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Y10 - just started getting 1-9 grades in tests

(15 Posts)
reup Fri 03-Nov-17 17:17:18

My child’s school has never given out any grades/results for anything. We had some old levels in Y7 and despite doing exams in every subject in Y7, 8 & 9 the results have never been reported back to parents just filtered back though my child.

We just got an email with results of a history assessment. Each part had a 1-9 mark on it. They have just started their GCSE syllabus so presumably they will improve but because each topic is separate I’m not sure how much overall improvement we should expect in general. Obviously it also depends on how much work my child does too!

I have asked the teacher for more clarity but just wondered really -is my child failing now because they have lots to learn or failing now because they aren’t very good at it/ haven’t understood/done enough work?

Cynderella Fri 03-Nov-17 23:35:54

Please don't worry. I teach English, and so we did 9-1 before History and other subjects. We were guessing with grades. We couldn't do anything else.

I used to say to kids, forget what's on your reports and look at what I've marked. Look, you got 15/40 for that question, and now you're getting 22/40. How can you get more marks?

I didn't know what grade 22/40 meant, and I still don't, but I can make a more intelligent guess because I have last year's grade boundaries.

Rather than grades, I would look at mark schemes, and what they have to do to move into the next band.

Fffion Sat 04-Nov-17 19:33:20

It's hard for non-core subjects to report on the new scale. It will take a few years for the system to find its place. Until then, everyone needs to be patient and accept the judgment of experienced teachers.

It is easier in English, Maths and Science as there are published tools available, such as Pearson Steps.

noblegiraffe Sat 04-Nov-17 20:21:48

It's impossible to grade work on the new scale as the new grade boundaries will be set by looking at how students did on the paper nationally, not by how many reached a particular standard.

For maths last year it was widely expected that you would need to achieve at least over 200/240 on the new papers, and probably higher. Actually it turned out to be 190/240.

It is nonsense to apply GCSE grades to tiny bits of work.

noblegiraffe Sat 04-Nov-17 20:22:06

190/240 to get a 9, that should be.

reup Sat 04-Nov-17 21:29:46

Thanks everyone - it’s a bit confusing as it’s all been so waffly for the last 3 years so this will take some getting used to.

Fffion Sun 05-Nov-17 17:19:59

I don't think it is confusing or waffly. People are simply being impatient.

We've changed from letters to numbers - not confusing.

Levels at all stages are on the same 9-1 scale - not confusing.

What is different about the new system is that there are more questions which require higher order learning skills, such as analysis, application and synthesis, rather than simply regurgitating and explaining facts.

The 8 and 9 grades will require these higher skills. The middle and lower grades will map to the skills that have always formed the bulk of exams.

A child in years 7 - 9 might get a 4 or 5 on a piece of work. This would be the indicative GCSE grade had they sat the GCSE today with questions all of this level of challenge. They have 2 - 4 years to improve on this.

I'm not saying the system can't be confusing as there are other scales being used alongside 9-1, such as the old A*-G system, and Pearson steps (a 12-point scale), and various sub levels (emerging, secure, low, high, the old abc). Hopefully any school will protect you from these.

noblegiraffe Sun 05-Nov-17 18:20:06

Levels at all stages are on the same 9-1 scale - not confusing

But they really shouldn’t be. KS3 is not GCSE.

On top of that it’s madness to grade any individual piece of work against a system designed to assess work over several hours of exams, especially exams where the standards haven’t even been set yet as no one has yet sat them. (Don’t pretend it’s criteria-based, Fffion because it absolutely isn’t, they’ll be set once the first cohort have sat the exam and we look at how they actually performed).

Scrapping levels could have freed us from this shit, instead it has made things worse as schools have flailed about and grabbed the closest thing to levels that they could find.

reup Sun 05-Nov-17 19:20:25

Ffion- you’ve got completely the wrong end of the stick. I was referring to my child’s school and their reports being waffly - nothing to do with 9-1 in itself. And again I was referring to the change from lots of vague statements to hard pass/fail scores in my child’s school as being confusing. Though I do think it’s crap that there is no one passing grade. I read that 4 was a pass and 5 a strong pass. I wonder how that will pan out in years to come on the sort of job applications that used to require 5 C grades. I hope the first few years of taking these exams aren’t negatively affected by that.

I was told today by another parent though that the school will be marking all work (not that I've seen a lot of marking in the past! - that’s a whole other story) and grading reports on 1-9 scale. That seems madness in Y7 as presumably lots of kids would be less than a 1, or even less on subjects new to them.

pieceofpurplesky Sun 05-Nov-17 19:24:02

Ffion do you mean that Year 7 are grades on 9-1? Therefore getting a grade 1 or 2?

EllenJanethickerknickers Sun 05-Nov-17 19:53:22

My old school has started reporting from Y7 as 9-1 but confusingly they'll give eg a grade 6 or 8 in Y7 and say with the child making expected progress that will the grade they should achieve in Y11. So if you are getting a grade 3 in Y7, they expect a grade 3 in Y11!

DanicaJones Mon 06-Nov-17 10:51:27

It is nonsense to apply GCSE grades to tiny bits of work.

Isn't it just similar to how when we were at school we would have work graded A - E or whatever from year 7 onwards. O levels (I'm old) were also marked A - E. It just gave us an indication of the standard of the homework for the stage we were at at the time.

ferrier Mon 06-Nov-17 10:55:53

Actually it is more confusing as the numbers don't correspond exactly to the old letters.
Why they couldn't have had at the top end

C = 5
B = 6
A = 7
Above A* = 9

I'd love to know.

noblegiraffe Mon 06-Nov-17 10:56:09

It was nonsense then too, Danica!

And the worst thing about grading work on any grading system is that we know from research that that makes any written feedback given less effective as students tend to focus on the grade over the comment.

A lot of schools moved to comment-only marking years ago because of this, but grades are sneaking back in with the obsession for micro-recording (fabricated) progress.

DanicaJones Mon 06-Nov-17 11:37:52

Oh ok. I had no idea there had ever been comment only marking as dd (Year 9) has been graded 1 - 9 since beginning of year 7 and i was graded A - e.

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