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Is this unusual/common re Level 5 SAT's and Set 3?

(80 Posts)
urbancupcake Thu 28-Mar-13 08:51:34

My dd's school decide on sets (for all subjects) when they start the school based on their primary school SAT's results.

My dd received all level 5's in her primary school SAT's results and was placed in set 3 and after their exams in the new year, achieved all level 5a's but wasn't moved up. She's quiet and well behaved.

Is this usual/unusual?

noblegiraffe Thu 28-Mar-13 13:21:51

There is no norm when it comes to schools, intakes vary wildly. Without knowing the intake of your DD's school (which may vary from year to year) it is impossible to say whether a level 5 in set 3 is unusual.

In a high attaining school it might be fine. In your more bog standard comp it would probably be a bit more unusual.

If you are worried that your DD is in a low set for her levels, and are wondering why she hasn't been moved up ask the school. Seriously. They get phone calls like it all the time. They will be able to tell you where she is in her groups, if she is at the top of them, what's holding her back, if anything, whether a mistake has been made in the set changes, what you can do to help her move up a set.

It could be fine, there might be a problem. But strangers on the Internet aren't going to be able to tell you that.

sandyballs Thu 28-Mar-13 13:26:08

That's interesting, I have two DDs in Year 7 and their primary school SAT results last year were the best the school have ever seen. I don't mean my DDs, just generally, as a year group.

Blu Thu 28-Mar-13 14:38:50

Out of interest, how do people know what levels pupils in other classes got at primary? I know the levels of a few of DS's v close friends, levels, not sub levels a,b,c,because the primary didn't tell us those. I have absolutely no idea what the other kids in secondary got, how would I?

OP, do talk to the school, it sounds as if you have a v valid question. What did they say at parents eve?

JenaiMorris Thu 28-Mar-13 14:46:49

The only reason I know any of ds's classmates' levels is that I did the upside down reading thing on parents evening blush

I have no idea about any of his old Y6 friends' SATs though.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 28-Mar-13 14:47:03

Ds got a mix of 5b and 5as at end of yr 6 and he's in top set (of 3) for every subject at his non-selective independent (where the absolute high-fliers apparently left the prep dept for either out of catchment grammars or selective boarding schools).

They set based on sats and cats and movement is made every half term if necessary.

They are now working at level 7 in maths and science and ds is also achieving either 6 or 7 for all assessed English work. His teachers also said at parents' evening that this was a particularly high achieving cohort. Maybe there was something in the water in 2000...

BooksandaCuppa Thu 28-Mar-13 14:48:05

Slight lie. He's in bottom set for games...

BooksandaCuppa Thu 28-Mar-13 14:51:07

Oh yes, in ds's yr 6 at primary last year, 90% got level 5 reading and 70% level 5 maths so was definitely a good year group.

urbancupcake Thu 28-Mar-13 18:28:37

Goldirocks: That helps loads - thanks so very much. It's great to get the grammar school comparison. I suspect, they're able to test for level 7's as their papers go up to that level and beyond.

Tiggytape: thanks so much for your comments too (from logging on often and reading posts, I always think you give such great replies). Just out of interest, when you say:

Set 1 is almost entirely made up of children who were awareded the level 6 in their SATS plus a few who scored 5as but did very well in the tests set at the start of Year 7 (our schools uses SATS and Year 7 testing combined for setting purposes). Set 2 is mainly 5as and 5bs and set 3 has some 5bs too. A lot of parents did not understand how a level 5 child could end up in set 3 but the simple answer was that most of the year group got level 5 or level 6 in their SATS.

Would they have been level 5's across the top three subjects, as in 5,5,5, or a level five in maybe 2 and possibly a 4, as in 5,5,4 in the set 3?

Does your school stream or set?

urbancupcake Thu 28-Mar-13 18:33:05

BooksandCuppa - you are funny

Blu: Thanks for your support, in that you think it's a valid question. I sometimes feel as if I'm going a bit loopy loo. Will defo go back to them.

ThreeBeeOneGee Thu 28-Mar-13 18:41:14

DS1 left Y6 with level 5 in all subjects. His report commented that he was particularly strong in Maths & Science. This was before they did level 6 papers in Y6. His teacher told me he was a confident 5a in Maths.

The children were put into sets after the first half term of Y7. He was placed in set 4 of 7. He and I were both a bit shock as we'd been under the impression he was quite able at Maths. He did say he felt the work wasn't very challenging in set 4 and the teacher mentioned that he was the top of the set by a margin.

He worked hard for the summer exams at the end of Y7 and was moved up two sets to start Y8 in set 2. He is now working at the middle of that set and he and I are happy that it's the right place for him.

Arcticwaffle Thu 28-Mar-13 18:47:21

Our primary tells us the number getting each sats level overall (not the specific children). 70% of last year's yr 6s got level 5 or above in English and Maths, I think. It's a small school (only about 13 in a year group by yr 6) so it varies a lot year to year, but this was a much higher proportion than in previous years.

My assumption is not that the current crop of 11-12 year olds is unusually bright, across the country, but that more children are getting l5 sats than a year or two before as teachers and schools get more used to the test and how to prepare for it (that happens with GCSEs and A levels too).

gazzalw Thu 28-Mar-13 18:49:51

My theory is based on DS's primary cohort at a very mixed school (not chichi but a broad spectrum culturally and socially). About 65% scored level fives. So even the middle table ones were comfortably getting 5As and 5Bs in either Maths or English (or possibly both). Of the class of 29, four got into grammar schools and two into the selective stream of comprehensives. And many of the others are in the gifted and talented stream at their comprehensives in a borough without grammar schools.

When SIL was at her grammar school her whole year was deemed to be very, very clever. Some years are and some are decidedly less so.

So it is entirely possible although not probable that you could potentially get two classes (in a comprehensive school which caters for the full cohort of local children) who are mathematically very, very able indeed. These 'blips' happen!

I get the impression, from what's happened to current Year 6s in our locale, that they are not such a clever cohort. Please don't shoot me down but that's just the way it is....

I am not sure what is better -I think it's probably better to be middle of the road but reaching for the stars in a bright cohort than coasting at the top in a not so bright cohort!

Do agree though, OP, if you are worried you need to address this with the school.

Schooldidi Thu 28-Mar-13 18:50:04

Well in my last school anyone with a 5a would have definitely been in top set, in fact we had a few children with 4a getting into top set because it was a small school with not a fantastic catchment.

In my current school I teach set 3 in y7 and they are a mix of 5a down to 5c. Our two top sets are indeed filled to bursting with very good 5as or higher. We had 75 pupils arrive in year 7 with a 5a, so we can't accommodate them all in the top set. We do the same curriculum with the top 3 sets though (the very top set do go a bit quicker and do more enrichment tasks). We're a big school with very good feeder primaries, so have 9 sets.

So set 3 out of 9 or 10 it's not unusual to have 5as in there. Set 3 out of 4 then it would be very unusual imo to have anyone on a 5a in there.

ThreeBeeOneGee Thu 28-Mar-13 18:56:54

gazzalw: it's similar where we are. Fewer children in the current Y6 in our local primaries getting into selective secondary schools.

tiggytape Thu 28-Mar-13 19:01:54

urban cake - I don't know if the set 3 level 5 children only achieved level 5 in one subject or in all of them actually - maybe that might be a factor. However, our school sets not streams so it is possible to be set 1 for maths and set 3 for English.

The reason I know so much about the situation in our school is partially down to the children knowing their own SATS results and the set it seems to correspond to (there’s no 'red' table in secondary school - everyone knows precisely which set they're in and are a bit competitive about it). It is also partly because it was covered by a ‘setting’ meeting and a letter home explaining Level 5 children in set 3 were not a mistake and the school fully expect sets 1-3 to be gaining the top GCSE grades in time and to be working at a level that would assure this.

DS is my oldest so I don't know how previous year's sets have worked but the implication was very much that this was to reassure parents who might think it was a mistake or worry that being in set 3 was limiting. The point was made that parents with older children might find that the older child had started the school with lower SATS but higher sets than the current Year 7 child. That is why I was surprised to see gazza’s point earlier about this being a slightly freaky year group in terms of ability because in our area this seems to be true as well.

gazzalw Thu 28-Mar-13 19:09:02

Maybe it was all that champagne quaffing in the Millennium, Tiggytape wink???!!!!

tiggytape Thu 28-Mar-13 19:11:55

...or it could just be as Arcticwaffle says - more KS2 children are getting level 5's and 6's due to primary school focus coaching and it has stopped being exceptional anymore.

tiggytape Thu 28-Mar-13 19:12:38

You speak for yourself gazza! I was strictly on gin tea! grin

tiggytape Thu 28-Mar-13 19:13:05

.....not during the pregnancy of course shock

gazzalw Thu 28-Mar-13 19:20:12

No of course not!

gazzalw Thu 28-Mar-13 19:27:41

You could be right about the SATS though, Tiggytape. Although all the teachers at DC's primary school always said that DS's class was a very bright one. And there is no indication of an upward trend, over years, in SATS results. I would almost lay money on the fact that this year's Year 6 won't do as well. I cannot substantiate this hunch but it may all come out in the wash when they do their GCSEs - although if grades are factored by % achieving certain levels then maybe not.

Perhaps its a question to ask of the teachers when we attend Yr 7 cohort parents' evenings?

Iamnotminterested Thu 28-Mar-13 20:34:45

Dd is in year 7 and her year 6 teacher told me that, across the borough, she was in a generally able year.

I also have an inkling that this year 6 will not do as well.

gazzalw Thu 28-Mar-13 20:39:22

So a limited sample-size is indicating that current Yr 7s are maybe brighter than average ;-)......

seeker Thu 28-Mar-13 21:05:40

In a purely unscientific survey I have been conducting for the past 12 years, I think that every second year is bright. I have no idea why this could possibly be.

gazzalw Thu 28-Mar-13 21:10:57

Who would we ask to verify our hunches, one wonders?

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