evening last night a bit 'shell' shocked . The school which is deemed one of the better moderns around ( i did not use to call them that but when you compare the DDs grammar school ).
The school deems ' level' 4s to be a laudable achievement , they indicated that was the level they will be teaching the majority of pupils to.

Even lazy bones DD 2 (yr11) (posted about that April 2015) is predicted level 7 in Maths 8 in English . When she sarcastically told her Maths teacher that level '5' would be fine because she was not doing A level Maths was sent to the year head who roasted her !

This illustrates the difference in expectations in grammar and moderns a why is DSs school setting such low expectations in year 9 for 'gods' sake.

Or is it a case of seeing grade 4 as a pass....

acasualobserver Thu 13-Oct-16 18:16:46

The levels are, and always have been, an enormous, meaningless, crock of shit.

HighwayDragon1 Thu 13-Oct-16 18:18:44

Our school (teacher here) are certainly not saying level 4 is good enough! We expect at least a 4, as the absolute bare minimum. Our average gcse grade this year came out a b-.

State comp.

PotteringAlong Thu 13-Oct-16 18:19:06

is it not just that, for the next 2 years, the government has said that a good pass will be 4 or above, before it becomes a 5?

AlbertaDewdrop Thu 13-Oct-16 18:19:35

I think that you need a boarding school, £30,000 a year will get you what you desire and your obviously genius child will not have to go near any of these awful children who access 'moderns' - whatever a modern is'

Maybe based on the prior attainment of most children 4 is an ambitious target?

sunshield Thu 13-Oct-16 18:19:43

I was talking about achieving GCSE level 4 attainment, not the age level SATS tests.

MsMermaid Thu 13-Oct-16 18:22:16

If they don't get grade 5 in maths and English then they will need to resit in sixth form/college. So while a grade 4 is technically equivalent to a C it won't be deemed as a "good pass".

Are they maybe talking about the grade they are aiming for at the end of year 9, then improve it to a 5 or 6 by the end of year 11?

GreatFuckability Thu 13-Oct-16 18:23:05

for some children a level 4 IS a good pass. you sound like a snob.

VagueButExcitlng Thu 13-Oct-16 18:24:53

YANBU to be concerned.

DD's school is a slightly below average comp but with no grammar in the area. She is in y10.

We were told that even though a 4 will be considered a pass this year, they will be aiming for 5s because that's what employers will come to understand as a pass.

BombadierFritz Thu 13-Oct-16 18:25:24

but a grammar only takes, say, top ten percent, so would also be expecting results only at top 10 percent? the sec modern has the other 90percent so statistically expected average grades will be lower? what do they expect from your child, not the average?

myfavouritecolourispurple Thu 13-Oct-16 18:26:33

I think the school should be aiming for grade 5. Even if grade 4 is ok for the next couple of years, employers will not make that distinction in future.

Have you asked the school why they think grade 4 is ok?

MatildaTheCat Thu 13-Oct-16 18:27:04

It's all about getting the maximum number of kids to 'pass' grades as opposed to getting each child to their own maximum potential. It's very annoying if you have a child who is bright but needs a bit more attention to get a top grade but the attention is, instead solely focussed on getting every into a acceptilevel to show that the school has a 90% pass rate at GCSE.

I'd pay for extra tuition if possible and I speak as someone who's ds missed top grades in four subjects by a tiny percentage and with a bit of extra help could have scored almost all top grades.

VagueButExcitlng Thu 13-Oct-16 18:27:49

Great a 4 is not a good pass for anyone. It is certainly a good achievement for lots of children, but it's not at all snobby to say that it is not a good enough pass for lots of courses, apprenticeships or jobs.

If you think it should be, as a C was in the past, then you might want to take it up with Michael Gove

AlbertaDewdrop Thu 13-Oct-16 18:30:21

I was talking about achieving GCSE level 4 attainment, not the age level SATS tests.

No-one suggested that you were did they?

Hulababy Thu 13-Oct-16 18:31:34

You can't compare the predicted levels from the old SATs to the new GCSE grades. I know they are all numbers which can be confusing, but the VSE grades are NOT linked to the SATs level numbers of old.

A grade 4 is roughly equivalent to the lower end of a Grade C.
A grade 5 is roughly equivalent to the upper end of a Grade C/lower end of a B

Grade 7 is roughly a Grade A
Grade 8/9 are the new version of A*

Mozfan1 Thu 13-Oct-16 18:32:46

Do schools not do A,B,C etc for GCSEs anymore then? I only did mine in 2009, things have changed quickly 😳 Or if it's sats do hey really mean much? You don't put them on cv or anything?

thisisafakename Thu 13-Oct-16 18:33:27

OP, I agree with you. It's worrying that this is the standard they tell the children to aim for. Level 4 at maths will be insufficient to study at university (reinforcing to the children that university study is out of their reach).

Hulababy Thu 13-Oct-16 18:34:27

Grade 5 is what is classed as a good pass. Grade 4 is an acceptable pass.

I wouldn't worry too much re employers at the moment. It will take a while for it to filter down.

And no one ever commented, or was pulled down negatively, on why the first GCSE years don't have A* or even a whole string of As. A* didn't exist and it was really unusual in many schools to come out with straight As originally. Even though these di increase and be introduced after a few years, those who sat them first weren't generally treated badly because they didn't.

Hulababy Thu 13-Oct-16 18:35:29

Mozfan - for English and Maths (I think) the new Grades will be used for the current Y11s. For most other subjects it is next year (current Y10s) The final old style GCSEs will be phased out the year after iirr.

pieceofpurplesky Thu 13-Oct-16 18:35:53

Mozfan GCSE grades are now in numbers. English and Maths from 2017 and everything else 2018 (so current year 11s get 1-9 in maths and English).

dowhatnow Thu 13-Oct-16 18:35:56

But all the best students have been creamed off to the grammar . The best of the bunch are not going to be as good as the worst of the grammar kids.

pieceofpurplesky Thu 13-Oct-16 18:36:53

OP are you sure they are not expecting G4 by end of year 9?

sunshield Thu 13-Oct-16 18:37:25

I think casual was thinking i meant SATS tests when i said 'Level 4'.

No the grade 4 target was meant for the end of year 11 . They are expecting only about 30-40% of pupils to achieve a Level 5 or greater !

obviously more info will be available after this year ,grade boundaries ETC .
It might be a realistic target but it does not 'fill' you with hope though.

d270r0 Thu 13-Oct-16 18:38:51

I am a maths teacher. A level 4 is the same as a C grade. What the school means is that the school wants to get the majority of students level 4s just as in the past they would have aimed for C grades. In order to continue in education after Y11, students will need to have a level 4 or resit to try and obtain a level 4.

This does not mean that students are only expected to get level 4s. Students will all be given their own targets based on them making enough levels of progress throughout school. Schools are given targets for each student. Schools will be judged against these targets so will be aiming for every student to reach their individual target.

Mozfan1 Thu 13-Oct-16 18:39:52

Oh thank you! I didn't realise they had changed it! I guess it's the same as schools saying 'we want c and above across the board' as c is/was a pass then? Maybe they're not actually saying aim for a 4, but the lowest you have to get is a 4 or you have to retake?

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