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SATs - Am I a fool not to care?

(40 Posts)
AnnIonicIsoTronic Sat 01-Dec-12 23:38:55

My current school

56% @ level 4 maths and English
5% @ level 5 maths and English

45% FSM; 60% ESL

DD and Ds are at various points in their respective careers there - apparently both on track to be part of the 5% & don't they know it!

Have I been naive to disregard the raw academic attainment in favour of woollier concepts? I wanted warm and positive for my little reception babies - but I want fuck-off solid skills and attainment for my secondary school entering pre-teens,

Catsnotrats Sun 02-Dec-12 19:00:15

We have had roughly 50% of our year 6s since reception, although our turnover is slowing down as the school and the local area are Becoming more desirable.

Last year I had 6 new Year 6s during the year, 4 with no English (overall we excluded 10% of the cohort from sats results as they had been in the country less than two years).

I find that those who come in at Year 3 or 4 with no English are very hit and miss when it comes to getting a level 4. If they had a good standard of education in their home country, have parents who are interested in their schooling and able to support them (generally meaning they are literate, have a reasonable standard of education themselves and are not working every hour of the day trying to put food on the table) and have no SEN issues then yes they should get a level 4. However as you can imagine there are many who don't have all this and as a result often fail to get level 4s, but are still counted in our stats.

cumbrialass Sun 02-Dec-12 19:09:53

I would agree. I have three EAL children in my year 5 group, all of whom joined in Year 3 speaking no English and with little previous schooling. One is currently working at mid 4 levels, one at 3/4 boundary and one who is EAL and SEN at low level 2's. The well supported children do very well ( education is seen as a way of improving the lives of the second generation, we have parents with doctorates in agriculture working as pickers who don't want the same for their children) but many do not.

maizieD Sun 02-Dec-12 19:15:21

I am suitably chastened, ladiesblush

I would also surmise that the smaller the school, the fewer kids are needed to bring down the percentage figure.

mrz Sun 02-Dec-12 19:26:27

In the school my children attended each child is equal to 10% of the SAT score

AnnIonicIsoTronic Sun 02-Dec-12 19:33:06

We have about 10% annual churn.

T-2kids - you're spot on. What has really triggered this is my eldest getting a bit down in the dumps about maths being too easy ("I asked for a higher group, and the teacher said there was no higher group") . The feedback at parents evening was "XX needs to work well with all classmate - and try not to make it so obvious that he thinks they're his intellectual inferiors". When I probed my son about it, it turned out that his 'main rival' had left, and everything was feeling a bit flat.

I checked the school books, and the feedback was very bland - despite obvious spelling mistakes and crabby writing.

I feel I should speak with school - but it's a cringy PFB thing to do.

yellowsubmarine53 Sun 02-Dec-12 19:34:43

Yes, there are inherent problems with using percentages with small numbers.

Even in a two form entry school, 10% in the overall scores is just 6 children at the very most.

My friend is a governor at a single form entry school, and there every child is equivalent to 5% once children who entered the school in Y5 and Y6 are discounted.

Just a handful of children not reaching L4 makes a huge difference to their 'results'.

AnnIonicIsoTronic Sun 02-Dec-12 20:38:49

It may be relevant to mention that there are 6 other schools in the area. 2 faith schools achieving around the 80% marks. 4 non denominational schools achieving around the 60% mark. That is - our school is in line with its neighbours. I suspect to the leafy ears of MN 60% might sound worse than it is in its context.

yellowsubmarine53 Sun 02-Dec-12 20:43:44

I don't think it's PFB to speak to the school about their marking policy and practice. Nor your child complaining of being bored.

The feedback from parents' evening gives you and idea of what you might need to do socially, but what steps are the school taking educationally?

Catsnotrats Sun 02-Dec-12 20:48:10

Honestly it isn't great - we have a fairly similar make-up in our school and we get high 70s (and it is rising each year).

Gove has decided that 65% is the floor mark - any school below this faces being turned into an academy, and as it seems that it is a problem with many neighbouring schools, it will almost certainly be on the 'hitlist'.

Having said that, if you and and your child are happy with the school and you feel that they are achieving their potential, then there is absolutely no reason to move them. Having loyal and supportive parents is vital if a school is to improve.

teacherwith2kids Sun 02-Dec-12 20:56:31

I don't think that you would be unreasonable to ask the school how they are planning to challenge him.

Of course he needs to work on his social skills a little as well - but unless the school is doing its bit in giving him appropriately challenging work they are essentially just asking him to pretend not to be bright so that he's easier to teach....

I feel for the class teacher, who will have a whole host of difficulties to contend with but it is a teacher's job to make certain that every child makes the progress that they are capable of, and that includes the able child too... (and I say that as a teacher).

AnnIonicIsoTronic Mon 03-Dec-12 10:12:04

Have emailed.

"dear teacher, ds thinks you iz thick and dissing him cos he's well smart, innit. As his dad is well hard academic type, and he's watching you, so sort it out, yeah?"

Or words to that effect.

AnnIonicIsoTronic Wed 05-Dec-12 11:04:49

Really very good meeting with school (it reminds me why -SATs or not SATs - they've kept my confidence over the years).

Apparently teacher was just about to call me in for a meeting, because she was becoming concerned with the quality of DSs work dipping. She showed me examples of where he'd been sloppy & been sent away to rework & subsequent improvement. He's been talking a lot about how 'the work is so easy' - but not fully delivering - and crumbling somewhat when harder acitivities are provided.

Chatting to DS about this turned into a total `mea culpa' about how he'd not done his best work because he'd been upset about X Y Z ... he;s not been sleeping so well, and I think various things have come together in a tweeny knot of not-so-good.

There is clearly an element of coasting, and benchmarking against the weakest in the class - but I really can;t fault the school for being aware & pro-active about the problems, nor for their commitment to keep challenging DS to be the best he can be. The new school chat seems to much less attractive now that its obvious that the issues are as much rooted in a sensitive character as in any kind of superstar IQ.

We've agreed (including DS) on some extension acitivities from home (supported by me& DH) to boost motivation, and they're arranging for him to have 1:1 sessions with a trusted 'learning mentor' to regain his focus.

IndigoBelle Wed 05-Dec-12 11:30:53

Sounds like an excellent outcome.

Very pleased for you.

SavoirFaire Fri 07-Dec-12 17:08:16

great outcome and great sounding school.

lljkk Fri 07-Dec-12 19:55:13

I think it depends on your child.
DC2 & DC3 I think are best off being big fish in a small pond. So fine if they (okay, just DC2) are relatively very top of the class. They are happiest that way.

DC1 rises to a challenge; he is better off with a boot up his bottom. And surrounded by kids who seem cleverer than he is.

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