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KS3 levels

(44 Posts)
gillybeanz Sun 26-Feb-17 20:11:23

Do teachers still use these?
If so what level in each subject is expected at end of kS3, generally speaking.
Or is it something completely different now.

Heirhelp Sun 26-Feb-17 20:14:36

Some schools do still use them but the gov got rid of them so different schools do different things.

When they were used schools were concerned about how much progress the student made. The end of ks3 target would depend on the end of ks2 achievement.

gillybeanz Sun 26-Feb-17 20:48:00

Thanks. Heirhelp

Do you know what levels would be considered as average/good at end of KS3, irrespective of individuals targets?
I used to know but have forgotten.

What do schools do now instead?
What benchmarks are there now?

noblegiraffe Sun 26-Feb-17 21:28:12

If we were talking old school National Curriculum levels then a 5 or above in Y9 usually meant you were more likely than not to get a C or above at GCSE. To be more likely to pass maths than not, you needed a 6. A 7 (other subject)s or 8 (in maths) meant you were on track for A/A*.

Now with the new GCSEs all bets are off.

And schools are making their own stuff up to replace NC levels.

gillybeanz Sun 26-Feb-17 22:06:51

My dd in y8 has given in a piece of work graded at 6c.
I'm only bothered as other results are very poor, despite her working hard and trying her best. It's a little ray of hope.
She also has recently said she liked the subject, humanities.
Her teacher was really happy with her,

So how can we find out where are children are at, if teacher's aren't using the old levels?
What do they use instead and can anyone explain.

gillybeanz Sun 26-Feb-17 22:09:02

our children. Sorry, I'm dyslexic Arghhhhhhh

noblegiraffe Sun 26-Feb-17 22:11:33

A 6c in Y8 is good smile

Schools can use whatever they like, most are making a mess of things. Unfortunately as everyone is doing different things, no one can explain except for their own school.

gillybeanz Sun 26-Feb-17 22:22:49

This must be bad enough for the teachers, but how on earth can you be a good interested parent?
I trust what the teachers say and get a general picture but it's not very helpful.
I don't blame the teachers btw, it must be very hard.

noblegiraffe Sun 26-Feb-17 22:37:12

The government have tried to change everything at once and left everybody with no fixed point of reference. Some schools are trying to replace levels with new GCSE grades, but we don't know what they actually are yet, so that's just basically guessing.

Levels (especially sublevels) gave an illusion of science while not actually being particularly accurate, but at least it was generally understood whether your child was doing well, average, or struggling.
Maybe until the new GCSEs get properly sorted we should just use those three categories!

gillybeanz Sun 26-Feb-17 22:58:38

I totally agree, it's created havoc.
Today I found out my dd did well in something because her teacher applied the old method.
She showed me where she had met the criteria.
I only had to check on here because I wanted to be sure it was good or just good for a low target set for my dd.
Now, I have a point of reference to look for progress or what to work at next.

When it's all sorted out then change the system, or is that too logical for government.

TeenAndTween Mon 27-Feb-17 12:02:53

Our school have now got their own system, that I think they devised with the other local secondary. But it has been explained well to parents, and is sent out with the reports so we know what's going on.

gillybeanz Mon 27-Feb-17 12:25:39


That sounds great and to explain to parents is essential.
It was only one teacher who referred us to the old levels, the rest it was just a general description.
I hate this as you really don't know how well they are doing.

fairweathercyclist Mon 27-Feb-17 12:48:46

TeenandTween I wonder if you are in the same town as me as my ds' school devised a scheme with the other secondary in the town. Actually, the other school explains it a lot better, I use their website when ds' termly report comes through.

HPFA Mon 27-Feb-17 12:58:11

gilly You may find this document useful.

It's a document from the Royal Latin grammar school in Bucks and the last page gives the average levels attained by their students at the end of Years 7 and 8. Should give you something to compare to.

I find the old levels system much easier than the new one DD's school has adopted. It's supposed to be based on the new GCSE grades and apparently her three Year 8 English assessments show she will get a Grade 6, a 7 and an 8! They seem to show she's doing quite well in English but the links to GCSE grades seem a bit nuts. This appears to be the way schools are going though.

TeenAndTween Mon 27-Feb-17 13:29:20

fair Ours go 700, 800, 900 etc.
Well actually they go lower too, DD was told her tech has improved from 500 to 600, so now she's only 1.5 years behind rather than 2 years. smilesad

gillybeanz Mon 27-Feb-17 13:44:52

Thank you for the link, I'll have a look.
It makes it so much harder than the old nc levels.
An interested parent only needed to google and could get the criteria for each level too.
I used to look at the level my dc were assessed at and look at what they were expected to do at the next level and support them to reach it.
It really wasn't difficult at all.
I suppose we can get some of the picture from end of year exams too, but I'm concerned that the present year 8 won't know there best subjects when it comes to taking options this year or next.

LooseAtTheSeams Mon 27-Feb-17 17:31:20

gillybeanz we're on a completely different scheme. School ditched the old levels. DS1 in year 10 is fairly straightforward as it's all based on what level 9-1 he's working at and his predictions for GCSE grades. For DS2 who is in year 7 it's a bit mystifying. For example, the average level for year 7 is supposed to be 2, although it can have a plus or minus and I think that's for the end of the year. The average for year 9 is Grade 3, but exceptional students could be awarded a 6. So the target for end of year 9 seems to be guesswork based on SATS and CATS!
We're due another report next week...

Iamnotminterested Mon 27-Feb-17 20:42:23

Gillybeanz do you have gcse target grades ie. end of year 11 targets for your DD?

gillybeanz Mon 27-Feb-17 22:09:52


No target grades for GCSE, we haven't a clue.
All I know are the subjects where she struggles.
I was so shocked with the level 6c piece of work as although teachers in the past have said she is very bright, there hasn't been much evidence to support it, usually the opposite. Confidence is low, every teacher said this.
I feel in the dark and wish I could help her more. Not that she listens to me anyhow. sad
Having a system to work in would really help right now, there's so much I could do in our time together.

Iamnotminterested Mon 27-Feb-17 22:22:25

But doesn't the FFT predict gcse grades based on ks2 results? I know DD1 and DD2's, year 11 and year 8. I'd ask if I were you, I would!

Iamnotminterested Mon 27-Feb-17 22:30:36

...and DD2's are reported pictorally as a kind of band and her current performance mapped in relation to her gcse target.

noblegiraffe Mon 27-Feb-17 22:38:25

I can predict GCSE grades based on KS2 results. If you got 3s or under you're predicted to probably not pass GCSEs. If you got 4s you should pass and if you got 5s you should do better than pass. On the whole.

However FFT is just as crap at me at predicting how they'll do in individual subjects that are not English and maths. A really bright kid with dyspraxia would be targeted a top grade in PE, because the FFT grades do not take into account that ability in PE is a different skill set to ability in maths and English. So FFT data shouldn't be used to decide whether a student should take PE GCSE.

Even more bonkers is that maths GCSE grade is targeted using KS2 English data as well as maths. A kid who gets the exact same score in maths as another kid but does better than them in English will (contextual data aside) have a higher maths GCSE target.

gillybeanz Mon 27-Feb-17 23:44:24


My dd didn't do SATS at school but a friend who was Ks2 coordinator marked some for dd and said she was a 4c. it wasn't official though and although done under normal timing was done at home.
Her school did MidYis in y7.
I suppose we should be grateful that her teachers aren't using KS2 to predict results. I think this is due to not all children having done them.

TeenAndTween Tue 28-Feb-17 08:26:20

Even more bonkers is that maths GCSE grade is targeted using KS2 English data as well as maths.
noble Do you think that with the more wordy maths GCSE questions this will become slightly less bonkers? If a pupil's English comprehension is poor won't they have more trouble unpicking the questions? (I haven't seen new style GCSE maths questions yet).

gillybeanz Tue 28-Feb-17 10:19:24

If Maths is to include much English comprehension then my dd is pretty much doomed before she starts.
It sounds as though it's going to be similar to verbal reasoning from your comments Teen is that correct.

I must stop panicking, I do have faith in her school and teachers, it's just difficult feeling I'm not able to help as not sure what to do.
With older ones we worked through the CGP books together, did little tests, and they revised before tests from these.
The levels were easy to understand and as i said before the level descriptors were easy to find.
You knew where they were at and what they had to do to improve and what specific things would give them a better grade/ level.

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