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Confused by the replacement of Levels

(125 Posts)
keepsmiling101 Mon 13-Jul-15 00:09:41

What are different schools doing in the absence of levels? Ours marks each learning objective with expected, exceeded or emerging. Do I now know how my kids are doing? Not really... in fact can feel slightly pale looking at the sheer number of emerging ticks one child got... so figure perhaps not on track... but not sure how badly ... last year's levels had seemed fine. Obv. will go & talk to the no doubt exhausted class teacher but suspect will be given all sorts of reassurances -- they always seem loathe to point out that actually your child really isn't doing that well. Anyway mebs am just being uncharacteristically gloomy... how do other folk feel?

tobysmum77 Mon 13-Jul-15 05:37:40

I'm confused too.... we had progress reported all year in levels then none on the report, just an assessment for reading, writing and maths. My child got the same for all 3 so I'm not even sure what the scale is confused .

MN164 Mon 13-Jul-15 06:42:07

The new levels system was imposed on schools with too little notice so many schools are unable to implement it in time for this year's reports.

The new system with show a number that is appropriate to the year expected average with a sub level letter.

So in year 3 you'd expect a level 3. In year 4 a level 4 etc. The sub levels are something like w = within and s = secure. Can't remember what the other sub level is.

SweepTheHalls Mon 13-Jul-15 06:48:04

MN, that simply isn't true. They got rid of levels, but they have not replaced them with anything, so every school is free to make up their own systems.

cariadlet Mon 13-Jul-15 06:56:52

This link says it all.

OrangeSquashTallGlass Mon 13-Jul-15 07:00:37

MN, that might be what your school is doing but it isn't what all schools are doing. Each school was left to choose their own system.

Our schools going for a 5 way split: emerging, below expected, expected, above expected and exceeding.

noblegiraffe Mon 13-Jul-15 07:05:25

I wonder how many parents it's slowly dawning on that this government is completely ballsing up education.

This lack of levels without replacement thing is only one of a number of bonkers decisions they've made.

mrz Mon 13-Jul-15 07:05:39

The first thing to understand is that levels have been removed but not replaced.

nilbyname Mon 13-Jul-15 07:09:01

I think schools have not had enough time to fully implement and explain their newly chosen levelling system

My school has gone for age related expectations-
Emerging, expected, exceeding, and mastery.

Enb76 Mon 13-Jul-15 10:10:42

Mine have gone with three - Emerging, Expected and Exceeding. Very similar to what they had at Foundation.

entirelyidentifiable Mon 13-Jul-15 10:32:32

One of the problems is that there are insufficient shades of grey when you only have three descriptors. If your child is behind expectations, re they maybe six months behind or two years behind?

MUCH preferred levels.

NynaevesSister Mon 13-Jul-15 11:46:44

Ours is doing both - so still using the old levels that parents understand and also saying if expected, below expected or exceeding.

Agree is an utter shambles. I think our school has handled it well but not all will.

keepsmiling101 Mon 13-Jul-15 12:23:56

Thank you all.. That's reassured me to know that everyone else is in the same boat. The link was especially useful. Thanks cariadlet. Hard not to feel aggrieved by this unnecessary meddling. Am sure there was room for improvement with the levels.. but it at least there was some framework to it all. Sigh.

MN164 Mon 13-Jul-15 12:28:56


My mistake. I was repeating what we were told at a parents evening (and possible misheard).

Thanks for correcting me.

This helped my understanding.

For what it's worth, our school has decided to use a level number that corresponds to your child's year. I think that's easier to understand.

It feels abit like everyone deciding to drive on different sides of the road if there is no standard .....

whatdowedowithabouncingbaby Mon 13-Jul-15 13:10:26

we use the exceeding, expected and emerging too. I put a lot in emerging and expected due to the curriculum being harder than before. for example, some things Year 5 previously weren't taught until year 7. it will take time to fill the gaps, and u will be reassured. I know that I was extra cautious and put very few in exceeding. it's easier to be harsh now and correct it, than be lenient now, and tell a parent that I was wrong later.

SayThisOnlyOnce Mon 13-Jul-15 13:17:39

Our school uses something along the lines of meeting their expectations, exceeding them or not reaching them. What their expectations are is anyone's guess though as that's not included in the report! So they might expect a child to be rubbish at something, and then mark them as meeting expectations but you'd never know that means they (eg) can't spell.

CPtart Mon 13-Jul-15 14:22:50

DS in year 5 is "secure" in all subjects. Rather vague IMO. His maths was 3 sub levels ahead of his literacy last year, so this tells us nothing as to individual subject progress and whether that gap is being bridged. To my mind for example, both a 4B and a 5B could mean secure but the difference in ability there is significant. There is no category higher than this so it sounds positive, but if there is sustained extra effort required for his literacy to keep up I would like to know.

GraceGrape Mon 13-Jul-15 14:27:36

I think it's important to remember as mentioned upthread that the new curriculum is harder, with higher expectations. If your child was working at above-expected levels before, they may now be only expected or secure. This doesn't necessarily reflect on your child's progress, more that it will take time to fill all the gaps between the old curriculum and new curriculum

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 13-Jul-15 14:45:31

Yes I think DC's school have below expectations, meeting expectations and exceeding expectations. I guess the problem is you don't how far above or below expectations your child might be which the old levels did have a better chance of telling you.

TheRachel Mon 13-Jul-15 15:12:48

I am confused by my Ds's report. He left y2 with level 3 in writing and maths and 2a in reading. His y3 report says he has made excellent progress in reading and maths and is above expected age for them. For writing it says he has made steady progress but is below expected age. Can anyone explain this?!

redskybynight Mon 13-Jul-15 15:54:33

The exepectations are now much higher. Cihldren who were previously "above average" will now only be average or below average. Plus teachers are playing "catchup" to ensure children cover the material is now covered in earlier years. Chances are that your DS would still be ahead of average if compared to old levels.

Fleurdelise Mon 13-Jul-15 16:13:04

I just got my DDs year 3 report and it has no reference to the NC. Is this normal? No "below, on track, exceeding" nothing. Just general comments for each subject, "she progressed well, she makes informed book choices to read, she does/doesn't take risks".

Would I be considered out of place if I ask her teacher tomorrow to explain where she is in relation to the new curriculum? I plan to "play" catch up over the summer but no idea where to start now as I don't know exactly where she stands.

kungfupannda Mon 13-Jul-15 17:42:10

Fleurdelise - we've got a similar report for Y1. Just a paragraph about each area and no levels or anything. There's an accompanying letter explaining how levels work, but it does make reference to these being most relevant to y2 and y6, so maybe they're only doing levels for those year groups.

It's a very nice report, so I'm not too worried about the exact details, but I did read it through a couple of times wondering if I was missing something.

QuiteQuietly Mon 13-Jul-15 19:37:30

We have emerging, expected and exceeding. The only useful descriptor out of the three is "expected". Emerging and exceeding give no sense of degree. Hubert is emerging in Maths, but is he on the verge of catching up or can't count up the three? If he gets emerging three years in a row, is he actually gaining ground or slipping further and further behind? Gertrude is exceeding in writing - does she just have nice handwriting and usually remembers a full stop, or is she on the nobel prize shortlist?

I'm left wading through pages of "I can" type statements trying to work out which are missing - teachers are on full-scale parent-avoidance, and I can't say I blame them. Just trying to work out what else we need to sort out this summer...

rabbitstew Mon 13-Jul-15 19:44:15

It's not just parents who don't understand the new and different systems being set up by different schools. Locality schools are supposed to meet together to moderate children's work and check that different schools in their area are working to similar standards and expectations. Think how much more difficult the government has made that, now that every school in the area has a different way of describing and levelling the same work. It's an excellent way of pulling the wool over governing bodies' eyes, though, as they struggle with understanding something that's almost impossible to moderate and then on the basis of this have to agree whether teachers have met their performance related pay targets and whether the school can prove to them that the quality of its teaching is any good.

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