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P scales and level w key stage 1

(34 Posts)
maddiemo Sun 30-May-04 17:56:21

Would any teachers out there be able to explain to me what these actually mean in terms of a childs ability. I am particulary interested in Speaking and listening but any info would be helpful.

Thanks very much

fee77 Sun 30-May-04 23:09:57

I will try to explain, but i need a bit more to go on. What age is the child? How long have they been in school? Have you spoken to the teacher?

maddiemo Mon 31-May-04 08:03:16

Thanks fee77 He is only five (in reception) and these are the grades he will be working towards achieving at the end of ks1. He is in a special needs unit and has autism. He ha been there since he was three. The staff have very detailed understanding of the children and are able to make long term plans and predictions.
I have older children and know that level 2 is average for a 7 year old and I think level 1 is average for a 5 year old. I have not been able to find much "laymans terms" info as to what W and P scales actually mean for each area of the SATs. I am espacially interested in speaking and listening as I know that is the area which he will really find difficult.


Jimjams Mon 31-May-04 09:02:00

I thought they were below level 1???? Could be wrong as I've never paid much attention, but they have occasionally been discussed on lists like aut-uk.

Will your son have to sit SATS? I'm rather hoping for an exemption. (or do they still get graded anyway?). Whole thing seems mad to me

maddiemo Mon 31-May-04 10:02:34

Jimjams I don't really understand how it all works with SEN children. At my sons unit they sit SATs and I think at most units here they are entered if they are likely to achieve a certain level in a particular subject. In my sons case he may get a level 2 in reading as he can read far more ably than he can speak.

His teachers think its all a bit unfair as it SATs do not reflect the gains the children have made. I think thats what P scales are meant to do

Hope you are well

popsycal Mon 31-May-04 10:05:56

Hi there folks - am a key stage 2 teacher really so please double check my 'facts' for any KS1 info!

At the end of year 2, they are meant to be a level 2, year 6 a level 4 - that is the 'average'.

They are also meant to gain around half a level each working back, at the end of reception they 'should' be a level 1.

W means working towards level 1 (ie just below level 1)

MaddieMo and Jimjams - in your DS' statement, are the 'disapplied from the national curriculum'? If so, they will definitely not do SATs. If they are entitled to 'access to the full national curriculum' ie do what the other kids do in all the lessons, then they will do SATs UNLESS THEY ARE WORKING BELOW THE LEVELS OF THE TESTS.

For example, in our mainstream school, pupils at year 6 who their teachers judge to be working below level 3 (and we have some every year) do not do the tests/tasks. And you do not need special permission for this other than the teachers putting a pretty standard form into the LEA in the spring term of the SATs year. They pretty much always get agreed with.


popsycal Mon 31-May-04 10:09:58

Just to clarify a little further (posts crossed) - even within a subject, pupils may only take part of a paper.

For example, one girl took the english reading as she was around a level 3 but didn't do the writing as she writes below level 3.......

popsycal Mon 31-May-04 10:12:56

I don't know enough to advise on P scales - I do have a friend who works in a special school who will know lots more if you would like me to ask her...

hmb Mon 31-May-04 10:13:02

Popsycal, we get some in secondary who are working at level 3.

Do they have an exam in science at KS1? or is it teacher assessed?

popsycal Mon 31-May-04 10:15:33

KS1 is all assessed by their own teachers....marked by them I mean.

As far as I understand, KS1 is a set of 'tasks' - the science being a little kind of 'mini'project' thing. I work in a 9-13 school so don't have an awful lot of experience of KS1 sats.....but as for ks2 SATsm ask away!

hmb Mon 31-May-04 10:22:44

A few years 'till we get there, and with luck we will follow Wales and do away with them!

I'll be interested to see what dd gets in science. I've had a look at the level descriptor (for work) and I have estimated that she is running at about 3-4 in Biology, level 2-3 for the others. That siad it all depends on how they do on the day, which just goes to show what a load of tosh the whole thing it!

maddiemo Mon 31-May-04 10:26:05

Thanks Popsycal There is nothing in his statement about being disapplied. I guess that as ks1 results are not published it does not affect the schools standing in the league tables so maybe that is why they are entered. I have heard that they are disapplied at KS2 if not up to level 3.

If you could ask your friend it would be very helpful.

maddiemo Mon 31-May-04 10:30:24

hmb My eldest has just taken ks2 SATS and his teacher also said it depended on how interesting the papers are to the children (especially boys). She said as soon as she sees the paper she knows if it will be a good or bad year results wise.

hmb Mon 31-May-04 10:45:53

Agree 100% Maddiemoo. I have yet to meet a primary teacher who doesn't already understand the abilities of the children in their care *far* better than any SATs exam! And the examination setting does disadvantage boys who tend not to want to sit still and write! Heaven help ds if they are still running when he gets to Y2! He simply doesn't do what he doesn't want to do.....heaven help his teacher for that matter. He is what my Mother would have called a 'real boy'. I love him to bits but my heart would sink if he walked into my classroom

fee77 Mon 31-May-04 10:54:39

P scales used to be given to children working towards level 1 (w grade). Children in reception start working towards level 1 and by year 2 should be working at level 2. I think this still applies, but i gave up "real" teaching 2 years ago! I have found a dfes publication which you can download that details the p grades for you.
towards the national curriculum for english
Hope that works! And i hope it helps - if you need any further explanations i will try!!

Jimjams Mon 31-May-04 13:36:58

Very confused now. My son is in reception so nothing about being disapplied from SATS in his statement. His statement does say something about access to the national curriculum- maybe where apprpriate added. Must check. His language has been assessed as being at a 15-18 month level though (he's 5) so can't remotely see how he would do SATS. Like maddiemo's ds he can read a bit, but only read the words not sure he could actually attach any meaning to them (well he couldn't as he only understands nouns anyway- how could he attach meaning to a word like "write"

He can't even hold a pencil - other than to produce a scribble (even ds2 does circles now). I don't really care if someone does decide to do SATS with his as a) he won't know and b) he won't care- but it would seem to be an almighty waste of time!

Mind you not even sure he'll still be in mainstream by then. But that's another story.

popsycal Mon 31-May-04 14:39:42

Jimajams - I think it is fair to say that he won't have to do his SATs - please contact me direct if you want more info about SATs etc (if you want to...)

maddiemo Mon 31-May-04 21:20:48

Jimjams Sorry to confuse. My son works a modified curriculum and I would think your son does to. My son has a non verbal friend who is the same age as our sons. I will find out from his mum if he is expected to sit SATS. I think there are different papers for different levels. My impression of P scales is that they exsist to show what progress a child at level W or below has made. I would have thought it would be an informal assessment rather than a test situation.

fee77 Thanks for the link, I do not seem able to open the pdf though.

fee77 Mon 31-May-04 21:21:47

Jimjams, as statements are reviewed regularly it wont mention SATS at the moment, and you really shouldn't worry about them.
In Reception i am sure he participates in most activities as they are all low key, and encourage learning through play and their outcome depends on the childs ability and understanding. As he moves through the school it will become more difficult for him to access all the national curriculum as he may be taken out for extra support sessions etc.
You have a whole two years before the S word rears its head, and it could all have changed by then. Wherever he is they will assess regularly and keep you informed of his progress.

popsycal Mon 31-May-04 21:22:20

From what I remember, P scales break down the 'working towards' level into smaller more manageable (and measureable) chunks.....

Will ask my friend when I speak to her next ...

maddiemo Mon 31-May-04 21:28:06

Thanks popsycal

fee77 Yes I expect it will all change anyway. I am not too worried about SATs. At the end of the day ourselves and the school know his strengths and weaknesses and that is far more important than a government stat.


fee77 Mon 31-May-04 21:41:06

That's a shame maddiemo - the booklet seems really useful and breaks the p scales down for english. Could you ask at school if they have one you could borrow? Or maybe send off for one?
P scales were designed to be before level 1 - i.e. working towards. They were originally thought up specifically for SEN children, but have since been used to help with assessment in reception classes. The idea is they provide small, assessable chunks to show progress and assist target setting.

Jimjams Tue 01-Jun-04 08:25:56

Thanks all- he doesn't access much of the reception curriculum at all to be honest fee77. He likes whole school singing! He does spend quite a bit of time out of the classroom. He doesn't do anything without his LSA. Learning through play is pretty meaningless for him as well as he *can't* play! I think even the group reading is just a case of getting him to sit on a carpet tile and then the LSA does it with him later. The ed psych has said there's no point keeping him in reception as he has his complete own curriculum anyway.

I'm not really bothered about SATS anyway- academic achievement is so irrelevant for him at the moment. I'm only really interested in his language and I doubt any measurements are suitable for the weird way autistics learn langauge anyway (if they do). I am interested in how they'll try to measure what he does as its so off the wall. Govt trying to cetegorise children who can't be categorised again!

Maddiemo I would be interested to hear anything your friend with the non-verbal son knows. What approach do they use at your school? TEACHH? Also what sort of "academic" stuff is he doing? DS1 hasn't really done much yet- he's still part time and most of his IEP concentrates on things like sitting, queuing and getting him onto class more. I know he does jigsaws and SALT and I think PECS practice every day. His LSA mentioned that she wanted to get him sight reading words- which I think will be easy for him- and was pleased to hear they aren't going to try and inflict phonics on him. Anyway would be interested to hear what her son does. I don't have much to compare it with. My friend's dd went to the autism unit which was crap so she watched videos all day - she's older now with more language and good pencil skills so I can't really compare with her.

We have a review coming up next week with everyone where I know shcool placement will be discussed. Just wondering whether to ask to look around the most suitable special school (for the long term- we're happy at the moment).

maddiemo Tue 01-Jun-04 08:48:07

Jimjams Will speak with his mum when back at school. He has only been in the class since Jan. He has his own ISA but his mum had to go to tribunal to get it.

Our unit is currently classified mld but is 80% on the spectrum now. The changes we are having here will make all units sld or very complex only. The problem is that the staff have not had the training for the children they now take. We have been lucky that our staff are very dedicated and have taken on visual timetables PECs and makaton very quickly.

Non verbal children usually get sent to our "specialist" autism units which I hear mixed reviews of.

Fio2 Tue 01-Jun-04 08:52:33

hmmm my daughter is 'judged' on the P scale too, I always thought it wasa working towards level 1 aswell! Now I am totally confused

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