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Another Q re target levels (sorry!)

(13 Posts)
Creosote Thu 25-Jul-13 17:06:27

DS has just finished Year 7 at our local comp, which is quite a high performing school. He has done very well, and we are really proud of how hard he has worked.

He has not met quite a few of his Y7 targets this year though. The majority were set at 6C, which I think is quite high? His Y6 SATS were 5B for english and 5A for maths, and I assume his targets were set from the english result - ie 2 sublevels higher.

He has achieved his targets for quite a few subjects like maths and science, DT and ICT, but not for english, geog and history, where he is still on level 5. I assume this is not indicative that he hasn't made sufficient progress but more reflection that the targets are very high? Is it 'normal' for want of a better word that a smart Y7 doesn't get 6's across the board? It is hard to tell what is 'normal' on here sometimes, I know wink

FWIW, he also got 6C targets for music, art and drama. No level 5's or 6's there, but I know these are not his strong subjects lol!

Talkinpeace Thu 25-Jul-13 19:12:53

what did the school say?
what were his effort marks?

every school grades such things differently so they are not really comparable
that and kids vary rather a lot

Creosote Thu 25-Jul-13 19:23:37

School are happy as far as we know. We didn't get a proper report at the end of term, just a list of grades, so hard to tell how he is doing really. We did get a report midway through the year, and he got effort grades then which were nearly all 4's with a few 5's (1=low, 5=high), so he is putting in effort smile

I suppose I just want reassurance that the 5's are ok really, and not suggesting that he is 'not reaching his potential' kind of thing. I do know it is early days smile, but I did find this context free report a bit frustrating...

Talkinpeace Thu 25-Jul-13 19:38:31

Secondaries are too big to make up fluffy comments about kids : all the data is extracted from their monitoring software (the stuff Gove has not clicked they use)
trust me, if they thought he was not doing what is expected, you'd know about it

Creosote Thu 15-Aug-13 21:36:09

Just thought I would bump this as there haven't been any level questions on here since the end of term grin!

curlew Fri 16-Aug-13 06:58:42

Are you sure they were end of year 7 targets, not end of Key Stage? What was his target for MFL? That's a helpful indicator.

Creosote Fri 16-Aug-13 13:01:30

Hi Curlew, thanks for replying. Targets are definitely for end of Yr 7. His MFL target was the lowest target at 4A (not met either!), with PE at 5C. The rest were all 6C (maths was higher).
Like I said, I am not worried unduly, just interested that they set these targets and he hasn't met all of them. Is it him or ambitious target setting?

frogspoon Fri 16-Aug-13 20:39:12

Those sound reasonable targets, he should be gaining 2 sub levels per year, or 2 whole levels over 3 years. Schools are required to set this as a minimum. If a child comes in with a 5B, the school must predict them a 6C target for end of year 7, even if the teacher thinks this is unrealistic)

If he was a 5B/5A at the end of KS2, he should be getting 7B/7A by the end of KS3 (year 9). As we only get KS2 levels for English and Maths, all other subjects are estimated based on English/Maths. Languages will have a lower target, because it is a new subject.

Obviously over time, it becomes clear that even a very able pupil will have strengths and weaknesses, in the case of your son he clearly has an aptitude for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects, and is less able (but still above average) in humanities.

The are a couple of reasons why he may not have reached his targets:

1. His primary school over estimated to boost their results and he is not quite as able as his levels suggested (I work in secondary education, we see this a lot)

2. He has plateaued a bit due to the additional demands of secondary school. If this is the case he should catch up in year 8.

3. The school is not helping him to reach his potential.

I wouldn't be too concerned at the moment, but if he is continuing to make insufficient progress (not reaching his targets by the end of year 8) then I would raise your concerns with the school.

Creosote Fri 16-Aug-13 22:22:35

Thanks frogsppon. So, these targets are likely to be sensible then. That is helpful. DS does love humanties more than science/maths, so hopefully he will pick up speed next year in those subjects. I know he has got 6's in individual pieces of work in these subjects, just not as his overall grade.

Are next year's targets likely to be based on this year's achievements, or on the (missed) targets this year, or on the assumption of two sublevels progress from year 6 (ie 6A's) do you think?

TheFallenMadonna Fri 16-Aug-13 22:31:47

Our targets are based on 2 sublevels of progress per year, but if you only go from a 5c to a 5b in year 7 for example, your year 8 Target will still be 6b, not 6c. If however, you go from 5c to 6c, in year 7, your Target will be adjusted to 6a.

Progress is not really linear, IME. But we are judged in levels of progress pretty much exclusively, and that is what the targets reflect.

Creosote Fri 16-Aug-13 22:40:41

Ah, so targets can be moved up following over-achievement, but won't be moved backwards in case of under-achievement?
I agree progress is not linear, and I am mainly happy that DS seems to have settled well at school.
I was just a bit worried that he was slipping behind where he should be as he is doing well, so school won't be that worried he has missed his targets. If his targets follow his, so to speak, then any further slower progression will become more noticeable...

curlew Fri 16-Aug-13 23:23:29

"Those sound reasonable targets, he should be gaining 2 sub levels per year, or 2 whole levels over 3 years. Schools are required to set this as a minimum. If a child comes in with a 5B, the school must predict them a 6C target for end of year 7, even if the teacher thinks this is unrealistic)"

Really? That's interesting. I've been battling to get sense out of my ds's school- he went in on 5s (unofficially I was told 5bs and as) and has targets for the end of ks3 of 5a in the core subjects! I have been trying to tell them this is bonkers- particularly as he finished year 7 on 6as! I will redouble my efforts in the new school year!

lljkk Mon 19-Aug-13 09:20:41

DS dropped 2 sublevels in assessment between March & May this year. Honestly, they make it up, don't they? I don't really care what number-letter combo they use, he is what he is.

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