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KS3 - KS4 Flight Paths

(62 Posts)
lookatmeimsandradee Wed 14-Dec-16 17:31:57

Ive just had dd first progress report (year 8)
It's all changed and I think Ive got my head round most of it.

The flightpaths that the children are assigned (Mastery, Secure, Developing, Foundation, Entry) are supposed to give an indication of what the GCSE levels they should achieve.
When I asked my dd what "flightpath" she is on for each subject, she didn't know.
It's not written in the progress report either. All I have is Needs to improve, good progress, excellent progress.

For those with better understanding

Should the school be telling me what flight path she's on
Am I allowed to know (I want to know)
Is the information going to appear at a later date in the year (after year end exams maybe)
Any help gratefully received before I email the school.

MooPointCowsOpinion Wed 14-Dec-16 17:34:49

I think every school is different, so it will depend on the school.

Is it definitely not on one of the pieces of paper in the report, there can be a separate 'guide' sometimes.

It would be nice to know what flight path she's on, it's great to know she's progressing well for example, but if she's progressing well against an entry flight path that's obviously actually a bit of a concern, compared to a Secure flight path.

lookatmeimsandradee Wed 14-Dec-16 17:39:21

This is my thoughts, there are a couple of 'needs progress', if she is on master or secure, then I'm not too worried.
However if its on foundation then I am concerned

tribpot Wed 14-Dec-16 17:45:33

I would email the school. We have just had a similarly cryptic report come through with no mention of flightpaths (despite the school making a big deal out of them at parents' evening). The assistant headteacher has written me a very lengthy response to explain why flightpaths weren't included (but the independent learner level was, which we'd never heard mentioned before). I get the impression the goalposts were moving about reports up until the last second and there was no time for them to reflect properly on what they were sending out and whether anyone would be able to make sense of it.

Only way for them to know that you're concerned is to let them know.

noblegiraffe Wed 14-Dec-16 17:51:26

My school did something similar, it has been pointed out that a parent who is told that their child is making good progress is going to be pretty pissed off come GCSE time when they find out that their child is making good progress towards a fail grade at GCSE.

The problem is that schools don't want to issue GCSE targets to KS3 kids because a) the targets are a bunch of arse and b) even if giving GCSE target grades for GCSE exams that have never been sat before wasn't stupid, giving GCSE target grades to KS3 kids who have not even started the GCSE course and are years away from GCSE is stupid.

But since levels were scrapped, schools have no other targets and no other way of measuring progress.

You can ask the school what GCSE levels they are expecting your DD to achieve, but actually you'll already have an idea of that from her KS2 results which are what will have been used to generate the targets that the school are hiding from you.

lookatmeimsandradee Wed 14-Dec-16 18:04:03

Thanks noblegiraffe & all
"but actually you'll already have an idea of that from her KS2 results which are what will have been used to generate the targets that the school are hiding from you."

KS2 results.... I don't know how these equate to 'possible' gcse results.

noblegiraffe Wed 14-Dec-16 18:18:25

If she got the expected levels at KS2 (4b if she's Y8) then she would be expected to get expected levels at KS3 (Cs in old money, however they've raised the pass grade so more kids will fail). If she got above that, she should do better than a C at GCSE, if she got below that, she'd be more likely to fail.

That's a rough explanation of expected progress over 5 years at secondary school. Obviously a lot can happen in that time.

What actually happens is that KS2 results are added together, calculations are done and predictions are made for GCSE results down to fine grades. These predictions change each year based on how each Y11 cohort actually do that year. But these targets are what the school are measured against and should not be shared with parents as they are only accurate averaged out across a large number of students.

noblegiraffe Wed 14-Dec-16 18:19:12

That should have said 'expected grades at KS4' in the first paragraph.

Cat0115 Wed 14-Dec-16 18:24:12

In old money-if your DC attained a level 5 at Primary KS2 then expected progress (3 levels) would result in a B. Exceeeding would be 4lp resulting in an A. Now (for English and Maths in 2017, anyone (in current y11) who attained a 5 at ks2 must now get 5 levels (so attaining an 8). I know 5 + 5 is not 8 BUT the new GCSE boundaries don't really map logically. Nobody knows any grade boundaries (except they will be in line with national figures proportion wise). These will be calculated AFTER the whole cohort has been marked. The higher attaining pupils (e.g grammar schools and similar)will be hammered on progress. So,in short,no school has any idea of flightpath (and English is not a linear subject in any case). Can't speak for any other subjects....
Working in M and S looking VERY attractive!

SeaweedSa1ad Wed 14-Dec-16 21:51:42

Thanks noble and Cat for clarifying. I've a DD in year 9 about to choose GCSEs soon, so am interested in this.

But Cat what do you mean by "grammar schools and similar will be hammered on progress"? Won't grammar kids still be making progress from old money level 5s and 6s to new GCSE 7s, 8s and 9s? Please explain?

SeaweedSa1ad Wed 14-Dec-16 21:52:22

Apologies for slight thread hijack...

mishmash1979 Wed 14-Dec-16 21:57:06

Same year group here and never heard of flight paths. Progressing well and handing in homework so not worried. Predicted grades are just that and no matter what school tell you her "flight plan" is as long as your daughter is enjoying school and working hard I wouldn't worry.

Cat0115 Thu 15-Dec-16 06:31:08

All primary level 5s are not equal. Some pupils are coached very heavily and the results are for reading ability not writing. 5 levels to an 8 is a huge ask. An 8 at GCSE is the same quality as an old A*. 50% of marks are for writing... punctation and grammar. Students must be highly sophisticated writers (think publishable standard in terms of wide and accurate punctuation use,for example). A 9 is almost full marks (current figures suggest only dropping one mark on a paper marked out if 80). The marking in 2017 has also moved from 'best fit' to 'fulfil all criteria'.The papers are available in exam board websites...have a peep and then do the paper for the 'Full English Experience'!

Cat0115 Thu 15-Dec-16 06:40:19

Just realised I didn't actually answer your Q! Children will of COURSE make progress from Primary to GCSE but not 'enough' under the new targets set by the government. On progress league tables (progress 8)you will see Grammar type schools lower than others. Lower attaining pupils have to make relatively less progress than higher. So a pupil starting on a KS2 level 3 only needs to make 3 lps. A 4 needs to make 4...and a 5 ..5. I need to draw you a diagram for the rest but need to set off for work!

DoctorDonnaNoble Thu 15-Dec-16 07:02:34

Not all grammars will be 'hammered on progress'.

MollyHuaCha Thu 15-Dec-16 07:19:44

Flight paths? What nonsense...

eyebrowsonfleek Thu 15-Dec-16 07:22:43

Ours comes with an actual graph with MDG (minimum destination grade based on KS2 results)
My gut reaction as a parent of older kids is that there is a lot of guess work involved in plotting the flight path before y11 (especially as teachers have no data about the new GCSEs)

lookatmeimsandradee Thu 15-Dec-16 08:14:57

Eye but do you know what 'flight path ' your child is on?

TeenAndTween Thu 15-Dec-16 08:22:24

OP, I've had one DD go through the system and another just starting in y7.

'Flight path' is just a fancy way of saying general-targeted-GCSE-grade-not-actually-specific-to-your-child.

If your child got L4 or higher in KS2 SATs and is making at least expected progress, they will be expected to pass (C min grade old money) their GCSEs.

Any other GCSE predictions at this point in y8 are finger in the air anyway.

My DD1 outdid predictions by an average of at least 0.5 grades per subject. How hard they work can make a big difference at secondary level.

hippo99 Sun 18-Dec-16 17:21:06

My DC (twins) are in y8 and are on flight paths. My understanding is their flight paths are set on their y6 SATS results.

As a parent I find their school reports hard to understand with their flight path info on it!! They have to choose their options after Christmas and I don't feel well informed. I realise it is hard to give a predicted GCSE grade, but it at least it would be something more concrete to base a decision on than current system....

yeOldeTrout Sun 18-Dec-16 18:12:56

I only first ever hard of 'flight path' on a thread 2 days ago... is this a new Dept. of Ed thing?? Same as this shizz? DS has had yr8 report last week & no flight paths. I could not care less. He had heaps of behaviour problems in primary & the yr8 report says 5x how polite & he is (in addition to words like pleasant & hard-working). Best Xmas present ever.

DS also has to choose 3 GCSEs after Xmas. Since I had DC1 (no work) & DC2 (constant overwork) it will be nice if DS can just be ordinary about GCSEs.

hippo99 Sun 18-Dec-16 18:27:44

Yep trout that's it... Dept of Ed new 💩 good luck with your DS choosing his options. I have a DD in y10 so will sit new style GCSE.

yeOldeTrout Sun 18-Dec-16 18:36:06

My Dd is also in yr10, she finishes 3 GCSEs this yr so still letter results for those. Then completes another 7 with number results, I guess, for end of yr11.

I haven't figure out how to advise DS what GCSEs to choose. What he'll enjoy & not get too stressed out about, I guess. He wants to try hard but is a bit last minute & easily stressed (emotionally immature)... not a true self-starter. So I'm thinking about what choices will minimise my stress, too. Might look at BTECs.

hippo99 Sun 18-Dec-16 18:45:51

Good luck to your DD trout, assume my DD isn't taking any this year as she hasn't said anything but then getting a conversation out of her these days is 😬😬 - she is taking BTEC Music, but not practising playing her keyboard so that is causing arguments and stress....

Not looking forward to it when DS's start their GCSEs.... and like you have no idea how to advise them, they don't want to take any MFL
which I don't think the school be happy about... Ho hum happy days

MirabelleTree Sun 18-Dec-16 18:52:34

I hate all this,you get one through then they change it for the second. DS is Year 8 and we have only got effort grades so far. Are these flight paths all done from the Year 2 SATs then as his school is fond of CATs tests and I think he'll get some more of them when he goes to Upper School next year?

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