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Yr 9 progress concern

(9 Posts)
nursiecat Mon 24-Oct-16 13:38:54

English has always been my Dds favourite subject and she has always done well in it. She was given level 7 (old levels) at the end of yr 8 and has always been top set.

This year she has a maternity cover teacher. She has been given a level 5 and I had a letter of concern regarding her progress from the head teacher.

I have suggested Dd speaks to her teacher to establish how she can improve, but she is really upset and says she just wants to move down a set as morale and enthusiasum in her class is so low. She also said nobody got higher than a 5+, which appears to be very low for top set yr 9.

Not sure what to do?

Ionacat Mon 24-Oct-16 15:47:05

Contact the head of English. It is probably easier to set out your concerns in an email and ask the Head of English to give you a ring to discuss them. (It gives them a chance to find your DD's exercise book, data, assessments etc.) I suspect the head of English is already onto this as a whole class dropping that low will have sent alarm bells ringing, but there is no harm in discussing how your DD could improve especially since she wants to move down a set.

myfavouritecolourispurple Mon 24-Oct-16 16:07:01

How can you go from level 7 to level 5 in six weeks? Ok I know the holidays were inbetween but really?

Something is wrong - and I don't think it's with the kids! Why on earth has the head sent a letter without investigating first? Why has the head sent a letter at all, why has the teacher or head of dept not contacted you?

Very strange.

eyebrowsonfleek Mon 24-Oct-16 16:12:33

Are you sure that level 5 isn't a new GCSE grade? My y9 top set dd is starting to be graded in terms of the new GCSE grades. (5 would be a B/C so fab on a piece of work in y9)

youarenotkiddingme Mon 24-Oct-16 16:17:37

Was going to say same as eyebrow

New level 5 is about a level 7.

But that doesn't add up with a letter of concern - unless there's been a complete communication breakdown and they didn't know how new teacher was grading!

nursiecat Mon 24-Oct-16 16:43:16

I had the letter through the post this morning, not great as i'm unable to contact anyone until next week.

Dd is sure the grade is not based on the new levels, and she is probably right, hence the letter of concern.

I think i will contact the Head of English as She taught Dd last year. Obviously if dd needs to put more effort in i will accept that, but it does appear a little odd.

youarenotkiddingme Mon 24-Oct-16 17:41:55

Id actually think it's impossible to actually drop that sort of level.

English is a outcome based assessment. For example whole class read a book and write an essay on it. Some students will pick out key facts and write a chronological report, some will add quotes to back up their report, some will add inference and some will go further than that.
Once they can infer and quote they are marked level 5/6 and then beyond that marking is on the standard of their work. Eg logical order, reasoned argument from both sides, grammar, punctuation etc.

My ds is year 8 and just about a level 4. He can't infer from text so is not able to get higher yet. His spelling is also very poor and his grammer simple.
I don't even get letters of concern!

nursiecat Mon 24-Oct-16 18:34:17

Thank you for your responses so far.

The level was not given for a one off piece of work either, it is her overall mark for this term.

In some ways i am glad it has been brought up as i can now ask some questions about the teaching. Also the possibility she has been levelled too high for the past 2 years (and all through primary school)

One girl apparently questioned why all their marks were so low and the teacher replied that she knew what she was doing as she used to be a head teacher!

Trifleorbust Mon 24-Oct-16 19:58:04

Try not to worry too much. Assessment judgements in English are highly subjective, with NC levels notorious for their lack of accuracy. Whatever your DD could do last year, she will at least be able to do this year, so there is no logical way she can actually have regressed two levels. It may be that the teacher's judgement is off, that the assessment itself didn't offer enough 'stretch', the assessment criteria were poorly explained, the content wasn't well understood, it was a particularly difficult or rushed module - there are a myriad of reasons why the result may have dropped.

The best approach is to email the Head of English, explain the concern you have and ask for an explanation. Then wait on the next assessment result. There is no reason for your DD to move sets just yet.

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