OK, I'm trying to find a good school for DS and have read the Ofstead and league tables, etc.
However, what are they really saying I'm not very clear.... what it is more important a better grade in Value Added or the results grade? how do neutering schools describe themselves? (as if there was a standard...), I know that it's better to have a "feel" about the school by visiting it but, if you were a teacher looking for the best school for your children what would be the most significant thing written on the report?
The thing is that I have seen schools with the highest value added score and still the results were veeeeeeeryyy low. So that got me thinking.... is it to know if the school is in the up? or is getting a bit worse??
Oh, now I understand... Thanks Popsycal, are results significant or is the same again? the school I have nearer to me has 90 / 90 /96 but does that mean also that the students got good grades or only that they get the expected result that may be very low anyway? or am I talking rubish?
I think value added means they are on the up? Which means that SATS results are better than previous years?, if the value added is not that different then the school was good anyway and the difference is not great from year to year? (I think?). A mn teacher would know
BBC Education describes it as follows:
Schools that add the most value
This is a list of the top 199 schools in England on their "value added" measure from the end of primary school to GCSE.
The measure compares pupils' exam performances with the middle performance of other pupils nationally who had similar prior attainment.
A teacher once said to me when looking at schools - always look at the Head - the school is determined by the Head - they will influence the overall atmosphere, which has proven to be correct as the Head at my ds and dd School is very aloof and cold, and their is no feeling whatsoever of Community at it, luckily he retires in July
The Year 6 SATS results are aslo important - gives an indication of how the teaching has been - also ask around, and do look at a few for comparison
The way i understood it, very simply, a high value added score means the kids have improved a lot from where they were when they started. That could mean that they had pretty poor kids and have got them to improve to become average. I reckon its harder for kids who are already very clever to improve at the same rate.
High SATS results could mean that the kids spend lesson after lesson being coached for the tests to the detriment of actually learning anything, or it could mean they have a bunch of bright motivated kids at the school or it could mean the teaching is very good.
Low SATS results could mean the kids don't worry so much about the exams but learn a lot outside the wider curriculum, or that they have a few special needs or several low ability children, or that the teaching is very bad.
Thanks, this has been very helpful , the school I was looking at is almost next door, has 90/90/96 (math, science and English?) and a VA of 97.7. According to the BBC website this VA is far from good, but the scores seem fine (though I'm not quite sure still what do this scores mean or if they are good or just average -it seems that most schools in the city have similar grades-)
There are things that worry me as one of my neighbours told me that they use to call her daughter several names because she was the one with darkest skin and that DO worries me. I guess I need to talk to more people about it. I want DS to fit in, I really hope I can find a school that has a nice aproach towards multiculturalism .