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3B in Year 3 is ok isn't it?

(27 Posts)
vestandknickers Thu 27-Feb-14 17:13:20

My DD has had a meeting with her teacher today and been told she's a level 3B in both reading and writing and a 3C in numeracy.

They have a traffic light system (green = good, yellow = needs improvement, red = shite!).

Anyway, she got yellow in reading and writing and a red in numeracy and got yellows for effort in all.

I'm bloody livid. She's doing fine isn't she?

She's a bright girl and could possibly do better if she really knuckled down and stopped chatting, but I'm worried that she's been given the impression she's not doing well enough when actually she's doing perfectly ok.

Any comments welcome. Parents evening next week so I need to think about what I want to say.

Wizard19 Thu 27-Feb-14 17:28:38

She is doing more than OK.
Do you want her to do just OK, or do the best that she can.

Is she capable of doing better? Clearly, the teacher has high expectations and is confident of her ability to respond to more challenges academically.

Is that a bad thing? If my DD was getting the same push, I would be delighted.

Imagine - Move on 6 months and she says she is not in the top group anymore. What would you be hoping you had said to the teacher at that meeting you are going to?

I am sorry if I gave more questions than answers. Hope the meeting goes great.

Galena Thu 27-Feb-14 17:28:46

I would suggest it is less to do with attainment, and more to do with progress. If she got L3 at KS1, then a 3c at this stage shows no progress at all in 6 months.

MrsKCastle Thu 27-Feb-14 17:42:34

Yes, sounds like a concern with progress. 3b/3c at this point in Y3 is absolutely fine for attainment. But if she was 3b/3c in Y2, and therefore hasn't made progress, the teacher is right to want to push her more.

However, the system sounds pretty crude and unpleasant- how is it going to motivate those on 'red' to improve? I'd much prefer a more straightforward approach- 'Look, you're still on the same level as in Y2- we really want you to move up to x level, and to do that you need to achieve x, y and z targets.'

vestandknickers Thu 27-Feb-14 17:46:05

Good points - thank you for reading.

She did get L3s at the end of KS1 so I suppose that does mean she's not gone anywhere in numeracy. I hadn't thought of it that way.

I'm sure she probably is a bit of a frustrating case in class. She's naturally bright and has a real love of learning, but I know she will only apply herself if she's really engaged. She also doesn't care about levels or where she sits compared to the rest of the class. Although she has the skills, she is perfectly capable of writing three of four pages without using a full stop or capital letter! I suppose she does need to be focussed a bit more.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 27-Feb-14 17:47:49

She is achieving well yes.
However, the traffic lights are for effort not the same thing. The chatting is why she is getting them for effort and maybe she is distracting children who are not doing so well.

Sam100 Thu 27-Feb-14 17:52:40

Has she changed schools from infants to juniors? Sometimes there is a plateau at this stage. My understanding is that a level 3 at infants stage is not necessarily equivalent to a level 3 at juniors because the measures are narrower in ks1 than in ks2. Therefore she may be in a period of consolidation while she expands breadth before then moving on again. If you feel she is learning new things and building a solid foundation then I would not be too concerned. But I do think the teacher should be talking to the parent rather than the child about levels.

vestandknickers Thu 27-Feb-14 18:50:14

Yes, she did change schools so I suppose that may have had an effect.

I've definitely noticed her coming on in terms of her vocabulary, her breadth of interests and the books she reads, but maybe not all of these things are measurable.

She's shocking at detail so probably forgets to use speech marks, commas etc even though I know she understands perfectly well how to use them.

I am cross with this traffic light system though as there is no way her attainment should be getting a red whether or not she is making measurable progress.

redskyatnight Thu 27-Feb-14 19:10:35

I think the traffic light system sounds rubbish.

But I agree with others that it probably shows she is not making the progress she should be, given her starting points.

If she started the year on 3c for numeracy and is still 3c for numeracy her progress is much worse than (say)a child who started the year on 1c and is now 1a.
The traffic lights don't need to show who is actually achieving best and worst in absolute terms - the levels already do that.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 27-Feb-14 20:23:19

But the traffic lights are about effort if she is getting a 3b without much effort where would she be if she applied herself?

Sleepyhead33 Thu 27-Feb-14 21:30:27

See, I would be quite happy that the teacher was making it clear my child is capable of far more and should be putting in more effort in order to attain it. Some parents pay for this kind of honesty/pushing! I would want my child to work hard and use their talents-too many schools let children coast then do all the using in Y6.

the red for attainment will be around progress and the effort grades speak for themselves.
By Y3 children should be very familiar with levels and targets-completely normal in all good schools.

Go and speak to the teacher if you are concerned with how she has put it/your daughter's feelings etc and complain but It many be more beneficial to go in and ask how you could support the teacher in turning around the effort and progress grades. if your daughter thinks you and the school are working as a team she is a lot more likely to progress, if she realises at Y3 she can play you off against each other then?

Patchouli Thu 27-Feb-14 21:48:36

How does the school explain the traffic light thing as teachers tend not to use the word shite.

TheRoadLessTravelled Fri 28-Feb-14 10:04:24

Is it possible they're using the very weird assertive mentoring traffic light system?

In that system green means 'achieved target for end of year', yellow means 'on track to achieve target for end of year', and red means 'not on track'

So you would expect to get yellow in the first two terms....

vestandknickers Fri 28-Feb-14 20:39:01

It is assertive mentoring. Stupid system if you ask me. I do understand that they are being judged by end of year targets, but am still unhappy about a seven year old being shown a red (which she understands as meaning she's rubbish) when actually she's doing absolutely fine for her age.

ReallyTired Fri 28-Feb-14 21:40:26

"She's a bright girl and could possibly do better if she really knuckled down and stopped chatting, but I'm worried that she's been given the impression she's not doing well enough when actually she's doing perfectly ok. "

She hasn't done OK. It is not OK for any child to make no progress. You have to look at a child's starting point. It is unacceptable for any child to chat and be lazy. Rather than being livid with the school you should be angry with your daughter for not trying. Prehaps the traffic light system is a little harsh, but it is not undeserved. Its far kinder to tell her to pull her socks up then let do no work because she is above the national aveage for her age.

As a parent you can only ask your children to try their best. A child with substantial special needs might never acheive a level 3 during their school career. It is completely right that the school might praise the progress of a an SEN child and berate a gifted child who is choosing to coast.

Pooka Fri 28-Feb-14 21:45:35

As a patent you can explain to her that the red doesn't mean she's 'rubbish' but that if she stopped chatting and tried her best she would be getting green.

I suppose it's a system of marking effort, and showing assessment of effort in a way that all children, whether 1a or 4c can easily understand.

vestandknickers Fri 28-Feb-14 22:58:59

ReallyTired that is really harsh and unfair.

She isn't lazy. I haven't said that and you don't know her.

She is amazing. She's clever and quirky and interesting and as I've said I know she has made progress this year in all sorts of ways that aren't measurable in school.

She is a bit slapdash though and I know she doesn't always apply the things she knows. That means she's not making progress in terms of levels.

I know that needs to be addressed and she needs to focus, but I also think she needs to be reassured that she is doing well. Her teacher has said she is always engaged in the work and always has interesting ideas to contribute.

The reason I'm so cross is that a bright, sparky, clever girl who tries hard should be celebrated. Ok. she needs to be steered towards a little more rigour and attention to detail in her work, but that should be done in a kinder and more subtle way than this crass traffic light system.

ReallyTired Fri 28-Feb-14 23:17:13

vestandknickers

You are right that I don't know your daughter. I only know what you have said in your post. None of us have perfect children. Occassionally children NEED critism to mature and achieve their best in life. I also suspect that your daughter has completely misunderstood the traffic light system.

I just read about assertive mentoring on the internet and its nothing like how you describe. Green means outstanding, yellow is average and red is a cause for concern. The only thing that is a cause for concern about your daughter is her progress in numeracy. Saying that progress is a cause for concern is not saying that a child is shite. It could be a sign that a child needs an individual education plan because of undiagnosed learning difficulties or it could be that they need to improve their attitude to learning. (Ie. not chat in class and knuckle down)

Her progress in literacy is satisfactory, but not brilliant. It doesn't need improvement as such, its just not outstanding. You yourself have said that your daughter has not knuckled down and has been chatty. If your daughter wants outstanding progress then she needs to put in outstanding effort.

The idea of assertive mentoring is improvement. That means accepting that our children have faults like every other human being. Sometimes children need a little bit of tough love. Trust me its far kinder than having your child underachieve.

TheBuskersDog Sat 01-Mar-14 00:04:33

Rather than being livid with the school you should be angry with your daughter for not trying.

Really? You feel a parent should get angry with a 7/8 year old because she (possibly) has not moved up a level? In year 3 there are many reasons why a child may not make much progress, not least because they are very commonly over-levelled at the end of KS1. Tell them it is not acceptable to be chatting/not working/misbehaving and explain that it is stopping them from learning, if that is the case, but don't make it about the level.

All children should know what their targets are i.e. what they need to do/learn to move their learning on, they don't need to know what level they are at and should not be worrying about levels in year 3.

Galena Sat 01-Mar-14 07:00:55

It doesn't say 'be angry with your daughter for not going up a level' it says 'be angry with your daughter for not trying'.

OP has said her DD is chatty, slapdash and doesn't apply what she has learned. Rather than getting cross with the school, folk are explaining her efforts would be better directed at explaining to DD that these attributes are the ones causing an issue and she needs to stop chatting and knuckle down - even if she is bright, sparky and full of interesting ideas.

vestandknickers Sat 01-Mar-14 07:30:06

Thank you BuskersDog. You have expressed it better than I did.

OhNoYouExpedidnt Sat 01-Mar-14 07:36:48

TBH I would take levels with a pinch of salt. In my school children are only expected to make one sub levels progress over a whole year in Year 3. That's after making 3 sub levels in year 2.

A 3C in Year 2 is above average. Perhaps she was really working at the top end of a 2A, which is also above average, and the teacher have her a 3C instead. It can happen. There are grey areas between levels and it is teacher assessed.

1 sub level is hardly worth worrying about. For a start we are only half way through the year. If she doesn't make it this year perhaps next year she will make 3 sub levels progress. She is a child not a machine.

OhNoYouExpedidnt Sat 01-Mar-14 07:38:46

Is she happy at school? That would be my only question about a child who had no additional needs and is working at a year 3 level. If she is then there's nothing to worry about.

vestandknickers Sat 01-Mar-14 08:07:45

Thank you OhNo. Voice of reason! Yes, she's very happy at school. She works hard and is very keen, she just doesn't focus on the nitty gritty so isn't progressing as far as levels are concerned. As I've said, I can see her progressing in other ways so I'm really not worried.
I just don't want her enthusiasm squashed by what she sees as a very negative meeting with her teacher.

JasonOgg Sat 01-Mar-14 10:02:11

Bear in mind that a level 3 at the end of y2 isn't always judged the same was as a level 3c in y3!
If the y2 teacher has gone from the Sats paper and your daughter only just got over the points for a 3, then I would suggest she wasn't really a 3 but a strong 2a at the end of ks1. Still good though! This happens more often than you would think as ks1 sats are teacher assessed and we get a lot of pressure to have a certain number of level 3's. I have taught y3/4 for 5 years and an currently teaching 1/2 so can see both sides of the coin.
It is only going to get worse with the new curriculum and levels being adandoned next year.

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