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Predicted grades - what does it all mean?

(18 Posts)
minesawine Fri 17-Jul-15 13:49:37

Hello - Yesterday I got the end of year 9 report for my DC and it stated her GCSE predicted grades, which were between B and A*. However in the commentary on English, Maths and Science it said that she may not achieve the predicted grades (I am presuming unless she works harder). It was a bit unclear and school finishes today.

Can you please explain what the school means by predicted grades. How easy is it to move up or down from predicted grades? Do they change the predictions regularly or are we stuck with these predictions. What does this mean for the final GCSE exam in year 11, if she is predicted a B in English but gets an A, what does this mean for the school, are the predictions deliberately set lower so that the school looks better if they are higher?

wickedwaterwitch Fri 17-Jul-15 13:59:59

They can easily move up and down - where they matter is when you come to apply for sixth form, if your child isn't staying where they are. Sixth forms ask for predicted grades and may provisionally offer a place based in them. So ideally you want them as high as possible! Actual places are based on points and actual grades though but sometimes sixth forms decide to interview based on predicted grades

They're a guess basically.

wickedwaterwitch Fri 17-Jul-15 14:00:45

and B and A* sound like good grades to me

millionsofpeaches Fri 17-Jul-15 14:08:28

In my experience target grades are based on achievement in ks2 sats results, predicted grades are a teacher assessment of where they see the student ending up and current grade is usually from a combination of coursework and end of year exams or mocks. However some school may use target and predicted grades as synonymous which can be confusing.

Basically predicted grades mean nothing apart from giving you as a parent an idea of what your child should be aiming for if they knuckle down and work hard. I'm guessing your dd's teachers think she is capable of good grades as long as she focuses and works hard in year 11.

millionsofpeaches Fri 17-Jul-15 14:15:52

Also, predicted grades are not used as a measure by the school on league tables etc. League tables are solely based on what was achieved by the pupil as the final gcse result and progress from KS2 level.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 17-Jul-15 14:18:12

AFAIK (someone correct me if I'm wrong) the predictions don't make any difference at all to how the school looks - the 'added value' is versus their yr7 starting point, and the league tables are obviously the actual results. IME they will generally try to be reasonably accurate but if anything err on the side of high, so as to give the pupil something to aim for, and minimise the risk of 'slide'.

rainbowstardrops Fri 17-Jul-15 14:24:35

At my ds' school, they are based on the KS2 sats results.
They're ridiculous because each tracking point gets colour coded to show if the child is on target to achieve it. My DS' predictive grades were pretty high and it was quite demoralising to see quite a lot of red or amber colour codes along the way as I think it sends mixed messages.
As long as he's continuosly making progress then that's fine with me smile

ErrolTheDragon Fri 17-Jul-15 14:37:36

That's ridiculous, no way should GCSE predictions be based on KS2 results. How can that possibly make sense for eg languages or technology? confused

I think DDs school did it by correlating their yr9 levels for each subject against the yr9 levels and eventual grades of previous years.

millionsofpeaches Fri 17-Jul-15 14:53:26

It is ridiculous, but that is how the government measure a school's performance. All schools are measured in this way and target grades are calculated in this way in most schools.

I worked at a crap challenging boys secondary modern equivalent and none of the pupils have a target grade of less than a B, even the ones with additional needs who struggle to write a coherent sentence!

Anyway that's for another thread...

QOD Fri 17-Jul-15 15:02:21

My dd was predicted B in every subject from yr 7 at grammar. I asked her
Teachers why as friends who'd been put in lower sets had got predicted A's too.
They told me as she was given level 4b score by primary on leaving (even though she scored 5 in the SATs but that's another story ... )
Anyway, after getting over my irritation at her primary school down grading her, I realised that psychologically it was far better for her to be amber and green rather than red and amber if her predicted grades were A.and A*
She's done hers and they all seem to be expecting A from her which makes her feel like she's exceeded herself rather than met expectation if you know what I mean

ErrolTheDragon Fri 17-Jul-15 15:31:26

peaches, they may use ks2 for 'target' but the predicted grade should be something based on their ks3 performance.

Maybe you can tell quite a bit about whether a school is concerned more about its targets than each individual pupil achieving their potential from this sort of stuff. Ironically of course, it's the schools that focus on the latter which are likelier to be the ones that end up with solid results.

catslife Fri 17-Jul-15 16:59:54

IMO they shouldn't really be giving out sheets at the end of term without explaining what they mean. There could be info on the school website about this or in your child's planner.
dd has just finished Y10 and has 3 grades listed. A minimum target grade based on computer projections from KS2 SATS. This grade does not change and is used for league table purposes. If a pupil does much better than this at the end of Y11 then this increases the school's value added score for league tables. The schools cannot change or adjust this grade.
The predicted grade has changed over the past year was initially based on results at the end of Y9 but has been adjusted over the past year as GCSE assessments and mock exams have been completed.
There is also a Challenge Grade (which dd may not reach) but which could be what she may achieve on a good day iyswim.

noblegiraffe Fri 17-Jul-15 17:06:00

I'm a but confused as to why they would be predicting lettter grades for maths and English, when a Y9 student will be sitting the new gcse with a numerical grade.

Computer generated grades predicted from KS2 results should not under any circumstances be shared with parents. They are a prediction used to measure the progress of a large cohort of students, not an individual student.

Teacher predicted grades are a teacher's current best guess about how a student might progress at GCSE. Teachers, like everyone else, cannot actually see the future and therefore any prediction made two years ahead should be taken with a hefty pinch of salt. A lot can happen either way in two years.

millionsofpeaches Fri 17-Jul-15 18:08:07

Errol- yes predicted grade should be based on a teacher assessment of current , past and future attainment based on a whole load of things. The trouble is that all Ofsted care about is the targets and don't give a monkeys whether Callum, who got level 5 at KS3, now has to care for his two younger brothers so can't study so much, or Emily who always tries her hardest, simply won't make all that many levels of progress despite everyone's best efforts. It's just not that simple and I hate the whole system. Sorry rant over blush

TeenAndTween Fri 17-Jul-15 21:16:22

DD's predicted grades were the grade that the teacher thought she was most likely to achieve, based on current attainment, work ethic and progress.

Over y10/y11 almost all subjects moved in their predictions at least once (reported end of each term). Most went down a grade, some went down then back up, one subject went up. DD had a learning difficulty which became more apparent during GCSE years and was only diagnosed y11, so it is not surprising her predictions dropped.

How accurate the final predictions were remains to be seen ...

RunAwayHome Fri 17-Jul-15 21:41:56

I saw a pupil's report today from one school that had several grades for each subject - the target grade, based on earlier testing (KS2 or possibly early yr7 cat tests), the predicted grade, based on teacher predictions, an aspirational prediction, where they might get to with lots of extra work, and a current grade, based on exam results. It wasn't at all clear what was what, especially for the current grade, because although it was given as a letter grade like a real GCSE, it was hard to tell whether it was based on exams that covered only the material that they had done to date, or a full GCSE, and also whether it had been marked to the same standard as a real GCSE, or whether it had been marked based on a yr10 expectation of what would ultimately get them that grade in yr11.

As a result, the pupil and her friends were all taking the best possible interpretation - seeing that their KS2 results predicted a B, seeing that the aspirational grade says they might be capable of a C or B, seeing that their current grade was an E, but them assuming that it meant that with another year of work it would probably be a C (whereas I'm not sure it was marked quite in that way), and ignoring the fact that the teacher predicted grade was still a D if they kept on working the way they were. The take-home message for this child was that things were fine. She hears what she wants to hear, and what she wanted to hear was that she could get the magical C in English even if she did no more work that she was currently doing.

Sometimes I think a simpler report, with fewer data points to analyse and track and colour code, would be more effective. This child needed to be told clearly that while she was capable of a C, without a whole lot more work, she would not get it.

totallybewildered Sat 18-Jul-15 20:30:24

predicted grades are based on a national formula dreamt up by a couple of ignorant boneheads, highly qualified in producing gobbledygook, and bare no relationship what so ever to the actual child.

They are likely to be based on ks2 result, are cat tests taken at the start of year 7.

They mean nothing, ignore them.

TeenAndTween Sat 18-Jul-15 22:09:21

totally Not at our school. Target grades, (which are kept quiet from student and parent) might be from a formula, but predicted grades are as I said upthread, based on attainment, effort and progress.
DD would have had a target of C for maths, but was predicted an A (I am expecting a B).

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