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Year 7 grades

(56 Posts)
SeraOfeliaFalfurrias Fri 16-Jun-17 22:44:14

Hi all, I'm trying to figure out DD1's report. I don't get the UK education system at the best of times, but DD1 is now in secondary, and of course they're using the new 9-1 GCSE system. I understand that the grade she gets is what they would expect her to achieve if she were to sit the GCSE today. And I get that the target grades are individual for each child, so whether she is above, at or below target applies to her own target, not that of her peers. But what it doesn't tell me is how she is doing relative to the other children in her year. She might be doing as expected for her, but be at the bottom of the year or the top of the year and I'd be none the wiser!

Because the system is new there's not much help on the internet to find out what is a good/average/bad grade in year 7. I suppose I'm only supposed to care if she's achieving her own full potential but stuff that, I want to know if she's keeping up with her peers.

Can anyone shed any light?

clary Fri 16-Jun-17 23:16:08

She might be doing as expected for her, but be at the bottom of the year or the top of the year and I'd be none the wiser!

But why does this matter to you? She can't do better than her best, so if she is doing that, then great! If she is on the right track for a target of 7 in year 11 (or 5, or 9, or whatever her target is) then that's great smile

If not, then look at why not and try to work on that.

FWIW (I teach MFL so my grades are much lower than, say, Eng and maths) my best students are on target to achieve a low-level 2 this year; my weakest will be below a L1, but still will have achieved something.

noblegiraffe Fri 16-Jun-17 23:16:48

There's nothing on the internet because it's all made-up bollocks.

There's no way of saying what GCSE grade she would get if she sat the GCSE today because we don't even have any results for the new GCSEs at all. My Y11s sat the new GCSEs last week and I won't have a clue how they got on till results day in August.

If she's getting good effort/behaviour grades that's probably all you can hope to get from reports at the moment.

Allthebestnamesareused Fri 16-Jun-17 23:19:56

Are they grades based on end of year exams or teacher's assessment of her. At Ds school they give you the rxam mark and also the average mark in the school year so you can gauge where they are in their cohort. They have similar (high) results year on year so you can almost work out the level they are working at from gcse percentages

SeraOfeliaFalfurrias Fri 16-Jun-17 23:26:15

clary - it matters because which parent doesn't want at least a vague idea of where their child fits into the big picture? We are none of us an island.

noblegiraffe - indeed, it is made-up bollocks, just like the SATS the poor things had to sit last year. And because it is bollocks, the only real way I have to see how she is doing is to compare her made-up bollocks score with the made-up bollocks score of the rest of her year.

Allthebestnamesareused - since the report came out yesterday but they're still doing exams (very weird!), I guess it's still based on teacher assessments. Hopefully we'll get a more comprehensive report once the exams marks are out. But in that case, I don't get why they have brought a report out now.

Thanks for the input everyone.

wtffgs Fri 16-Jun-17 23:42:50

DD is the same year group- it is a lot of made up bollocks. At least they have a few years to sort out the shit heap of this year's harder GCSEs hmm

Huge empathy to any parents or kids who had to endure this year's exams BTWbrew

noblegiraffe Fri 16-Jun-17 23:43:57

No, I'm afraid it's worse than the made-up bollocks of last year. Last year she sat externally marked national exams. Those results are solid gold standard compared to what she's getting this year.

This year her targets are set based on the results of those exams, based on the best guesses of how a company thinks those exams are going to pan out, when in reality no one, not even the exam boards will know until the first lot have been marked.

And her 'working at' grades will have been entered in a couple of seconds by a teacher who has rolled a biased dice. A teacher in the next class has a differently weighted dice. It's totally subjective.

SeraOfeliaFalfurrias Fri 16-Jun-17 23:47:09

What jolly japes!

PhilODox Fri 16-Jun-17 23:52:56

But she might be around the top I'm a year of very low ability pupils, or around the bottom in a year of very able pupils. It is meaningless.

How did she do last year? Was she above or below 100, which is supposed to be national standard for an 11 yo. That will tell you how she is doing compared with all 11 yos in England.
Then you need to look how she is progressing to her targets this year, if indeed any have been issued.

GreenTulips Fri 16-Jun-17 23:57:50

I think having a know average score for year 7s would be useful - not necessarily her actual year but an expected avaerge

DD school send out a table of average ( in old money 4C for Year 6 etc)

I've not had reports yet - youbwill report back if/when they get them

TheFallenMadonna Fri 16-Jun-17 23:59:39

There are no meaningful national levels for KS3 though. No standardised tests. No national expectation or average.

noblegiraffe Sat 17-Jun-17 00:01:35

We set for maths so I've got a better idea of how these kids will progress than ones in a mixed ability group (middle set -> middle grades, top set -> 7,8,9, so at least I've got a ballpark).
If in my Y7 group I had two kids, one with a target of a 5 and one with a target of a 6, I've got to say whether they are making good progress towards their target. Chances are, if they're in a middle group, I'll put them both down as good progress because they're both headed in that direction. If their test scores were switched around, they'd still both be good progress. I can't tell the difference between a kid who's heading for a 5 and one who's heading for a 6. I couldn't even do it with Y11 just gone.

noblegiraffe Sat 17-Jun-17 00:02:45

Schools aren't even supposed to be using GCSE grades for KS3, it's bonkers. Levels were scrapped so they've just grabbed the first thing that looked like levels to replace them without even thinking if it made any sense.

SeraOfeliaFalfurrias Sat 17-Jun-17 00:04:41

See, I didn't understand the old system either, so even comparisons to that don't help me!! WFT is wrong with good old percentages like they had when I was at school!?!?! I know there's a level of relative-ness in any reporting system. But I have literally no baseline on which to peg her achievements. We are drifting alone in a sea of made-up bollocks!

noblegiraffe Sat 17-Jun-17 00:06:34

Thank Michael Gove.

CrazedZombie Sat 17-Jun-17 00:09:41

My kids know what the top score was in tests because the teacher will say what it was. By the time reports come, there's no surprise really. I know their strong subjects, which teachers are strict on marking etc They seem to have tests every 4-6 weeks.

SeraOfeliaFalfurrias Sat 17-Jun-17 00:14:34

noblegiraffe - thanks for your example. Were you just plucking numbers from the air or would you actually expect 5/6 in yr7? DD's are all 2/3, which seem low to me as I like to think she's quite bright.

noblegiraffe Sat 17-Jun-17 00:27:08

No, in my school we have to say what we think they will get for GCSE in 5 years time compared to their FFT target grade. That's nonsense, of course, but at least I know that middle ability kids tend towards middle grades at GCSE so saying that they're going to get a 5 or 6 isn't totally plucking numbers out of thin air.

Trying to work backwards from that and saying 'well that kid's going to get maybe a 5 or a 6 at GCSE so that means they're currently working at a....' They've reduced the number of grades at the lower end so there isn't any direct equivalence. Probably more than a 1 because that's below expected KS2 level. A 2 or a 3 possibly? A 4 is a C equivalent which is an old level 7 which would be very high. A 2/3 is probably a safe bet for a wide range of kids. Not totally failing but probably not headed for a grade 9. Unless they're a late bloomer.
That's as accurate as you're going to get.

myrtleWilson Sat 17-Jun-17 00:33:30

ahh - I know this worry, my DD is just finishing year 9 and will be the second cohort to take full GCSEs' on the new system. DD's school has this year graded science on the 1-9 method (as they've started GCSE programme) but all others are on the A-F grading. I've wondered and pondered about it all but as it turns out DD has had a tough term with various issues and bereavement and to be honest I'm just thankful that the school is lovely and caring. I'm sure that I would have felt differently if it was exam year but I suppose what I'm saying is yes, do understand new system, yes fret but actually schools come through in different ways - best wishes to you and yours

SeraOfeliaFalfurrias Sat 17-Jun-17 00:36:28

Eh? 2/3 means "Not totally failing"? But she's in the top set!! She is a very bright child so yes, we expect 8/9 at GCSE.

Grr, this system is so utterly stupid!! If the children are performing in a way that would mean they should get 8/9 at GCSE, then they should give them a 8/9 now! When I was at school, if I got 70% for my matriculation certificate in Std 10, then I also got around 70% in Std 6, 7, 8, and 9. A nice consistent grade all the way through. If it went down, we knew I needed to work harder. If it went up, great news. These shifting targets are just pointless and make no sense to me.

noblegiraffe Sat 17-Jun-17 00:50:32

But we don't know what 'performing at 8/9' looks like, even for Y11 who have already sat the exams, let alone what it looks like 5 years earlier.

noblegiraffe Sat 17-Jun-17 00:52:47

this system is so utterly stupid

There is no system. Schools are making it up as they go along. There was a system but it was binned and we were told we weren't allowed to use it any more and we weren't given anything to replace it with.

SeraOfeliaFalfurrias Sat 17-Jun-17 00:59:34

Right. Clear as mud then! grin

noblegiraffe Sat 17-Jun-17 01:19:30

Yep. If any school says 'we are using GCSE grades to measure our students' progress at KS3' or makes any reference to 'flight paths', what they're actually saying is 'we're making up some numbers'. There's no accuracy behind any of it, you can't compare between subjects or teachers and you certainly can't compare between schools.
Look at behaviour and effort grades. If she sits any tests in class, look at what she brings home, is she doing well? Better than the class average? If she did really well at KS2, then is she in top sets for setted subjects? Talk to her teachers at parents' evening. Ignore the numbers.

Blanketdog Sat 17-Jun-17 07:44:59

We get info on what the rest of the year group has achieved - number of children achieving each grade - so you can vaguely place your dc and I do want to know where they are in comparison to their peers.

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