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Teachers, do you notice "the summer slide" effect in September?

(132 Posts)
lovecheese Thu 25-Aug-11 14:39:02

Following on from the doing stuff during the holidays thread I am interested to know from teachers if you have experienced this in children coming back to school after a long break? And in a particular subject? BTW DH is a Head and he thinks it definitely happens.

Any thoughts?

Limejelly Thu 25-Aug-11 14:48:36

Yes definitely. At our school the main goal of the first half term is to get the children back to the level they were at the end of the previous year.

mrz Thu 25-Aug-11 15:01:29

It takes them a few days to get back into work mode but other than that no significant slide.

cornsilx Thu 25-Aug-11 15:03:55

notice a dip towards the end of the school year though

mrz Thu 25-Aug-11 15:07:13

yes you tell they are getting tired by the end of the year and even more so last year with Easter being so late messing up terms.

lovecheese Thu 25-Aug-11 15:09:17

Limejelly - really? wow, didn't think it would have that much of an impact. Do you teach primary?

Limejelly Thu 25-Aug-11 15:21:23

My school is in quite a deprived area so I don't know if that has an effect?

When we assess at the end of October half term we don't generally have much movement from the previous year. I'm not the most experienced teacher (this will be my 3rd year) and thought this was the norm confused

IndigoBell Thu 25-Aug-11 15:24:30

Having no movement by half term doesn't imply there's been a slide backwards over summer, which is what loveCheese asked.....

(At least if you're talking about no movement in sub levels. You wouldn't expect much movement in sub levels after 6 weeks of teaching...)

mrz Thu 25-Aug-11 15:26:14

My school is also in an area of high social and economic deprivation but to be honest you wouldn't expect to see any measurable movement in a child's levels in half a term. The expected progress in a full year in KS2 is half a level.

Limejelly Thu 25-Aug-11 15:38:36

What I mean is, for example it they come to me as a 1b in September, it takes till the end if the first half term to get them back to being secure in that level. As they presumably would have been at the end of the previous year.

I believed this to mean that they had 'dipped'.

IndigoBell Thu 25-Aug-11 15:47:52

Even that's not that simple, due to cognitive bias and differences in teachers judgement.

So, unless it's the same child you had last year, or you're directly comparing their written work from July and Sep it's very hard to say anything.

If you give 3 teachers the same piece of work they'll come out with 3 different levels........

And if you teach a child all year by July you tend to give them a good mark because you know how much they've progressed and how much you've taught them (cognitive bias)

And the reverse cognitive bias is true in Sep..... The kids just don't seem that good (especially if you taught the same year last year)

mrz Thu 25-Aug-11 15:55:35

I would expect a child who is 1b in the summer to be 1b half a term later.

lovecheese Thu 25-Aug-11 15:57:30

Is there any particular area/s that you notice the difference? Reading ability? writing? maths? everywhere?

Limejelly Thu 25-Aug-11 16:07:00

Hmmm I never really thought of it in that way. Maybe I will spend less time being stressed about levels over the first half term then! I may even compare some work this year out of curiosity.

mrz Thu 25-Aug-11 16:08:12

lovecheese take a look at the assessment criteria and the guidance for making a level judgement

Step 1: Making assessment focus judgements

For each AF, starting with AF1 for levels 1, 2 and 3 and AF2 for all other levels:

look at the evidence in relation to all the criteria for both the higher and lower levels at this borderline and highlight those that have been met

• make a best-fit judgement on whether the higher or the lower level has been achieved and tick the appropriate level-related box

• if there is some evidence for an AF but not enough to make a judgement at the lower level, tick the BL (Below Level) box

• if there is no evidence for a particular AF, tick the IE (Insufficient Evidence) box.

If you have ticked BL for more than one AF, check whether you should be using the assessment guidelines for the next lowest level borderline.

If you have ticked all, or almost all, the criteria for the higher level, check whether you should be using the assessment guidelines for the next highest level borderline.

Step 2: Making an overall level judgement

Check your AF judgements against the requirements for each level.

For level 1: ticks at level 1 for AF1 and AF2 and some highlighting at level 1 for AF3.

For level 2: ticks at level 2 for AF1 and AF2 and some highlighting at level 2 for AF3.

there isn't a noticeable difference.

lovecheese Thu 25-Aug-11 16:11:02

Thanks for the link mrz but for some reason I can't open files at the mo on this computer, think the 7 year-old has been tinkering.

Limejelly Thu 25-Aug-11 16:18:52

mrz I too would expect a child who was a 1b at end of summer to be a 1b at the end of the first half term. However if they walk out of the door as a secure 1b at the end of July, when they come back in September then (I have found) that they come back around 1c/1b and will be a secure 1b my the end of the first half term.

mrz Thu 25-Aug-11 16:21:40

For example in reading level 1
In some reading, usually with
. some high frequency and familiar words read fluently and automatically
.decode familiar and some unfamiliar words using blending as the prime approach
. some awareness of punctuation marks, e.g. pausing at full stops

In some reading, usually with support:
. some simple points from familiar texts recalled
. some pages/sections of interest located, e.g. favourite characters/events/information/pictures

In some reading, usually with support:
. reasonable inference at a basic level, e.g. identifying who is speaking in a story
. comments/questions about meaning of parts of text, e.g. details of illustrations diagrams, changes in font style

In some reading, usually with support:
. some awareness of meaning of simple text features, e.g. font style, labels, titles

In some reading, usually with support:
. comments on obvious features of language, e.g. rhymes and refrains, significant words and phrases

In some reading, usually with support:
. some simple comments about preferences, mostly linked to own experience

In some reading, usually with support:
. a few basic features of well-known story and information texts distinguished, e.g. what typically happens to good and bad characters, differences between type of text in which photos or drawings used

IndigoBell Thu 25-Aug-11 16:27:37

And the key thing to remember is how wishy washy these statements are

'In Some Reading', 'Some awareness' etc - which means they are totally open to interpretation by teachers and so 2 teachers can level the same work differently.....

Not to mention the 2 teachers are actually levelling 2 different pieces of work.....

And by July a teacher's heard a kid read loads and loads, but in Sep the teacher has heard the kid far less often so is making a judgement on much less info....

Hulababy Thu 25-Aug-11 16:34:49

I always noticed more of a slip at the end of terms, esp after an 8 week term than I did in September. A couple of days or so into term they are back in work mode and ready to get going. Whereas at the end fof the term everyone is tired and lacking the motivation.

Limejelly Thu 25-Aug-11 16:34:54

To be honest I'm happy to be wrong and not have the worry that the children have gone backwards!

Anyway I refuse to talk anymore about levels when I only have one work- free weekend left. Next week I will be back at school trying to sort out the mess that is my classroom!

Pippaandpolly Thu 25-Aug-11 16:46:19

I teach secondary English and I find that they do slip backwards a bit, but that seems to be mainly because they're not used to working after the holiday and it takes a couple of weeks to get used to concentrating all day, doing homework etc again. It also seems to affect them less as they get older - more mature=more likely to want to get down to work again?

TheFlyingOnion Thu 25-Aug-11 17:03:08

I definitely notice a "behaviour" slide.... you can really see which children have parents with whom whining and tantruming really work to get what they want...

it only takes them one try to realise it doesn't work in the classroom!

Feenie Thu 25-Aug-11 17:42:28

Nope, no slide - they come back yawning because they have to get up early, but after a week or so it feels like we've never been away!

Agree with TheFlyingOnion about the behaviour slide though, much more apparent.

clopper Thu 25-Aug-11 18:50:24

I think some children slide back a little, particularly in maths.Not that they go backwards, but they just forget some of the skills until we practise them again. However, trips and holidays often give some kids new ideas for writing. Some children are kept busy and do the library reading challenges, museum visits etc., but I am convinced some don't pick up a book for 6 weeks which can have an impact, especially if they have a particular difficulty with reading or are at an early stage with reading.As a previous poster says, after a week or so its as if we have never been away!

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