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Sudden dramatic drop in predicted grades, disruptive class and a lovely teacher, help please!

(21 Posts)
PenguinSanctuary Thu 12-Jan-17 08:44:48

Ok firstly dd does have some learning difficulties (Dyspraxia, processing, sensory related) but is not statements and she has worked really hard the last couple of years and made brilliant progress.

In September she went up to a new school which better met her needs and career aims and they have been fantastic, the pastoral care is outstanding and she has made huge progress in many subjects and for the first time ever really loves school and has friends.

My problem is in maths she has dropped from being predicted a B to being predicted a D in the space of three months. The old school hadn't over estimated as dd was also heavily tested when she started by the new school and was found by them to be working slightly higher if anything than the old school.

There are no behaviour problems, in every single other lesson she has a level 1 (the top) for effort and attitude. In this one she has a 3 which is average but no there are no behavioural issues and teacher didn't have anything to say negative apart from she wasn't making progress.

She has two teachers for maths and in the areas she has been identified as struggling she has one particular teacher. I really like this teacher and dd loves him, he is very much for pushing the children to achieve their best but dd has said that his classes are often noisy and disruptive which is a nightmare for a child with sensory issues and he spends a lot of the class telling them to behave.

There is no year head in the school as the school is small but I feel I need to talk to school about this as Maths is so important for college so I am wondering how you would best approach this.

QuiltedAloeVera Thu 12-Jan-17 08:47:00

Year 10 or Year 11?

Bluntness100 Thu 12-Jan-17 08:48:40

Why don't uou just speak to the teacher?

PenguinSanctuary Thu 12-Jan-17 09:04:50

Year 10.
I'm debating emailing the teacher but I already know what areas dd is struggling in and that dds behaviour isn't the issue so I'm not sure how best to approach without saying dd has dropped in progress because she feels the class are ruining you riot

PenguinSanctuary Thu 12-Jan-17 09:07:37


Sorry I seem to have lost the ability to type this morning.

DD now has to go in school for intervention morning and/or night so she will get the help she needs but I feel like such a drop needs looking into.

Autumnsky Thu 12-Jan-17 10:23:48

Any possibilty that you do some extra work at home with her or get a tutor?

ToohotforaSeptday Thu 12-Jan-17 10:27:38

I agree with Autumnsky, getting a tutor might be the best way to go.

merlottime Thu 12-Jan-17 10:30:33

Also it's a bit odd that they are giving predictions in letter grades when from this summer Maths moves to the 9 to 1 scale. Maybe the drop is a reflection of the tougher GCSE curriculum since 2016, but If so I would have expected the prediction to use new style grades.

Lapinlapin Thu 12-Jan-17 10:35:22

How did you find out about the drop in predicted grade? Did your dd tell you, or was it just through a report? If so, it might be as simple as an administrative error. So, just to rule that out alone, I'd get in touch with the teacher to discuss it.

NoraDora Thu 12-Jan-17 10:37:12

Yes very strange use of old grades. I would question why the school aren't using the new number grade system.

PenguinSanctuary Thu 12-Jan-17 13:37:05

Sorry it does use the new 1-9 system. I just put the old system equivalent (there was a chart with it) as no one I know understands the new version.

It came home on her end of term progress review including comments.

It actually says 'minipenguin' is not meeting the required progress to meet their target. She is good at x,y,z and she struggles with a,b,c

user1484226561 Thu 12-Jan-17 13:43:43

work hard at home. GCSE grades are a result of a mixture of teaching at school and hard work independently at home,

NoraDora Thu 12-Jan-17 13:47:06

What has she dropped from in number grades?

They don't convert exactly and the increasing rigour and difficulty of the qualification had led to many schools down grading target grades. In reality we have no real clue what a new and old grade look like compared to each other. I would focus on whether your dd feels she is making progress. Ask whether she has sat any of the new specification exam papers. If she was previously doing old ones (many schools were as there aren't many new ones around) then the difficulty of the new specification may have caused her to "drop".

PenguinSanctuary Thu 12-Jan-17 14:10:29

She was assessed as a 5 and just below a 6 at old school and in September (massive varied testing)

She is now scraping a 3.

Will see about a tutor and I know she will have intervention at school too.

NoraDora Thu 12-Jan-17 14:52:39

It sounds like the difference in assessment between the two schools. It's not a huge surprise they are so different.

What assessments were used in both places? There are no official grade boundaries for any of the new papers either so the two schools might have different boundaries.

PenguinSanctuary Thu 12-Jan-17 15:39:28

Sorry I wasn't clear. She was assessed using cats tests and other exams as a level 5 border 6 in September at the new school too.

In fact I have checked and at the October half term progress tests she was tested and still a 5 then. So she seems she has dropped dramatically since the end of October.

I have contacted school btw they just haven't responded yet.

NoraDora Thu 12-Jan-17 15:52:53

Cats are a load of rubbish anyway and they certainly don't give grades. Even their predictions are usually wildy off mark.

I'd wait for the school to respond and then see. It really does sound like they have tried the new papers for the first time.

user1484226561 Thu 12-Jan-17 15:55:21

agree with NoraDora, cats are rubbish. I saw them in action for the first time this yer, and I couldn't believe how biased and unfair the questions were. No wonder they generate such useless data.

"Assessed as 5/6" means nothing as no one knows where the grade boundaries are going to fall or what a 3/4/5/6 etc will look like in August. Is it that she is failing to make progress in maths or is it that the school have changed their understanding of the grading?

Witchend Thu 12-Jan-17 16:42:17

It's probably just a difference in how they guess their predicted grades. Dd1 has different predicted grades depending on how the subject teacher grades.
One teacher refuses to give anyone higher than a B+, another always gives 2 levels above your current level, another gave a C at the start of year 9 and won't adjust it for anything despite the current grade being an A, some set it entirely on CATS at the start of year 7. I just look for an improvement.

But maths is a bit random at present. Dd1's in year 11 and the teachers are saying to them that this what is currently being said, but things may be different with the real thing.

noblegiraffe Fri 13-Jan-17 17:10:23

Possibly the old school was using national curriculum levels? Currently working at a level 5/6 would be about the same as currently working at a grade 3.

Or is one a predicted grade for GCSE (expected to achieve a grade 5) and the other currently working at a grade 3?

Also possible that they've had to completely rethink their predicted grades because Y11 may have just bombed their mocks. Predicting grades for the new GCSE is very much sticking your finger in the air without licking it and trying to guess which way the wind is blowing.

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