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Dramatic drop in KS2 sats results

(80 Posts)
HalleLouja Thu 19-Jan-17 11:06:54

Would you be worried if the primary school your children went to school at had a really bad set of KS2 results?

The school had a meeting and they are putting changes in place. My kids are really happy there and seem to be learnings loads.

It is a one form entry school so that can distort things. I know there has been a new curiculum but the school has fared worse than other locally.

I am not hugely worried but lots of people seem to be and I feel like maybe I am missing something. Last year's results were fabulous and this year way below national averages....

LemonBreeland Thu 19-Jan-17 11:09:07

They could have just had a year group with a few children in who were below average, or SEN. There are many reasons for a one off, if it continued I would maybe be concerned.

HalleLouja Thu 19-Jan-17 11:19:27

See that is what I think. A small year group can totally distort it. The year before they got a mention from the council as the results were so good e.g. all kids met the expected level in reading.

Lots of people are getting their knickers in a twist. I think part of the reason is historically the school was seen as not great but has got loads better.

Also the year 6 teacher is really very good but had a lot of time off last year with sickness.

WhoKn0wsWhereTheTimeG0es Thu 19-Jan-17 11:31:51

It would depend what years my DCs were in TBH.

HalleLouja Thu 19-Jan-17 11:38:53

Years 1 and 4. We are looking at moving to the nearest town anyway and was going to keep them there partly as there are no places in year admissions really.

golfbuggy Thu 19-Jan-17 12:05:14

Well my DD is in Y6 and her school got a really bad set of KS2 results smile
I'm not worried.

Key reasons is to understand why the results were bad, and what the school is doing to address it. And then to consider how your child, in particular (sorry, but actually I don't care about the other 121 children in her year group) is likely to get on.

HalleLouja Thu 19-Jan-17 12:15:10

My Ds in year 4 is happy and seems to be learning loads. He absolutely loves maths and is most motivated by that but doesn't struggle with English either.

My DD in year 1 am not worried about as she is so young.

I suppose you don't want your child going to Secondary and struggling but it all is sortable.

I might just take myself off the what's app group where everyone is complaining and saying not enough has been done. Blah de blah.

Twistmeandturnme Thu 19-Jan-17 12:19:48

If you are talking about last year's Y6 SATS everyone had a drop because the system, curriculum and marking scheme changed. Nationally about 50% of children did not meet the arbitrary 'acceptable standard'.
I certainly wouldn't make a school choice based on last year's SATS!

HalleLouja Thu 19-Jan-17 12:22:57

Twist I am not making a school choice. My DC are there and are happy. There are lots of people getting knickers in twist and I am not. So just checking that I am not missing something.

The problem is that other parents are comparing the school to other local schools rather than looking at the national situation.

purplecollar Thu 19-Jan-17 12:24:47

I think ours were low this year gone because it was a new system. I'm not worried and mine's in year 6 now. I'm sure the secondary school will be able to sort out their levels appropriately. And having seen the homework - goodness me! Both dh and I said why on earth do they need to know this. The difference between a phrase and a clause and a subordinate clause - neither of us knew and we're both graduates.

golfbuggy Thu 19-Jan-17 12:26:36

Definitely worth looking at national situation! Also, how "bad" is bad? I've noticed on MN that people have a very skewed idea that their school is doing badly when they are doing well above national average ...

HalleLouja Thu 19-Jan-17 12:38:34

Golfbuggy - less than 30% of the kids reaching the levels in Reading, Writing and Maths (as a joint category). The seperate subjects weren't too bad - apart from maths- but reading was above national average.

Purple I am with you. Some of the things they need to learn about I have no clue. I do think too much is expected of them.

I genuinely think its fine a school doesn't go for really good to appalling in one year. Though my secondary school's head met the PM as they had such a massive improvement in GCSEs, the year after mine.

golfbuggy Thu 19-Jan-17 12:47:05

Sounds similar to my DD's school then - they had 30% reaching expected levels but actually when you look at the breakdowns, it's basically the maths that let them down.

The devil in the detail is that the new harder maths syllabus caught them very by surprise at the time their school maths specialist decided to leave, and they additionally had a weaker than usual cohort which made it even trickier. Your DC are much younger so will have the luxury of being taught the new syllabus from a much earlier age. As I said upthread, my DD is in Y6 and I can see that her year group are being massively better prepared than the year above them - I imagine the years below will be in an even better position.

HalleLouja Thu 19-Jan-17 13:59:28

Thanks golfbuggy that makes complete sense.

mrz Thu 19-Jan-17 17:08:30

Nationally only 53% of children reached the expected level in writing, Reading and Maths but 30% is low even with the new standards.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 19-Jan-17 17:50:42

Ouch. That's very low an probably can't just be explained away by the new curriculum.

It is good that they are putting measures in place to deal with it though. It's better than trying to fob you off and nlaming everyone but themselves.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Thu 19-Jan-17 18:01:16

Bear in mind that last year was a he first following the changes from levels to ARE, which is a very different form of assessment. You could have a situation where a child fulfils 99% of the criteria for ARE, but doesn't achieve it because it has to be 100%. Many schools are in a similar position.

bojorojo Thu 19-Jan-17 18:26:20

There are a number of reasons why the results could have dipped.

It was the first set of Sats for the new curriculum and it was far more difficult to get 100 plus in every subject. Having said that, clearly the results were far below the national average and the school must do something about it - and they are. About 25% of schools had their results moderated externally. This means teacher assessments were judged by external assessors to see if they were accurate. When schools knew they were to be moderated they tended to be cautious in their judgements. Around me some outstanding school's results were way below normal - a moderator visited!

A teacher being away for prolonged periods is dire for a year 6 class. The school obviously struggled to get good teaching in place. Hopefully this will not happen again.

Lastly, did the Y6 group make good progress? Even if the SATS results were poor, had the children made good progress from their starting points?. Did the class have a fair few PP or SEN children? Unless you know the answers to these questions it is difficult to judge the school. A single class is not a particularly small cohort but lots of children who find it difficult to make progress will bring down results.

If the school are talking to parents about what improvements they are making it does appear they think they under achieved. They are also taking it seriously. This is encouraging. What do the complaining parents think the school should do?

Feenie Thu 19-Jan-17 18:34:40

About 25% of schools had their results moderated externally. This means teacher assessments were judged by external assessors to see if they were accurate. When schools knew they were to be moderated they tended to be cautious in their judgements.

Thus only happened for.writing assessments, however. Reading and Maths teacher assessments weren't moderated.

mrz Thu 19-Jan-17 18:34:44

Foxy it's based on test results

bojorojo Thu 19-Jan-17 18:41:02

Yes. But it made a huge difference. I thought I was told that Maths was moderated!

mrz Thu 19-Jan-17 18:45:27

The maths tests are externally marked

Witchend Thu 19-Jan-17 19:24:16

It depends.
If the school are acknowledging it, and trying to do something about it, then immediately puts a huge positive on the school.

I spoke to one friend whose school had just gone into special measures and the school had been saying "unfair just one or two SEN and the results go down and we get blamed."
I looked at the results and they'd been below national averages for a number of years and getting worse.

I tried to get my friend to see that one year of bad results could be just that, a few children who struggle, but it was unlikely to effect the results so much, and that the results were getting worse every year, but mostly, the fact the school was refusing to face up to it, meant that they weren't seriously looking at how they could improve.
Friend thought I was being totally mean ("and the chair of governors has told me she can't cope with the stress and has decided to resign, which isn't fair as they've done so much for the school"... No OFSTED will have told them to resign and honestly they should have been ringing huge alarm bells for at least 3 years).
A year later she moved her children saying the school was poor. They were still mostly in denial that the results had serious issues and were totally blaming Ofsted for being mean.

Feenie Thu 19-Jan-17 21:23:28

Yes. But it made a huge difference.

Really shouldn't have. Would make no difference to judgements in our school, and shouldn't anywhere.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 19-Jan-17 21:59:06

It shouldn't have done, but I have seem some data on twitter that suggested there was a difference, albeit not a huge one.

There does seem to have been some difference in moderation between LAs as well that won't have helped.

Even taking these things into consideration, 30% seems very low.

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