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Honest answers please! Year 9 levels - what level is your child at in their Option subjects?

(47 Posts)
WiltsWoman Fri 30-Jan-15 14:26:30

This is not just for MN genius offspring - I'd like to hear from everyone!
I think DS is doing well at school. He has quite a few subjects he would like to take for GCSE, and is finding it hard to narrow it down to four.

Along with whether he enjoys the subject, I think achieving well at it has to be a key deciding factor too. However his teachers are notoriously vague about making any sort of predictions about what he might end up with.

So, if your child is taking a subject as an option, what is their current NC level in that (and yes, I know these are being phased out), and do you have any expectations (from teachers) as to what they might (all things being equal) achieve at GCSE (in old GCSE currency ie A*-G)?

For example - in French DS is at 4c. Is that worth a go, or would he most likely only get a D at GCSE... (he's only been doing it two, not three years though)

Thanks so much. << prepares for onslaught of level 8-9s grin >>

catslife Fri 30-Jan-15 14:46:26

As a very rough guide the correlation between levels at the end of KS3 (Y9) and GCSE grades is as follows:
level 3/4 grade E/D
level 5 grade C
level 6 grade B
level 7+ grade A/A*
But this doesn't work that well for all subjects and is only approximate.
In MFL would expect the grade to be lower if he's only studied the subject for 2 years.

TeenAndTween Fri 30-Jan-15 14:56:57

The guide catslife has given is pretty much correlating to my y11 DD's current expectations.

WiltsWoman Fri 30-Jan-15 16:41:45

That is really helpful - are those figures from an 'official' source catslife?
TeenAndTween thanks for your input. Good to know.
Why don't schools furnish us with this sort of info?!

momb Fri 30-Jan-15 16:45:14

It depends on the subject. ED only started german in Y9 and was not higher than a 5 by end KS3 but is predicted higher than a C...

catslife Fri 30-Jan-15 19:52:07

This info was in the GCSE handbook given to parents by dds school at the start of Y10.
There are however other ways of predicting GCSE grades from the NC levels obtained in KS2 SATs and from CATs tests (or similar) usually carried out in Y7. So if your child had level 5s at the end of Y6 they would be predicted higher GCSE grades than a child with level 4 at KS2.

Hakluyt Sun 01-Feb-15 08:40:52

My ds is in Year 9. He chose his options in year 8. He is currently (well, at last report time) working at high 6s, low/mid 7s for everything, except Spanish, where he is a 5a/6c. Under the old system I would expect him to get, barring a catastrophic change of attitude, mostly As at GCSE. All bets are off, obviously with the new system.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 01-Feb-15 09:07:01

My dd is also either high Lvl 6 or low-mid Lvl 7 in every subject.

Maths is one of her weaker subjects where she hasn't really gone into Lvl 7 in assessments but apparantly does in class work sometimes. Teacher says he'd expect her to get a B in maths. If something clicks a bit more in the next two years she might get an A.

But who knows with the new exams? I expect that for the current year 9s there will be a drop in results in order to justify the govts decision to bring in new tougher exams. If standards stay the same there will be an uproar from Labour/the media saying what was the point in changing, etc?

calzone Sun 01-Feb-15 09:08:56

Ds (y8) chooses his options next week! confused
We have a meeting to attend on Tuesday.

TooHasty Sun 01-Feb-15 10:15:36

Our DC's attainment is reported by internal grades rather than NC levels.But in this information has been given on expected progress in bio,phys and chem
(I don't know if its the same in other subjects)

Primary y7 y8 y9 GCSE
6C 6A 7B 8 A*
5A 6B 7C 7A A*
5B 6C 6A 7B A
5C 5A 6B 7C B
4A 5B 6C 6A C
4B 5C 5A 6B C/D

TooHasty Sun 01-Feb-15 10:18:52

that's hard to read, sorry

Y9 to GCSE

7A-8 > A*
7B > A
7C > B
6A > C
6B/C >C/D

chiefbrody Sun 01-Feb-15 12:19:38

My sons expected level at end of year 8 is 7b in most subjects, does anyone think this is a bit high or normal.

Most of his peers have similar expected levels.

WiltsWoman Sun 01-Feb-15 21:35:40

Thanks everyone. Those have been really helpful comments and have given me a sense of where DS is.

chiefbrody, as I'm sure you must have realised from my original question. I'm no expert. Perhaps you might find what you need on the G&T board. You can take a biscuit with you.

Tigerblue Mon 02-Feb-15 08:45:51

Agree, I think it's a case of getting the right balance. My DD is desperate to do some subjects, but I suspect she may do better in others.

My DD is in top set for everything, but I wouldn't say she's a genius. At the present time she's on totally different levels - 5 for Spanish (although only has one lesson a week as they are fast tracking for French and this is taking up language lessons) and one goes up to 7.

She is 6 in French at the moment and just done a mock paper and got a B at GCSE if that helps. I think she generally improves about one level a year, so if your son is level 4, maybe he could be a level 6 in Year 11 giving him a B (I know some parents are just looking for A/A*, but I'd be proud if my DD got a B or even a C in something. Do speak to the school and get a general indication of what they think he could achieve.

Pensionerpeep Mon 02-Feb-15 09:16:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chiefbrody Wed 04-Feb-15 17:34:50


g and t .... you are joking most of his mates are at these levels,

you can have your no comment back ... you are very rude.

Hakluyt Wed 04-Feb-15 18:11:18

<pats chief brody gently on the head>

"Yes, dear, of course they are."

MillyMollyMama Wed 04-Feb-15 19:40:11

My DDs went to an independent school and we never had levels in anything! I did know how well they were doing by exam results, teacher comments and marked work. Generally do you not get a "feel" for how your child sits in a school? Brilliant teaching could mean an A whereas in a school with poor teaching a child might scrape a B. Predictions are so inaccurate, I am not surprised schools are wary of them. Children can be slow in some areas of the GCSE curriculum and really quick on the uptake in others. If a child hates learning vocabulary and grammar in MFL, then the GCSE result will be lower. Just take the EBacc and 3 or 4 other subjects which demonstrate breadth of learning, which have a good reputation in the school and which your DC enjoys. You cannot go wrong then!

chiefbrody Thu 05-Feb-15 07:23:56

Oh dear me, but they are.

Basic state academy, rated good.

Is this not the norm, the school never say they are above average.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 05-Feb-15 08:00:22

Chief brody. No it's definitly not the norm. My dd is in Top sets at her comp, is in year 9 and getting anywhere between 6a and 7b. She's top of the year in geography, history, art and physics.

Dunno, maybe her school is shit then? There are more kids in year 9 getting level 6c or even level 5s than there are getting Level 7s.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 05-Feb-15 08:05:30

Have googled. The govts expected end of year 8 targets are 5b, 5a, 6c.

Any school which on a average is expecting their year 8s to get level 7s either has an above average intake of kids or unrealistic targets. Would be interesting to know what the schools gcse rate is. So do the majority of kids go on to get 10x gcses at A grades or not?

Hakluyt Thu 05-Feb-15 08:11:41

Grammar schools don't expect all 7bs at the end of year 8. Chief Brody is either misunderstanding or on a wind up. Or her school has its own assessment process.

Tigerblue Thu 05-Feb-15 11:44:43

VivaLeBeaver, my DD is also in all the top sets for everything (Year 9)except English. Her levels are between 5 (admittedly this is for something taught as a new subject in Year 7) and 7. The school achieve above average passes in give GCSE grades A*-C, so I guess are in the same position as yours - it's also highly thought of. Some of her friends are still struggling with what would be basic for her, so I'm sure there are quite a few in the school with level 4 in subjects. We are not in a deprived area (which may have an impact on some schools), in fact, quite the opposite.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 05-Feb-15 12:14:18

I don't think dd's school is particularly well thought of. It's one of the two worse comps in town. Gcse pass rate last year was 43% of kids getting 5 gcses inc maths and English.

It's a mixed intake. Rough areas of the city as well as some "naice" villages.

Dd passed her 11plus so I would kind of expect her to be in top sets in a comp. there's plenty of other kids as bright as her but there's also lots at the opposite end of the academic spectrum.

If a secondary school really thinks that year 8 kids on average would be getting 7b then I reckon they're either over inflating their levels and the kids will get a shock with their gcse results or its a very well to do area with very bright kids, or its a private school or semi selective.

Hakluyt Thu 05-Feb-15 12:32:56

"If a secondary school really thinks that year 8 kids on average would be getting 7b then I reckon they're either over inflating their levels and the kids will get a shock with their gcse results or its a very well to do area with very bright kids, or its a private school or semi selective."

The first is the only possibility, Viva, apart from bullshit. Grammar schools don't expect that from year 8s.

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