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what levels would you be expecting clever Y7s

(45 Posts)
realcoalfire Thu 29-Nov-12 19:10:18

to be achieving at this point of the year?

Niceweather Thu 29-Nov-12 19:16:52

I found this information from a Bucks co-ed grammar school which surely gives a rough guide:

squeezedatbothends Thu 29-Nov-12 19:30:50

Depends on the child. Some of my year 7s are achieving level 8s in English and Maths. What do you consider to be clever?

diabolo Thu 29-Nov-12 19:32:42

Maths - we had a couple of children at 7b in July last year. English - our best Y7 was a 6a.

diabolo Thu 29-Nov-12 19:33:15

Should clarifiy - I work in a state middle school in a deprived area.

3b1g Thu 29-Nov-12 19:40:58

It depends on which subject. If it's a new MFL that they've never studied before, then I don't see how they could be getting anything above a 4a.
There seems to be some discrepancy between levels assessed in Y6 SATs and levels assessed at the beginning of Y7, especially in Maths.
At this point last year, DS1 (bright but not exceptionally so) was getting level 5s in most subjects, with 4s in Latin and German and 6c in his strongest subjects.

teacherwith2kids Thu 29-Nov-12 19:55:56

We haven't had a full set of levels yet, but levels DS (bright, in local comprehensive) is achieving in assessed work in his books and any tests etc mainly seem to be 6s - not just in the subjects he was assessed in in Y6 SATs, but also in subjects like Geography where I do not know his levels from last year.

He may well be higher in Maths - I believe that his termly assessment paper could go up to a 7b or so, and as Maths is his 'thing' then he may well be a highish 6 or a lowish 7 for that.

squeezedatbothends Thu 29-Nov-12 19:57:35

3b1g - yes good point - MFL and other subjects they've not had specialists in before will have a lower starting point. Our Level 8s are in the minority - I'd say about three or four in the whole year. About another 8 are getting secure 7s and quite a few 6's. This is a bog standard state comp by the way. The usual yardstick is that they'll make two sub levels progress per year from primary, though there is usually a fall back in the first half term as you'd expect after a long summer holiday and a new start in a new environment. Where the top end do well though, it's usually more about the ceiling placed on them by SATS so they can only achieve a maximum of a level 6 in year 6, when in fact they may be capable of more. I'd say that's true of our top end.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 29-Nov-12 20:04:04

I hate levelling individual pieces of work. In fact I don't do it. I do level tests, but they come with a health warning. The validity of levels increases as you go through the year, and you get a rounded idea of a student's strengths and weaknesses.

Of course, we have to report with sublevels half termly hmm

squeezedatbothends Thu 29-Nov-12 20:26:48

The Fallen Madonna - completely agree - collections of work should be levelled - APP criteria states that the measurements should be applied to a range of pieces and even though APP is now archived, in the absence of anything else, we're still using it. We get children to submit portfolios of work half termly.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 29-Nov-12 20:31:21

Hmm. Not keen on APP either TBH grin

In secondary, ultimately what we are working towards is a GCSE grade (or an EBC for year 7, but as we have no idea what that will be, we don;t know what we are working towards!).

APP is of only limited use in assessing a student's progress towards a GCSE grade. In my subject anyway.

teacherwith2kids Thu 29-Nov-12 20:44:01


I agree, and I'm not suggesting that those levels are what it will say on his report. I'm just offering the evidence I have to date, which I agree is incomplete and partial.

noblegiraffe Thu 29-Nov-12 21:17:10

If I was asked, I'd say whatever they got in their KS2 SATs. If I said anything else I'd only be making it up anyway.

If you want a relatively decent level assessment, ask me after the Y7 exams in May. All else is bollocks.

socharlotte Fri 30-Nov-12 16:55:49

noblegiraffe Our school does exams for the Y7s in November/December in every subject. Why would the levels be bollocks confused/ SATS were 6 or 7 months earlier? [confused}

Katryn Fri 30-Nov-12 17:02:53

My son yr 7 is at 6b maths and 6c English, considered bright.

noblegiraffe Fri 30-Nov-12 17:59:58

Proper SATs style exams, socharlotte? Covering the whole syllabus?

Most schools just normally do topic tests covering the material since September. In my subject (maths) at least, a one hour test on a handful of topics is certainly not enough evidence to accurately level a student. Even from topic to topic the level of work varies, so we might do level 5 angle work, then a bit of level 6 algebra. If the child is brilliant at algebra but rubbish at angles then what level would that put them at? If the test is all level 6 material and they flunk it, what level do you give them?

Levels are only designed to assess progress between key stages. It's a bit dodgy to use them to assess progress year to year. It's ludicrous to try to use them to assess progress over a few months. Sublevels are also meaningless in any sense other than 'scraped a level 5 on this particular exam'= 5c, 'just missed a level 6' = 5a. A difference of one mark on a test can be the difference between meets and fails to meet expectations.

SATs were only 6 months ago. Any attempt to numerically quantify progress since then is bollocks, IMO.

teacherwith2kids Fri 30-Nov-12 18:54:32


It is - IME - normal practice when teaching primary to be asked by SMT for levels for children in Reading, Writing and Maths at least termly, and often half termly. Different schools do that in different ways - some through tests, but APP-style 'collections of evidence' to track progress against the core elemnts of each level are probably more normal.

I appreciate that in secondary there are perhaps not enough lessons per week to get such a clear idea so quickly of where each child is through their verbal and written work - and obviously that is MUCH harder in 'more rarely timetabled' subjects - but I am surprised that there is such a huge switch from continuous assessment to 'it's not a real level unless it's beeen tested in an exam covering the whole syllabus' when moving from primary to secondary.

teacherwith2kids Fri 30-Nov-12 18:57:38

[BTW, by 'APP-style collections of evidence' I only mean that, as a teacher when assigning a level for a pupil, the expectation is that I spread out in front of me all the evidence I have about a child - their written work, notes made by me during lessons, any 'tests', any notes from group work etc - and use that the highlight what skills from each NC level they have demonstrated, in whatever form the school normally uses. I don't mean collected files of collated evidence, just normal 'continuous formative assessment' teacher assessment type stuff.]

choccyp1g Fri 30-Nov-12 19:07:09

DS is getting various 6s in individual tests on English and Maths and they gave him 6c's on his interim report last week. In year 6 they only tested to level 5s)

5b for Science, then a range from 4b down to 2a for humanities. The tutor said not to worry about the low numbers as they are starting almost from zero in those subjects.

He is what I would call clever, but doesn't work that hard, and is quite relaxed about it all.

CreamOfTomatoSoup Fri 30-Nov-12 19:11:18

The highest I've ever given a y7 is a 6b.

noblegiraffe Fri 30-Nov-12 19:11:29

Collections of evidence are all well and good, but sublevels are still ill-defined and subjective.

I can collect evidence that says that a kid could do everything on the (vague) list of level 6 topics when I taught them in class. They might successfully complete home works on these topics. Are they a 6a? Have they had help? Copied their homework? They then sit the end of year test. They don't revise very well, make silly mistakes, forget how to do half the stuff (perfectly normal). They scrape into the level 6 boundary. Are they a 6c? Have they gone down two sublevels? Or is the test a more reliable indicator of what they can do at that instant in time than what it looked like they could do throughout the year?

At the end of the day in maths, they will be assessed by a test, and it is test performance that counts.

And those massive grids of APP stuff look like a huge tick-box exercise in subjective assessment. How many questions does Little Johnny need to get right to get a tick in 'can add decimals'? Shouldn't they only be completed for a handful of kids per class anyway to track how the class is doing?

teacherwith2kids Fri 30-Nov-12 19:18:44


I'm not saying that one method of assessment is better than another - just surprised that the change of approach was so dramatic between primary and secondary tbh..

But (being contrary here), does that mean that you only accept actual SATs test result levels as end of Year 6 achievements? Not the teacher assessments which accompany them? Even if e.g. little Johnny fluked [was coached to] passing the Level 6 paper but the TA said he was a clear level 5? Or if the test was capped at Level 5 but the teacher assessment showed the child to be a clear level 6?

teacherwith2kids Fri 30-Nov-12 19:21:13

[Oh, and your last point is why I said 'APP style'. We don't, for example, use APP for reading BUT we use the fundamental approach of collecting evidence over time from a variety of sources to track progress in reading against level statements IYSWIM. It's not 'pure APP as the manuals say', but it has the fundamental attributes of 'assessing from a range of evidence'.]

Startail Fri 30-Nov-12 19:27:45

Also Y7s are put in the wrong sets, then they are working at the wrong level and it is complete and utter bollocks.

Only when DD1 was put up to set 2 for maths and had worked her way to the top of that in Y9 did we get a maths level that is actually a pointer to what she is capable of at GCSE.

Her maths teacher admitted to hating sub levels.

OK a dyslexic child who will never know her tables, can't read an analogue clock, but does algebra and complex stuff with very little effort is not typical, but she does highlight the problem of single snap shot tests.

noblegiraffe Fri 30-Nov-12 19:29:37

It's the official KS2 results which are used to generate targets in secondary. To be honest, we don't pay that much attention to SATs otherwise and base setting on our own assessments. I might make a note of level 6s or < level 4's before I meet a class, but that would be test scores, not teacher assessments. When so many different teachers have done these assessments, across different schools, they're not really comparable. At least with SATs they all sat the same test.

Sorry, probably not what you want to hear when you put so much work into them!

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