Sats Level 6(13 Posts)
I haven't seen this discussed anywhere else and wondered what you all thought? According to the BBC, 1 in 11 Y6 children took the Level 6 English Sats test this year but in the DofE statistics published this week only 0.16% of the cohort (less than 2 in a thousand ) achieved that level. Am I reading this right?? What is the point of putting all those children through the additional test. Surely it is largely a measure of maturity and not of any benefit to the child who reaches that standard or the schools. The arguments for Level 6 maths are different as many more achieved it and able children are clearly capable of being taught at this level.
That's because many schools misused the test - there was plenty of evidence here. Instead of using the test to confirm a teacher assessment of level 6, i.e. the child had been taught level 6 objectives and was routinely working at level 6 in the classroom, lots of schools entered level 5 children 'just to see'.
Which is why level 6 papers were binned the first time in 2001.
We were told by our county advisors that 10% of the cohort HAD to achieve level 6 so for English I had to enter my good level 5's in the hope that one would get a level 6 on the test ( even though I knew they weren't a level 6!). Hardly surprising that they didn't! Hopefully this year, the expectation will be more reasonable !
See, that kind of thing really annoys me. We've always been able to teacher assess at level 6 as you know, snowball, so the artificial, all of a sudden 'right, such and such a % must now be targeted' is very irritating.
I agree! A level 6 is a level 6 and if a cohort doesn't have any ( and since my cohorts are around 10-12 a year, I don't have many to choose from!) then all the targets in the world won't change that.
DS's school, where 15% got Level 6 in Maths, none got it for English and I think that is entirely fair - as in the tests genuinely did sort out who was a true level 6 and who was not (DS, for example, had a teacher assessment of 6 and a test result of 6 for Maths, but a TA of 5 and a test result of 5 for all aspects of English]. It's a school which doesn't 'do' teaching to the test / SATs practice etc.
I suspect that they will change who is entered for the tests this year, and interestingly the English co-ordinator has moved to Year 6, perhaps because last year's Year 6 teachers (very strong Maths teachers both) were not bringing on the potentially very high achieving children in English quite as effectively as they were the potentially very high achieving children in Maths.
I think the previous year's tests were rather misleading as the grade boundaries were low and it was ( relatively) easy to get level 6-especially on the maths. This year's boundaries, whilst much tougher, were more a fair reflection of true level 6. Hopefully this will remain, level 6's SHOULD be few and far between!
Our school entered no pupils for the level 6 SATS - I have no idea why other than the Head fiercely opposed it as she is Grammar schools, independent schoosl and any form of testing where some people get a 'better' score than others.
I can see though where a lot of pressure comes from to enter children - dozens of parents were furious that a level 6 badge of honour was being denied to their child and were really pushing for it. We are in an area where many children undergo 2-3 years intensive tuition for super selective grammar schools so a lot of the children are working at a very advanced level in maths especially. Some of them also win super-duper scholarships to top independents because they are working so far ahead.
My own DS was not tutored but is advanced in maths and scored very highly on the regular paper (just short of full marks). In all probability he is a firm level 6 in maths as he has been at level 5 for 2 years.
I am not at all bothered about the actual level awarded - a 5a is just fine. I am however a little worried that he may be set too low at secondary if 15% of the year group have a level 6 in maths and he never had the chance to take it. Other parents though just purely wanted a level 6 to go against their childs name. Next year, when more parents know about it, the school will be unlikely to get away with not letting all the top set and half the middle set take it if the parents concerned have anything to do with it.
We are a KS2 only school and being able to enter children for level 6 did wonders for our value added scores. For children that came on a level 3 at the end of KS1 we have previously only been able to show expected progress, not any greater because of the cap of level 5. Sometimes children even come in with a TA of level 4! they looked like they had mede no progress at all! This is because it is only the TEST results that are counted by the govt at the end of KS2, so even if a child had a TA of 6 they were still judged to be a level 5. The grade boundaries in the level 6 test were, IMO much better this year - you really had to be a secure level 6 to achieve it. Having said that, English was much harder. 25% of my year 6 cohort of 90 got a 6 in maths, only 5% in English. It's harder to teach the English as well, as it is not so clear cut what the curriculum actually is. This year, we shall entering far fewer for the English!
DD entered both and didn't get either.
Fortunately she wasn't bothered.
She knows her English is the best in her class, but not mature enough in style for L6. She needs to read more grown up books and do more non fiction writing before she get to that level.
Maths was crammed after school, HT was gambling on 50% pass mark. I believe it was, quite rightly, shifted higher.
I don't know if anyone did pass, but my guess is that only the 2 senior school teachers DCs probably did.
The school only did L6 because Ofsted are bastards and downgraded them last time.
I like the l6 tests because it gives the children who are already a secure l5 something to work for. My 11yo was enthused and motivated by the l6 tests, she did get l6s in maths and English, and even though it will make little difference in the future it gave her something to work for last year. Which made her a lot happier, she needs a challenge.
2/3 of her year group in her school got l5s this year (they were a good year in a small school) and it just isn't that much of a challenge for some kids to get l5s.
They already had something to work for - the level 6 curriculum and a level 6 teacher assessment, which is supposed to have equal weighting! The existence of a level 6 test on top should not have changed the teaching or the children's progress. - in theory.
I don't think it did change the teaching in our school, yr6 teacher isn't very test-oriented, the yr6 tests were an optional aside. But it changed my dd's motivation and enthusiasm, having a test to aim for.
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