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SATS - Will someone kind please decode this for me?

(19 Posts)
Quattrocento Fri 03-Jul-09 17:34:27

DS's school has suddenly started doing SATS, so despite DS being the second infant and despite DS being 9, I have absolutely no idea what these things mean. DS is in year 4 and his report says that he is Level 4a for maths and 4b for English.

So what I want to know is, is 4a better or worse than 4b? Intuitively it sounds as though level 4a is better. Is that right? What comes after level 4a? Is it level 5? And do they work up from c to a within that level? Or do they work up from z-a?

NB I have trawled the NC website and been left none the wiser. <terminally dim emoticon>

mrz Fri 03-Jul-09 17:40:19

4a is better
4a -5c
they work up from c being the lowest

They are NC levels and may or may not involve SATs

Podrick Fri 03-Jul-09 17:43:44

It is confusing because they work forwards through the numbers - 1,2,3,4,5
and backwards through the letters c,b,a

genius system

Quattrocento Fri 03-Jul-09 17:43:56

Thanks - so there are three sublevels in each level. Right. Got it.

Now all I have to understand is what these levels and sublevels actually mean.

Goblinchild Fri 03-Jul-09 17:48:04

Both of those means he's well above expectations for his year. 4b is National average for Y6 SATS, in my leafy suburb we expect our average Y4 to be around 3a.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 03-Jul-09 17:48:22

They are supposed to achieve two sub-levels of progress per year. In theory, 4b is what the average child should achieve at the end of year 6. So scores of 4a and 4b at end of year four are well above average, though not freakishly so. Means your DS is doing v well. grin

Nazreen Fri 03-Jul-09 17:57:24

4a is better than 4b and the next step after 4a would be a 5c.

For a child in year 4 to be a 4a is impressive and may lead him/her to be registered on the schools gifted & talented list (it depends which definition/criterion the school use to establish which children are considered to be gifted and talented.

So here is a brief run down of the average/expected levels of a child at the end of a summer term.

Reception - Early years, Foundation stage profile point 6.
Year 1 - 1A/2c
Year 2 - 2B --> you may just get a level without a letter for this as this is nationally reported, in which case '2' is what you would be looking for
Year 3 - 2A/3C
Year 4 - 3b
Year 5 - 3a/4c
Year 6 - 4b --> but again because of statutory reporting 4c, 4b and 4a, may all be reported as 4.

Hope this helps - a lot of reports seem to have gone home today.

2hot Fri 03-Jul-09 18:07:10

hmm Methinks OP protests innocence too much. Surely the report had written comments along with the national curriculum level which indicate dc is doing really well.

My ds is reading War and Peace in reception, can anyone tell me if that's about right for his age...

Niecie Fri 03-Jul-09 18:11:40

A bit uncalled for 2hot - comments don't necessarily say that much other than your DC is doing very well. Very well by whose standards I always ask.

I thought Quattro's DC went private and so didn't have to do SATs. Obviously they see some value in grading them now.

Level 4 is good but it isn't that G&T - depends on the school. It would be interesting to know how the rest of the year is doing.

tiredemma Fri 03-Jul-09 18:15:42

thats a bit unfair 2hot.

I couldnt decipher my boys results and felt a numpty asking the teacher- there wasnt a guide on the report that gave national averages.

And so what anyway? OP can shamelessly brag surely? I know Iwould.

blametheparents Fri 03-Jul-09 18:43:38

Shameless bragging - that's me! grin

Well done to Quattro's DS.

It is a sad world where we can't be proud of our DC's achievements.

2hot Fri 03-Jul-09 18:47:42

OK, you're right, I guess it's just too hot grin

lljkk Fri 03-Jul-09 18:52:12

I am surprised by MNers posting "What do these SAT results mean?" -- it's often discussed here on edu threads and it's well-described in archived threads. And almost always OP says their DC got massively above average results. You can't help but wonder if it's a kind of least some of the time.

Our SAT results come with descriptive text; so you know what is average, what is above average, etc. How strange for any school to distribute the results without an explanation!

Quattrocento Fri 03-Jul-09 19:00:34

Thanks for all the responses - and thank you lots for the clarifications. Yes the DCs are at private schools and hitherto, no SATS have been done. New head this year - new regime. Actually I didn't even know that they'd been introduced until DS came home and announced he'd done some.

I thought level 4 related to the year he was in (year 4). Why don't they put an explanation on the report then?

As to shameless bragging - I thought he was doing okay - he's somewhere between 3rd and 10th for most subjects. They do give positions in class, together with a lot of comments - in DS's case focussing on untidy presentation and a need to understand which batting strokes do which in cricket (they waxed lyrical about that). So I did know he was doing okay, but obviously not out of this world.

Is there a reason why the NC website doesn't tell you what these levels and sublevels mean? Is it to prevent undue parental paranoia/smugness?

mrz Fri 03-Jul-09 19:05:57

Niecie Fri 03-Jul-09 20:36:23

Whilst I don't think that SATS are the be all and end all I do think they provide an interesting objective measure of how well a child is doing.

Perhaps this is why the new head introduced them.

Comments only go so far. Teachers don't seem to want to put anything negative these days for fear of discouraging children.

The link doesn't say so but the max level you can get at the end of KS2 (Yr 6) is level 5 and you can expect a child to go up a level every 2 yrs on average so your DS is on target for a couple of level 5s.

Well done to your DS!

londonartemis Mon 06-Jul-09 11:46:14

Niecie - can you actually get 5a 5b 5c or is it just marked 5?

mrz Mon 06-Jul-09 12:00:38

They are just marked in whole levels.

londonartemis Mon 06-Jul-09 12:03:58


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