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What are CATs and what will they tell me about ds (year 4)

(8 Posts)
difficultpickle Sat 16-Mar-13 17:48:12

Apparently as well as doing school exams next term ds will be doing CATs. The school have said this is to give guidance for which senior schools to consider.

Ds is 8 and won't change schools until the start of year 9 and won't do any pre-tests until the second or third terms of year. Does anyone know what is the benefit of doing these tests so far ahead of having to make senior school choices? It just seems a bit early to me.

difficultpickle Sat 16-Mar-13 17:49:25

Sorry I missed out 6 for the year ds will do pre-tests.

wintermelonsoup Mon 18-Mar-13 13:57:52

My DC did CAT in year 4 and then beginning of y5 and mid y5 again. We live in a grammar schools area. So I've found it helpful to know if my DC may pass the 11+ or how much preparation DC may need. As for preparing for 11+ the earlier parents know their DCs potential the earlier we can make plan for secondary schools. So it is very helpful for us. I guess for people live in a catchment of good comps it may be less important as long as they keep up with the ks levels accordingly.

difficultpickle Mon 18-Mar-13 20:01:01

Thanks winter. How is the information presented? Is it just a lot of meaningless numbers that require explanation by the school or is it something you can understand?

wintermelonsoup Thu 21-Mar-13 17:37:22

Sorry bisjo, I did switch on the computer in the last two days. I am not a teacher. So can only talk from own experience. The score/s indicate the child’s ability say below average, low average, mid average, top average, above average, very above average, or well above average. So that it gives me some idea if my dc has the potential to pass 11+ or whether s/he is grammar school type. Obviously the earlier you know the earlier you can prepare or plan a head. Tbh my dc was very average at the beginning of year 4. So I help dc by giving him some practice book to do just a little a day and by y5 his score increased a lot. So I’ve found it invaluable because we are thinking of selective exam for schools. Some school may even tell parents the score for each subject: verbal reasoning, nonverbal reasoning, maths, English. So check with the school teacher/s.

2kidsintow Thu 21-Mar-13 19:34:09

When we get our CATs tests marked, we get a printed page per child. It tells us how many questions in each little test the child attempted and how many they got right. (So can give an indication on low scoring papers as to whether the child plodded and didn't answer many, or perhaps wizzed through rushing it).

It gives a standardised score for each battery of tests. As with all standardised scores, 100 would be the average score for a child achieving what they are supposed to achieve for their age. Above 100 is therefore good.

There are 3 bar graphs, one for each test (verbal, number, non-verbal) that give a percentage likelihood of the level that the child will achive. This is where schools can use them to target pupils. A pupil that has a high likelihood of achieving a level 4, but some possibility of getting a L5 can be targeted to try and boost them to a level 5.
They don't show any indication of level 6s at Primary level.

They are a prediction of what your child could achieve if they carry on as they are. I.E. no value added improvement. Therefore your child, if the school and they put in the required effort, should definitely achieve the predicted grade, and perhaps improve on that too. E.g. my daughter was predicted 3 5s and eventually came out with 2 level 5s and a 6 in maths.

We send home the results paper as a matter of course and have an open evening in conjunction with a parents evening to dicuss them with any parents. This works well.

Beware however, many schools (my child's included) don't send home or communicate the scores with the parents at all. I had to make a particular appointment to go in to view the results paper in the school itself.

LIZS Thu 21-Mar-13 19:37:00

It looks at academic potential relative to his peer group and school/national average. From there they can also see potential performance at CE and then steer you towards a particular cohort of schools with that requirement which you can then whittle down. dc Prep did them every 2 years , alternately with Pips.

difficultpickle Thu 21-Mar-13 21:29:19

Thank you, that's very helpful. All I know is that ds's school will send the results home at the end of next term (which I think means they are sent by post a few days after the end of term).

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