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4As in Yr4 - how unusual?

(242 Posts)
SilverBellsandCockleShells Fri 15-Mar-13 07:15:28

I went to parents' evening yesterday. We've recently moved our 8yo son because we knew he was bright and felt he was underperforming and our decision appears to have been vindicated! After predicting a 3a for him by the end of the year after their initial assessments, they have now assessed him as 4a for maths, and 4b for English, and reckon he will improve to 4a by the end of the year if he continues to focus and improve as he is doing.

Obviously this is good! grin I was just wondering how good. Are they the kind of levels you would expect the top children in a yr4 class to be achieving? Or is it more exceptional than that. I'm vaguely considering scholarships but don't want to push him if he is just averagely outstanding, if such a thing exists!

mrz Fri 15-Mar-13 07:33:50

Level 4 remains the "expected" level for the end of Key Stage 2 but with increased pressure on schools to ensure that children achieve level 5 or even level 6 in Y6 level 4 and level 5 in y4 is becoming much more common.

MirandaWest Fri 15-Mar-13 07:37:28

My DS is in year 4 and is pretty bright but not exceptional at all. He is at 4c/4b level according to his teacher at the moment. His school has quite a few high achievers - I'd say he was definitely in the top part of the class but not at the very top.

So I'd say definitely achieving well but not exceptional. Although I do tend to play down what both DC do (am obviously very proud of them both)

swallowedAfly Fri 15-Mar-13 07:39:51

ds is in year 1 and has a couple of 2a's so i would hope he would have level 4's 3 years on from now.

they're expected to leave year one with an average of 1bs and year 2 with 2b's so i would have thought 4's in year 4 was normal for an able child. best to ignore 'averages'.

SilverBellsandCockleShells Fri 15-Mar-13 07:52:55

Thanks! So is it a question of the levels being 'dumbed down' or are children simply being pushed harder?

swallowedAfly, it's not quite that simple. 4a is officially the expected achievement at the end of year 6! see here

lljkk Fri 15-Mar-13 08:01:30

I think that puts him on course for 6c at end of y6, which is probably exceptional regardless of what you read on MN. But recall kids aren't robots and he might plateau in ability before then.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 15-Mar-13 08:17:14

DS is current yr5, I have just looked at his yr4 report and he got a 5b in Maths, if I recall correctly that was based on doing the yr6 SAT papers.
He is going to do the yr6 level 6 SAT paper after the year 6's have done it to see what they need to work on with him next year.
He is an able mathematician, in context he is slightly ahead of his most able yr6 peers in a mixed yr5/6 class.

His English levels were;
Speaking & listening: 4
Reading: 4a
Writing: 4c (which I personally think was overstated, and at parents evening this week they said 4c again - given his progress one of them is wrong, I think the former).

He is a very bright boy, but what % he would be in his age group I have no idea.

Level 4's in yr4 is clearly above average fir the age, what you do with that is another question!

ThreeBeeOneGee Fri 15-Mar-13 08:19:43

I would say definitely well above average, but a 4A in Y4 doesn't differentiate between the very able and the super-able.

chickensaladagain Fri 15-Mar-13 08:21:07

The top group in my dd's primary are getting level 4s in year 4 so yes bright but not exceptional

You must be really pleased he is doing so well in his new class smile

Level3at6months Fri 15-Mar-13 08:22:46

Above average, but not so exceptional that you'd want to get carried away by how clever he might be yet.

Level3at6months Fri 15-Mar-13 08:24:09

Sorry, that sounds a really miserable reply. Well done to him, and hope he keeps the interest up.

swallowedAfly Fri 15-Mar-13 08:28:04

but that's the average. exceeding the average is hardly a massive big deal. the average includes ALL children - those with literacy based learning difficulties, those who attend school once a week due to illness/disability etc, those who will potentially come out of school without any qualifications. an average necessarily means some will do much better some will do much worse.

if you have an able child and are an involved parent you'd want to be sorely disappointed with 4a at the end of year 6 because it would likely mean the school had done bugger all with your child.

my son touching on level 2's in year 1 - once his writing (fine motor skills and ability to concentrate instead of rush to get his ideas out basically) is improved those will be secure. is he a rocket scientist? no, of course not. he just had 4 years of one on one interaction with an educated parent and no learning disabilities or barriers in his way.

of course he's going to be doing better than children who haven't had 4 years at home with a qualified teacher before going to school! that average includes the children of parents without literacy skills themselves and children who've been through hell and back during their early developmental years, children for whom english is not their first language or the language spoken at home etc.

i'd be worried if he wasn't well above average.

just ensure the school are still extending and pushing your child rather than going well they're ok we can stick them in the corner and ignore them. you want to look at how much progress is being made each year rather than obsess too much about how they compare to others.

SilverBellsandCockleShells Fri 15-Mar-13 08:58:33

OK, thanks all. Clearly he's good, but he's not necessarily spectacularly so. The main thing is to keep him focussed and hope he progresses further. They're talking about putting him in for level 6 SATs so I think they have the measure of him.

sittinginthesun Fri 15-Mar-13 11:13:49

I think you should be proud of him. smile
I have just received levels for my ds1, also year 4. He's a 4a for reading and writing (teacher hoping for 5c by end of year, but thinks it may be but too much of challenge), and 5c for maths.

To me, the most important thing is that the school love him, and he loves school. They've got him sussed, he trusts them, I trust them, and so he's blossoming.

Bakingnovice Fri 15-Mar-13 11:29:12

My ds is in yr 3 and is currently 4b and expected to finish the year at 4a. He's very bright but to be honest I do expect him to stagnate somewhere alOng the line. The most important thing for me at primary level is that he's happy, and making friends as although my ds is bright he does struggle with making new friends. Your dc is obviously very bright.

lljkk Fri 15-Mar-13 11:55:35

I guess it depends how you define exceptional or spectacular.
Level 4a puts him on course for 6c at end of y6.
L6 end of y6 puts him in the top 3% for math & top 0.5% for English.
What words you use to describe top 0.5-3% is subjective, I guess.

redskyatnight Fri 15-Mar-13 12:11:52

I'm amazed at some of these replies.
There is ONE child in DS's Y4 year group (120 children) working at 4a in maths and no one in his class at that level in English.

I would say that 4As in Y4 put him in the top very few percent of the year group.
Do people really have a whole set working at this level?

swallowedAfly Fri 15-Mar-13 12:30:17

i don't know redsky. tbh i doubt mn'ers are representative of the population iyswim. maybe we're inclined to brighter kids? confused

i am maybe underestimating ds touching level 2's in year one with more than a term still to go so hopefully secure level 2's by the end of the year - the teacher didn't seem that amazed so i didn't think it was that unusual. it would mean 3's at this point in year 2 so 4's in year doesn't sound that outlandish to me.

i may be a bit out of touch but it may also be my attitude that i don't like to hype things up too much and keep in mind that kids develop at different rates and assuming he may be a bit ahead now due to starting at school ahead but may slow down later.

IS it that unusual? should i think level 2's in year one means something significant?

PatriciaHolm Fri 15-Mar-13 12:31:19

We would have a good group of children at that level yes, but this (as swallowedafly says) is a school in an affluent area, lots of parental support and involvement all the way through, with high expectations from school and parents; children who don't get that support are the exception rather than the rule. DD is on track to get 4Bs by end Y4, and I know she isn't exceptional; there will be 10-15 kids in her year (60) get that I expect, and 3-4 will exceed it. Other schools may have none,, perhaps if they have a more challenging intake or parents who are less supportive.

swallowedAfly Fri 15-Mar-13 12:32:25

i'm now worrying that maybe i haven't grasped how well ds is doing grin but would it matter?

i personally cannot truly believe that how a child is performing at 5 or 6 or 7 years of age is really a hugely accurate indicator of their abilities.

swallowedAfly Fri 15-Mar-13 12:34:08

thanks pat - my gut feeling is aside from special needs and other barriers all that's really being assessed at this stage in a child's education is parental involvement.

whether you can read/write/learn spellings etc is a test on your parents rather than you. they are pretty mechanical skills in many ways that have either been taught and practiced or not.

PatriciaHolm Fri 15-Mar-13 12:35:19

Here Level 2s in Y1 would be good but again not exceptional. For example, 43% of our Y2s get Level 3+ in maths at end Yr2; so you would imagine most of them would be on Level 2s at the end of Y1. 51% of our Y6s are Level 5+ in maths at end year.

ibizagirl Fri 15-Mar-13 12:38:29

It is unusual but not unheard of. Dd very bright and got 4A for her year 3 sats in English and maths. She got 5A in year 4, 5 and 6 (there was no level 6 then). She went to high school and did her gcse in year 7 and got A* at 11. You might find this happen with your son. Good luck and best wishes.

Chandon Fri 15-Mar-13 12:42:27

I think it is pretty amazing, for what it's worth.

So go for those scholarships etc.

swallowedAfly Fri 15-Mar-13 12:45:50

blimey takes more than that for a scholarship.

you need to be ace at music and/or sports on top of academic ability from what i've read and been told.

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