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How are GCSE targets set?

(29 Posts)
LeChien Wed 21-Oct-15 13:52:17

I've asked at ds1's school, and no-one seems to know.
His targets are Bs, which concerns me as he is not academic at all, and Bs seem very unrealistic.
How do I find out how they are set?

LeChien Wed 21-Oct-15 13:54:40

Sorry, more info!
He's in yr 10, but these have been his targets since he started secondary.
He got 4s in his SATS, and it was a push to get him to that level.

gymboywalton Wed 21-Oct-15 13:58:10

at my son's school they start off based on sats and are then adjusted as they go along.
so my eldest left primary with level 4s across the board and his initial targets were all level 6 at the end of year9. He made fab progress and made level7/8 at the end of year 9 so his targets are now for as and a*

my younger son got 5s across the board at sats and so his targets are now for 7's and the end of ks3 and as at the end of ks4

they are also meant to be aspirational.

i wouldn't worry about a high target-at least you know he's being pushed and encouraged.

TalkinPeece Wed 21-Oct-15 13:58:19

Secondary schools pretty much ignore SATs

they use their CAT testing

if he's in year 10, they will have at least 9 sets of tests by now that they track and know how those turn into GCSEs

if you've been given "monitoring" once or twice a year, that will have shown his tracking

at Parents evening they will be able to show you his tracking - but with the massive data sets and number crunching that schools have to hand now, they are pretty accurate.

Remember that a B grade is two from the top, a low B is pretty much on par from a solid set of normal SATs

OddBoots Wed 21-Oct-15 13:59:52

I don't know if it is still relevant as the government seems to enjoy shifting goalposts to breaking point but this table shows what the government expectations were. This shows a L4 at KS2 needs a minimum of a C at GCSE to make expected progress so a B would be needed to get any 'value added;.

flatmouse Wed 21-Oct-15 14:01:06

At DS school the predicted/target GCSE grades are still set based on SATs results plus formula. Very frustrating and demoralising for him in subjects where he is far outperforming the predicted grade - and a worry for 6th form entry.

LeChien Wed 21-Oct-15 14:06:22

Thank you.
If I understand correctly, the target (in his case B) is what they say he's capable of, however, his work shows he is aiming for Cs, but his reports show that he's not even on target for Cs.
It's all very confusing.

ilovelamp2 Wed 21-Oct-15 14:07:01

If he's in year 10 then his Maths and English grades will be reported as numbers not letters. At our school a MEG (minimum expected grade) is set from KS2 SATS (well for now anyway!). We then use Midyis and teacher assessments to set an aspirational target grade. Hope that helps.

LeChien Wed 21-Oct-15 14:08:18

Ds is finding it demoralising that his teachers all think he's capable of Bs, when he's not.
He has some processing difficulties which are not being supported at all, because his targets show that all's well confused, even though his performance in class isn't matching that at all.

LeChien Wed 21-Oct-15 14:09:19

I saw his HOY last week who gave me his targets as letters.
More confused than ever! grin

TalkinPeece Wed 21-Oct-15 14:11:19

If he's in year 10 then his Maths and English grades will be reported as numbers not letters.
No, that is the current year 9 and below.

If he is finding his targets demoralising, request a meeting with his pastoral tutor and get them changed
its all finger in the air guesswork until the year 11 mocks anyway

LeChien Wed 21-Oct-15 14:17:11

Talkin, I've asked how to do that, but I get the impression that the HOY thinks I'm not seeing his potential and I'm somehow putting him down unfairly when it comes to his academic ability.
This is the boy who until a year ago was 4 years behind with his reading!
He has loads of potential, tons of it, but he's still not academic at all.

LeChien Wed 21-Oct-15 14:18:07

I will ask again though.
Sorry, really bloody frustrated with the school at the moment!

ilovelamp2 Wed 21-Oct-15 14:34:33

Talking peace - I can assure you that it is the current Year 10 who have started the new courses and gradings in maths and English. I am an English teacher!

titchy Wed 21-Oct-15 14:36:15

Talking current year 10s are the first cohort to get numbers for English and Maths. Current year 9 get numbers for everything, so what lamp2 said was correct.

Electrolux2 Wed 21-Oct-15 14:41:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeChien Wed 21-Oct-15 14:53:36

Ds's targets were definitely given as letters.
It's an academy if that makes a difference.

TalkinPeece Wed 21-Oct-15 14:53:43

Blimey, I'm glad my baby is in year 11
so summer after next the poor kids will have some grade A* and some grade 9 as being excellent
what an omnishambles

Do you get effort and behaviour grades in the monitoring : could he strive for excellence in those and just ignore the academic for a bit?

noblegiraffe Wed 21-Oct-15 17:16:29

The school are idiots. They should never have given him the targets generated from KS2 data. (I've mentioned this on a few threads lately!)

Those targets are average targets which will be accurate when averaged out over a large sample, e.g. the whole of Y11. They are not supposed to be applied to individuals. Some people will meet their targets, some will exceed and some will fail to meet their targets and that's all expected. Not because these kids have done particularly well or poorly, but because of how they work. And this is why they shouldn't be given to individuals. Your DS should be given realistic target grades based on his performance at secondary school, not plucked from a computer who has never met him.

LeChien Wed 21-Oct-15 17:32:41

Talkin, yes, we are trying to help him reach his potential, but when his teachers believe the targets, they are labelling him as lazy, unmotivated, distracting etc, rather than seeing who he actually is, and will not accept at all that he needs support, something we've been trying to get for nearly 10 years!

Although at the moment work takes second place as he's being given detentions for playing rough with another boy. The boy who keeps targeting him and getting him to the floor, when he's not stabbing him with a pen, but because ds giggles (nervous, and covering up how he feels - something else we've been trying to flag up for years) it is obviously a mutual game hmm.
Anyway, sorry, that has nothing to do with GCSE targets.

LeChien Wed 21-Oct-15 17:33:47

And meant to say his effort grades are poor because he is unable to keep up with. A. Lot of the work. But, you know, he's a lazy boy, needs to pull his socks up [hmm\

TalkinPeece Wed 21-Oct-15 17:38:47

Anyway, sorry, that has nothing to do with GCSE targets.
Its EVERYTHING to do with GCSE targets : because his emotional issues are getting in the way of his academic ones.
Boys need cattle prods to make them work grin
they need to feel as secure as possible.

Request an appointment with his pastoral tutor and refuse to get up from the chair till they amend his predictions to reflect HIM not a geeky programme

And register a complaint about the bullying - as that is what it is.

can't you tell I've got a boy who is young and immature in his year group so feel your pain

lifesalongsong Wed 21-Oct-15 17:46:34

As I understand it it's not in the schools interest to be unrealistic about grades as they need to sure to get the Cs in maths and English (old grades) and for what you say your son may be borderline to achieve that.

I think it's just Maths and English that will be numerical grades for current year 10s, maybe the school is more comfortable with using the system they know, being an academy shouldn't make any difference.

It's silly for them to say they don't know where the Bs come from, they must do unless all pupils are predicted a B for every subject

LeChien Wed 21-Oct-15 17:56:40

Lifes, I agree, surely it would be in their best interest to predict lower grades so they can show how much they've improved him!

I've been on the phone and emailed a couple of times a week this term.
Communication has been better in the past, it's getting ridiculous now. He already school refuses occasionally, but instead of offering support (like we keep bloody asking for!) we were told by the attendance lady to make sure we get him in. If it was that simple, he wouldn't be refusing surely?

This has just turned into a rant thread now!

lifesalongsong Wed 21-Oct-15 18:03:04

It would be a drastic solution but would moving schools be an option?

Your schools sounds totally hopeless at communication which must make you question how good they are at teaching and whether you can trust them to do the best for your son

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