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Can you test higher?

(15 Posts)
Darem Fri 24-Jun-11 09:44:19

Hi there. wondering if anyone can help with info/advice.
Just got my daughter's qca results.
On one subject - reading - the result was 4B, which hasn't moved since the end of year 3 (now at end of year 4).
I had a chat with the teacher who says the result is good, I shouldn't be worried and they only test up to 4A anyway . She said that the result COULD HAVE been a 4A but there were a few things she hadn't taught the children (very disruptive class!)

So my concern is - if the result COULD have been 4A, why wasn't it?
Has this year been a total waste of time if the result hasn't changed at all from the previous year?

Also are there any independant bodies who run these tests that I can go to and get the tests redone?

Or am I (yet again!!) panicking over nothing?
Many thanks!

cory Fri 24-Jun-11 09:52:43

Perhaps there is some kind of middle way of viewing this: situation-less-than-ideal-as-for-a-few-features-tested-in-SATS is not entirely the same thing as whole-year-with-all-its-learning-totally-wasted. Unless it is a really crap setting, your dd will have learnt things, even if she hasn't been tested on them and she may not realise she has learnt them.

CecilyP Fri 24-Jun-11 10:05:16

Why would you be panicking if your Y4 daughter has already reached the expected level for Y6 in reading? If she can read and does read, her reading will have improved in the last year.

mumofboy Fri 24-Jun-11 10:33:16

Completely agree. Do not panic. Your child is doing exceptionally well and will be learning. Children do not always learn at a steady pace, children do better in some tests than others, tests are limited in what they tell you. Why on earth would you want to get an independent body to re-run optional SATS tests that are outdated anyway? The teacher is telling you your child is working at a level above that of her peers, that she is almost at the next sub level, and that the testing system has limitations. Celebrate your child's success!
BTW optional QCA SATS tests work within a level range. There will be children outside that range in the class, going both ways. At a 4B your child is a confident and fluent reader, what she probably needs to work on is inference and deduction and then just broadening the range of texts she enjoys - this comes with time and practice and you can and should encourage this at home.

teacherwith2kids Fri 24-Jun-11 11:07:24


Ask your teacher whether her teacher assessment - which should be happening continuously throughout the year - agrees with the QCA level or whether it is different.

The QCA 'reading' test is a test purely of reading comprehension. It does not look at other important aspects of reading e.g. reading aloud with expression, understanding about different genres, scanning ahead to find specific information, using features of non-fiction books such as glossary and index etc. The teacher should therefore not be using the QCA mark as the 'be all and end all' of reading assessment, there should also be a level given by continuous assessment of those other aspects of reading.

If the school is using the QCA tests as the ONLY assessment of reading I would be shocked and would be asking why.

Darem Fri 24-Jun-11 11:16:40

teacherwith2kids - thanks for the information. I asked the teacher what the reading age was - apparently they doing a test today.

We had a similar situation last year when the results were said by the teacher to be "it should have been a 4B but I gave a 4c" thing.

from chats with other parents I think they seem to mark down even on their own opinions because they don't want the child to proceed too quickly?

With the reading, I was genuinely concerned because from the end of Year 3 to now (end of year 4), the books my daughter has been reading have changed so much. They were what I call fairly easy books to now being aged 11-13 books - definately early teens. From that alone I would have thought the reading level would have gone up.

To the other responses - sorry I don't mean to come across as a pushy parent! My own parents had absolutely NO interest in anything I did at school so I guess I'm going the other way!

At the end of all these tests - surely it should be a definate "here is your result", not "well you could be at this level but we've decided to put you at another"? Otherwise whats the point of having the silly things?

teacherwith2kids Fri 24-Jun-11 12:55:44

QCA tests (if the school does them, it's quite old-fashined to still be doing them) should not be being reported at the end of any years other than year 2( where the SATs results qre based on teacher assessment informed by some standardised written tests) and Year 6 (based in tests for Maths and English, teacher assessment for science).

In all other yesrs, the end-of year assessment of levels can be informed by, but in no way should be limited to or based on, tests such as the QCA optional SATs.

So if, for example, a child in my class got a 2a in the tests but every day in class was working at a 3c and I had good tracking data to show that - I would report their end of year level as 3c. Equally a child who got a 4c in the reading test (traditionally one where children score higher than their teacher tracking, because it tests only one aspect of reading while teacher assessment covers many more) but was tracked as a 3a on their everyday reading, I would report a 3a. The QCA tests, with the single exception of Year 6 Maths and English, should never be used on their own to give an end of year level, but can provide a single day 'snapshot' from towards the end of the year which feeds in to the overall teacher assessment of the child (which is what is reported to parents).

So I might well say 'x fluked a 4b in the test, but she is a 4c day to day so I am giving her 4c' - that is a teacher judgement based on a whole year of continuous formntive assessment. There is nothing suspect about it, it's what teachers are expected to do. I would still treat with suspicion any school that reports QCA test results alone as an end of year level at any year other than Year 6.

ASByatt Fri 24-Jun-11 12:57:36

I agree with teacherwith2kids.

Jan010 Fri 24-Jun-11 23:02:16

I think it depends on the school. My school takes the QCA test results as verbatim, and any 'opinion' from the teacher is disregarded.

Years 3 and 4 are tricky years RE levels- children are supposed to make 2 sub levels progression within the 2 years, which makes it hard to show when they are and when they aren't making progress.

If you work to the principle that 2b is average for year 2, and 4b for year 6, then 4b in year 4 is very good.

teacherwith2kids Sat 25-Jun-11 08:40:05

Jan010 - so the only measure of a child's end of year level, and progrss through the year, is the result of the QCA test?

That's bad, and very out of date, practice. Even for Year 2, the SATs levels are now only informed by, and not based on, the written test papers.

Feenie Sat 25-Jun-11 08:44:52

That's bad, and very out of date, practice. Even for Year 2, the SATs levels are now only informed by, and not based on, the written test papers.

Indeed - and this has been the case since 2005. I can't believe there are still schools who haven't developed decent teacher assessment - surely OFSTED must have been around them all by now? They will get shot to pieces with no rigorous teacher assessment in place - and for coming out with the kind of clap trap that this teacher is spouting.

Feenie Sat 25-Jun-11 08:46:20

And 4B is NOT good if there has been absolutely no progress in a year. OP is absolutely right to be asking questions.

ragged Sat 25-Jun-11 09:10:25

How can the 2 sublevels/yr progress target be taken as the gold standard, and only acceptable standard, too? Some years the children will barely progress one sublevel, other years they might move up 3 or 4. We're human beings, not machines. We aren't supposed to make perfectly consistent progress.

Feenie Sat 25-Jun-11 09:23:06

Indeed - and 2 sublevels in KS2 is supposed to be good progress, not satisfactory progress. It's the whole challenging target malarkey, isn't it?

Feenie Sat 25-Jun-11 09:23:56

No progress at all should be challenged though - at the very least the teacher should be trying to find out why.

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