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What do I know about a school from SATS results?

(19 Posts)
fluffycarpets Fri 07-Feb-14 22:27:11

I've just been looking at the SATS results for our area. I am not sure what I can take from them. Two schools that I know (from parents) are quite grim in terms of pastoral care came out very highly in our area, while two others (where parents are happy) came out very low. The two best schools did very well (extremely happy parents and children, lots of extra curricula activities, warm, encouraging atmosphere) but were not at the very top.

Also: What can I take from a school that has average L4 attainment in KS2 SATS but very low L5 attainment (3 per cent). Does this necessarily mean the school doesn't cater for the better abled students (given this was also flagged in the Ofsted as a problem).

bebanjo Fri 07-Feb-14 22:33:01

You can tell how much work parents have or haven't done that's all.
If you look through threads you will see parents of children not expected to do well coaching there children to up there score.
I am at a lose to know why they feel the Ned to do this, it just blurs the truth about how good a school is and leaves parents such as yourself not knowing what if any guild they really are.

MillyMollyMama Fri 07-Feb-14 23:34:30

No-one coaches for SATs around here. They coach for the 11+ verbal reasoning. It is ridiculous to say all level 5 children are coached. They might have interested parents who make sure their children read and do their homework though! 3% for L5 is abysmal by the way. Either the school is extremely poor or they have virtually no bright children. It might show parents with bright children are avoiding sending children there. Ofsted have found the brightest children are not making good enough progress presumably. This would totally put me off. It shows their assessment of children and meeting their needs is not good enough.

I have never heard any parent say the pastoral care at a school is grim! Why have they said this? Highly unusual for a primary school. You, presumably, only have a small snapshot of parents. I would go and have a look round and see what you think. The majority of parents may well be happy.

BeattieBow Fri 07-Feb-14 23:36:27

nothing. Mine gets v good SATs results. all the children have tutors.

I think you'll get more info from the ofsted report, visiting the schools, and speaking to the other parents.

SapphireMoon Sat 08-Feb-14 06:56:00

Gosh millymollymama, harsh..
A school where perhaps generally children come in at a low level and are then on/ near national average by year 6 is a great school. Look at rates of progress. My children attend such a school and are doing very well. The number of level 5s is below nat av but if a child is capable they get it.
It is not always about children not being bright but their backgrounds,any special needs, starting school with no English in year 4 or 5 etc and the support they receive or do not receive from home.
A happy school with teachers doing their absolute best for the children, whatever their background or needs, is a good school to be part of.
Make sure you visit the schools while school in action and have talk with Head. Best make appointments for those. Good schools will be keen to show you round as they will be proud of their school.
Good luck op!

roslet Sat 08-Feb-14 07:38:31

I taught in a school which had amazingly good SATS, and the Year 6 teacher was fantastic at teaching Literacy and Maths. Unfortunately hardly anything else was taught that year. Specialist teachers for music and P.E. meant that those subjects were taught, but there was virtually no art, history, geography etc. It was a rather stressful and joyless year for children in that class.
Definitely visit the schools before making up your mind. Ofsted reports are interesting, but I've visited several "Outstanding" schools where I'd hate to send my children.

hootloop Sat 08-Feb-14 07:40:55

They tell you how bright that cohort was and very little else. I say that as an ex year 6 teacher.

Kittymalinky Sat 08-Feb-14 08:04:36

As a teacher I would go for pastoral care and a general feeling of happiness you get when walking into a school over sats results any day.

Sats can vary wildly for year group to year group. Good results can be the product of excellent teaching and learning but equally that can be the result of test teaching and practice tests all through the year.

It's very hard to gauge a school unless you visit. I'd say go to them all, you'll get a 'gut' feeling about one and that's the one for your child.

SapphireMoon Sat 08-Feb-14 08:06:53

I think not just how bright cohort are but whether they have been at school from Reception [ie not someone new to English starting in year 4 or 5 and still included in SATs results], parental background and culture, whether child home tutored or not [culture of that in some schools...], school teaching to test and dropping all fun stuff like plays etc... loads of reasons...

CouthyMow Mon 10-Feb-14 01:50:01

It depends on cohort. At my DC's last school, their current SATS results will show that last year's Y6 had only one child getting a lvl 4, 20 getting lvl 5's, and 10 getting lvl 6's all across the board. And it was also a small year group, just 31 in the entire year, so only one class instead of two.

However - even the school admits that it was an unusually clever cohort, which it was.

Next year will be far more 'average', and the year after, which was my DS2's year until we moved, will have frankly abysmal results...but that year has a bulge class AND each class is running at around 33 AND all three classes have a VERY high percentage of DC's with SN's and behavioural difficulties and physical disabilities - we are talking 8/10 in EACH class of 33...

Their usual results are more like around 2/3 of the class getting lvl 4's and 1/3 getting lvl 5's, with the odd ONE pupil getting lvl 6's.

All that will significantly affect results.

So it DOES depend on cohort.

SapphireMoon Mon 10-Feb-14 06:32:47

Not just cohort....

redskyatnight Mon 10-Feb-14 08:52:31

The DC's school gets "average" SATS results. A primary school near us gets something like 100% Level 4 and 50% Level 5. There is a lot of snobbery against DC's school.

IMO the difference in results is accounted for by
- DC's school has a below average ability cohort on entry (so to get to average results is GOOD), other school has an above average cohort

- higher level of children from economically deprived backgrounds at DC's school versus children from mostly middle class professional famililes at other school

- large amount of migration at DC's school, DS in Year5 has had 6 children join his class since September (and 5 leave) including 2 in the early stages of learning English - virtually none in other school

- larger number of children with SEN in DC's school

- other school has high level of very supportive parents (some of whom employ tutors)

fluffycarpets Mon 10-Feb-14 11:27:03

I agree that SATS don't say everything. Or even that much. And pastoral care does count for a great, great deal.
But it does seem somewhat significant that the school has been picked out by Ofsted for not pushing the more able children and also got abysmally low L5 results.
I mean, less than 5 per cent is low by any standard, surely?

Nocomet Mon 10-Feb-14 11:37:35

Cohort size?

5% is low, but DDs school went from 13-22% just because of a couple of bright DCs in small year groups.

I know teachers at the school and they are praying Ofsted are reasonable and look at progress (as they should) not overall results as they should. They say the ability difference of their present year groups is huge.

practicallyperfectornot Mon 10-Feb-14 11:44:52

IME nothing, there are many things which can affect SATS results.

maillotjaune Mon 10-Feb-14 12:33:50

Our very good (my opinion and that if most parents, OFSTED only says Good smile ) school gets very variable headline SATS scores. Depends on cohort.

But they always score highly on value added measures.

No one round here tutors for SATS - and only a few for grammars as we're only peripheral to a grammar area so about 3-4 in a year of 60 will go (and maybe 10ish even take the 11+). DS and several friends on course for level 5 with no tutoring so obviously that varies too.

fluffycarpets Tue 11-Feb-14 20:44:03

What counts as a good value added score please???

maillotjaune Tue 11-Feb-14 21:19:02

Don't think that's going to he a clicky link but this page explains VA

lljkk Wed 12-Feb-14 18:24:40

SATs results correlate most strongly with

social status of the parents of the intake
innate ability
quality of teaching (ability to target the tests)

in that order, so at least 2/3 is down to social profile/innate characteristics of the intake.

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