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Dreadful KS2 results WWYD?

(74 Posts)
ChinchillaFur Thu 26-Jan-17 17:34:24

My yr 3 DD's lovely village primary school has published their KS2 results and to me they seem really low. I have compared to the nearest schools in our area and they all seem a lot higher. Only 30% of yr6 passed all 3 - reading, writing & maths. The progress indicators are all between minus 2 and minus 5. On the government website they fall into the bottom fifth (RED) for all 3 columns, which it says is the bottom 10% of schools.

Any primary people around that could advise if they really are as bad as I think they are? Not sure what I can do anyway as DD is really happy there. I also know they are due OFSTED which might sort out any issues.

Wait4nothing Thu 26-Jan-17 17:40:04

First of all what is their cohort size. A village school could have a very small cohort that would only need a few children to have a large impact. Do you have a further breakdown? So maybe all kids passed something but only 30% got all 3. Remember the SAts changed last year and were particularly difficult.
Finally I'd ask for a meeting with head or management/write a letter and express concerns and ask how they are going to improve.

WhirlwindHugs Thu 26-Jan-17 17:43:19

Has the school offered any information to go with the results? I would want to know what they thought the issue and what they were intending to do to improve.

The average was 53% so 30% does seem very low sadly.

ChinchillaFur Thu 26-Jan-17 17:44:21

Thanks wait4nothing
It was a cohort of about 25 IIRC.
The breakdown was reading 43%, writing 38% & Maths 33%.
I do appreciate the SATs are now harder, but this has affected all schools so they should be comparable I'd have thought?

ZombieApocalips Thu 26-Jan-17 17:49:00

Is it just this year? I'd be looking at the last 3-5 years before panicking.( I know that the curriculum and test changed last year.) How many years until y6? If your dd is young (say ks1) then I'd wait a couple of years and see if there's improvement.

ChinchillaFur Thu 26-Jan-17 17:58:44

Last year 75% got level 4 or above in reading, writing & maths and 8% got level 5 or above in all 3. I can't see any results further back than that.

Maybe they were caught out by the new SATs?

I am trying not to panic as DD is only in year 3 so they have time to fix things yet.

mrz Thu 26-Jan-17 18:08:09

Last years results aren't great either ...sorry

ZombieApocalips Thu 26-Jan-17 18:30:21

How academic is your dd? If she's within the top 8% then I wouldn't worry too much.

Do you know how many kids per year have SEN? If there's 4 kids in y6 then 1 kid= 25% so 75% wouldn't bother me.
How does it compare to other local schools?

smellyboot Thu 26-Jan-17 18:43:45

If its just last year Id totally ignore them. All the schools near us are excellent but SATS plummeted

user1484226561 Thu 26-Jan-17 20:57:35

I also know they are due OFSTED which might sort out any issues.

never know whether to laugh or cry when I read tosh like this. How can there be any parents left in the country who don't realise that ofsted CREATES issues, it doesn't resolve them.

Why do you even care about ks2 results? meaningless

irvineoneohone Thu 26-Jan-17 21:19:00

user1484226561, why do you think sats are meaningless?
I know there are problems, but I don't think it's meaningless.
Prospective parents look at the results when they apply for school. Existing parents look at them and worry about it. How can it be meaningless?

bojorojo Thu 26-Jan-17 21:56:21

The new Government web site looks at progress and Sats results. SATs results are dire because progress is dire.

Personally I would not excuse any school that cannot get decent progress from the majority of children and it is absolutely no excuse to say they were not prepared for the new curriculum and the SATs. Other schools were and had not let children make little progress over 4 years without putting it right.

Will Ofsted put it right? No. They will probably confirm it is poor. There are lots of cosy happy schools that bumble along like this. It will take a first class head, really good teaching and a lot of hard work to improve and it is unlikely to be quick. Ofsted do have a role but Governors and Heads should be doing a good job before Ofsted get anywhere near a school. As Ofsted now look at teaching over time and progress, the inspectors look at data and then look for reasons why the data is poor. They find it, report on it, together with what the school should do to improve. I cannot see what is wrong with that really!

user1484226561 Thu 26-Jan-17 22:16:22

the inspectors look at data and then look for reasons why the data is poor. They find it, report on it, together with what the school should do to improve. I cannot see what is wrong with that really!

you don't see what is wrong with that?

well, for starters, statistically speaking, the "data" on the exam results of a cohort of children CANNOT tell you anything statistically significant about the teaching at a school.

That may seem odd, when so many thousands of people are willing to assume it does, but think about it for a moment. There are simply too many variables. A child's performance depends on how much support they have had at home, how much natural intelligence they have, which friends they are sitting next to in class, how long ago their last cold was, what time they went to bed the night before, what they had for breakfast, how mush the exercised the previous week, whether they have started puberty, and the state of their hormones, when their last growth spurt was, the state of health of their grandparents, the closeness of their relationship with a sick grandparent, the availability at home of the right book to revise from, the wage packet their father brought home last month, the tidyness of their bedroom, the temperature their thermostat is set at, the humidity that day, the time they woke up, what they watched on television last night, how much their mother compares them to their cousin, what their big sister has told them about the exam, etc etc etc literally ad infinitum.

You cannot get a significant measure of the standard of teaching of the school.

With that in mind, all school statistics have to be "cooked" to the best of the ability of the staff. "cooking" the stats and faking the evidence to go with it takes up a inordinate amount of teacher time. So much that it leaves less time for planning teaching and marking.

Therefore, the schools with the best cooked stats and faked data often get the best ofsteds, but have the worst teaching....

this is why the government is discussing lifting all restrictions on immigration for so many teachers.

Because so many tens of thousands of British teachers are refusing to return into the classrooms.

I could give you literally hundreds of examples of things I've seen schools do, which improve their chances with ofsted, but disadvantage the children.

irvineoneohone Fri 27-Jan-17 06:58:02

User, whatever you say, until you change your user name to something more personal than some numbers, it's difficult to take it seriously. there's millions of user******!

ChinchillaFur Fri 27-Jan-17 07:29:24

zombie DD is quite academic, probably top 20% but not sure if she's top 8%. Hence why I'm concerned really. She's very good at reading/writing but probably only 'good' at Maths, certainly not super super bright.

SEN for the school is below average, so don't think that was an issue. No EAL etc that could affect results.

bojo I feel you have hit the nail on the head. It is a lovely, friendly, happy family-feel school but they have probably been bumbling along without stretching these nice compliant children. The head has been in post for 18 months after a retirement.

How much longer do we leave things?

Mrz - What do you suggest we do then if your feeling is the results have not been great for at least the last 2 years?

user - I do not have blind faith in OFSTED at all but perhaps their impending visit will force the school to make some changes sooner rather than later?

I care about KS2 results because I want my bright, hardworking DD to fulfill her potential! She loves school and loves learning - perhaps it is a bit too cosy at her school smile

mrz Fri 27-Jan-17 07:39:30

Without knowing the school circumstances and detailed information about every child in past Y6 classes the data is just that ...data with no context ... fairly meaningless.

Yes we can say the schools results aren't great over a period of time but we can't say why.

Mrscog Fri 27-Jan-17 07:46:53

Are you happy with the school otherwise? How do you think your DD is doing? I would go on these rather than test results/ofsted.

Mrscog Fri 27-Jan-17 07:49:09

Just seen this - 'I want my bright, hardworking DD to fulfill her potential!' this will be mainly down to your input anyway so long as they teaching isn't absolutely dire at school. I see education as mainly my responsibility with school as a helping hand with teaching the technical side of things, although nowadays for 'bright' children there are so many learning opportunities online with Khan academy etc. even if they have a duff teacher for a year or two there are loads of other ways of them getting support.

birdsdestiny Fri 27-Jan-17 07:55:01

User I work in early years (not teaching) have never been into a early years setting where the ofsted rating was wrong compared to my experience of the school.

TaggieRR Fri 27-Jan-17 07:59:03

But if the children are at school for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week how can education be mainly my responsibility? surely children also need relaxation, time to play and time to have extra-curricular hobbies-be they sports/music/arts. I support the school and ensure homework is completed. If I can see my child is struggling with something then I try to do extra at home, but teachers are the ones trained to teach not me!

user1483972886 Fri 27-Jan-17 08:10:54

Our school also had dire results of less than 30% passing all 3 but due to one exam which pulled it all down. Progress since KS1 in bottom 10% for 2 out of 3. We have been very concerned.
Passed SATS performance has been OK - middle of the table.
We have small cohort groups. I have been to talk to the school and they have given me an explanation on 'what went wrong'. A balls up with providing evidence and the moderator incorrectly interpreting the results.
Personally I don't have much faith in OFSTED. From what I have seen it us a tick box exercise and pretty superficial.
Given your SATS were poor in all 3 subjects and the results were poor last year I would be concerned. I would go see the head and ask them what their strategy to improve is.

HelenaGWells Fri 27-Jan-17 08:11:44

I love my kids school but it never gets amazing ofstead. There is a difference though between not being outstanding and being bottom of the heap.

For perspective the outstanding school near me got 73% pass rate, ours got 56%. The outstanding school also had entire classes in tears having meltdowns (I have friends with kids in this school) but ours came out relatively unscathed. However the school that is known to be the worst school in the borough got 30%. It's the school in the area where the kids don't care and I believe they have quite a lot of not very academic kids.

25 kids is almost a full class but put in real terms it means only about 7 kids passed everything. Unless like a pp said there are a lot of below average kids I would be concerned. Exam results aren't everything but 30% is almost half the national average which means most schools had almost twice as many kids pass.

ChinchillaFur Fri 27-Jan-17 08:11:45

I am happy with the school generally mrscog so would be very reluctant to move her unless we felt she was going to be seriously disadvantaged for secondary.

I do appreciate that small cohorts can have odd results, but a lot of the comparable schools locally are also very small so have the same problem, but have done better. We are quite rural.

We already do a lot at home, reading, writing stories, board games, NT places, got her to speak French when we holidayed there etc (very MN!). She also learns 2 instruments and we pay for weekly lessons through school for both.

Perhaps I should stop worrying so much?
Would none of you be worried if this was your child's school?

dodgydonkeysdoodah Fri 27-Jan-17 08:12:06

Where I live, some of the schools achieve excellent SATS results. They tend to be the schools in middle class areas where the children receive a lot of encouragement from engaged parents (maybe the same kind of parents who've suffered going to church every Sunday for two years to get their children into the "naice" church schools). They are kids from English speaking homes, full of books and educational toys, who have plenty of money, plenty of extracurricular stimulation and very often, a weekly visit from a tutor.
Then there are other schools, not far away but mostly on the other side of town, where the majority of kids are on pupil premium (these are some of the most deprived wards in the country). A lot of them are lucky if they get breakfast before leaving for school, let alone much encouragement from parents who may be out at work all hours, struggling to make ends meet or may be layabouts who can't be bothered to do anything for their kids. Some of them have English as a second language at home and therefore they're on their own with regard to any reading and writing homework.
Both sets of families I have described are stereotypes of course, but you get the picture. It's just not fair to compare schools on SATS results alone. You can have excellent schools that are working tirelessly with children and achieve moderate results that are actually excellent for the intake. And you can have schools that top the local tables and take all the credit for results which may actually have more to do with parental involvment and tutoring.
If your child is happy at school and making progress that you are satisfied with, I think you can safely ignore the SATS percentages.
Also, it's quite true that in a small school, as previous posters have said, results can easily be skewed by one or two children with additional needs.

Mrscog Fri 27-Jan-17 08:14:47

taggie All those things you outline do show you are taking main responsibility - play is crucial, as is helping, promoting extra curricular etc.

School is only there to teach the bits that politicians deem important at any given time.

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