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Would you predict your child's future based on their KS1 results?

(57 Posts)
proudmama2772 Wed 16-Jul-14 12:35:57

It would be completely daft to put together an academic plan for a child based on where they were at the age 6/7!

In my own experience, ds was rated as average for maths at old school. Just found out new school rates her as above average and she just got a 2a and has achieved this on practice SATs. Old school had grouped her as average an targeted her for 2b, but were skeptical she would achieve because they said she had concentration problems. New schools sees no concentration issues, but says she uses distraction techniques when things are a little challenging. It isn't an issue for a her new teacher at all.

I think it is impossible for anyone to assess a child this young perfectly. So why do Offsted and schools use the results to determine who to put into boosters or put in for a Level 5,6 by KS2. I know they need some system of measuring the value add, but the way students are streamed and targeted
so early seems completely lacking in understanding of child development. Am I the only one who would moan about this?

JewelFairies Wed 16-Jul-14 12:50:39

The thought that my dd has already been written off at just turned 7 terrifies me (our school doesn't give levels). She has done astonishingly well with a history of glue ear, speech delay, young for her year, dyspraxia, being bilingual, and some auditory processing disorder thrown in for good measure. She has a long way to go but I have no doubt that she has some maturing to do before showing her true colours.

In most other European countries she would only start school this September, not be thrown on the scrapheap... sad

TheEnchantedForest Wed 16-Jul-14 12:56:53

Teachers understand child development.
Unfortunately ofsted use ks1-ks2 progress data to determine how good a school is and parents seem to care about these judgements when choosing a school.

From 2016 progress will be calculated from reception results. However Gove has done a good job of convincing parents that teachers are all lazy people moaning about pensions when we try to speak out. It isn't until these progress measure affect a parent's child that the parent starts questioning the system.

proudmama2772 Wed 16-Jul-14 12:57:54

She has a long way to go but I have no doubt that she has some maturing to do before showing her true colours

I think you're spot on. So many factors that can impact learning but not aptitude over the long-term

TheEnchantedForest Wed 16-Jul-14 12:59:03

Jewel fairies- your child is not written off. It sounds as if she is doing amazingly well smile
Teachers do not write children off or put them on a scrap heap. We ( in my experience) work hard for all the children in our classes.

proudmama2772 Wed 16-Jul-14 13:01:19

Unfortunately ofsted use ks1-ks2 progress data to determine how good a school

How do we get them to stop this? its just dumb. Its one thing to look at an intake group by ability, but you can't use teacher assessment, sats and levels except in a very rough context.

JewelFairies Wed 16-Jul-14 13:06:33

I was panicking a little there blush. It's just that the whole process doesn't seem very transparent to me and all the teachers will tell you she is doing fine and making progress. Which is all well but doesn't tell me if there are areas where she could do better with a bit of effort.

(This comes from the laziest person on earth who would always do just enough to get by... and then absolutely flew at 15 when given serious challenges at the equivalent to a UK Grammar School grin

proudmama2772 Wed 16-Jul-14 13:22:09

I don't want to make anyone panic with this thread. In your daughter's case it sounds like they've identified issues impacting her learning and I seriously doubt she will be written off.

Hakluyt Wed 16-Jul-14 13:27:48

Jewel fairies, why do you think your dd has been written off?

proudmama2772 Wed 16-Jul-14 14:18:37


The issue is also with how the news media reportsthe strike - they always highlight how performance related pay makes teachers angry - but not why. That the data its based off is not appropriate/reliable

and the system has negative impacts on children being labelled by ability and streamed too young.

TheEnchantedForest Wed 16-Jul-14 14:24:20

yes-I agree entirely.

Frontier Wed 16-Jul-14 14:29:45

I have the opposite problem. DS1 was an early and enthusiastic reader and considered G&T at 6yo. Now aged 13, he is slightly below average in most subjects because his written work has never kept pace with his voracious reading, but still being set targets based on the inflated levels he left junior school with. i.e the school managed to show that he had made the required progress in kS2 but it was always only just, if at all.

housebox Wed 16-Jul-14 15:19:28

I think that labelling children this early is really dangerous. I think there are a lot of teachers who do understand that children develop at different rates but unfortunately there are also some who don't and we ran into one this year.

DS (year 1) was placed on bottom table. At open evening I said to her I thought he could do more than she was targeting him for and was met with a hmm face! I came away in tears as it did feel that she had written him off and at such a young age.

Anyway luckily I didn't write him off and now he is has really come on. The thing is when they are so young there are so many different factors affecting their ability. Some children are just not ready to learn, some may have the benefit of being older in the year etc.

I think that if schools are not careful there is a real danger it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. the "clever" kids are pushed because the school has to show they have made the right level of progress (even though the child may not want to be pushed) and the "not clever" children are given easy targets and not challenged or expected to do as much. I have really watched this happen in my son's class. The top group seem to get so much more opportunity to try out things are are really challenged. The bottom groups plod along because they are seen as not capable of doing any more.

If I had my way I would like to see any notion of "targets" be removed from Early Years and KS1. Let the children develop at their own pace and review at 7/8 years.

proudmama2772 Wed 16-Jul-14 17:25:48

housebox - great post.

In many schools children enter into an academic caste system

cingolimama Thu 17-Jul-14 20:14:29

Great post, housebox. This rings true IME.

babasheep Fri 18-Jul-14 11:51:44

Housebox, our dd's school is like that. For the last 4 years in junior school have been very stressful for many parents and kids who are not in the top set but knowing that the kids can do more but not being able proof their abilities beyond their teachers' expectations.
The main focus seems to just keep up the pupils' steady progression rate rather than truly support and develop each individual child. Say at ks1 the ones obtained level 3s should reach level 5s and the level 2c should be 4c so Level 1s should be level 3s by the end of ks2. I believe this is one of the reasons many parents opted for private tuitions because their kids are being supported and challenged enough in everyday classroom.
Children are not machines. Most children do not naturally produce steady straight line progress to satisfy the data required. Imo such "targets" are real burdens to children's development.

insanityscratching Fri 18-Jul-14 11:58:12

No dd didn't do brilliantly in her ks1 SATs (barely scraping level 2s) but she went on to get three 5s at ks2 and 7,7,8 at ks3. Movement between groups was very fluid and so whilst she might have been average in infants she was top group for Juniors and secondary. Her infants teacher predicted though that she would work in the banking industry as she said her ability with money was exceptional. Dd now 21 does work in the banking industry and loves every minute of it grin

babasheep Fri 18-Jul-14 12:04:43

Sorry for the error. I wanted to say " kids are NOT being supported and challenged enough in everyday classroom." blush

Thatssofunny Fri 18-Jul-14 18:43:35

I think it really depends on how a school organises their classes and how they use the data available. I have children, who reached a 2a in writing in KS1. Their writing hasn't developed fully throughout LKS2 and they are now underachieving. That doesn't mean I have given up on them, it just means we need to go back to securing basics and then get them going again. My groups are very fluid and I don't usually put my weakest ones together. It's working very well for my classes and has done so for years. I teach my top ones a bit more separately, but there's no limit to who can be in this "top" group (currently, it's a about half my class in the higher band in Maths).
On the other hand, I also have a boy in my class, who barely reached the 2c at the end of Y2. He joined me on a 3c, not using capital letters or full stops correctly,...let alone any other punctuation. Vocabulary was good, but grammar generally poor. His initial target for the end of KS2 was a 4c. He is moving up at the end of this year on a 4a, as one of my most capable writers...and I've adjusted his target to a (admittedly ambitious) 5b for the end of KS2. Sometimes they just take a little longer to develop and mature.

proudmama2772 Sat 19-Jul-14 15:14:50

Thatsofunny great post

My daughters old school had 5 groups for maths, circles,triangles,squares,rectangle,pentagons
From lowest to highest. My 7 year old just explained it to me

My daughter was in tri and was targeted to barely scrape by with a 2b. New school -very hihg achieving- says she at a minimum of 2a. Really glad we moved schools. She was streamed early in year 1 and didnt really change targets.

proudmama2772 Sat 19-Jul-14 15:15:51

Thatsofunny great post

My daughters old school had 5 groups for maths, circles,triangles,squares,rectangle,pentagons
From lowest to highest. My 7 year old just explained it to me

My daughter was in tri and was targeted to barely scrape by with a 2b. New school -very hihg achieving- says she at a minimum of 2a. Really glad we moved schools. She was streamed early in year 1 and didnt really change targets.

proudmama2772 Sat 19-Jul-14 15:19:04

It seems like the issue is with offsted ???

Not with good teachers like thatsofunny who are grouping and assessing effectively.8

Thatssofunny Sat 19-Jul-14 17:06:02

To be honest (someone stop me...I'm about to defend the evil people)...I don't think that the issue is with Ofsted. (I can't believe I've just typed that...shock) I can't see how the need to keep children in certain groups and the Ofsted criteria are linked. Ofsted look for progress,... If the progress is clearly there, you usually don't get bothered. I've taught some of my most laid back lessons during an Ofsted inspection...(since I was leaving the school anyway, I didn't really care). My lessons were graded outstanding across the board, because they fit my class, they were engaged, happy, independent learners...with a chilled out teacher, who sat on her desk during the plenary. My headteacher back then would have died, if she had witnessed that. The inspector thought it was brilliant. I could prove that above-average progress had been made in the individual lesson and throughout the year.
Not one single Ofsted inspector has ever told me that I need to keep my groups static,...and I've gone through several inspections at different schools. I don't even have groups in English. They want to see differentiation and lessons being adapted for the needs of the children in the class. That doesn't happen effectively, if children are being held back because of a perceived need to group them in particular ways. (I've just gone through training, where I got told I needed to have certain numbers of children in my groups...and how to colour-code, allocate and seat them. How I managed not to tell the weird person at the front to do one, I still don't know.)
It's sad to see that there are schools where you get told how to teach and every bit of independence and personality is being squeezed out. You get told how to group children, how to use the data, how to set out your tables, do your displays, teach your lessons. I can't teach in such a setting...because it's incredibly restrictive and would drive me nuts. Often, it's headteacher and SLT, scared of Ofsted and interpreting the requirements in a limited way, leaving no room for creativity or experimentation. It's a lack of trust in the teachers at the school. It's just really sad. It creates teachers, who are afraid to take risks and become dependent on direction from above, instead of using their own knowledge and understanding effectively. In a place like that, I can understand why you wouldn't move children's targets.

LaQueenLovesSummer Sat 19-Jul-14 17:14:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Frontier Sat 19-Jul-14 18:49:53

Isn't that the problem though LaQ? It may be possible to predict for some (most) children like that but some will be judged at age 7 that they don't stand a chance at 11+ so are never put in the groups to get the extension work etc even if they do have a bit of latent potential.

Also, I suspect that whilst every professional has examples of when they were right about a child passing/failing 11+, getting 6s etc there will be lots of others occasions when they were wrong which are quietly forgotten about.

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