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CAT scores, relevance, should I be worried or not?

(7 Posts)
dipdip Tue 28-Nov-17 10:00:59

DS9 is the youngest in Y5 at his small, rural prep school.

There were some big issues at the school last year which left our year group in particular with inconsistent and ropey teaching.

DS is in the top set for Maths and that set his further divided - he's top of the top set of the top set if that makes any sense. After two years of really good reports I asked to see his CAT scores. The school was very reluctant to hand them over. I was eventually given 3 GL Assessment booklets, one for NGRT (??), one for Maths and one for English. I'm not even sure if they are CAT scores?!

I was quite horrified to see DS was below the national average in 3 of the 8 areas tested in the Maths paper. Substantially so. Even worse in English - below average in 4 of the areas.

The school are trying to tell me they're not relevant but in my mind, if I have a child of average or above average intelligence, with no additional needs and I'm paying for him to go to a private school, he should be at the national average in most areas.

Am I being unreasonable? Some of the issues at the school are ongoing and I can't see them improving. School are making me feel like I'm being very unreasonable. When I said I was hoping he'd get into a vaguely selective senior school I was shut down with "that should be no problem at all Mrs X". I just don't understand why if the CAT scores or whatever they are are so irrelevant, they'd bother doing them?

He isn't particularly studious. I wouldn't be surprised if he rushed through the English papers in the hope of getting out in the playground to play football early. He should have enjoyed sitting the Maths paper though and I'd be surprised if he didn't concentrate on that.

Any help understanding the above would be much appreciated. We have 4 children in the school so we're chucking a reasonably large chunk of our income at them. I'm wondering if I should move the younger 3. DD is in Y7 so I think it be fairly pointless moving her. The school functioned well for most of her time there.

Thank you.

BarbarianMum Wed 29-Nov-17 22:56:12

Your son is testing well below the national average and you didn't know? That would ring huge alarm bells personally.

Runningissimple Wed 29-Nov-17 23:04:41

I put a lot more store in CATS scores before I invigilated one last summer. Understanding what to do was harder than doing the jeffing tests. Kids were filling in the wrong boxes, rubbing out, getting confused, running out of time because they realised they'd filled in the wrong line and not being sure what to do about it, putting pens in their ears etc. etc. Having watched the whole process, I'd really be careful about taking too much notice of the scores. It would be easy for a kid to score very poorly due to the test being poorly administered or him just having a bad day smile

BobbleyPook Wed 29-Nov-17 23:15:27

The English and maths may be ptm and pre, which are progress in English and Maths. Not very relevant for prep schools as they benchmark against national curriculum, which independent schools don't have to teach. Usual for prep students to fall below in these due to completely different syllabus taught for CE.
Ngrt is reading ability, would be worried if this were significantly below national standards as not mapped to curriculum.

Norestformrz Thu 30-Nov-17 05:34:47

NGRT (new group reading test ) isn't benchmarked against the National Curriculum. Without knowing which of the many GL tests have actually been used it's hard to say how relevant they are but all provide a standardised and percentile score and provide a class map.

GeorginaJ80 Fri 01-Dec-17 11:08:32

Hi everyone I’ve joined Mumsnet as I’m in need of advice!! I have 2 children at a local Prep School. My daughter is in year 2 and was 7 in October. She is a bright child who is in top set for all subjects. At the end of year 1 we received her report and standardised scores which were 119 reading, 115 English, 115 non verbal VR and 111 Maths. We were happy with these scores and were told she was working hard and doing great in all subjects. Last month we received her report and had parents evening and again we were really happy with her predicted grades and again were told she is top set for every subject. Today I’ve been asked to make an appointment with the headmaster as my daughter took a test the first week back in school and scored a standardised score of 98 on her maths. How can she drop to below average from 111 at the end of last year. Her teacher has basically said it’s just a blip and the first week back and taking a test but I’m now starting to worry. Because she’s fallen below the 100 mark the headmaster is putting her on a learning programme..... I think this will massively knock her confidence. Any advice would be really appreciated. Thanks G

PhilODox Fri 01-Dec-17 11:34:44

It's a bit unusual to be called in after a blip in one test- maybe her computer was playing up.and didn't record her scores properly, for example. Or perhaps the things tested were things she hasn't covered yet (but classmates have because they're tutored outside of school?).
One assessment is just that- one assessment. I would be asking if they have other concerns, and what they're doing to address those.

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