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Disappointing progress in maths from Y6 to Y8

(23 Posts)
doglover Sat 10-Nov-12 20:05:33

Our dd achieved level 5a in her maths Y6 SATs. At the end of Y7, she was assessed at 6c and we were told that it was very normal for there to be a 'small' progress between the KS 2 and KS 3. We received her latest Y8 report yesterday and she is still working at 6c. I contacted the school (very nicely!!) back in July to mention our concerns but was reassured by her teacher that she was working hard and completing all her homework. She has been asked to do extra online tasks but the school don't appear to be doing anything else to ensure that her progress is boosted. We have Parents Evening next week ................. what approach do you suggest we take to voice our concerns? TIA.

3b1g Sat 10-Nov-12 22:29:28

Have they told you what the projected target is for the end of Y8?

ReallyTired Sat 10-Nov-12 22:33:33

National curriculum levels do not transfer well between primary and secondary school, especially for a knowledge based subject like maths. The topics covered in secondary school are different to primary school. A keystage 3 level 5 is not the equivalent of a keystage 2 level 5. SATS results often get artifically inflated in primary school.

doglover Sat 10-Nov-12 22:39:45

Her target grade is 7c and 'challenge' grade is 7b. Neither would seem to be attainable by July. She has progressed 1 sub level in 18 months.

3b1g Sat 10-Nov-12 22:51:11

DS1 also got 5A in Y6 SATs and has also been given a target of 7B for the end of Y8. I will try to dig out some info about his levels at the end of Y7...

OK, just looked it up. He was 6C at the end of Y7. He has written in his planner that his level at the end of the first half-term of Y8 was 6C. I don't interpret this as only going up 1 sublevel since Y6 SATs as I don't think the levels in KS2 and KS3 are calibrated in the same way. I would suggest going into parents' evening with an open mind and get a sense of how the teacher feels she is progressing. If you are still concerned at Feb half-term, then re-think.

ReallyTired Sat 10-Nov-12 22:58:13

"Her target grade is 7c and 'challenge' grade is 7b. Neither would seem to be attainable by July. She has progressed 1 sub level in 18 months. "

That probably not quite true. She may well have got the 5a by the skin of her teeth in year 6 because virtually all primaries do lots of practice papers. Its likely she went slightly backwards over the summer holidays as almost all children do. She may have under performed last year because she had to get used to secondary school.

Sub levels are not accurate. Typically children fluculate in attainment on a day by day basis. She may well reach 7c standard by the end of the year.

Startail Sat 10-Nov-12 23:02:44

Our Y7-y8 maths grades are all over the place, they go up and down with the last test result, even the lovely teacher admits the subgrades she quotes are suspect.

DD finally ended Y9 with a L7 and a place in set 2/6 for GCSE where she belongs. (it's been a muddle getting there and she's worked really hard - good mathematician, but dyslexic and crap at tables and quick arithmetic.)

I think OP you need to keep an eye on the situation, but not worry until the end of Y8. Although there is no harm in asking at parents evening. DD1s was great, got out marks book and we averaged the reported muddle and agreed on a sensible one.

trinity0097 Sun 11-Nov-12 08:25:49

Maths levels do translate well from ks2 to ks3, in fact pupils typically in my experience make accelerated progress from yr 6 to yr 8. It isenglish levels where pupils find it hard to make progress in secondary schools.

Why not get your daughter to do some extra work at home, use cgp books and you can download past ks3 papers from emaths to work on. I would expect I my experience a child who achieved a level 5b or 5a in primary school to be at least a 6a by the end of yr 7 and the better ones well into level 7.

3b1g Sun 11-Nov-12 11:02:01

Well now I'm worried about DS1's progress...

BooksandaCuppa Sun 11-Nov-12 11:14:51

I agree that maths levels usually translate better than English ones, but having said that, it's not 18 months is it, really, it's one academic year and 8 weeks?

doglover Sun 11-Nov-12 16:54:10

Thanks for all your comments - only just got back to the computer after a busy day. The comments are really interesting - a range of views that have helped to reassure and 'challenge'! We will certainly attend the Parents Evening with an open mind and will make an appointment to see her maths teacher after school one day because our allocated 3 min will probably not be long enough to have a proper chat.
Our dd is doing some extra work at home which we will mention to school on Tuesday evening. I agree, T0097, that many children do make substantial progress in the early years of KS 3: what we don't want is to be told in Y9 that her achievement is 'worrying' and a good GCSE pass may not be attainable. We want to support her now and for her to achieve her potential - she's a bright girl who deserves better.

seeker Mon 12-Nov-12 17:52:29

Can I ask a stupid question? Bearing in mind that you can't do better than A* in GCSE, why do people want their children to make such rapid progress at the beginning of secondary school? What is the advantage?

3b1g Mon 12-Nov-12 18:11:29

Not a stupid question at all seeker, I think you've made a good point, and managed to articulate why I'm not more worried. I suppose the reason why I'd like to see quantifiable progress is that DS1 works quite hard, so a progression through (up?) a couple of sub-levels a year is a sign that his efforts are not in vain.

seeker Mon 12-Nov-12 18:38:09

I have a year 7 too. He got a 5b at the end of year 6, is currently working at 5a. His target for the end of year 9 is 7b- which is on track for A*/A at GCSE. Which is fine. I think if the child concerned is happy, then so long as the targets are regularly reviewed, then that's fine. I don't think they should do extra work at home unless the school is really not doing it's job.

mercibucket Mon 12-Nov-12 18:48:35

What kind of grades do the school achieve with their pupils? Are you worried about the teaching? I'd be looking at the children's performance at gcse.

mercibucket Mon 12-Nov-12 18:48:35

What kind of grades do the school achieve with their pupils? Are you worried about the teaching? I'd be looking at the children's performance at gcse.

3b1g Mon 12-Nov-12 18:57:27

DS1 is in set 2 (of 7). Nearly all the pupils in sets 1 - 6 (and many of those in set 7) get A or A* at GCSE, which is which I'm not worried (or wasn't until I read Trinity's comment grin).

seeker Mon 12-Nov-12 19:31:55

I don't agree with trinity! Why on earth would you expect a child to go up 4 or 5 sub levels in their first year at Secondary school? And what would be the benefit? As I said, you can't do better than A* at GCSE.

It is not usual for people to be level 7s at the end of year 7.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 12-Nov-12 19:37:34

In Science, in my school (!!), we do.d our pupils make less than expected progress in year 7, and greater than expected progress in year 8.

And by expected, I mean what would be expected if progress were linear. Which it isn't of course...

TheFallenMadonna Mon 12-Nov-12 19:38:02

We find

TheFallenMadonna Mon 12-Nov-12 19:42:55

And in terms of what you should ask...

If I were having the conversation with you, I would explain what assessments we had done to arrive at that level. From those assessments I would identity areas for development. And I would explain how we would be working on those in subsequent topics.

And that, I think, I hope, is more useful information than a number.

3b1g Mon 12-Nov-12 20:46:28

That makes sense, TFM.

doglover Tue 13-Nov-12 11:28:49

Thanks, everyone. Only just returned to see more responses. Parents evening tonight so will let you know how we get on ....................

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