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Level for French in year 8

(23 Posts)
sunseeker66 Thu 25-Jun-15 19:37:59

At the last parents evening my dd's French teacher was extremely pleased with her progress in French.

Her current level is 5b is that good?

I realise they have scrapped the NC levels but her school are still using them.

All her other levels are mainly 5s or 6s.

kitnkaboodle Thu 25-Jun-15 23:16:30

They start from level 3 in y7 don't they?? Because they assume no french in primary. So getting to a level 5 already seems very good smile

EllenJanethickerknickers Thu 25-Jun-15 23:42:42

That's good. DS1 started with a level 2b in Y7 and managed to scrape a C grade GCSE.

sunseeker66 Fri 26-Jun-15 09:21:43

Thanks, just found an old year 7 report and she was a 2c at the start of Y7.

All those French holidays paying off lol.

starfish4 Fri 26-Jun-15 10:16:58

My DD's school give levels slightly differently, but just thought I'd let you know at the end of Year 8 she got 5.5 (I guess around 5b). She's now at the end of Year 9 and has just sat a practice controlled assessed and told she just scraped an A* in that. I know nothing is guaranteed, but if she can get that now and continue improving then your DD and mine could be in line for an A*/A or whatever the new grading is.

sunseeker66 Fri 26-Jun-15 10:45:35

Well done to your dd starfish thats brill.

All these levels can be very confusing.

TheBankOfMum Fri 26-Jun-15 12:34:41

Your DD is doing great, sunseeker66 and I wouldn't worry about levels too much. My DS started Yr7 at 2b having never studied French previously. He's currently in Yr8 with a target of 5a and current level of 7c and his teacher still insists he could do better despite them having told me that the curriculum doesn't tailor for higher than a level 6 in Yr8. He only achieved a 7c through his independent learning at home.

The whole levels thing can be very distressing for target driven kids.

NC Yr8 levels can be viewed HERE.

hanami Fri 26-Jun-15 14:05:54

My son just finished Year 7 and he is a 5C in French having started with none. He is in the second set of eight. He started in the top (don't know why really) but was moved down in December.

His target was 5B so he was below his Year 7 target.

We are waiting to see if he has achieved enough to be offered a third language in Y8 (they do Latin too and he got a 5B in that).

He found French very hard at school and did a lot of work at home on a site called Duolingo which seemed to help.

This is a non-selective school and DS is a bright but not exceptional boy. (well, his mama finds him exceptional, of course, but no-one else does. He has never topped a class, won an award, etc).

So I think your question might depend a little on your school and their expectations? What was your daughter's target?

I was very keen for DS to do well enough to be offered a third language as he loves Latin and who knows, maybe Spanish or German will suit him better than French. Time will tell.

sunseeker66 Fri 26-Jun-15 14:12:30

Thanks thebank of mum, these levels can be a nightmare.

hanami her end of year 8 target was a 4b, so she had surpassed that.

I think that is a good level for year 7 hanami so well done to your son.

My school only offers French at the moment, she is very keen to learn others as well.

hanami Fri 26-Jun-15 14:18:47

If she has exceeded her target, that is great. I am a bit suspicious of all this levelling to be honest. I try talking in French to my son and he doesn't understand much. I hope the results aren't inflated and he'll get a shock later...

muminhants1 Fri 26-Jun-15 14:34:23

My son's in year 7 doing Spanish and the highest he's been told he can get is 4A (because they need to do the past tense for a 5 and haven't done it yet).

He did Spanish at primary school as well but the secondary school says they do as much in half a term there as they did in the whole 4 years at primary school!

hanami Fri 26-Jun-15 14:42:04

DS was told that about tenses too (i.e. unless they showed tenses in the test they would not get a level 5). I think he did recognise / use some tenses. He certainly had some past / future tenses prepared for his speaking test though whether they got used on the day I don't know.

This is what makes me a little suspicious of his 5C though - it must be by the skin of his teeth.

MrsUltracrepidarian Fri 26-Jun-15 16:41:07

Does not have to be the past tense to get Level 5 - from the old level descriptors can be the 'near future' (je vais faire, je vais jouer, etc) which is very easy and which is usually taught before the past tense for that reason. In the schools I have taught in at least most of the 'top set' Y7 can do this, so by Y8 should definitely be achievable by most.
The past tenses are more difficult, hence left to Y8. By end of Y8 they should be able to use present, near future and perfect, then in Y9 the simple future and the imperfect.

hanami Sat 27-Jun-15 09:35:58

Ah - yes, he does seem to use "Je vais aller...." a lot.

Takver Sat 27-Jun-15 10:22:01

"despite them having told me that the curriculum doesn't tailor for higher than a level 6 in Yr8."

That seems like a bit of a cop-out to me, TheBankOfMum - we just had parents' evening, and they certainly don't seem to be limited to a level 6 in yr 8 - the teacher mentioned that as the class was doing well she'd move on to GCSE level work next year, and also deepen the lessons with more grammar work.

Should say that dd says everyone in top set French at her school is at least bilingual (not in French, obviously!), which I guess makes a difference - but the teacher seems happy/able to speed up the work to allow for that.

TheBankOfMum Sat 27-Jun-15 18:47:01

Yep, it certainly is a cop-out, Takver. DS's teacher told me he's more than ready to do his GCSE but the school won't allow it. It's the same for most of his other subjects which is one of the reasons this is his last year in state school. His current school is just awful.

hippppy Fri 03-Jul-15 12:57:37

Its all so confusing. My sons official report is not here yet but his teacher has been marking their work with levels. His last 3 pieces have been marked at a 7a for French! Seems very high considering he only really started French in year 7. He is very academic and has been working hard but a 7a?!

I also do not understand how they cannot mark beyond a level 7, apparently it is because they do not teach level 8 material in year 8. English is my sons 'thing' and he is hitting level 8 for written assessments. But he has done a lot of research at home on how to get into this bracket and applying it to his work. He is the top of his year in this subject.

Does this all change in year 9? and if so, how? Or does it differ between schools? If a child is tested and working at a level 7 in year 9 and cannot be graded higher will they just sit at a 7a throughout year 9?

Takver Fri 03-Jul-15 13:57:46

hipppy - dd's school doesn't do sub levels, but her end yr 9 target has been raised from 7 to 8 as the teacher says they're pretty much all working at level 7 already. It seems like they really do zip along and have pretty high expectations - there's also been more homework for French than other subjects, I'd say.

I guess another difference is that dd's school only offers French, no other MFLs, whereas in a lot of schools I think the top set are generally offered a second MFL in yr 8/9 with a view to continuing to GCSE.

hippppy Fri 03-Jul-15 15:49:50

My sons school isn't the best. Special measures comp. saying that, the French teacher has gone out of her way to offer my son extra work and there is even talk of private Latin lessons for him too. (Hopefully for gcse!) His school only does French and Spanish but there isn't enough interest in Spanish as a GCSE so they have dropped it - my son is gutted!

Thank you Takver, does it all change with how they are marked next year? Sounds as if your child is in a good school, I know at ours a level 7 is rare in anything and an 8 is almost unheard of! My son is quite level obsessed, I would hate for him to just have to sit at a 7 until the end of year 9.

I still think from what I have read a level 7 in French is very very high.. He didn't show an interest until this new teacher. Even if it is somehow inflated I am glad he is happy and enjoying languages ( I hated French as a child.. All I know is how to ask for a kilo of apples!grin)

Takver Fri 03-Jul-15 17:18:25

<shrugs> DD's school is 'requires improvement' I think (and from the last inspection has over 40% of pupils starting with reading age under 9 years) - but I think they do a pretty good job on the whole in terms of teaching.

Takver Fri 03-Jul-15 17:21:00

I don't know how they're marked next year though, sorry. I guess it must involve levels (even though I thought they'd been abolished - maybe not in Wales?) as their targets are set that way.

sunseeker66 Fri 03-Jul-15 18:08:10

Level 7 in French sounds marvellous.

DD's just took a test and she was told she was just a couple of marks away from the highest level you can get in Year 8, what ever that may be!

She can't really say much to me in French though confused

Takver Fri 03-Jul-15 23:05:48

sunseeker, I think they start with an advantage in French in that because so many are bilingual (most of dd's group are in the welsh language stream) it's easier to learn another language.

They also seem to do an awful lot more work on grammar in Welsh lessons as opposed to English - probably because most don't speak Welsh at home - so they understand the nuts and bolts of language a bit more perhaps.

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