Year 4 class majority at 4c(33 Posts)
Hi, wondered if I could get some experience/input on this. My ds is in yr 4, last month we had a progress report and he is working at level 4c. So I looked up the levels etc and versus the quoted averages he seemed to be doing well, a little bit ahead of where he should be. Cue a 'treat' for him to say well done. A few weeks later it turns out that basically the entire class bar maybe 5 children are also at the 4c level. Now, maybe I'm being cynical but I am thinking either they are a class full of fairly bright kids or (more likely) the school are over setting the levels so to speak? Because what's the point of having average levels as indicators when a teacher/head/school then decrees the whole class at a high-ish level - aren't the school then creating their own 'averages' ?
It is possible to have years with particularly bright cohorts.
However the only way you'll know for sure is to check out the respective APP grids and see if he is achieving at that level or alternatively print off some old SATS papers and see what levels he achieves. If he gets a 3a, 4c or 4b then the school probably have a bright cohort. Anything else and perhaps there levels are indeed 'off'!
How do you know that "basically the whole class is at 4c"?
There is no advantage to the school in inflating levels, makes it very hard for them to show progress!
There is not much you can do anyway is there, even if they are inflating levels. Are you planning to tackle the head? Levels are going soon anyway. Do not get too bogged down in them , is your son happy, doing his best and achieving? If yes, then be grateful and let him have his treat and enjoy it.
Thanks all - redsky that is exactly my thought re inflating levels, how can progress then be shown? The kids themselves all know what level they are working at as they have target cards which are left out at each child's desk/seat within a literacy/numeracy session so they all know what level they are working towards. DS had said that teacher had also made a mention of how the class was nearly there for getting everyone on to 4c.
He enjoys school and is happy so I was curious I guess!
Does your child attend a school in a middle class area or atleast "prodominantly middle class"?
If so then you would expect that the majority of the class would be slightly above or indeed well above national averages. Of course assuming the school is good or outstanding.
Harder for schools in more deprived areas although there are some oustanding schools in the most deprived parts of the country working at well above national levels.
It is possible that the school are wrong on their moderated levels and that the majority of the class are at a level below 4c.Alternatively as others have said this may be a one of those year groups where the majority of pupils are higher attaining.
Do you have any other data - what for instance was your child assessed as at the end of year 2. If they were 2a then it would be perfectly possible for them to be now 4c.If however they were 2c then that would seem a big leap in what is a year and a bit.
Do you feel that your child is working at level 4c?
I would give the treat for effort rather than a level, that way it doesn't matter
That said, in a small school the levels can fluctuate wildly with a cohort - my dd1's class average in Y4 was lower than that (dd was roughly the same) but in dd2's class, I would bet on most of the class making 4(c) by Y4. They seem, bar a very few, to be either bright or wildly bright
If I remember rightly he was a 3c at the end of yr 2 so seems about right where he is now, I've been telling his grandparents for the last two yrs how he must be pretty bright but now you point it out re school averages etc I think he's just where he should be. Which as long as he continues to enjoy school is fine with me
Apologies- I meant to start a new thread and haven't. Will look into moving it.
A 3C child at end of Y2 should be 4B at the end of Y4 assuming they make good progress in Y3 and Y4. Two sub levels per year is considered good progress. They should be predicted to make level 5 by the end of Y6.
You can have bright cohorts.
MN has information about progress through NC LEVELS here: www.mumsnet.com/learning/assessment/progress-through-national-curriculum-levels
So nationally your DC is one full NC Level ahead of expected progress (Year 4 typically finish 3B).
The NC Level is likely to be influenced by performance on optional SATs (ask your DC if he has done a comprehension from a booklet where he reads a story and answers questions, or listened to a tape and answered mental math questions or done a maths booklet - odds are he'll say yes. So he's sat a KS2 SAT which is scored against NC Levels by points - get X many questions right and you're NC L4 or NC L5).
I realise you may have left yoru parent/teacher meeting with the impression your DC was a clever clogs and now feel that can't be the case because most of his class is doing as well - but stepping back again - it means your son is doing extremely well, the school are teaching him well and he's surrounded by kids who he'll be working with/ competing against each day who are doing well - that 'vibration' - good teachers/ bright kids/ healthy competition will bring out the best in all the class.
LUCKY OLD YOU!
Go forth and be smug. Your DC is doing well, he's clearly at a good school and in a bright cohort. Sit back and relax your lucky so-and-so....
Thanks sellbydate that is good info
Interesting that the expected level at end of yr4 is 3b, this brings home that the school is definetly pushing for the general all round level to be above average - my other dc is in yr2 and school doesn't come as easily to him..his class have been told that the head would like them to finish yr2 at 3a! Am hoping he misunderstood but even if she generally would like yr 2's to finish at level 3 that is still quite a high expectation of all the children.
Yr2 at a 3a
My DS is in yr4 and is a 4C and I know that there are only 3 kids at this level in maths (they are all best friends) in his class of 30. Don't know about the other class or other subjects though, it seems very high to have most of the class at this level.
My concern would be that they are being pushed before they are ready (mainly for the yr2 expectations).
3a is crazy for Y2, 2a is fabulous! Some children may be at that level but it is fairly rare, 1 child truly at that level would be unusual in a year group TBH but does happen. My friends DD is a 4c in writing and she is in Y2! DS1 was in reading but nothing else but I would imagine it is more likely in reading than anything else.
4c is really high for the whole class and you said the teacher had said they were nearly there for getting to a 4c so maybe she was just being encouraging. Last term the top child in my friends DSs Y4 class was a 4c so I do think it is unusual for the whole class to be.
I would also be very about the teacher telling yr2 kids their levels or discussing where they should be.
DS is in yr4 and this is the first year he has been told his levels by his teacher.
Something doesn't sit right with me when it comes to discussing NC levels with 7 year olds. School should focus on teaching and stimulating kids to learn - not putting pressure on them to jump over certain hurdles by the end of the year - a child being made aware of potential failure in Year 2 to meet expectations....sounds all wrong and unnecessary.
I suspect the HT will be very disappointed with the number of 3as in Y2, either that or the Y3 teacher will be telling some very disapppointed parents that their child is not in fact a genius! I am guessing she may have meant 2a?
I think as a rule you are right about not discussing levels with 7 YOs but some children are motivated differently and like to know their level and what level they are working to next. I don't think it should be normal practice though as for many children it would have the opposite effect, particularly if comparing to others in the class.
4c is definitely within normal range for this age although good.
It is still unusual to have a whole class of 4cs in a Y4 class at this stage in the year, maybe closer to the end of the year
this shows a better chart of the NC levels in each year
Part of my issue with discussing levels with younger kids is that they start to lose confidence in themselves if their efforts are not met with achievements in nc levels. I believe effort should be the target we share with all kids, it may be more subjective but kids should know that it is effort that will pull them through.
I think the whole level thing creates pressure and sometimes unrealistic expectations. The way sats are done and levelled in schools also doesn't always give a true reflection of a child's ability.
One of my children got 4c's in all subjects at the end of year 3 (the optional sats tests). I was very pleased with those levels. However, after moving to a new school at the start of year 4 my child's new teacher told me that my son was quite a bit above 4c in both maths and reading and that the level of sats tests he would have taken can only give a maximum level of 4c. Schools can allow the child to sit a different level test if they feel it us appropriate but my sons previous school don't do that. So the level you get might not even reflect the child's ability.
There is also a problem in some schools spending so much time preparing for sats tests that the children do very well when it comes to the actual test but their knowledge is specific to the test type questions and other areas of the curriculum may have suffered.
Then there is the issue of pressure and some children not performing well on test day due to the amount of pressure they have been put under during the over-preparation of getting ready in the weeks for the tests.
I think we should just scrap sats tests.
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