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KS1 SATS - what would you make of this?

(21 Posts)
sun1234 Wed 13-Jul-11 09:01:10

DS's school sent home a comparative report last night for KS1 Sats. Looking at the level 3 or above category, the school underperforms the national average in every subject e.g. writing 0% and maths 3% (i.e. one child) versus a national average of 12% and 20% respectively.

On the other hand, there are a lot more children at 2c than the national average. I know a lot of children had extra coaching in the last part of the year.

My feeling is that DS has not really progressed at all in the last year. I couldn't be more unhappy and we are voting with our feet this summer.

thestringpeople Wed 13-Jul-11 10:56:23

What level has he reached? Why do you feel he hasn't made any progress?

throckenholt Wed 13-Jul-11 11:05:11

it has a lot to do with the intake for that year group - it may be that many of them had special problems that meant the rate lower than the national average at the moment.

It may be that the school have actually moved them on a lot but not up to average yet.

However, if you feel your DS hasn't progressed I would first raise that with the school to get their take on it, and only think of moving if you don't get a satisfactory explanation.

Bear in mind that not all kids make "average" progress every year.

sun1234 Wed 13-Jul-11 11:30:30

My Ds's results are all over the place. He's the only 3 in maths and I think that's because I taught him at home last summer because I know he has been bored and frustrated this year with not learning anything new. Otherwise DS has moved one sub level in writing and 2 in reading. Even the reading is weird because he is a fluent and confident reader with a good vocabulary and last year he was in the top 3 last year, but this year the teacher has only read with him once herself and got other people to do it around 8 times in total all year. I understood the reason was because he was so far ahead but now I can see that some other children have progressed beyond DS and he's been left behind.

The thing is that the written part of the report strongly contradicts what the teacher said last year e.g. last year the teacher noted that DS uses full stops and capital letters and his work was neat whereas this year the teacher says he does it intermittently and his work is messy.

I used to help out in the class in year 1, and I don't think there are an unusually high proportion of children who would struggle - maybe 3 who always seem to progress slowly.

My reading is that the teacher hasn't done her job. She's let DS down but surely with results like that, the HT and the governors must ask themselves what is going on, especially if they get the Y1 reports out fro the same class.

thestringpeople Wed 13-Jul-11 12:51:57

I think you should take this up with the teacher and get her/his views on his progress.

I think children do fluctuate at this age. I can't see much of an improvement in ds's handwriting, in fact I would say he has gone backwards but I can't really compare to last year as they are not given SAT scores in year 1. Ds produces good punctuation and neat handwriting intermittently, when you hovver over him you get good results but when he works independently the results are variable. There is lots more independent working in year 2 so that may be the reason for the perceived decline in your ds's work.

sun1234 Wed 13-Jul-11 14:05:48

but surely underperforming the national average on every subject and at every level points to a weakness in the teaching not with 30 individual children?

(The history is that this is not especially news to me - other parents have all been complaining for some months that their children haven't been progressing and when i tried to speak to the teacher a few weeks ago, she nearly bit my head off. She spoke to me like she was resuming a conversation with a parent that she'd had a few days previously whereas I had not spoken to her for over a term. "I already told you, I haven't had a full time TA recently")

thestringpeople Wed 13-Jul-11 14:13:31

So the situation is that more children than average reach the minimum standard but a lower than average number reach level 3? Sounds like the focus has been on the lower abilities rather than the more abled.

I think you can only address it from a personal perspective. It doesn't matter to you that a lower percentage reach level 3 but it does matter if you feel that your son hasn't progressed as well as he should have done.

redskyatnight Wed 13-Jul-11 14:17:57

IT sounds like you think the teaching and progress made by children is poor based on your experience. This is (obviously) quite possible.

However ...DC's school achieved 0% in L3 writing KS1 results last year and were below average in other L3 results. The year before they had a significantly above average L3 percentage. I doubt the teaching (and it's the same teachers) has actually changed that much in a year, so not sure how much you can actually read into these results.

basingstoke Wed 13-Jul-11 14:22:21

My school (secondary) 'underperforms' against national averages because our intake isn't average.

One or two sublevels of progress a year is the expected rate.

sun1234 Wed 13-Jul-11 14:26:59

if 2c is the minimum level then yes, more than average children reach this level. But if its 2b then with a high number on 2c, its not makign the minimum level. What is the expected standard 2B or 2C?

thestringpeople Wed 13-Jul-11 14:35:41

Because they vary at this age (big difference between a September and August child) they say that any 2 is acceptable but 2b is broadly average.

BusterGut Wed 13-Jul-11 23:48:23

I think I'd be a bit concerned, but the most important question to ask is 'Has ds made expected progress?' (generally one whole level in KS1). The L3s do look very low, but I know that some areas get this kind of result.

BusterGut Wed 13-Jul-11 23:49:35

Also, you need to wonder what percentage of the cohort have made expected progress.

sun1234 Thu 14-Jul-11 11:22:39

One whole level e.g. from 2c to 3c?? The answer is no, except in maths and that's because I taught him at home. In writing he has moved just one sub-level and I am appalled.

We are in Surrey which is supposed to have some of the best performing schools, and although the children are from a mix of different backgrounds, there are good number of children from families whose parents are lawyers, doctors.

I don't know how other children got on (I suspect the school would never tell me unless all the parents united to demand it) but I don't see too many happy faces amongst the parents and I hear a lot of muttering about just waiting a few more days until year 2 is over and they can get a different teacher in year 3.

Basically, along with several other parents with children in various ability groups, my concerns have been steadily growing since November. The head has been approached several times and she has consistently denied that anything isn't right, and then gone on to make the parent feel that they are trying to change the classroom for the sole benefit of their child (she forgets that we all talk to each other).

My view is that the teacher has clearly been struggling and that she needed support but when it finally came after Easter, it was too little, too late. (and I am very upset for my son but I keep telling myself that he has years to catch up)

HauntedLittleLunatic Thu 14-Jul-11 11:28:54

I have heard that (because KS1 SATS are teacher marked) that a school sometimes has some pressure to "mark them low" giving the school a poorer than national average KS1 result.

Then when they do the externally assessed KS2 SATS they acheive average or better than average results and the reported "added value" between KS1 and KS2 is better than it actually was and the school appears better in that category.

That is a cynical view - but have heard it in more than once place on these boards.

That may be one explaination - but if of course you have more specifc concerns about this teacher then that is another issue.

ragged Thu 14-Jul-11 11:29:52

What I make of it (mho):

This is why schools shouldn't publish their overall results for KS1 (letting you infer how many got L3 or L2c or whatever).

One sublevel progression is acceptable in a single year; only unacceptable if one SL is the average increase over several (2-3) years.

DC school had similar statistics, the one year they did tell us (indirectly) how many marks of each type were distributed in KS1 SATs. It didn't put me off as I felt DC were making satisfactory progress and were generally happy at that school. As someone who became very miserable after my parents moved me to a supposedly "better" primary school, I rate happiness about being at school as incredibly important, not easily achieved, and not to be taken for granted.

sun1234 Thu 14-Jul-11 11:43:40

the thing is ragged, my son was very happy at the school. He enjoyed the work and had a good bunch of friends. Then he went into year 2, and he was full of enthusiasm which I have watched slowly die as he realises he isn't going to be given any new work this week either (especially in maths). He still has his friends and they are as close as ever but there has to be something wrong when a 7 year gets disillusioned and complains that its too noisy(!!) he and tells endless tales of how the children ignore the teacher whose warnings carry no weight.

sun1234 Thu 14-Jul-11 11:45:42

the head does boast about the "added value" score for Ks2, so maybe there is something in it. However, if I had been her I would have massaged the figures up to something a little less awful if I could have.

HauntedLittleLunatic Thu 14-Jul-11 11:49:59

Yes but because they don't have to publicly report KS1 (as far as I am aware) they are better being massaged as low as you can so that the ones you do report at end of KS2 are as wonderful as they can be.

thestringpeople Thu 14-Jul-11 11:52:42

It isn't acceptable for them to hold him back in Maths. The work in our ds's school is very much tailored to the individual. Its not perfect by any means you still hear the odd parent complain that their child hasn't progressed as much as they expected and its hard to offer individual support to a class of 30 but overall I'm pleased.

Hopefully things will improve in year 3 with a new teacher but if I were you I would have a word with the teacher at the beginning of term and explain that the Maths work just wasn't challenging enough. Do you have a "meet the teacher" session at the beginning of term?

sun1234 Thu 14-Jul-11 11:58:51

There is no meet the teacher (who will be the teacher net year is classified info!). Honestly, as I said in my first post, I won't wait around for another bad year. I would if I thought the head had tried her best but it seems to me that she played the whole see no evil/ hear no evil/ speak no evil thing this year and I don't trust her now to deal appropriately with things if there is another problem with another new teacher in the years to come.

(There is no mention of the teacher concerned not coming back next year, and there's been no sign so far that she'll be better supported going forward so if I was a parent to a Y1 child right now, i would be worried about what was to come)

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