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"almost all level 7s" in year 8 - is that normal? worrying me about my own child

(53 Posts)
schoolquestion Sun 21-Aug-11 07:37:42

Friend's DS and my DS were both borderline when it came to the 11+. Friend's DS passed (just) and is at grammar, my DS failed (just) and is at local high school. We have been very happy with the high school and, I thought, with DS's progress. However, friend told me last week that her DS had achieved level 7s in almost all his subjects. My DS got 6c for English and Maths, then 5s for everything else (mix of5as, bs, & cs). As children that performed similarly at primary, I am worried that DS is slipping behind - how normal is it for children to get all level 7s in year 8? Friend's DS is not in top set for anything, so presumably the brighter grammar kids are getting even higher grades? It's not so much that I'm competitive with the other child (re-reading my post it sounds like it) but it's more that I'm worried that DS isn't making as good progress as we thought. He is at the top of top set for most of his subjects, and yet there is a huge gap between his levels and those of a child in bottom sets at grammar.

AurraSing Sun 21-Aug-11 07:52:15

Have you actually seen the report card? grin
I don't know much about the mc grades but a quick google said that level 7 is beyond expectations of a 14 year old.
Does the school think your ds is doing well?

AurraSing Sun 21-Aug-11 07:54:33

NC not mc, my fingers are getting fatter by the day.

schoolquestion Sun 21-Aug-11 07:57:15

no, I haven't seen the actual report card....
DS's school is really pleased with his progress and at parents eve were telling us he is towards the top of top set. So of course we were delighted that he's doing so well. Just felt a bit deflated to hear of another child that used to be of similar level apparently doing so much better, and beginning to wonder whether we'd let DS down by not re-trying him for grammar.

QTPie Sun 21-Aug-11 09:14:58

If he is happy and doing well where he is, then moving him may do no favours. Speak to his teachers? Speak to your son? How does he feel?

If he is at a good school and is happy and well achieving there, there may be little benefit (and possibly a lot of harm) to moving him. A/A* should be very achievable. Maybe better to consider a move for 6th form (where things get a lot tighter and differences really can be made/felt).

See what your son and his teachers say?


Caged Sun 21-Aug-11 09:20:53

My dd got one 7, mostly 6's and 4 in both mfl's at the end of year 7 she's at a grammar.

MrsRobertDuvall Sun 21-Aug-11 09:22:27

Ds has just finished yr 7 at an average boys comp and got level 7 for maths, but 5s and the odd 6 for all other subjects.

I wouldn't worry too much...they are expected to be level 7 by end of yr 9. And you can't get higher than an A*. Ds's best friend is at hugely selective grammar, and I have no idea what levels he is on, nor do I care. It's something his mum and I do not discuss.

LynetteScavo Sun 21-Aug-11 09:34:18

My DS, at the end of year 7 got 7's in Maths and Science, and 6 in English, and 4's in everything else. Just shows how English and Maths are pushed at primary level, compared to other subjects. He's at a comprehensive.

I am so glad we were able to opt out of the grammar system.
OP, if it's bothering you that much, then is there anyway you could get him into the grammar school at some point? Surely people must move out of the area occasionally.

LynetteScavo Sun 21-Aug-11 09:41:03

Oh, and no one's going to come on and post about their DC who got all 4's and 5's at the end of year 8. smile

Although I might about DS2 in a few years. I will still be very proud of him. smile

MrsRobertDuvall Sun 21-Aug-11 09:44:33

Dd has scraped level 6 in maths and science at the end of yr 9.
We are not foreseeing a career in astrophysics.

seeker Sun 21-Aug-11 09:49:12

I'm happy to post my dd's year 8 levels as a mid ability pupil at a high achieving grammar school when I get home on Tuesday if it would help. A mixture of 5s and 6s, a couple of 7s, and 4s for MFLs I think.

Grammar schools children I think generally make faster progress in the early years- then high achieving high school pupils catch up as GCSEs loom.

MrsRobertDuvall Sun 21-Aug-11 10:27:43

however she did get level 7 in Spanish and French.
everyone is good at different things.

kat2504 Sun 21-Aug-11 10:35:16

I suspect she is not telling the truth. Or the teachers in that school are vastly overawarding the levels in order to boost their figures. There are no national tests in year 8 to prove that they have actually achieved those results.
A child with those levels in year 8 would be in the top sets!

The average level for end of year 6 is 4
The expected level for end of year 9 is 5/6. More able children would be on 6/7 with the very occasional 8 for gifted pupils in the odd subject.

All 5s and the odd 6 in year 8 is a good result.

hocuspontas Sun 21-Aug-11 10:38:07

What were your ds's levels in year 6? If his English and Maths were high 5s then I think I would be enquiring why he had only progresses 1/2 sub-levels in 2 years. If however he achieved level 4s in year 6 then he is progressing well.

BehindLockNumberNine Sun 21-Aug-11 10:42:44

Ds has just finished Y7 at a local, well regarded, huge comprehensive. He has achieved a 6b in maths, 5c in english and a mixture of 5s and 4s for everything else. He is working at the bottom of the top set (but I feel he should not have been put in the top set as he was not of that standard at primary school) and will move to middle set for Y8.
And I am proud of him smile

BehindLockNumberNine Sun 21-Aug-11 10:44:49

Meant to add - your ds is doing very well and I fear your friend may not be telling the truth or else the grammar school is inflating the results?
In ds set there was one boy who is on the G&T register and is considered 'off the scale' in terms of mathematical and scientific ability. He achieved 7s in all subjects.

twinklytroll Sun 21-Aug-11 10:46:50

I don't think she is necessarily not telling the truth, I teach pupils in a comp with similar results at the end of year 8. It is, however,unusual. I agree with hocus that you need to look at progress. Students often plateau in year 8 as well and then make more progress in year 9.

twinklytroll Sun 21-Aug-11 10:48:09

I do think that at a grammar they may expect to see these high levels so may be more likely to award them , whereas at a comp the marking may be more conservative.

BehindLockNumberNine Sun 21-Aug-11 10:52:08

Oops, sorry, I thought op's ds was Y7, not 8. Sorry.

LynetteScavo Sun 21-Aug-11 11:04:37

OP, does the grammar school set a lot more homework than your DS's school?

I know our local grammar school sets a huge amount, and I've heard of year 7's and 8's doing two hours a night.

DS, on the other hand, DS apparently gets absolutely NONE (although the school claim work it set, and he does hand it in hmm).

Just a thought that the grammar school children are being pushed a lot more. Is this your concern?

seeker Sun 21-Aug-11 11:55:31

My grammar school dd actually gets less homework than her high school friends. Her school's line is that they get huge amounts of work done in school, so less homework's necessary.

MrsWembley Sun 21-Aug-11 12:12:45

I taught English before I became a SAHM and my last yr8 was a mixed set, average ability lot. The highest mark I gave was a 6c, but that was just the once and generally they had 5s. The year before that I had one girl who was outstanding and I gave her a 7 for one project. I shouldn't worry at allsmile.

MrsWembley Sun 21-Aug-11 12:17:13

Sorry, I wasn't clear, the 6c was for one piece of work. End of year marks have only been 4s & 5s in my classes. I would love to teach a class of 6s & 7s occasionallyenvy.

roentgenium Sun 21-Aug-11 13:00:31

sounds like your friends ds is flying and thriving in the grammar environment (maybe he'd have done the same at the comp though - who knows?). Remember all dc develop at different speeds at different times, so her ds could just have been due a surge in academic development at that age, or it's possible that higher general ability levels at the grammar has spurred him on to greater achievements. Just because he is doing well there though doesn't necessarily mean your ds would be the same - some children do better being towards the top of the pack and give up if they are at the bottom and struggling. It's not very useful to compare schools based on just one child at each however similar they may have seemed at the outset.

MrsOzz Sun 21-Aug-11 13:13:32

I remember doing my sats in yr 9 when we were given these sort of levels. I went to an ordinary comprehensive school and they offered for extra lunch time classes for the top set, if they wanted to learn how to do the level 8 questions for Maths (I did go... although it was social suicide!).

So what I am saying is if your son has just had normal lessons, then he will only have been taught methods up to the level 6 questions. He has learnt these methods and shown he can do it in his tests. However, if he was never taught to go 'beyond expectations' as most comp high school don't have the staff nor time, he won't have possibly been able to answer those type of questions.

The boy at the grammar school on the other hand...

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