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Want independent assessment and don't know who to trust (DD Yr2)

(8 Posts)
Woolyone Tue 11-Oct-11 21:57:22

My DD has just moved in to Yr2, her end of year report stated she had attained a 2b. Her new class teacher has assessed DD and told me that DD and the rest of the children in her year group are actually nearer a 1c.

How can this happen & will the LEA be aware of the actual levels? I don't trust the Head and feel that they are declaring results for league tables but not actually achieving them. It is a small school with a 100% change of teaching staff in 3 years.

Should I get an independent assessment and continue to do so, so I can trust future declared results? Where can I get an independent assessment?

Any advise much appreciated.

redskyatnight Tue 11-Oct-11 22:06:19

A 2b would be good going for a child going into Y2, but 1c (for the year as a whole) is pretty low!! Does sound like the school needs to sort out its own assessment.

I personally don't go too much by "interim" levels as the child may have achieved some things at one level but not all, and then some other things at a higher level. Levels at the end of KS1 are moderated - at least they were when DS finished KS1 (some levels were lowered on moderation - the school was not impressed!) and the school is not obliged to even report interim levels.

Littlefish Tue 11-Oct-11 22:18:29

Is this a state school? How many classes are there per year group?

I once took on a year 2 class which had been over-levelled at year 1, ie. the teacher had been overly generous in his/her assessment of many of the children. My job-share partner and I became aware of this pretty early on in the year and re-levelled the children based on our own assessments (with the full support of the Headteacher). However, the grades were only out by one or two sublevels, not 4, as your child's teacher is saying.

The previous teacher was given additional support by the Headteacher and county advisers to improve his/her assessments.

I'm not quite clear what you mean by "declaring results for league tables but not actually achieving them". Do you mean the KS1 results, or the KS2 results? If KS2, then what you're suggesting is impossible as the SATs are marked externally.

Staff should be attending APP (assessing pupil progress) moderating meetings to try and ensure that all schools in the county are assessing to the same standards.

I would suggest that you ask to see the headteacher and class teacher together to discuss the issue with them, and ask what the implications are for your child, and the school.

What's important now is whether the current classteacher is right in their recent assessment. 1c as an average class level is definitely on the low side. I would expect children coming out of year one to be at an average of 1a.

Woolyone Tue 11-Oct-11 22:47:32

The school is a state school with only 3 classes in the whole school. Class 1 is reception, Y1 and Y2(spring summer children). Class 2(DD's class) is Y2(autumn children)Y3 and Y4. Class 3 is Y5 & Y6.

By "declaring results....." I was under the impression that schools were now responsible for self assessment with no requirement for externally moderated SATS at KS1. Whilst I know results are not published as they once were, I would hope there was some sort of reporting to the LEA or external body to ensure standards are being maintained. Surely someone must me keeping an eye on the progress achieved in a year?

@littlefish...Agree that what is important the current assessment, hence why I am looking for an independent.

madwomanintheattic Tue 11-Oct-11 23:11:11

personally speaking i would contact the chair of governors and ask them to look at assessment and monitoring as you have teachers giving conflicting opinions.

the school should be tracking cohorts and able to look objectively at the data collected. if there is considerable fluctuation of attainment over time within a cohort then this should be flagged in any case. causation (whether it be teacher-specific or whatever) can then be discussed and remedial action taken.

i'm not sure what an independent assessment would contribute, other than giving an idea of how your dd performed at that specific test, on that specific day? wechsler testing gives you peer-comparisons, but not nc levels?

Woolyone Tue 11-Oct-11 23:23:23

thanks Thanks everyone, some really good points. Will contact Ch of Gov & arrange joint meeting with Head & class teacher together.

IndigoBell Wed 12-Oct-11 06:19:22

Are you talking about reading, writing or maths?

The diff between a 1c and a 2b is so huge that we can give you a fair idea.

Reading levels correspond fairly closely to book bands. A 1c is red book band and she'd be struggling to read much more than 3 letter words. A 2b is puple book band and shed be able to read almost anything. Be pretty close to reading easy chapter books herself.

Same with writing. 1c no correct spelling, no punctuation. You'd be worried. 2b spelling would be good enough for you to understand it. Full stops, capital letters and quite a lot of work produced.

You cant get an indep assessment. And levels are only reported to the LEA at the end of Y2, not at end of Y1.

CustardCake Wed 12-Oct-11 08:10:53

The levels are open to some degree of interpretation (although this does not explain the difference between a 1c and a 2b which is large). An example is where something might be worded "can recognise a few....." or "is sometimes able to......."

One teacher's idea of "a few" might be very different to another teacher's idea of "a few." How often is "sometimes"? Does it mean most of the time or does it still count if its a one-off fluke? Some teachers apply a more stringent defintion that others so that can account for a small difference between levels that a teacher might award.

I agree with you though that this discrepancy points to a larger problem with marking and assessment practices BUT these levels don't actually mean anything at this age beyond helping monitor a child's progress at school. They aren't all recorded on a government system somewhere. Hopefully the meeting will clear things up.

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