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Chosen primary school but SATS results poor

(33 Posts)
toomanywheeliebins Fri 12-Dec-14 22:16:28

Viewed the local primary school. It seemed an excellent learning environment and we felt confident about our choice. The KS2 primary results are out and they have really dropped this year. There is a new head but she was barely in post when the exams are taken and I know that broadly results are a poor predictor of your child's future success. What to do?

ArchangelGallic Sat 13-Dec-14 11:36:03

Did you put other choices down? Here, the applications are open until January 15th so there is still time to change your choice.

Personally, I would be talking to the school and asking where they think the problems lie and what they will be doing to improve. Also query what support they are getting from the LA. It seems to me, having just looked at primary schools for DD, that there is a real emphasis on sharing good practice in order to improve those schools that are not doing so well.

toomanywheeliebins Sat 13-Dec-14 13:05:12

Thanks for reply. I'm ringing the scho Monday. I had a long chat with the head at open day and she said KS2 needed more work and I guess this is why.
There are other options but further away, I work in education and agree that they need to be reaching out etc. My heart says my kids with be fine but my head is confused and worries about what might be going on. Thanks for vent

catslife Sat 13-Dec-14 16:04:38

Is the school a small school OP?
The way the statistics are worked out as a percentage means that for small schools the results can change significantly for only a small number of pupils.
So in a year group of 50, the performance of one child could change the results by 2% and this may be greater if a school is even smaller.
None of this, however, means that your child won't do well at this school. Schools can improve significantly over the 7 years your child will be there.
I know that broadly results are a poor predictor of your child's future success. On their own that's true and that's why most secondary schools use other tests as well. But KS2 results are still used as part of the mix to predict GCSE grades, but whether this will apply when your child reaches this stage is harder to predict!

redskybynight Sat 13-Dec-14 17:05:35

You do realise results are mostly a reflection on the cohort? The results at the DC's school go up and down like a yoyo as the ability level of their cohorts varies so much.

Why not ask the school why their SATS results are so much lower this year (how low are they by the way - are they genuinely "poor"?) - there may well be a perfectly reasonable explanation.

spanieleyes Sat 13-Dec-14 17:16:55

Each child in my class counts for 8.5%, this year I have 2 with statements for special needs ( both severe learning difficulties) My results will plummet in comparison to last years without any change in teaching.

marne2 Sat 13-Dec-14 17:23:42

Ignore the results, a lot can change each year and by the times your dc sits them many teachers may have come and gone ( even head teachers ). We have had the same dilemma choosing a high school, school is perfect but GCSE levels last year were not that great, we will still be sending dd as we feel it's the right school for her, we can pull her out at anytime if we are worried.

toomanywheeliebins Sat 13-Dec-14 17:23:53

Thanks for all comments. This school is in a highly deprived part of a London and has high % of FSM and ESOL so has a harder job. Also has designated SEN unit but always washed its face with reasonable results. It's large-70 per year. That said, this year it probably is in the bottom percentage of schools in the borough on these results. Level 4 at 70% (not bad nationally but bad for borough), but only 10% for level 5. Seem to not do too badly for getting children to individual 5's (40-50%) but not all three. I know they got three children out of 70 to level six maths which is no mean feat. I'm v much a my children will be fine person and we loved the feel of the school. I guess it's how they respond to this dip really, isn't it?

marne2 Sat 13-Dec-14 18:11:48

I think a lot of schools got lower results this year ( can remember reading threads on here when the results came out ), those results don't seem to bad to me smile.

Schoolname Sat 13-Dec-14 18:39:30

Broadly speaking the level 4's sound ok but the level 5's are too low for my liking - it means that only 7 children across the year got straight level 5's and I would have concerns that more able children are not being challenged appropriately.

toomanywheeliebins Sat 13-Dec-14 19:00:26

That's my worry. My DC should be aiming for level 5's if not 6. They are bright. I really don't want them not stretched and nor do I want that for any other child. Thing is they could help support other children and lift the bar. Also the other school we liked did much better on 4's but same on 5's. Another school we didn't like did 20% better on 5's but it's intake is substantially richer - possibly 20% less FSM and million pound houses

Legodino Sun 14-Dec-14 07:38:00

Stop looking at the grades and start looking at the value added scores. You can find them if you google parent portal. Value added tells you how well they do with the children they've got. It will tell you if the children underperformance or over perform for their ability.

christinarossetti Sun 14-Dec-14 08:01:39

How old are your children? Are you seriously saying that a child not yet at school 'should be aiming' for level 5 or 6 in eight years time?

Firstly, levels are being transitioned out this year, and won't exist in their current form after that.

Secondly, see what pp have said about the difficulties in using %s for small numbers. Also, the value added scores and % making progress are much better indicators of a school's performance.

o my children were starting school I focused on the early years and ks1 provision.

toomanywheeliebins Sun 14-Dec-14 08:51:18

I don't want to start a debate and I'm certainly not a pushy parent, far from it but yes I think I should be looking at 5's for my children. The eldest now 4 is a bright intelligent child with advanced vocabulary, she has thankfully lots of material advantages, both parents from normal backgrounds educated at Russell group uni and to post grad level and hold down senior jobs. That said, my husband struggled at primary school and was nearly expelled because he was bored. Thankfully a teacher realised and put him up a few maths groups. I'm a v grounded person and my instinct is she will be fine. But I also know only 10% to level 5 is low

catslife Sun 14-Dec-14 14:04:22

I'm certainly not a pushy parent, far from it but yes I think I should be looking at 5's for my children.
The trouble is OP that your children are still far too young for anyone to be able to predict how well they will do at the end of KS2.
As PP have said NC levels are being abolished for primary school pupils, with the exception of pupils currently in Y2 and Y6 who are still being assessed under the "old" system. By the time your children reach this stage there will be new systems in place.
Having parents with degrees (and post grad degrees) does increase the chance of dcs going well at school but it does not guarantee it.
Actually the standard of writing needed to achieve level 4 is quite high: pupils need to be able to use punctuation including commas, speech marks and full stops and also use paragraphs correctly as well as having correct sentence structure. It is certainly not true that children achieving level 4 at the end of KS2 can barely read and write, which is often portrayed in the press.

toomanywheeliebins Sun 14-Dec-14 14:08:27

Yes, I take comments on board and am aware levels are changing. That said, 10% level 5's is low against national average. And have dipped from last year.

catslife Sun 14-Dec-14 15:02:50

I have looked at the results for schools in my LEA that have a similar profile: high FSM etc and they have similar percentage of pupils with level 5 and above.
The other factor to consider OP, which is common in many inner-city areas, is that some parents will move house in Y5/6 to be in the catchment area for the better secondary schools. This tends to be higher income parents so this does tend to reduce the number of high achievers still in a particular primary school in Y6.

toomanywheeliebins Sun 14-Dec-14 15:37:06

Thanks cats life. The problem is that the whole borough is that demographic - although pockets of wealth which I've ignored- and it still does badly. Would say in bottom quarter of results.

toomanywheeliebins Sun 14-Dec-14 15:48:03

That said, I reckon we will go for it. I believe in my children and the new Head. Despite what people might have thought from my comments around levels I believe in a broad education and feel this school could offer that. We will support the school and help them where we can.

Hedgehogsbuzz1 Wed 17-Dec-14 22:07:57

Did you check the value added on the parent portal?

basildonbond Thu 18-Dec-14 07:21:38

If you like the school and its ethos there's nothing stopping you from starting your dc there and moving them at a later date if you come up against any problems

Dd started at our local primary - by no means a brilliant school but very local and we thought we'd be able to make up any deficiencies.

However by the time she was in Y1/2 it became apparent that she was in a bit of a demographic blip. Very few girls (ratio of boys to girls was 3:1) and very few high achievers so she was out on a limb. She doesn't make a fuss about things so we only realised quite how miserable she'd been when we moved her to a new school for the start of Y3.

IME bright children need a critical mass of other bright children around them to bounce off each other and spur each other on. It's very difficult to lift the bar for a class if there's only one or two of you doing the lifting and you don't like sticking out ....

Hedgehogsbuzz1 Thu 18-Dec-14 07:42:22

It's ideal and easier to start at the school you intend staying at but you can always nice him if unhappy.

toomanywheeliebins Fri 19-Dec-14 18:30:10

Hi all, school just got OFSTED results and it fell from Outstanding to Requires Improvement. I'm really torn. The school needs parents like us to commit to it but is clearly in a real state. The head hasn't replied to my message but guessing she has way more important things to deal with. Thoughts anyone? I still can't get pass the fact that I liked the school but report and results together make grizzly reading.

ChocolateWombat Fri 19-Dec-14 18:43:30

Have a look at the report and see which areas are identified as weaknesses.

A school can get low SATs results and still be okay, if they are adding value to a cohort with a low starting point. Getting requires improvement suggests they are not adding that value though.

I would make an appt with the Head and go in and discuss your concerns about the L5 and the Ofsted. You need to hear the explanations from the horses mouth, not our speculations. Arrange to do this early in Jan. You need INFORMATION and need it from the school. So I would keep an open mind at this point about applying for that school. It would be foolish to totally discount it without more info and very foolish to put it down as your choice in the blind hope that it will be okay. Go and see the Head and then you can make a decision with the facts, as far as it is possible to get them.

Hedgehogsbuzz1 Fri 19-Dec-14 19:14:52

Have you looked at the value added score on the parent portal?

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