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Does this seem right to you?

(15 Posts)
Ilikepeaceandquiet Tue 18-Feb-14 22:35:58

Hi, I don't post often as I usually just find answers to any issues from reading others post but an issue with DD1 academic abilities has been bothering me for sometime. So here goes.

DD(7.5), joined year 3 at a local indie girls school in September (London) after doing 7+ for 4 schools whilst at a very well regarded local indie infants. She was offered places at 3 schools out of the 4 and we choose the current school as it was closest to our home and her brothers school.

At parents evening in the Autumn term (baring in mind they had only known her a month or so) the teacher said my daughter was in the top groups for Maths and Literacy although there were brighter girls, she is up there. Teacher said she is a very confident girl and a pleasure to teach, which we were both pleased and surprised at.

At her infants school (co ed), we had issues with teaching, in reception, 3 teachers throughout a week and then into year 1 the same again!! Yes I was not a happy punter! In Year 1 they told us she had good reading ability but her reading age was only a year above her current age and that she struggled with Maths a bit. On the run up to 7+ In year 2 we were told no issues she has a good chance but not to go for high pressure academic school as she isn't an overly confident child, we couldn't accept the confidence bit as we always thought she was confident.

We went for the high academic school as well as the others anyway, DD skipped in and skipped out wasn't phased at all. However, she didn't get in, head said her Maths was 20% below what was expected and her comprehension was poor!!!! I was shocked to a degree because I was never once told by infants about her comprehension and why hadn't they looked into the Maths issue from year 1 either! I was bitter not because she didn't get in but because I felt so cheated by the infant school that they had not addressed any issues.

Going back to her current school and the autumn parents evening! The teacher said she was a level 2b for Maths and Literacy working towards a 2a! I had never heard about these NC levels before as her previous school had not once mentioned any levels. Teacher at current school though, very pleased and said it is very good and so we go away happy! Until I look it up and realise that it is now February mid way almost through year 3 and DD is still 2b. Shouldn't it be 3b as an average for Year 3???? I just don't understand. Also with reading her reading is very good but she rarely reads an entire book at home and prefers fact books. Teacher said her comprehension is spot on, they are not given books to take home but teacher says she can read well so she can just read what she likes at home, she has just been moved to the top reading group in the class as well and has full marks in all spellings every week. We did nothing except times tables over the summer holidays prior to Year 3 of which she knows all now. Could this have set her back?

Is 2b an acceptable level considering she has had a supposedly very good education from a very very good school up until now? Could something be wrong? Or have the current school got it wrong? Or do I have nothing to worry about at all? Have I got it totally wrong and she is actually a good fairly above average level? I just don't know what to think? I don't want to get into the private v state school debate but one would expect a higher NC level after an indi education from 4 years old no? I am questioning independent education a lot of late.

Would really appreciate some helpful suggestions, especially if there are any teachers out there.

Apologies for the long post.

Thanks

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 18-Feb-14 23:00:46

my kids are younger so I can't help but I do know that the levels don't work quite like you think. yes NC 1 is Yr1 and NC 2 is yr2 BUT 3 and 4 don't match up to years 3 and 4. not sure where 3 fits in but 4 is the expected for end of yr6 so I would assume 3 is possibly end of yr4? therefore being a 2b now is fine I think.

as I say though not experienced in it.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 18-Feb-14 23:27:34

3b would be the 'expected' level for the end of year 4. I say 'expected' because the only official guidelines are that children are expected to be level 2 at the end of year 2 and level 4 at the end of year 6.

That would mean that a child who was the expected level at the end of year 2 who made linear progress 'should' be 3b at the end of year 4. That child would probably be 2a/3c at the end of year 3.

In terms of the school I'm not sure. I think this might be a case of 'struggling' in an independent school where your peers are above average. So while she might be behind she isn't actually behind age related expectations so the school may not put anything on place. They do seem to have told you that she wouldn't get into the academic school. I suspect as she wasn't behind as such, the onus was probably on you to have done extra work to ensure that she was able to do the work expected on the 7+ exam.

Effic Wed 19-Feb-14 00:44:21

NC levels work like this:
Year 2 - end of year - level 2B
Year 3 - end of year - level 2a/3c
Year 4 - end of year - level 3b
Year 5 - end of year - level 3a/4c
Year 6 - end of year - level 4b.
'C' is the bottom third of the level and usually means you can do a few elements of the level only. 'B' means two thirds of the level but in reality probably means you can do most of the level but you need to practice and consolidate, 'A' means that you have it nailed and are starting the next level up but haven't got enough for the 'c' level. This effects the end of year expected level for y3 and 5.
So at the end of the autumn term - level 2b working on level 2a means your daughter was where you would expect an average child to be. By Easter, one would be hoping for 2A so that the rest of the year could be spent doing some level 3 skills and developing the independent learning skills needed to be a level 3C.

TheRoadLessTravelled Wed 19-Feb-14 01:08:51

2b is the minimum expected level for end of Y2. A third of kids will end Y2 on a level 3, and Y6 on a level 5. A few will do even better.

So, you are right, a 2b is not good for now in Y3. It's 6 months behind the minimum expected. 3b would be the '2 years ahead' that private schools often quote - and that a third of state school children are.

I'd be concerned.

Jinsei Wed 19-Feb-14 08:20:52

She'd have been below average in dd's state school class. Lots of them had level 3s by the end of year 2. Obviously, it depends on your dd's ability, but if you think she is average ability or above, I'd be questioning the quality of the teaching (or the accuracy of the levelling).

mrz Wed 19-Feb-14 08:57:41

Independent schools can choose to use National Curriculum levels - many don't, so this could well be the case with your daughter's infant school.

2B is the expected level at the end of Y2 (note expected NOT average)
if she made expected progress in Y3 she would end the year 2A/3C (3C or above would be good progress).

Ilikepeaceandquiet Wed 19-Feb-14 10:02:16

Thank you ladies , I will reply later, have to pop out.

Ilikepeaceandquiet Wed 19-Feb-14 14:02:20

This isn't good then?!

mrz - What do they need to be able to do for a level 3C then? Could it be that the teacher would edge on the side of caution for a new pupil starting a new school until she is more aware of the child's capabilities or am I clutching at straws here?

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 19-Feb-14 14:10:47

from what Mrz has said if the expected level at end of Y2 is 2B and that if she made expected progress in Y3 she would end the year as 2A/3C then as we are only halfway through the year she could still do that surely. Especially factoring in a school move and disruption, lack of confidence in showing what she can do etc. Perhaps the new teacher saying it was very good was based upon what her levels had been reported as from her previous school? so she is making good progress but had come in with lower levels.

Ilikepeaceandquiet Wed 19-Feb-14 14:26:42

Thanks nonicknameseemavailable.

She had to sit a 7+ entrance exam to get in, she had a tutor to help prepare her for all the exams and the tutor was confident for her to go for all the schools we applied for. Would the current school have based her levels on the entrance exam? I don't know, as I said this is my first experience of NC levels. These levels were given in the Autumn she is working towards 2A at the moment.

Huitre Wed 19-Feb-14 14:31:58

Maybe she's just not especially interested in or good at academic work at this age? Not everyone can be above average, and some children take longer than others to bloom.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 19-Feb-14 14:38:53

I suppose officially the levels would probably come from her old school ones but the school would have seen her potential in her exams. It sounds like she is making progress now and if her previous school was rubbish and she could have done a lot better then the main thing is she is improving now and will probably be more than capable of catching up to where she would have been if the previous school had been better? I suppose you now have to look at it that the previous school is in the past now and as long as she is making progress in the new one which is where her future lies then it doesn't really matter.

TheRoadLessTravelled Wed 19-Feb-14 16:54:11

They may well err on the side of caution for a new child - particularly for writing where they need to see evidence from a range of genres.

They can't award a level if they don't have evidence that you can do it. And that takes a while to get.....

Sleepyhead33 Thu 20-Feb-14 23:58:27

I teach at a normal, non selective state school and about half of our children are assessed at a level 3 in reading and maths at the end of Y2. They tend to be the children who leave Y6 with the top L5s and 6s.

If I had been led to believe that I had a bright, fairly academic child then yes Iwould be concerned about a 2b in maths and literacy (did the teacher break it into reading and writing) at this stage in y3. The levels themselves aren't the issue-some children work hard and are average academically ( and may shine in other areas) however I can see why you are confused in your situation.
Perhaps the change in school has knocked her confidence a little and she is warming up so hasn't shown what she is truly capable of yet...or...perhaps she was never that capable in the first place?

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