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I think school may have inflated KS1 sats WWYD, if anything?

(20 Posts)
IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Wed 17-Jul-13 17:32:59

DD2 is just finishing Y2 and we got her SATs results yesterday. Her class has (imo) had a really rough ride since YR with staff absences/illnesses/maternity and dd has struggled. She is my 3rd child and I know she is way behind where DS1 and DD1 were at the end of Y2 but her SATs scores are similar. If it's relevant, DD1 and DS1 had the same teacher and DD2's is new.

It's a primary school so part of me think why would they do that when it is going to bite them on the arse when these dc's are in Y6 but otoh, there has been a lot of parental complaints going back to YR and good SATs results gives the HT a chance to say "See, I told you it was all fine."

The reason I am concerned is I think DD2 needs some education intervention and with her marvellous SATs scores then that isn't going to happen.

Should I do anything? Indeed, can I do anything?

frogwatcher42 Wed 17-Jul-13 17:36:27

Surely schools would be far too scared to do this with the emphasis being on year 6 sats and added value or whatever its called where they compare the KS1 and KS2 SATS results. It would be in the schools interests to mark the KS1 SATS hard and get lower results so they can show what a good job they have done by year 6.

I think they are marked on strange things in KS1 - one of my dc seemed very behind the siblings at that stage. When i went in they assured me that she was average. Sure enough that seems to be holding up.

lborolass Wed 17-Jul-13 17:41:36

I would also say that it doesn't sound like a very sensible thing for a school to do as it's just going to make their life harder when that year group is in year 6.

Could you maybe ask to see the test paper (don't know if these are held in the school) and see for yourself exactly how she did?

FadedSapphire Wed 17-Jul-13 17:42:35

Schools get moderated don't they? Risky thing to do as a school....

Feenie Wed 17-Jul-13 17:43:16

The assessment would be mostly on day to day classwork, not a test.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Wed 17-Jul-13 17:56:36

Her day to day class work is not very good. She is not very good at decoding words, she has huge gaps in her phonic knowledge and reads slowly without expression. She has been assessed for dyslexia. ORT level 8, so technically the right 'level' for her age (she is sept bday though) but she isn't finding the books easy. She got a level 3 in SATs for reading, as did many of her friends who appear to have similar reading ability. I'm not so sure where she is with maths as she hasn't had a single piece of maths homework all year and I can't remember what the others were doing at that age. She got 2A for maths and frankly I'm astounded that she is assessed as 'above average' because in day to day maths (baking, shopping, time etc.) she struggles.

I know it sounds like a mad thing to do from the POV of added value but I don't think the HT will be there is 4 years time (making noises about retirement)

lborolass Wed 17-Jul-13 18:01:20

Isn't a 3 for reading at year 2 way above expected? From what you say about her reading that doesn't sound right at all.

missmapp Wed 17-Jul-13 18:10:31

If she is in a primary school they will be shooting themselves in the foot. it is not just KS2 sats that are taken into account, but every year must show good progress- so they may struggle with that at the end of Yr 3

LalyRawr Wed 17-Jul-13 18:31:16

May be stupid but the primary school I attended did this.

Head teacher, deputy head & Head of Yr2 all lost their jobs.

BalloonSlayer Wed 17-Jul-13 18:40:52

I have been told in the past that schools tend to under-mark in Y2 SATS because the children are are expected to show that certain degree of progress between Y2 and Y6.

A child who is only just a Level 3 might not manage to be a Level 5 in Year 6, and it would look like the school had failed when actually it hadn't.

So a child who was only just a Level 3 is more likely to get marked down to 2a just to give the school a bit of leeway.

MilkRunningOutAgain Wed 17-Jul-13 19:04:52

My school used to do this, resulting in my DS 's scores literally going backwards in yr 3, and him still scoring level 3 in yr4. In reality I think he actually made fairly smooth progress but it really worried me when he was in yr 3. However the school now seems to have wised up and my dd who is in yr 2 at the moment seems to have been graded scores that feel right to me. By the way dd is white level which includes some ORT level 10s that she reads fluently and expressively, and she got 2a for reading.

Oh and in exactly the same way as Lalyrawr reports, the old yr2 teacher and old head are no longer at the school....

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Wed 17-Jul-13 19:11:07

"I have been told in the past that schools tend to under-mark in Y2 SATS because the children are are expected to show that certain degree of progress between Y2 and Y6."

I've heard this before. Maybe DD2 is more capable than I give her credit for but I was really shocked. I was hoping she would get 2c's.

LalyRawr How did it all come out?

Isn't there someone who looks at some random papers to see if the teacher's assessments are ok? I feel I can't 'complain' to the teacher as she is the one doing the assessments and I can't complain to the HT as she will back up her teacher (she doesn't like waves). I'm also not sure what I am complaining about. I think that they are trying to cover up what a shitty time this class has had and that makes me uncomfortable but it's not like the Y3 teacher isn't going to notice that DD is behind where the Y2 teacher claims she is (which will no doubt be put down to doing nothing over the 6 weeks). Y2 teacher is new, and young but not an NQT (thinks she's about 25).

Feenie Wed 17-Jul-13 19:13:56

LEAs moderate - mostly by looking at samples of work, not papers.

ORT Stage 8 does sound incredibly low for a level 3 reader.

LalyRawr Wed 17-Jul-13 19:17:10

It was the lack of progress.

We had 90 kids a year in our primary. Say they were all level 3 at yr 2. In year three you had majority level 2, some level 3. Not one single student progressed from year 2 to 3 with some going backwards.

Yet at yr 4 every child had progressed, even a little bit.

They quite correctly, found it hard to believe that not a single child out of 90 made progress from yr 2 to 3.

After about 3 years of this, it was spotted, past papers remarked and about 70% were never a level 3 at yr 2.

From what I recall the teachers were given the chance to resign before they were fired.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Wed 17-Jul-13 19:25:00

Is there anything to stop schools lying their arses off all the way up to Y6?

lljkk Wed 17-Jul-13 19:54:58

What about the y2 SAT results (don't you still get a separate result for the sit-down part of the assessment)?

Feenie Wed 17-Jul-13 20:04:40

You shouldn't, no - the tests are a very small part of the assessment and have been since 2005.

There are a few schools who misunderstand the process and place too much importance on the tests - that isn't supposed to happen, but they might well report both.

Chocovore Wed 17-Jul-13 21:36:41

That does sound odd re the reading. My son is just finishing Y2 and got a 3 for reading. He is on Grey bookband level. I think he started Y2 on ORT12 or similar.

youcouldnevermakeitup Wed 17-Jul-13 23:10:01

Some schools appear to make the results 'fit' what they want. In your HM's case, if she is looking to retire, she may not be interested in 'value add' and simply wants to go out on a high note. We have experience of 'grade deflation' to show higher value add and fantastic progress to ofsted. My DS never went onto reading scheme books and went into school as a 'free reader' reading chapter books. The teacher even wrote in his diary that she had assessed his reading and he read to a group of children in the class on day 5 in reception. His base line assessment shows EYFS point 3. School reports indicate outstanding progress, but two years later was only assessed as a 2A. Before anyone says, 'ah' but it is about 'understanding' - of course it is. We had him assessed by an EP and that showed understanding at 99.9 percentile and strong inference and deduction skills by the end of year 1.

We changed schools after DS cried to be moved to a new school and it was clear that what was going on was having a detrimental effect on him and was not just a case of 'playing with records'. The new assessments showed thumping great progress on the previous schools assessments, when assessed by standardised testing. The Head called us into a meeting to discuss the 'extraordinary' test results and how best to support DS; I do not think anyone in that room was under any illusion about what had gone on. The new school have worked on his damaged self- esteem and it is lovely to see his smile and renewed interest in life and learning.

So, from what you have said, you may well be right. You could complain to the Head, the Governors and the LEA. However, I sometimes think there must be a conflict of interests; the LEA need to see 'good results' so may just turn a 'blind eye'. I would be tempted to move schools to get your DD the support that she needs - as you say, she is unlikely to get it in this scenario.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 18-Jul-13 10:15:40

Moving schools isn't really realistic. I have another dc going into Y6 and one going into Y1. It's unlikely I would get places for them at other schools.

Not sure what to do. Part of me thinks that I should ignore all testing and concentrate on helping her in exactly the same way as I would if SATs didn't exist or if she had got the 2c's that I was expecting. Part of me thinks the school are devious bastards who spend more time manipulating test scores than educating my child and they should be pulled up on it (but by who?). There is a tiny part of me that thinks she is doing better than I thought.

Does anyone actually know roughly which ORT level correspond to which NC level? I realise it is a blunt tool but there must be a rough correlation.

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