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Year 7 pupil going backwards attainment wise - help!

(22 Posts)
Youarentkiddingme Sun 07-Feb-16 19:41:50

Just that really.

DS has ASD and some SpLD alongside this. With interventions and support and through his high cognitive ability in spacial, quantitative and non verbal reasoning he's always achieved attainment wise - although he's needed wave 3 interventions to make progress previously.

In the past 6 months he's actually managed to attain lower (by between 1-3 years) in most subjects he was achieving in but maintained his attainment in maths and science.

Anyone offer any personal or professional insight into this?

I'm not looking for anything particular - just some discussion and ideas for me to think about and consider.

Thank you.

ChalkHearts Sun 07-Feb-16 19:45:31

I guess his school have changed their marking criteria. And spelling and writing is now being marked down more than it was.

noblegiraffe Sun 07-Feb-16 19:46:37

Were his previous scores the result of ongoing teacher assessment in situations where TA support was available? And the secondary scores mainly based on work or tests done independently?

BossWitch Sun 07-Feb-16 19:55:34

Most pupils experience a dip in attainment in year 7 - its usually a combination of being unsettled by the move from the one class-one teacher model of primary to the multiple classes and multiple teachers of secondary, a lower level of support than they get in primary, and more demanding assessment criteria. In English, for example, ks2 level descriptors are actually different from ks3 level descriptors. So a year 6 level 5 isn't the same as a year 7 level 5.

A drop of a couple of sublevels is something that would probably sort itself out. More than that I would say contact the school and ask for a meeting with the SENCO as the longer the drop goes on, the harder it will be for him to catch up again.

Youarentkiddingme Sun 07-Feb-16 20:08:26

The information I was given is that his average point score from ks2 was 30. (This is conversion to new system of points that correspond to numbered attainment in line with new GCSE marking). That they expect and allow some drop - especially as curriculum has changed - and his target was 29 for end of first term and is 31 for end of spring.

His attainment was 22-25 in most subjects and 18 in literacy. They expect 4 points progress a year so his attainment at end of year will be equal to or lower for most areas of the curriculum than his first terms target. This is very reliant on his making expected progress or his attainment gap will increase.

Ds used a scribe and reader for most or year 6 and for his sats. He also had extra time. His maths, reading and spag scores were sat test results and the rest TA.

They do assess at end of term in secondary but I'm not sure if results are based purely on assessment or combined with TA too.

Ds has not had reader or scribe or in year assessments, or extra time. Some teachers have allowed him to use his laptop and some has said he has to write the answers.

I agreed with maths teacher DS should write for class work and assessments but that's not an issue as his attainment first term was his target for Autumn year 8! (Based on APS but not as good as it looks as he got level 6 at sats!)

Youarentkiddingme Sun 07-Feb-16 20:10:24

Using DS planner with conversion in it would appear he's dropped 2-4 sublevels in most subjects.

minifingerz Sun 07-Feb-16 20:13:23

My ds too.


Also level 6 in maths at the end of primary. It's the only subject he's dropped fewer than two sub levels in.

noblegiraffe Sun 07-Feb-16 20:26:27

His attainment was 22-25 in most subjects and 18 in literacy.

It is entirely possible that these point scores are bobbins, based on absolutely bog-all and teachers are struggling to get to grips with a new, meaningless assessment system (how can they grade someone in line with new GCSE marking when the specifications haven't even been approved for the new GCSEs?).

However, the teachers are probably trying to tell you something with the assessments they've given being so far below his targets. They have probably translated his attainment from a rough curriculum level. It would be worth phoning the school and asking what level they think he is working at.

However, students who use scribes, have extra time and so on at KS2 will undoubtedly perform worse without them. That's why they have them! In my experience, students who have support in assessments can sometimes perform beyond how they normally present in the classroom because the reader or scribe provides a little too much help.

Youarentkiddingme Sun 07-Feb-16 20:30:12

Dsnhas reminded a level 5 in science! He's a high level 5 in maths but I suspect that's partly the change in descriptors and partly because he was always top set and now is second to top (they stream not set) so isn't keeping up the level of input. Eg the constant maths practice they do before level 6 maths SATS!

I'm not worried about his maths or science - even though they've dropped - as he's still above expected for year group in those.

The rest he's attaining below his targets and expected attainment for a child of his year group iyswim?

Youarentkiddingme Sun 07-Feb-16 20:34:39

School have given me the level and what score they give that and what grade they give that.
That's how I know it's 2-4 sublevels.

Ds reader just read the questions. She also only scribed what DS said - he had to say full stop, comma etc too! I can verify this as the writing was written in ds unique language he uses (ASD so has some pragmatic/expressive language disorder) - except this time it was legible and spelt correctly!

admission Sun 07-Feb-16 21:42:08

I think this is a mixture of what is normally expected (that attainment seems to take a dip in year 7) and concern in that dropping 2-4 sub levels is a lot under any way you want to measure it.
I think you probably need to talk to the school SENCO to establish what levels they were expecting your child to be at and why they believe he has dropped so much. Getting to grips with this now, to establish whether this is a problem or just a dip, is going to save a lot more heartache later on if he starts to fall even further behind.
If the SENCO cannot give good reasons for the drop and confidence that the school expect son to bounce back, then you will need to escalate to Head of House or whoever is next in the pecking order at the school.

ChalkHearts Mon 08-Feb-16 05:51:19

If he used to have a reader and a scribe and extra time, and now he doesn't of course his grade will drop significantly.

You need to speak to the senco, but I'm not sure what the answer is. Secondary schools don't have class TAs like primaries do.

Actually I am sure what the answer is. He needs to improve his reading and writing. And that's what you need to be talking to the senco about.

Youarentkiddingme Mon 08-Feb-16 07:03:09

He had a reader and scribe - not for everything, mostly literacy and during sats because he'd been having wave3 interventions and still didn't make enough progress.

He would write for himself for some literacy as part of the plan. Eg someone would talk through with him ideas, get him to start it verbally and then he would finish writing. He had a scribe for sats because his writing is illegible - especially at speed. The EP said he has difficulties with planning and processing and getting ideas from head to page.
He uses a laptop now.

He had an IEP (I know these no longer exist) and was on Sen register for ASD and SpLD.

Even with a scribe his work was only average - which makes sense as his verbal reasoning skills are below average.

What can I reasonably expect from school?

ChalkHearts Mon 08-Feb-16 07:24:23

A reading intervention (often secondaries use RWI fresh start)

A spelling intervention.

A writing intervention.

To be able to use his laptop.

Not much else. He's unlikely to be able to talk to someone to help plan his ideas. He's unlikely to be able to have a reader or a scribe.

His poor literacy will effect all his grades across the board. That can't be a surprise to you. If you can't read and writ well you will do badly at school, no matter how bright you are.

What did you think would happen to him In secondary? Did you discuss any of this with his primary senco, when you were discussing transition?

ChalkHearts Mon 08-Feb-16 07:38:34

You need to be thinking long term. School isn't about his Y7 levels. You need to think about GCSEs and work.

Do you think he's got the skills he needs for work? If not, what does he need? Obviously in the work place you don't get a reader or a scribe or extra time. Are his literacy skills good enough for the kind of job he's likely to want to do?

Equally for GCSEs you can't talk to someone to help plan your work.

So really think about what he needs to learn how to do, then discuss with the SENCO what can before at school, and what you'll have to do at home.

Youarentkiddingme Mon 08-Feb-16 07:59:40

Thank you.

In actual fact DS is on a plan. The counties version of non statutory EHCP. (That's another thread)

He went to secondary with a transfer of this plan and clear documentation of what skills he still needed to learn.

They gave him a laptop and sent him on his way.

They offer him 1 hour after school support for ELSA and spelling intervention.

I've met with senco and discussed why he's suddenly getting nothing because he was having all of above and got replies about how I'm an anxious parent and they have expertise in ASD and trust them.

Then they gave me his targets and attainment.

So I asked what we could do to support DS as he was really behind his attainment targets.

They removed the data.

I wanted to see if others agreed that a child with difficulties in reading and spelling and writing/verbal communication should be getting support to learn these skills when previous attainment shows he has the ability to progress and bridge the gap with interventions. I also agree it will affect his ability across the curriculum and his final exams if he can't and isn't at least supported to be given a chance of communicating his knowledge.

I have another meeting this week.

ChalkHearts Mon 08-Feb-16 08:06:57

Yes, he should be getting support with his reading, spelling and communication.

I'm having similar discussions with the SENCO and like you am finding it very hard to get them to implement what they promise to do.

insan1tyscartching Mon 08-Feb-16 12:44:17

Dd has ASD, she has a statement and so TA support in all lessons. She isn't making expected progress either. My thoughts are that she was given aspirational targets (predicted A/A* before the change) which don't take into account the ASD. Ridiculously in dd's school she isn't considered to have any barriers to learning in spite of having a statement because she reads/writes/spells/is numerate at a good level and has no behavioural difficulties. The other reason she isn't making expected progress is that so much of her energy and focus is used coping with the environment and she has nothing left for learning.
Slowly I'm getting the school to see the difficulties and adjustments are being made dd has a reduced timetable which was denied initially because of her having no need for numeracy or literacy intervention and she is having resources pre prepared to cut down on the volume of work required,she does much of her homework in school with the TA and there is consideration given as to which aspects of the curricculum she is able to cope with.and adjustments are made when needed.

insan1tyscartching Mon 08-Feb-16 13:05:52

I think my experience probably illustrates the benefit of having a statement/ EHCP more than anything else tbh.

Youarentkiddingme Mon 08-Feb-16 15:53:50

Funnily enough insnaity I've just completed my request ready to send this week!

I emailed the senco from juniors and asked how much in terms of hours he got. He was having minimum of 15.5 hours but it wasn't all 1:1. Although Sen base is available to him he only gets 40 minutes ELSA and 20 minutes spelling support a week down from what was 9 hours if you take off nurture group and ELSA from that time.

Youarentkiddingme Mon 08-Feb-16 15:54:55

They'd also denied reduced timetable and insist on him learning 2 MFL when he doesn't yet have a full fraspmofnthe English one grin

insan1tyscartching Mon 08-Feb-16 16:23:17

Well dd is thriving in French,the echolalia has been incredibly useful grin and she has a very authentic accent, She doesn't do PE at all, refused and then we decided there were bigger battles worth winning. She has dropped history, too gory couldn't cope with the content and won't be continuing at GCSE so she has a half day on Wednesday which is an incentive to her going in regularly as we were on the verge of her refusing. In biology she completes the work on plants but nothing to do with human/animals as she faints.
Fundamentally it boils down to the fact that either they made adjustments or she would refuse to attend. Of course refusing to attend would mean that I'd need home tuition to cover her full time statement which means the LA gives the school no choice but to make every adjustment necessary.

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