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Why would my DD and 2 other children have to sit an extra maths test on their own?

(110 Posts)
Campaspe Wed 04-Jun-14 18:03:45

DD is in year 2 and has just done her SATS. Just before half-term, when they were doing their SATS, she told me she had to complete a maths booklet with a cat on it, which she found very difficult. Today, DD and 2 other children from her class had to go and sit another maths booklet that apparently had a cat on the front of it. I assume this is because she struggled with the first one - the second one was much easier apparently - so they wanted to see if she could do an easier paper. But why? Can any teachers shed any light on this? DD didn't mind doing it, she was just puzzled.

Feenie Wed 04-Jun-14 21:17:44

That's not protocol, Bronya - it's not allowed.

When LEAs moderate, they are not interested in the test data - they want to know how well schools understand teacher assessment.

An over reliance on testing shows a lack of confidence in teacher assessment.

Feenie Wed 04-Jun-14 21:19:29

If you don't know your children well enough to give them the appropriate test, then the teacher assessment is not good enough - and a test is not enough evidence anyway.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 04-Jun-14 21:24:13

That should be ARA not NAA.

I think lots of schools seem to Simpson. But there really is no need. The teacher assessment outranks the test result anyway. So if they sit the level 3 and make a total mess of it, but there is other evidence that they are working at level 3, the level reported is level 3 anyway.

Similarly, if you know they are level 3 you don't need to make them get a 2a on a level 2 test before you will let them sit the 3. It's a bit harsh on the level 3 child who has a bit of an off day on the day of the level 2 test and then isn't allowed to sit the level 3.

It does make me wonder why schools are making children sit both. Is the result making up quite a large part of the TA level?

123rd Wed 04-Jun-14 21:27:20

Well, I'm confused too. My DS year2 sat one paper with the rest of his class. Then a few days later said that he & a few other children had to sit in and do another paper. I know that the two other children he sat the paper with are very clever. Will now have to wait till tomorrow to ask if they had cats or dinos on the front.
So,are the schools not supposed to get then to sit two papers?

MotleyCroup Wed 04-Jun-14 21:27:26

Ds has only been at his current school for a couple of months so teacher assessment would have been limited but he did say a number of other children from his class also sat the second maths test.

TheEnchantedForest Wed 04-Jun-14 21:27:27

Feenie-out of interest! how do you feel about the end of KS1 assessment format changing in 2016, back to the timed tests etc. It seems like a step backwards?

TheEnchantedForest Wed 04-Jun-14 21:27:44

? Not !

CauldronOfFrogsLegs Wed 04-Jun-14 21:31:14

Interesting. Our y2 all did level two then about half the class sat level three...for both maths AND literacy!!

Feenie Wed 04-Jun-14 21:31:27

Is that definitely the case for 2016? If so, yes - a huge step backwards.

Feenie Wed 04-Jun-14 21:39:35

On reading the draft test framework for Maths 2016, it states upfront that it isn't designed to be used to inform statutory teacher assessment, enchanted forest.

Feenie Wed 04-Jun-14 21:40:08

So that's good smile

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 04-Jun-14 21:43:46

Timing does seem like a huge step backwards. And is a bit odd when you consider that they seemed to be moving away from tests towards teacher assessment at KS2. Or at least they seemed to be for writing anyway.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Wed 04-Jun-14 21:44:27

I'm pretty sure my DCs did L2 then L3 papers this year, that's what we were told would happen anyway....

Campaspe Wed 04-Jun-14 21:49:54

Thanks everyone for your replies. I'm not worried about it and neither was DD, I'm just being nosey! Made me laugh that some of you have been able to confound your children with knowledge of what's in the booklets. I suspect DD struggled with the L3 paper and so had to do a L2 one, just seems strange that she was only one of 3 children to whom this applied. Ah well, not worth dwelling on. And I wouldn't put it past DD to have got it all a bit muddled anyway. Luckily, she doesn't seem to realise it's a test and is very laid back about it all.

toomuchicecream Wed 04-Jun-14 21:57:46

Well I had 3 children who did the level 2 then the level 3 paper. Two I'd teacher assessed as level 3, but I know they lack confidence so I gave them the other paper first to show them they could do it (based on prior experience of those children, if I'd gone straight to the level 3 they could easily have bottled it). The 3rd one did much better than expected on the level 2 paper - actually I could/should have predicted it as she's an EAL child who spoke no English when she started school 3 years ago so was a slow starter but is really storming along too.

I also had 2 children who didn't do the level 2 paper as I was so confident that they are strong level 3s.

So as always, it's down to the circumstances at the time, the teacher's professional judgement and their knowledge of the individual children.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 04-Jun-14 21:58:10

At least that is something, Campaspe. If they are going to make children sit both it's better they don't make them stress about it or realise what they are doing.

Feenie Wed 04-Jun-14 22:04:48

It isn't, it's actually down to the statutory regulations and confidence in your own assessment.

In your first scenario, if both had 'bottled' it, it wouldn't matter a jot if the wealth of other evidence showed a 3. The test is a very small part.

In your second, the EAL child who did better than expected on one test will now need lots of other supporting class evidence to support your assertion that she is now a 3 - the test alone is not enough.

Likewise, your strong 3s had no need to sit a level 2 test if they had already been awarded a 3 through strong evidence plus the test, and to do so would have broken the rules.

You don't seem to understand the statutory process very well.

thegreylady Wed 04-Jun-14 22:20:20

Ok my dgs had to do a literacy comprehension about crocodiles for his sats. I have no idea of the level but he came out full of facts about the length of crocodiles (up to two jeeps apparently) and it was lovely to see his enthusiasm smile

Feenie Wed 04-Jun-14 22:34:20

I like that one - glad he enjoyed it. smile

There seems to be a misunderstanding on behalf of some teachers that the test must form the final level awarded, when in reality they are supposed to be used to demonstrate that you have a thorough understanding of the end of key stage one assessment process.

That's why they can be used at any point in the year, as part of the journey. I'm returning to Y2 next year and will complete them in January as I always did - they support my halfway assessment and help support my planning for the remainder of the year. Support, not dictate.

Also stops the occasional feverish past paper fever from the odd parent who suddenly finds the need to do this at home round about May when I can say breezily 'oh those? We did them ages ago, we've moved past those now' and helps me concentrate on collecting rest of the supporting evidence which some teachers seem to forget about.

I would like to be a fly on the wall when the moderators come in and say 'yes, but what have you got besides your endless tests?'

toomuchicecream Wed 04-Jun-14 22:46:54

Feenie. My HT has told me that I can only award a child a level 3 if they achieve it on a written test. Right or wrong - that's the instruction from the boss so I'm following it.

I didn't give the strong level 3s the level 2 paper - that was the point I was making. I was confident in my level judgement so they only did level 3 paper.

And as for the EAL pupil, I'm now making sure I have sufficient evidence that she's working at level 3.

I understand the statutory process perfectly well, but the majority of my teaching experience is in year 6 so I'm not as confident at making level judgements for children working at level 2/3 as I am with children working at level 4/5. So I err on the side of caution. I have a beautifully annotated APP spreadsheet showing where to find all sorts of evidence, but in my experience, year 2 children will always talk to their friends about what they are doing (which is often a good thing in Maths) so the evidence in their books doesn't always show you what they can do independently. Hence the external corroboration to support my level judgement.

Feenie Wed 04-Jun-14 22:51:36

Then your head doesn't understand the process or have much confidence in your judgment, which is sad.

As I've said, the tests are not there to give a final assessment.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 04-Jun-14 23:00:59

Not that there's much you can do to change it, toomuch but that sounds like exactly the situation where tests sat earlier in the year might have benefited both you and the children.

I also think that if you are not as used to Y2 and that level that's exactly the sort of situation where SMT should have put in the help to support you. Perhaps with moderation done alongside a more experienced Y2 teacher, the Literacy Co-ordinator or perhaps cross phase moderation with an experienced y3 teacher.

Nocomet Wed 04-Jun-14 23:08:34

But what ever the guide nice is, parents are going to be much happier with test results and so are the most clued up DCs.

DD1 knew and was quite happy with the fact she couldn't read a L3 English paper in a month of Sundays. While DD2 knew she could do a level 3 one in her sleep.

I do wish teachers would stop thinking children sleep walk through school. They are information sponges, they are trying to make sense of the world and their place in it.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 04-Jun-14 23:16:50

The fact that she's an information sponge is exactly why my DN prefers TA and isn't really bothered about tests. And she's quite a long way from not clued up.

Feenie Thu 05-Jun-14 06:45:24

Neither you nor your child would ordinarily be given the test results, nocomet, which is just one small snippet of information, there to ensure the teacher is benchmarking the assessment correctly.

That's a dfe decision, not teachers as you are assuming - they want the level given to be a well-rounded assessment drawn from many sources of dive, not just a tiny snapshot. They know that is poor assessment.

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