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grades - can someone please explain how it works?

(75 Posts)
ivykaty44 Thu 23-Feb-12 12:25:59

When I go to parents eve the teachers sit and look at my dd's marks and give me oh she is at level 5 a or level 5 c and we want her to be at level 6 or she is above what we expect at level 4

Can anyone help as to what this means in % as I am never really sure of these levels and often resort to asking the teaching - is she doing ok in this subject could she do better and get answered in numbers and letters.

If I knew dd was getting 70% I would know where we where or if she was getting 50% then more work was needed - but I struggle to fathom this system?

jammydodger1 Thu 23-Feb-12 12:44:57

Ivy its like reading mud !! I cant tell you in % but I am under the impression it goes abit like this :

The level they want/expect her to be at in one column
the lvel she is at in next column
the next colum is the difference, example might help

English Expected level 6
Actual level 5
Therefore she is -1

Maths expected level 5
Actual Level 6
therefore she is +1

The highest level they can get is 7A, goes down 7B,7C 7D, 6A, 6B (if you get the picture)

I believe the level they expect her to be at based on primary school sats/possibly the area the school is in and is set by the goverment for the pupils expected grades at the end of year 9
Thats as far as I understand it from our school (my dd1 in year 7)

ivykaty44 Thu 23-Feb-12 13:04:12

So if the highest mark they can get is 7A that would be top marks?

I don't think my dd is doing very well in that case sad

Flisspaps Thu 23-Feb-12 13:11:07

ivykaty44 the numbers run across all key stages though - so a Y3 child is unlikely to get a 7 unless they are a child genius grin levels 5-7 are generally the levels a y9 child should be working towards. Not every child will be able to achieve a 7 - the same as not all children will get 100%. The question to ask the teacher is really 'is my daughter achieving the level you expect her to' - if she is then that's good, you can ask what you can do to help her achieve even more. If not, you can ask what she needs to do to reach her expected goal smile

titchy Thu 23-Feb-12 13:12:32

Depends what year! Obviously no school would expect a year 7 child to get Level 7 in anything!

At the end of year 6 the average cild will be 4b. At the end of year 7 the average child will probably be on 4a (although they're expected to normally move up two sub levels the secondary curriculum is much broader so a one sub level increase would be fine.) Languages assme no knowledge at the beginning of year 7 by the way so the end of year 7 mark will normally be much lower than 4a.

By the end of year 9 I think most kids are expextced to be around 6c. The sub levels are a,b and c (not d). a is the highest, c the lowest, so a child might for example go from 5a to 6c, then to 6b.

The levels go up to Level 7, then it's GCSE grade estimates from year 10 onwards. The exception being Maths which can be assessed up to Level 8.

jammydodger1 Thu 23-Feb-12 13:12:43

Thats how I understand it at our school, what year your dd in? if shes getting 5 then thats brilliant, really it is, if your worried get the teacher to explain (obviously that is if it is the same as our system), our school also does marks for attitude so they can get an A for attitude/effort but a lower mark for their actual work hmm

titchy Thu 23-Feb-12 13:31:18

If she's in year 5 and getting Level 5 that's fantastic - if she's in year 9 not so good.....

seeker Thu 23-Feb-12 13:32:41

What year is she in?

ivykaty44 Thu 23-Feb-12 13:32:53

titchy - so you are saying that they go from 4a to 5b in year 7
but it is ok to go from 4a to 5c in year 7 - and 5c is the lowest they should be?

Apart from french or spanish which is differnet?

So how do the pupils get these levels? Is the level set through a test in class?

titchy Thu 23-Feb-12 13:40:46

I'm saying that the average child will get a 4b at the END of year 6, a 4a at the END of year 7 and a 6c at the END of year 9.

A bright child will obviously get higher, whilst one who is struggling will be lower.

The levels are national curriculum levels, set nationally, which teachers will be assessing against. Teachers should know your dd's level from the work she does in class, her homework, and any exams or tests that she does.

If you tell us what she levels she is expected to work towards, and what year she is in maybe we can put it in a bit of context for you smile

ivykaty44 Thu 23-Feb-12 14:00:33

I don't know what levels she is supposed to work towards? Is this not from what the national curriculum levels then? - the last parents eve was March 2011 and we had a report July 2011 dd is in year 8

crazymum53 Thu 23-Feb-12 14:01:03

The levels could be based on a SATs type test, but the marks will be depend on which test is used. So getting a level 5 on a level 3-5 paper will be a higher % mark than if a level 4-6 paper was used.

ivykaty44 Thu 23-Feb-12 14:03:40

crazymum - sorry you have lost me

So getting a level 5 on a level 3-5 paper will be a higher % mark than if a level 4-6 paper was used.

can you explain this please?

titchy Thu 23-Feb-12 14:05:56

I thought you said you got the marks at parents evening?

She should be on level 5b by the end of this year. Her teachers may well expect more (do they not give you/her end of year targets?) if she's bright - e.g Level 6 by the end of year 8. (What did she get at the end of year 7?) On the other hand if she's struggling her end of year targets will be lower.

Languages I would say she should be around 4a/5c at least by the end of year 8 if she's average ability.

titchy Thu 23-Feb-12 14:06:26

Don't worry about 3-5 or 4-6 papers - that's only for SATS at the end of primary school!

GrimmaTheNome Thu 23-Feb-12 14:09:38

>So how do the pupils get these levels? Is the level set through a test in class?
yes, for something like maths and science; for other subjects its likely to be a particular piece of work which is asessed.


ivykaty44 Thu 23-Feb-12 14:15:30

Yes they give me her marks in this levels at parents eve - but to be honest I have never really got to grips with what they mean.

Again last year some of the teachers just skimed over the levels and then told me how dd was working etc and what she could improve on and how - which is great.

others seem to just only talk about this scores/grades and what dd had got and what they wanted her to get by the end of the year and that was that but not how she was doing.

But all the teachers seem to have different ideas of what they expect.

Thank you though - now when I go to parents eve I will know if dd is getting 5b she is ok - any lower and she will need to try harder. I always feel a bit lost at parents eve as to what the marks mean, good or bad

GrimmaTheNome Thu 23-Feb-12 14:33:41

>I always feel a bit lost at parents eve as to what the marks mean, good or bad

there's a couple of questions you could ask. One is, what is the average level in this subject at this age. The other is, from the current level what GCSE grade would be predicted. DDs school gives us an idea of these (she's in yr8 too). It does vary with the subject - MFL as you've noted still lower; maths/science some pupils could be higher.

ivykaty44 Thu 23-Feb-12 18:13:44

Ok so dd came home from school today all pleased as she got 85% in a test and that apparently gave her a level 6c. Now this makes sense to me as I understand 85% as good mark. This was in R.E so can I ask for the % in the other subjects?

GrimmaTheNome Thu 23-Feb-12 18:18:17

You can ask for the % but I'm not sure everything is marked that way. Something like science and maths more likely, perhaps languages too as there's usually definitively correct answers.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 23-Feb-12 18:18:43

Oh - and well done that girl! smile

ivykaty44 Thu 23-Feb-12 18:25:17

sorry that wasn't a boast blush when I asked her about other subjects she told me the levels where around 5 but it still is a bit floaty as to whether that is ok. The important part was she got an A for effort in the test - so I am happy in the knowledge she is trying hard/reaching her own potential, again the A makes sense to me as would a b or c grade.

thanks for the help in trying to make sense of this marking scheme

Pinot Thu 23-Feb-12 18:28:00

Good thread, am bookmarking as this confounds me too.

Why do they make it all so complicated? Is it classic Govt spin? <cynic>

cricketballs Thu 23-Feb-12 19:28:11

its not really that complicated but different in each subject. Mine is not one that is assessed through any test so there is no way I could give you a percentage. It is more about the application of their learning, the evaluations they offer, how they apply their knowledge and suggest improvements etc.

Op - you should have access to or ask the school for her targets. (these are far more relevant than asking what the 'normal is' as every child is different) you can then monitor her progress against these.

cricketballs Thu 23-Feb-12 19:29:48

on another note though - didn't you ask at primary if you were unsure about how the NC levels worked? It just seems odd that half way through year 8 and you are only now asking these questions hmm

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