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National levels at the end of year 8?

(33 Posts)
Atari Mon 11-Nov-13 19:07:40

DS has just had his half-termly monitoring.

He appears to be making good progress against his targets and his effort levels have improved a lot smile

However, I am concerned that the targets are not setting his sights high enough. He is one of those children who will quietly do OK, never cause anyone any trouble (at least so far!) but won't push himself to do more than he can get away with. Where are they "expected" to be at the end of year 8?

What does he need to be achieving at the end of year 8 to be on target to achieve , say, an A at GCSE?

Nojustalurker Mon 11-Nov-13 19:15:01

I would be more concerned about progress. How much has his attainment level improved over the previous years? Expected progress is two sub levels a year.

noblegiraffe Mon 11-Nov-13 19:16:56

I only really know for maths. They are 'expected' to be at level 5 by the end of KS3 (Y9 usually). Someone getting a level 6 in Y9 in maths would be expected to go on to get a C. To get an A would probably need a solid level 7 in Y9, so working backwards a good level 6 in Y8.

Of course Y8s will be sitting new GCSEs, will be getting numbers instead of grades and all bets are off.

lljkk Mon 11-Nov-13 19:17:26

I think I know, but better not say. Most will say you can't predict.

noblegiraffe Mon 11-Nov-13 19:22:40

Yes, of course you can't predict the future and my post should be taken with a big pinch of salt. smile

Atari Mon 11-Nov-13 19:27:38

Oh I realise there are no guarantees and it's not an exact science. I was just wondering if my expectations of him and reality the school's are broadly the same. And where he fits against "average"

Is it normal that the "new" subjects, like German and Geography that he didn't study much in Primary school should be marked a lot lower than Maths & English?

BoundandRebound Mon 11-Nov-13 19:36:33

The national expectation at the end of ks3 year 9 is a 6c however stretch targets would expect more

A student on a level 8 equates to a B in GCSe (level 7 is as C)

The progress expectation in key stage 4 is 2 levels so a level 7 at the end of ks3 would be expected to progress to an A

That said a student in year 8 now will be taking the new Gove GCSE which has a changed curriculum and the new grading of 9 to 1 (High to low) plus there is no advice as yet on how the numerical relate to the previous A* - G

BoundandRebound Mon 11-Nov-13 19:37:27

It is normal that new subjects in secondary are graded lower but the rate of progress should be faster over the key stage

BoundandRebound Mon 11-Nov-13 19:41:00

I'd also comment that progress is never linear eg its not a straight line of say 2 sublevels progress each year but rather goes in fits and starts, also some secondaries assess by module so the grades in termly reports can go up and down through the year and may exceed year end targets so I wouldn't worry unduly if grades go up and down over the tems

BoundandRebound Mon 11-Nov-13 19:42:30

National expectation is not the same as average - it's where the majority are expected to be.

BoundandRebound Mon 11-Nov-13 19:42:57

I have now bored myself (sorry) grin

Atari Mon 11-Nov-13 19:49:05

Oh don't be sorry! That's really helpful, thanks.

The progress he's made depends where you start from. He's done great if you're looking at his levels last Easter. Not so much if you're comparing to his levels when he left primary.

KS2 results has him mid level 5s (slightly above target?) He didn't seem to make any progress at all in the first 2 terms at secondary, has done quite well since but not enough to make up the shortfall iyswim. But I guess that's what you mean by progress not being linear.

So what is average?!

And yes, he will be the guinea pig year - as I was for the "new" GCSE in 1988!

BoundandRebound Mon 11-Nov-13 19:55:05

Steps back on soapbox

Key stage 2 SATs are less than meaningful at secondary school, primaries teach to test in a narrow field and then summer comes and students start year 7 generally lower than their SATs scores so we re-test them and use CAT scores and basically ignore SATS (until we need to do KS2-4 progress measures of course)

It is normal for students to time a term to reach their previous SAT score but this is

There is no average really - depends on the cohort - but it's a curve of different attainment levels by subject

I also have a year 8 guinea pig - they will be fine

noblegiraffe Mon 11-Nov-13 20:00:50

You need to know that sublevels don't officially exist and are made up in different ways which varies from subject to subject. You might think that he has made good progress or no progress or whatever, but you're relying on a system to do this which is pretty subjective. An end of year exam might give a reasonable idea of a level, anything midyear is dodgy. And with the expected two sublevels progress expected in a year but reporting three times a year, that's at least one report where it looks like no progress has been made.

Atari Mon 11-Nov-13 20:10:06

Yes noble, I was thinking that. We're getting monitoring 6 times this year. That's a lot of "no progress" reports, but it is good to see how his "effort" and "conduct" is.

Yes, Bound I hated the way they did nothing except practise papers in yr6

lljkk Mon 11-Nov-13 22:06:20

( Quiet Whisper: DD is getting higher assessment ratings in y7 than she had in y6 SATs. Didn't spend y6 doing practice papers, either. )

I think somewhere around 6c-6a at end of y8 to be on an likely trajectory towards A at GCSE, OP. Average attained would be much lower than that (because C is close to avg mark at GCSE).

BoundandRebound Mon 11-Nov-13 22:44:46

59.3% of students last year got English and maths above a C grade

Lljkk - pleased for your DD, its not a rule the dip in autumn of year 7 but a trend

PiqueABoo Mon 11-Nov-13 23:17:41

Why do we play this game i.e. it's all primary teach-to-test blah blah?

Some doubtless is but Y7 was being criticised for being a teensy bit inefficient and independently responsible for quite a lot of 'dip' five years ago and we even had a 'mea culpa, but does it matter?". OfSTED have pretty much said the same again in their "most able" report this year.

BoundandRebound Mon 11-Nov-13 23:22:46

You may think its a game, but year on year I've seen it happen and we plan for it because it would be short sighted not to

PiqueABoo Mon 11-Nov-13 23:45:25

Five years ago (read what John Dunford said):

Don't let first years take a dip

And a fun take on OFSTED this year (I like the "Berlin Wall" part):

The Anatomy of High Expectations

Again I think there's something in it, but there's also some significant secondary displacement in primary "teach-to-test" and "summer slide".

My DD is in Y6 and both at schools we went to look at (the realistic one and a top 100 "window shop") the maths HoDs admitted Y7 would be mostly be "consolidation", with one wearily muttering about the difficulties caused by different feeders having taught different curriculum areas better or worse than others etc.

PiqueABoo Mon 11-Nov-13 23:48:44

both at schools => at both schools sad

BoundandRebound Tue 12-Nov-13 06:30:28

Anecdotally in my own experience there was no dip for my own child in fact the opposite

But on a macro level across years of new year 7s there is definitely a dip in the first term and big gaps in knowledge to be made up - we still show annual progress across all strands of ability through year 7

I have to say that I work in an inner city area of mass deprivation and our intake last year was from just over 30 primaries

Excuse me if I take OFSTED and theoretical articles with a mighty pinch of salt - I have a big issue with the focus on high attainers and low to be honest - cuts out huge middle doing average /ok

curlew Tue 12-Nov-13 06:49:31

Atari- I have a year 8 too- and I understand your need for benchmarks. I don't think his SATS in year 6 were inflated- he got mid level 5s. We haven't had any formal monitoring this year yet, but his targets for the end of year 7 were very undemanding for the core subjects. He finished last year on 6C for English, Maths and Science. We should get new targets and monitoring soon. Happy to share when I do. Oh, and yes it is normal to have much lower targets and attainment for new subjects- but progress should theoretically be faster.

friday16 Tue 12-Nov-13 07:47:55

And yes, he will be the guinea pig year - as I was for the "new" GCSE in 1988!

Rather different, though: there had been a ten year pilot for the GCSEs. I took the "16+", which was the GCSE pilot (with coursework, a single curriculum and exam for the whole ability range, etc) in 1981, for Chemistry and History, teaching for it having started in 1979. And I certainly wasn't the first cohort. It means I was awarded both an O Level and a CSE 1, which was how they handled the spectrum of outcomes. A ten year run-up is rather different to the big bang of Gove's reforms.

TallulahMcFey Tue 12-Nov-13 10:03:01

Hi, don't know how helpful this is but it is my only guide. These are my 19 year old daughters year 8 November levels and in brackets are the GCSEs she later achieved, although for some subjects she did not go on to take the GCSE.

Art level 4, DT Food level 3, Drama no level given (B), DT level 3, English level 6 (an A and a B), French level 3 (started in year 7), Geography level 4, History level 5 (B), I.T. level 5 (A*), Maths level 6 (A* a year early), Music level 6 (A*), P.E. Level 4, R.E. no level given (A*), Science level 6 (A* & A*), Spanish level 2 (started in year 8) (A*).

Her levels for practical subjects were, no doubt, not particularly high and I don't suppose PE was either, since they weren't strong points!

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