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Can anyone explain secondary levels and targets to me?

(4 Posts)
Thrif Fri 07-Nov-14 16:49:44

DS1 is in year 9.

His primary basically taught to the test for SATs and they did practically nothing but practise tests for the term before the tests. DS got good 5s, where IMO his "natural" ability level is probably to be around average, high 4s?

Anyway, as a result of his high KS2 SATS (or some other reason) on paper, he made virtually no progress in year 7. He did well in year 8 making at least 2 sub levels of progress in most subjects, but his annual targets are still being set based on those KS2 results, so this year's targets are asking for 4 sub levels progress e.g. 5a-7c.

We've just had his first monitoring for this year and against his targets his progress looks pretty poor, but actually when we got out his yr8 end of year report, he's done well considering it's only half a term. Is it normal that he's stuck with these demoralising targets? Are they demoralising, or are they actually realistic and he should "catch up"?

How do the levels translate at secondary level? Where "should" he be at the start of year9 and where does he need to be if he's to be on track for his 5 A-Cs?

noblegiraffe Fri 07-Nov-14 17:01:02

Different schools set targets in different ways. In my school targets are set by the teacher at the start of the year so could be amended given poor/good progress the previous year.

The 'expected' level is a 5 at the end of Y9, this is roughly what you would need to get to be on track for a C grade, except in maths where you need a level 6.

Except it has all been thrown in the bin. Levels have officially been scrapped, although some schools are hanging onto them for the moment, as have C grades at GCSE for current Y9 and down. The pass grade at new GCSE is going to be more like a current B grade

Thehedgehogsong Fri 07-Nov-14 17:08:36

Students are expected to make 3 levels of progress on average from year 6 to year 11. A level 5 student in year 6 would therefore be expected to get Bs at GCSE level (level 8).
Targets in year 9 aren't set well IMO, I have lots of students with level 8 targets at 13/14 who don't need that level until year 11.
Schools push for 4 levels to be above average and therefore in the running for a good/outstanding Ofsted result.
I would just encourage progress, regardless of targets!

Thrif Fri 07-Nov-14 17:14:30

Thank you.

That's what I'm realising hedgehog, we need to look at progress and ignore the targets. The report he's brought home today gives pretty good effort and conduct marks (which hasn't always been the case for him!) his targets for the year and his current levels.

At first glance, it's not a great achievement as he has a massive way to go to meet the year end targets but when considered against his results at the end of last year he's done really well. Not only have his effort levels improved a lot but in most subjects he's improved and in some he's gained 2 sub levels, in just half a term.

It would have been very easy to take it at face value and be disappointed though (for me and him)

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