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Year 5 levels - are there none?

(99 Posts)
buggybored Thu 12-Feb-15 20:03:53

Bit bemused. At recent parents' evening teacher of younger child ran throughDC's levels at start of year, currently and anticipated by end of summer term by reference to a scale of between 2a and 3. All fine and dandy. However, teacher of DC in year 5, whilst making lots of positive general noises insisted they couldn't give an attainment level (current or expected) due to recent curriculum changes. Is this correct? AIBU to expect to have an objective standard in order to understand how my child is progressing?

MagratsHair Thu 12-Feb-15 20:11:41

I had parents evening last night for my year 5 DS and the teacher had his current levels, so not sure. They also had levels for my year 1 child as well...

MonoNoAware Thu 12-Feb-15 20:19:13

What are these level you speak of? I have DC in years 1 and Reception, can't recall any mention of levels, not to parents at least...

FreddoBaggyMac Thu 12-Feb-15 20:23:20

Yes, the levels system has changed and at the moment there are no firm national guidelines. Most school are levelling Year3-5 children based on their year group (a,b and c for each year) so an average Y5 child would be getting a 5b, slightly above average a 5a. A Y5 child who was very ahead could be working at a 6a, 6b or 6c.
This is very different to the old levels where a Y6 child was expected to get a 4b... also made more confusing by the fact that current Y6s and Y2s are still being levelled in the old way! This is why your younger child (who I would guess is still in Y2) is being given levels and your Y5 child isn't. The Y2 and Y6 levels are the only national standard ones (although this is the last year they will be used).
I agree it's confusing for parents (but imagine how teachers feel!) Things should become clearer from September when all classes move onto the new levelling systems.

FreddoBaggyMac Thu 12-Feb-15 20:24:13

Mono, levels don't become too important until the SATs in Year 2.

MonoNoAware Thu 12-Feb-15 20:29:27

<mind boggles>

They have SATs in year 2?! I thought that was year 6. Oh dear!

redskybynight Thu 12-Feb-15 20:29:33

There are no "official" levels any more since September 2014. Some schools (from what I've read on MN) still seem to be using them though. I guess by Y5, on the basis your child will be assessed using the "New" system, there is no point confusing you by talking about obsolete levels.

Thereinajiffy Thu 12-Feb-15 20:30:35

No levels in the new curriculum. Children will only be taught objectives from their year group, and will be assessed a little like the EYFS as Emerging, Expected, Exceeding. (Different schools are calling this different things).

The idea is that children who are secure with their year group expectation will learn at a mastery and depth level, rather than the next objective from the year above.

It sounds as though the teachers in your DCs school are being given mixed messages though, they should remain consistent.

FreddoBaggyMac Thu 12-Feb-15 20:35:34

Current Y2 and Y6 children will be given the old style levels though (I know because I work in a Y6 class!) and I think this is why the OP's younger child's teacher has mentioned the levels.

Hulababy Thu 12-Feb-15 20:37:20

There are no longer NC levels attached to the new National Curriculum. Y2 and Y6 are still working through the old curriculum for English and Maths (and science?) and will receive NC levels for them.

Schools can now develop and use their own assessment schemes, and shouldn't rally be using NC levels any more, beyond y2 and y6. The old NC levels don't match the new curriculum statements.

Also, many schools don't report NC levels any way, beyond the times when they have to.

buggybored Thu 12-Feb-15 20:57:51

Many thanks for your replies. Hula, does that mean the school should be able to give an indication of level by reference to a system of their own creation? I don't particularly care if it's a number or a word, I just want to understand what, if any, progress DC has made and how that compares to what is expected of that age!

Hulababy Thu 12-Feb-15 21:27:04

It depends on the school's policy to reporting assessment/grades etc. not all schools will report on levels or their equivalent at parents evening and give only general information.

Callooh Thu 12-Feb-15 21:31:25

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rollonthesummer Thu 12-Feb-15 21:47:45

Instead of the old system where each NC level was split into 3 sub-levels (yes, I know that wasn't the intention when the NC was introduced, but that's how it ended up) that parents apparently found very confusing, my school has now split each level/band into 6 sub levels.

I'm sure the parents will find that far simpler...

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 12-Feb-15 21:58:52

yes yr2 and yr6 are on the levels still but other years it is up to the school what they do.

MillyMollyMama Thu 12-Feb-15 23:24:05

It is absolutely certain that the school will be using some sort of computer programme to track progress. Therefore they will have details on the progress your child has made. Where I am a Governor, we are using levels which can be reported to parents but there is also detailed monitoring of each child broken down into smaller units. Any school that has no idea of the progress made by the children will be truly hammered when Ofsted arrive. I suspect they do know, but they are not telling you. I would worry too, that your child does not know what level/attainment they are aiming for. I would ask the Head what the policy is regarding reporting to parents. An end of year report is a bit late if the child needs intervention and parental support now!

lottomum Fri 13-Feb-15 10:14:25

Surely a 5B isn't an average level for a year 5 child??

Hulababy Fri 13-Feb-15 10:34:52

But that 5B is NOT a NC level so don't get confused by the old levels, where a 4B was the expected level for end of year 6/end of KS2.

I do think it would be less confusing if schools choose systems that don't use similar numbers/letters to the old system.

lottomum Fri 13-Feb-15 11:02:05

Ah I see, thank you , is there anywhere I can see how the 2 systems compare? we recently had dd Y4 parents evening and I was given levels and told dd is at an end of Y6 level, she was given 4A for numeracy and reading and 4B for writing and I'm interested to see if she is as far ahead as I'm being advised.

Galena Fri 13-Feb-15 11:12:58

Our school has ditched levels for all but y2 and y6. Other years children are either yeargroup emerging, developing or secure. the school has had to decide what constitutes each of these levels as there have been no guidelines from above as far as I know.

Our school has said demonstration of 40% of the year group expectations is emerging, 70% is developing and 80% is secure. Once children are secure they will develop breadth in the curriculum, developing independence and mastery.

Children are not accelerated through learning to the next year group's curriculum.

Hulababy Fri 13-Feb-15 12:06:17

Lotto mum - not sure. The old systems existed for all state schools following the nc. However now all schools are free to develop their own assessment systems. My school doesn't use a system using 1a, etc. but a numeric system which can also include steps and colour banding.

PastSellByDate Fri 13-Feb-15 14:05:51

Hi buggybored

this may help: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/368298/KS1-KS2_Performance_descriptors_consultation.pdf

basically ye olde national curriculum levels are being abandoned - for all sorts of reason - but primarily because NC L4 threshold (so achieving a weak 4c) is widely considered not to be appropriately prepared for senior school (a.k.a. senior school ready!).

Schools now have total autonomy to set up their own system of assessing pupils internally - and parents will only understand how their child is doing against national expectations at end KS1 and KS2 (via SATs acievement reports required to be provided to parents end Y2 and end Y6).

so we parents are now in limbo. Schools do not have to tell us our child is working to 3a in Year 5 and well on track to achieve 4c+ in Year 6.

At core this 'flexibility' should mean that schools can develop their own systems of explaining how they track progress (which by the way those computer programmes tracking our children are paid for with taxpayers money but that information is rarely directly shared with the parents of the tracked pupils).

I think if a political party really wants to score points - moving from merely requiring end of year reports and no requirement to explain performance against a universal national system to a system where parents understand at each parent/ teacher meeting during the year how their child is progressing and all this tracking info is shared with us - not just for internal/ OFSTED use.

MaCosta Fri 13-Feb-15 14:07:47

Our school is still using old sats levels

mrz Fri 13-Feb-15 17:46:02

I'm afraid the performance descriptors do not apply for Years 1,3,4 or 5.

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