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What level should Y4 be for super selective grammar?

(66 Posts)
Rainbowinthesky Sat 23-Mar-13 18:00:00

DD is in a school which has historically and still is doing badly for progress and value added. Her year group have been hit particularly hard over the years and there is no quick fix on the horizon.
I would like her to try for a super selective grammar though. I cannot go by the levels I have been given in the past from the school because it has been found that previous levels for the children were inaccurate and untrustworthy.
She has recently completed Y4 sats.
What level should she be getting if she stands any chance of a super selective?

Jobforlife Wed 03-Apr-13 16:19:03

My DS went to a super selective grammar, got level 5's in yr 6 SATs, but was only one of three in his primary school that managed to get a place (out of 90). There were, on paper, lots more kids capable of passing, but for whatever reason, they didn't... apparently the number who miss by one or two marks is enormous. Funnily enough though, his teachers told us he would get in, even though when we sat practice papers he didn't perform that well. The school he went to though had English, Maths and Verbal Reasoning papers.. he didn't get offered a place at the grammar that had verbal/non verbal papers. My DD was at the same levels in SATs but didn't even get close to passing the 11+... She didn't particularly like the school, and tbh, I'm sure it would have been the wrong choice of school for her. Thank goodness she didn't get in or we wouldn't have made the move abroad when we did!

tiffinboys Tue 02-Apr-13 13:33:43

I would not worry too much about SATs level at Yr4. It is not unheard of children going from 3a to 5c or even 5b during Yr5, as they mature and work hard.

Wallington Girls tests are in VR and Maths. Maths is said to be of level 5, from what I have heard from other parents. Also these tests are said to be easier - and that's where the problem lies. Easier the test, many children will score nearly 100% raw marks and would be getting very high standardized scores. There are 110 places for catchment and 100 open.

So although the test may be not so difficult, there is no room for careless or silly mistake. That's where many children fail.

AfricanExport Tue 02-Apr-13 11:03:09

Yes --- with 1500 applicants it had to be Wallington Girls. That place is nuts.

My dd was in a prep last year, 4 girls wrote for Wallington Girls, (not DD as she is dyslexic) NONE of them got in. These girls were offered scholarships at Croydon High and Caterham but did not get into Wallington Girls. The one girl was top of her class, classmates got into Whitgift, Trinity, Wilsons, Worth, Caterham, Lingfield, Woldingham, Reigate Grammer and there were around 20 scholarships (18 kids). But no-one got into Wallington Girls.

I think that is probably one of the hardest schools to get into and I would think that you would need to do A LOT of coaching to get it. I think the majority of kids that get into Wallington are seriously tutored to get them there and unless your child is exceptional it is going to be a lot of work.

The tests are Verbal Reasoning and Maths. I would expect, based on what I saw, that you won't get into Wallington girls unless you are on or very close to Level 5 at the end of year 4.

Just my opinion though....

Yellowtip Tue 02-Apr-13 10:28:11

yotty I would think the CATs are reasonably tenuous as an indicator too.

On the list of possible traumas in life, surely the 11+ scores really low? confused. It's the parents who foist their trauma on the kids - the kids left alone would be fine.

Rainbowinthesky Tue 02-Apr-13 09:33:18

The only comp we would get into is well below average.

yotty Tue 02-Apr-13 09:20:43

I agree with tiffinboys. I would use the SATs levels as a general guide only, because it will depend on the type of entrance test. My DS is the opposite. He is at a prep school so didn't do SATs as such but his teacher told us at the end of the Easter term of year 4, that he was functioning at the equivalent of level 5. However, then did some CATs at the beginning of year 5 and did well in the VR, but nothing special in NVR or quantative reasoning. So if he was doing a straight English, maths and VR he may have got into a super selective but if it had included the other reasoning tests he wouldn't have made it. It must all be very frustrating.
On a more positive note if you live in an area where there are super selectives I think there must be a lot of very able children in the top sets of the comprehensives. I have friends who both went to tiffins boys/girls themselves and couldn't face the trauma of the selection process for their bright son. So they just sent him to the local comp and he is doing well.

Rainbowinthesky Tue 02-Apr-13 09:12:19

Hi. We will be trying for wallington girls and nonsuch if that helps.

steppemum Tue 02-Apr-13 09:08:52

Glos is changing too.
sept 2014 entry will be VR (test this Oct)
sept 2015 entry will probably be CEM - not yet confirmed

so your year 4 would do CEM in Glos

tiffinboys Tue 02-Apr-13 08:37:18

If you mention region, some one could give you more specific advice. And be careful as some areas are changing tests. I think it was Bucks which had 2 VR tests. I think, they are now changing to CEM style. You will find more info on that type of tests on site. Generally speaking, CEM style VR is more of English test, which needs a very strong vocab and comprehension.

steppemum Tue 02-Apr-13 01:16:35

This is very interesting, because I think the link to SATs levels is not a clear one at all.

We have super selective Grammar that ds is going to apply to.

He is Y5 and is now on level 4a for most things, not sure he will reach level 5 by the end of the year. He is in good state school, but his class is an absolute mess, with some serious behaviour issues, and I am not convinced he is getting pushed to his potential at all.

BUT, the entrance exam is 2 VR papers. I have been tutoring him, but he can actually do the papers with no help. He has never needed any explanation of technique or help. He just 'gets' the questions and totally has the knack of doing VR questions. He doesn't even have to think that hard, he just whizzes through them.

VR is supposed to distinguish between the potential and the level achieved by teaching. We will see come October if that is true!

tiffinboys Tue 02-Apr-13 01:04:47

It depends on the entrance tests. If it is just NVR/VR or also English/Maths.

Level 5 by the end of year 5 is a good indicator of selective ability. But children still have to learn VR/NVR tecniques and practice/familiarize with the test question types. Both English/Maths papers were almost Level 6 in the recent tests that DC appeared for. Practice Independent Schools sample papers as much as possible in the run-up to the entrance tests.

babytrasher Tue 26-Mar-13 20:52:55

Although KS2 L6 SAT papers have not previously been available, KS3 have always been there at Levels 3-5, 4-6, 5-7 & 6-8.

They cover exactly the same material, but the KS2 are written in a much more infantile way which brighter children often find off-putting. No problem at all in giving KS2 kids the KS3 papers in order to get a fuller picture of their progress.

LilyBolero Tue 26-Mar-13 19:44:36

SWandstressed - no, 30-40 in ds1's comprehensive, with 200 in the year!

ThreeBeeOneGee Tue 26-Mar-13 15:18:29

Now I'm wondering if I live in the same part of the world as clam; most of our local 'comprehensives' are partially selective, which means you either have to have a sibling there, score higher than nearly everyone else on the test, or live within less than half a km from the school.

ThreeBeeOneGee Tue 26-Mar-13 15:02:11

DS2 was getting level 4s at the end of Y4 and level 5s at the end of Y5 and went on to score very high in his secondary selection test. A wide vocabulary and a flair for VR also help in these tests, as does good exam technique.

SWandStressed Tue 26-Mar-13 14:57:12

If it is true that 30-40 in one primary school were at level 6 for maths when most primary schools don't get any at that level, it goes to illustrate my point that levels are not a mark of ability but rather a measure of what curriculum is offered at the school. Unless of course LilyBolero's DS was amongst a cohort of unsually bright children where a significant chunk of them (is that 2 form, 60 kids; 3 form, 90; or 4 form 120 - whatever!) are of the ability for super-selectives (statistically unlikely although anything of course is possible) - when normally its the top 2 to 3% that are of that ability.

Yellowtip Tue 26-Mar-13 14:07:36

I think it was last year's real paper teacher, though that's just from DD. What is the pass mark, do you know? She said something about them being due a calculator paper too, so I assume there are two papers to do? Are they evenly weighted? I'm quite curious now.

LilyBolero Tue 26-Mar-13 14:00:35

Because the teacher told me that was one of the main assessment points they used for setting, and that this was the number in that set who had L6. Ds1 missed out on L6 by a few points (4 marks I think), so to begin with he was set 2, till he was moved up after a few weeks.

seeker Tue 26-Mar-13 13:09:19

Out of interest, how do you know they all got level 6?!

LilyBolero Tue 26-Mar-13 12:57:52

In ds1's maths set, top set in a comprehensive, most of the kids acheived L6 in the 2012 SATs. So, in his school, probably 30-40 L6s.

seeker Tue 26-Mar-13 09:42:40

SW- until last year, there was no level 6 paper available, so you wouldn't have seen any level 6s in the HT's report. That didn't mean there weren't children working at level 6 in the class, though.

teacherwith2kids Tue 26-Mar-13 09:42:38

L6 papers were reintroduced for the first time last year (and Yellow, if they did the 'sample' paper issued before the final tests last year, the eventual 2012 paper was significantly harder. As far as I remember, over half of DS's year group passed the 'trial' L6 paper whereas 15% passed the real one).

Before that, children could be recorded as L6 based on teacher assessment but as there was no formal 'SATs paper' for them to take it was IME rare.

Yellowtip Tue 26-Mar-13 09:14:55

At DD4's tiny local primary (four year groups taught together by a single teacher in one class etc), five pupils out of six were given a L6 practice paper yesterday with the top scorer getting 22/24, so presumably a L6? (one or two of the others weren't far behind).

SWandStressed Tue 26-Mar-13 09:06:19

You might be right, would be interested in seeing teachers here comment on that point.

FWIW I am a parent governor of primary, and see regular HT reports, which never report any levels above 5 for KS2. Now it might be that in all my years as governor (coming on for 7 - a total of 400+ Year 6's) no child in this "oustanding" primary was off that ability of course....

But as I say, as a lay person, I see your point that in English there should be no "cap" in the same way as there would naturally be one for Maths.

Schmedz Mon 25-Mar-13 22:08:09

Possibly a child is not able to show they are capable of level 6 in maths as some of the assessment tasks are 'capped' but in English there should conceivably be no 'cap' as the levels describe different aspects of the writing. A friend of mine has a child in a school which overall does not get great SATS result but is working at high level 5/level 6 in year 6...she has the same teacher as children achieving much lower levels. Obviously they provide the opportunity for her to take tests at this level and properly differentiate the work in the classroom for a wide range of abilities.
Is that really that unusual for a primary school?

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