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KS2 SATs and secondary school

(28 Posts)
irvineoneohone Wed 15-Feb-17 07:30:38

My ds is still in primary.
On primary board, a lot of threads related to sats comes up regularly.
Some says results doesn't matter, it only matters for school.
Primary teachers(I think) says it does matter, that secondary uses this for setting GCSE targets. Then there's bunch of people who says secondary uses their own assessment.

What is the truth? Do secondary teachers think sats results are important? Or do they just ignore it?

squiggletea Wed 15-Feb-17 08:14:53

They matter most to primary schools. It's how the schools are measured-rightly or wrongly.

Some secondary schools use them to set, some don't. Some use primary schools' predictions/Teacher assessment.

Do they set from September?
Do they do CATs on moving on days?

Personally, I think your child should care about them but not worry about them. A little bit of revision is good study practice, too much creates stress.

Whatever your child's ability, there is a balance- if they're not academic, keep focusing on their true strengths.

MaisyPops Wed 15-Feb-17 08:17:47

Theyre used to set target grades, but that's it. And thats only because secondaries have to report on progress from y6. Even as a target grade it isnt expected that all children would get that targey statistically (but some schools dont get that). Some will get above, others below.

And to be honest, my personal take is that they arent that good a benchmark. Its also why a lot kf secondaries do our own testing (&usually find the kids are lower).

I've got students who are working 2 grades abive target. I've also got students who are struggling to reach their gcse target because the primaries were so set on getting lots of kids to level5 (expected for y6 was a level 4) that they did nothing but maths and english for months. The kids got a level 5 and now are finding their gcse targets horrifically difficult because they were never really able to do the level 5 work well to start with. Just drilled on how to answer a paper.

roundaboutthetown Wed 15-Feb-17 09:24:01

They are of no value in a good secondary school which, even if initial setting arrangements are based around them, will be constantly assessing how the children are actually performing and moving the sets around on that basis. The targets the KS2 results trigger for secondary schools are merely for statistical purposes, for government to decide whether a secondary school is adding any value to a child's education, or underperforming, or just plodding along as expected. So, from a good secondary school's point of view, there is no greater gift than a child who underperformed in their KS2 tests - then the school can look amazing by improving their exam technique for GCSEs and building on their actual skills and abilities, thus hugely exceeding the child's minimum expected results and getting a big pat on its back as a result.

BertrandRussell Wed 15-Feb-17 09:29:04

It varies from school to school. Talk to the secondary schools you are interested in.

noblegiraffe Wed 15-Feb-17 09:40:37

We use them plus a baseline assessment for initial setting in Y7 maths.

sparklingdancer Wed 15-Feb-17 09:48:29

I guess the fact that they are used for initial placing in secondary schools means they clearly have some importance. I wouldn't want mine tripping up on their SATs and then being started at secondary school in a lower group really.

Lottie4 Wed 15-Feb-17 11:00:02

DD has two predictions - teachers assessment and also one based on primary school levels - the second are higher and I think she's unlikely to achieve some of them of the higher ones. In her school, I guess as they've fallen back a little on what's expected, they have extra lessons in either English or Maths in the hope it can bring them up. DD is predicted Grade 8 Maths based on primary school predictions, but teachers assessment is Grade 7 and she's achieved Grade 7 in two lots of mocks. Obviously looks better for the school if she gets that 8, but if intervention helps with a higher grade or if not at least giving her the chance of a firm 7.

Also, DD was put in maths set immediately on entering secondary - this was based on her primary school levels - her school only moves them at the end of each year, so if they're in the wrong set, it could be a struggle to move them.

Autumnsky Wed 15-Feb-17 11:05:55

I think it is important and also so not so important. By saying it is important, I think it is picture of what your DC does in primary school( unless DC really is unwell on the SATS week), I would hope DC has a good solid foundation to carry on into secondary.
By saying it is not so important, as it won't decide anything. If DC did get a bad score, maybe secondary school use it as a initial baseline. However, if DC works hard, school will change it once DC make enough progress. So it's nothing to be worried about.

Merlin40 Wed 15-Feb-17 11:06:48

Aren't they use as the starting point for Progress 8?

StarUtopia Wed 15-Feb-17 11:09:44

So, from a good secondary school's point of view, there is no greater gift than a child who underperformed in their KS2 tests - then the school can look amazing by improving their exam technique for GCSEs and building on their actual skills and abilities, thus hugely exceeding the child's minimum expected results and getting a big pat on its back as a result.

^^ This.

Except it all hinges on the word 'good' - send your child to a crap high school and they will sadly languish in the bottom sets based on the fact that they performed poorly at KS2. Be warned!!!

ChocolateWombat Wed 15-Feb-17 11:33:02

I think they matter. They are the first thing the secondary know about your child and also the thing that any GCSE results will be judged against 5 years later,min terms of progress made.

Therefore, whilst it is true that good schools will continue to asses children and to teach according to need and stretch all children of all abilities, there is no getting away from these SATS results. Saying they are only relevant for the primary school isn't true.

Ways they can affect your child;
- might determine initial sets for maths in Yr 7
- will affect targets for each year and GCSE
- might influence which GCCSE options child is offered - ie lower KS2 SATs mean less likelihood of being offered separate sciences or more languages.
- might influence how many GCSE allowed to do.

Therefore, achieving high marks in KS2 SATs will mean the secondary starts off seeing your child as a potential high achiever and have the expectations that come with that. SOmeone with lower SATs might be able to impress and show that potential, but they will have to fight against those KS2 results which are on paper and used for the next 5 years of tracking,mso will have to do more to 'earn' the view and opportunities of an able child.

In the end, they start with whatever they start with.....but seeing them in Yr6 as not important is daft...children should be encouraged and helped to take them seriously and do their very best.....that is all they can do and then start with whatever they achieved. To underperform because they were told they do t matter or are only for primary schools or will have no bearing on the future, is giving them misinformation which can't help them. There's certainly a balance to be achieved between putting undue pressure on the kids and saying they are irrelevant. Schools and parents need to get this right, so the kids can do their best, take them seriously but not be devastated by the outcomes. But the outcomes will influence their education in the next phase.

namechangingagainagain Wed 15-Feb-17 11:42:38

My children seem to be late bloomers ( or they just went to a primary school that was rubbish at preparing for SATs).

For example ds1's "target"'s across the board are " expected" (I.e. 5's) because he only got 4 for ks2 SATs. Initial setting seemed to be based on this and he started in middle sets. However his current achievement and predicted grade is"exceptional" in English and maths (upper grade 7 plus) and he pretty soon worked his way into top sets. It makes him look good and the school look amazing so they don't mind! This is a large rural community comprehensive BTW.

So yes the school uses ks2 sats to set targets but unlike when I went to school there is lots of ongoing assessment and fluidity within sets anyway.

irvineoneohone Wed 15-Feb-17 12:38:01

Thank you for your comments.

I do think it's important. But I just kept seeing comments from posters who seems to know how it is in secondary, says they aren't. So just wondered what is really like, by asking on secondary board.
I wouldn't want to pressure my ds to achieve better than he could, but would definitely like him to try to do best he could.

bigbuttons Wed 15-Feb-17 12:42:08

They are bollocks. Our local secondary does its own cats in year 7 and has no sets until yer 10 anyway.

noblegiraffe Wed 15-Feb-17 12:44:36

I just clocked your username, OP, surely you don't need to worry about how your DS will perform in SATS when it's naturally going to be at the highest level anyway?

irvineoneohone Wed 15-Feb-17 12:57:02

grin, noble. Maths maybe, not sure about literacy though. Also he is painfully slow writer, so I don't think he does well in timed environment.

noblegiraffe Wed 15-Feb-17 13:05:05

He'll be fine for maths. English tends to be taught in mixed ability classes at least at KS3 so you probably won't need to worry about setting until the school knows him better themselves - ask at open evenings when they set for English.

If he's painfully slow at writing, have you talked to the school about access arrangements for the SATs?

roundaboutthetown Wed 15-Feb-17 13:34:44

My ds's school has a top set for English (all other English classes are mixed ability in y7) and a top set for modern foreign languages (all the rest mixed ability in Y7) which is also based on their KS2 SATs English results. So performance in SATs in reading and SPAG also has an impact, not just performance in maths. However, there is some movement between sets termly.

Eolian Wed 15-Feb-17 13:47:10

It matters a lot to primary schools because they are judged on them. It matters to secondary schools because they use them to at least some degree in setting and/or target setting. It only really matters to your child if a) the secondary uses the SATS for setting or b) if you or your child believe the school's SATS-based data really determines what grade they are capable of. Which it doesn't.

Personally I think that my 11 year-old's eventual GCSE results will be determined by a whole heap of things (ability, effort over the next few years, which teachers she has, whether half of them are supply teachers because of teacher shortages, amount of revision she does, changes in her attitude and opinion of subjects). NOT on what she got in a couple of tests in primary school about fronted adverbials and stuff.

I've taught secondary age pupils for 20 years and if there's one thing out of many I'd change, it would be to stop the obsession with data.

roundaboutthetown Wed 15-Feb-17 13:58:36

That said, whilst ds's school doesn't use CATs, it does use other forms of testing and assessment within the school when the children first start, to establish reading, spelling and maths skills, and takes into account teacher assessments from primary school, rather than just relying on SATs test results for setting.

moneyforcar Wed 15-Feb-17 14:47:16

Irvine - the government measures progress on the reading and maths SAYS so you don't need to worry about the teacher assessed writing at all as it will not be used in any individual childs secondary school measure only to assess the primary school. I agree with chocolate wombats post above but it will apply to the reading and maths scores which are averaged out to give the score that progress is added to. Therefore a school that is trying to get best value added will be ensuring each child makes sufficient progress against this score. Therefore a high sats result will mean they need to achieve higher GCSE results for the school to achieve satisfactory progress against government targets.

Vixnixtrix1981 Wed 15-Feb-17 18:06:06

How do the government measure expected progress? My son is currently in year 7, so just did his SATS last year. Would be interested to know what GCSE grades they expect him to achieve from these. Does anyone know where you kind find that information, or is a well guarded secret?

Brokenbiscuit Wed 15-Feb-17 18:14:58

Our secondary school sets for most subjects in year 7. However, the sets are based on their own assessments rather than the SATS.

That said, I believe that all secondaries have to demonstrate progress against the ks2 SAT results, and so I presume that the SATS are important for target setting at some level.

DD did her KS2 SATS last year, and while they seemed to be important at the time, they're now long since forgotten!

irvineoneohone Thu 16-Feb-17 13:59:09

Thank you all, for helpful advice!

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