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Grades for Y1 - how to interpret this?

(16 Posts)
vladthedisorganised Wed 25-Nov-15 10:57:04

I was quite surprised to see that DD had been graded on subjects for parents' evening. Last year it seemed that everyone got 'meeting expected levels' unless there was a specific problem area that needed addressing.

This time, DD was issued grades for each subject area (some of which I hadn't realised she was actually doing...). Apparently she 'tries really hard' in all areas which is encouraging, but the grade thing did make me wonder what the scale is and whether her grades mean either a) she's doing OK across the board or b) although she tries, she isn't actually doing very well at anything and we really need to plug the gaps at home as far as possible to bring her up to speed.

Are grades normal at Y1? (it's a standard state school BTW)

NorthLondonMama Wed 25-Nov-15 11:06:20

I am not sure if it is standard or not, but DC had grades (following the national curriculum grading) for each term last year in Yr1. Standard state school.

I never said anything to DC about the grades.

PatriciaHolm Wed 25-Nov-15 12:32:41

When you say "grades", what do you mean? Have the school not explained their systems?

Given that state primaries are supposed to be doing assessment without levels now, their approach would seem to be against current guidelines.

vladthedisorganised Wed 25-Nov-15 13:20:51

Interesting. DD was graded B if that helps - there doesn't seem to be a formal system as I can't find anything written down about it; it also seems that the other classes had different systems (one had a 'seeding' system and the third talked about meeting/ exceeding/ not meeting expectations).

I know that DD's handwriting is atrocious compared to some of her classmates (whose handwriting is better than mine); however this wasn't raised as a concern and I was just told that phonics would help when I raised it myself.

My (rather mean-spirited) concern is that if the grades are only A or B - so 'doing well' versus 'not doing well', then I need to get stuck in and do as much extra work as possible to help DD outside school; if B is the equivalent of 'meeting expectations' then we can both carry on doing what we're doing, so long as DD is trying hard.

I haven't mentioned a word of this to DD, of course.

mouldycheesefan Wed 25-Nov-15 13:22:46

You need clarification from the school in what the grades mean. Without sight of the grading system it will be tricky to advise. Ask the teacher to explain what the grades mean

mrz Wed 25-Nov-15 18:24:24

You need to ask the schoo as there's no longer a standardised assessment method so B in one school could mean below, in another it could indicate beginning or in an A B C system it could be within expected standards.

Year 1 has a different curriculum to reception which used EYFS profile assessment of 1 2 or 3 (emerging, expected, exceeding)

Galena Wed 25-Nov-15 18:30:39

You definitely need to ask the teacher - different schools do different things. Our school only grades for effort during the year and then does effort grades and Emerging/Developing/Secure in the last report of the year. However, attainment and concerns are explained in depth at parents' evenings.

WildStallions Thu 26-Nov-15 06:09:28

Normally B (as in A,b,C) would indicate above average.

I don't think any school would choose 2 grades of A and B.

I think it's likely you're worrying for nothing.

Your DD will know how she's doing. She'll know if she's in the top, middle or bottom of the class. Why don't you ask her?

WildStallions Thu 26-Nov-15 06:10:29

How can 'concerns be explained in depth' in a 10 minute meeting?

mrz Thu 26-Nov-15 06:33:34

Under the old system (A B C) B was the expected sub level for the end of KS1 and unlikely at beginning of Y1.

Galena Mon 30-Nov-15 14:08:03

when I say 'explained in depth' I mean they are explained more than just 'She is doing well' - the teacher will use this time to tell us whether 'a) she's doing OK across the board or b) although she tries, she isn't actually doing very well at anything and we really need to plug the gaps at home as far as possible to bring her up to speed.'

blobbityblob Mon 30-Nov-15 15:23:38

In the past I've just asked the teacher at parents evening - where do they sit in the class with maths and they'll say about a third of the way down, half way or whatever.

Otherwise you get told "doing well" which tells you they're trying and progressing presumably but not really where they stand.

FWIW mine had terrible handwriting and hated doing it. I worried about it, thinking she was behind, maybe had motor skills problems, especially seeing some of the beautiful writing on work on the walls. She found cursive writing much easier and it drastically improved in year 3 when they could only earn the privilege of using a pen by having neat writing. But I don't think it held her back too much in literacy up to that point actually. And probably whilst maybe 5 in the class had beautiful handwriting, dd's probably wasn't as bad as I was imagining.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 30-Nov-15 16:30:47

My DD is in Yr 1 at a non selective independent primary. The grading system at her school is an overall A , B, or C for overall effort

Each subject was graded into an above, meets average attainment, not at average attainment if memory serves [only a couple of weeks back oops]

I queried if the benchmarking was for that point in the year, or the overall attainment level for the year end and was told that it was for "at that point in the year"

She's a summer baby so one of the youngest in her class. Her form teacher wasn't remotely concerned and certainly wasn't suggesting extra tuition. If memory serves she was about 40% meets, and 60% under and is generally considered to be a bright child who works when she wants too [much like her parents blush ].

They are keen that parents do what is asked, help with reading the school texts assigned, help with rudimentary maths and reading lots of stories generally. Parents who attempt to "tutor" and push their own child are frowned on and actively discouraged by the school.

phoenixrose314 Mon 30-Nov-15 16:38:50

Hello, I am a teacher and hopefully can clarify WHY things seem so confusing!

This year the government completely ripped apart the old National Curriculum and abolished the previous levelling system. Nothing is as it was, and they've been drip-feeding teachers with what they SHOULD be doing bit-by-bit, but most of it is just guesswork. One of their "bright ideas" is "levels without levels". Go figure. So most schools have put their brains together and come up with their own, independent system to grade the children. The idea is to make it easier for parents and other schools to understand, but it's still very much in its infancy and we're all sure that at some point the government will change its mind and reinstate some sort of national levelling requirements. At our school we've simplified it by grading them according to age-appropriate year levels (1 for Year 1, 2 for Year 2, etc) and grades C, B, and A depending on where they are within their year group. A child working below age appropriate will obviously be working on targets from a lower point or even a lower year.

It sounds to me like your DD's school have decided to link it more with how secondary school grading works, so that should be fairly simple to understand. A consistent B-grading probably means that your child is working exactly where she's supposed to, so be happy with that!

Hope this clears up some of the confusion (probably not though, as all us teachers are still feeling somewhat dazed and confused over the whole thing).

vladthedisorganised Mon 30-Nov-15 16:47:58

Thanks everyone! Every time I look at the curriculum I get more confused so Heaven knows what it must be like for teachers.. phoenixrose I really sympathise!

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 01-Dec-15 11:05:03

Nothing better than a boss [in this case the DoE] telling you it's all shit and to do something else and then not have any better ideas, but to leave you to figure something out in a vague fashion so that they can turn up and criticise later. Twats

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