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Targets in Y7/Y8 to gain get into a good/RG university ?

(10 Posts)
Aigle Thu 16-Jun-16 11:47:47

DS is about to finish Y7 (state) and it has be underwhelming at best. He is bored in most classes, and the 'nurturing' school seems to have fairly unambitious lessons and expectations. The homework provided gives options to produce at level 4 or 5 or occasionally 6. I am not so familair with the levels system, which doesn't seem to be dying the death it was promised, but my fear is that he will coast through secondary at low levels with the perception that he is doing well, but ultimately insufficient academic progress to get into a good uni?

So working backwards from uni, what kind of levels should he be attaining to get good GCSE results leading to good A levels leading to a good university. I did not go through the UK education system myself, and find measuring progress and attainment very very confusing.

RedHelenB Thu 16-Jun-16 12:51:29

I m sure he will be fine as long as he works for his GCSEs when the time comes.I really dont think any special pushing is needed to get into Russell group unis from y7if he has got the brains and knows how & when yo use them.

Autumnsky Thu 16-Jun-16 13:01:34

For current GCSE, I think DC need to have most A*/A on GCSE, then AAA(maybe AAB is fine) for 3 A level, in order to get into a good university. However, the grading system is changing to 1-9 now. Nobody know what grade you need for a good university, as it is new system.

But for my opinion, it is hard to follow these grading , levels. A easy way is to find out more information about the school your DC attend. What percentage of A*/A on each subject? If the GCSE result for your DC's school is 30% A*/A in math, then if there are 100 children, which means around 30 students in a year group has the chance to get a A*/A in math, if you DC is on top set and doing well, then he is likely to get a A*/A in this subject, then you don't need to worry.

I was not educated in UK either, I found it's hard to follow DS's progress once he is in secondary, so my solutions is just make sure it is a good school, and DS is on top of the class.

catslife Thu 16-Jun-16 14:33:44

GCSEs are currently changing from grades A*-G to 9-1. Also A levels are changing as well to a linear qualification. These changes will make it much more difficult to work out this many years in advance.
By all means talk to your son about university, but with the coming changes it is much harder to predict and it's possible that dcs who would have made it to "top" unis in the past will no longer do so.
Does the school have a sixth form and publish which unis pupils go to when they leave? That may help.

esornep Thu 16-Jun-16 14:43:36

I think DC need to have most A*/A on GCSE, then AAA(maybe AAB is fine) for 3 A level, in order to get into a good university.

It's true that you need AAB+ at A level to get into most top 20-30 courses in any given subject. It's not true that you need mostly As and A stars at GCSE - this depends heavily on the subject. Many courses which are not heavily over-subscribed such as languages, sciences etc will take students with the required A level grades, without caring too much about GCSEs. So students will usually have As and A stars in the subjects they continued to A level but may well have Bs and the odd C in other subjects.

Tigerblue Thu 16-Jun-16 15:08:11

DD (now in Year 10) went into secondary with level 5s in English, Maths & Science (they didn't sit a level 6 paper in her school). At the end of Year 8 (for the subjects she's continued with only) her levels were English 6.25, Maths 6.75, Science 7.5, Art 6.5, Ethics 6.5, French 7, Geography 7.25, Music 6. Her predicted GCSE grades are English Lang high 8, English Lit 8, Maths 7/8, Physics A, Biology A, chemistry B, Art A/B, Ethics A*, French A/B, Music B and Geography A*. These grades could go up or down, but hopefully it'll give you an idea of how she's progressed.

To go into sixth form you need at least a B in your chosen subject and their changing it to an A in Maths. Rumour has it they will raise the grade in other subjects in the future.

It maybe the school settle them in gently and make sure all the basics are covered before putting pressure on. DD's school have always had extension work for the top sets in English and Maths, so if he's finding it easy it might be worth asking if he can be offered extra work.

amidawish Thu 16-Jun-16 15:14:08

yr7 is often an easy cruising year where the schools focus on them settling in, encouraging extra curricular and take the pressure off the academic side if the intake is generally bright (level 4 & 5s in yr6 SATS).

how does the school do at GCSE? not the % who get 5 A-Cs which is widely published but what % is A/A* and A*-B per subject at GCSE. That will give you a clearer picture.

Aigle Mon 20-Jun-16 12:11:27

Thank you everyone, very helpful. School statistics are not brilliant.

Tigerblue, thanks for the 9-1 scores which I am struggling to get my head around. Is a child achieving Level 7 (for example) in Y8 at the same level of knowledge as a child achieving Level 7 in (for example) Y10? Presumably Level 9 in "full knowledge" of the subject at GCSE.

Badbadbunny Mon 20-Jun-16 12:36:10

Just look at the marks he gets for his homework, progress tests and end of year test.

If the teachers mark homework on A-E basis, then for a good uni, he should be looking at regular A or A*. If they give numeric marks, i.e. out of 20 or as a percentage, you need to be looking at 80% plus, i.e. 8 out of 10 or 16 out of 20. If he's achieving that kind of mark across the board in most subjects throughout the year and at the year end tests, then he's well on his way to a good set of GCSEs and A levels.

The school will be setting work and marking according to their average ability set, so as long as he stays in the top proportion of his peer group, he'll turn out fine and heading for a top uni.

Just be wary of getting scores between 50-75% or B/C grades. The teachers are generally happy with that kind of score and are unlikely to highlight it as a problem, but he could well just be coasting along in the middle of his peer group, which may or may not be good enough for your/his aspirations.

Even better, some schools give the class average marks in the last report of the year together with the child's own marks for the end of year tests - that's good in that you see whether he's above average, below average or average compared to his class-mates, which again gives you a good sense of where he stands in the class.

swingofthings Mon 20-Jun-16 14:33:59

Levels attained are individually set, so teaching shouldn't be on the basis of what should be attained at the end of the year for the whole class but about progress individual child makes through the year (which is a positive to the British system compared for instance to the French model).

What matters is where your DS is in relation to the level he achieved at end the end of primary school. Level 4/5 would be normal and even good for a language as they are starting from scratch. A good level in Maths/English would be 6, an excellent level would be 7.

So keep in mind that Year 7 is often a slow year, aiming at settling kids into secondary school culture. Year 8 still seem to be a bit slow, but things to pick up a lot in Year 9.

I was worried like you after DD finished year 7 (in the local comprehensive, ok school). At end of year 8, I was even more concerned, but she is now just finishing her GCSEs and I have been massively impressed with the education she's received in the last two years, especially this year. She is expected all As and A*s so am much more relaxed about DS who is finishing year 8 and hardly seems to be any further along than when he finished Year 6.

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