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Application - which performance measure?

(16 Posts)
Plentyoffishnets Sun 23-Sep-18 13:32:46

Hi there, just about to do the visits to the upper schools in our town which start in year 9. With primary I went a lot on my feel of the school as well as a sprinkling of Ofsted but largely ignored that. With the GCSE results being so important for life I am looking at the performance measures for both and they seem to be very different but better than the other depending on which performance measure you look at. so there's the ebacc or the new levels. then not sure whether looking at the 9-7% or the 9-5% is best. In case it's relevant my daughter is relatively academic- probably looking to go to uni at this stage to do something like PE teaching (she is in year 8 as it's upper school were looking at which starts in year 9). Which measures would you say is best to go on? one is in a slightly better part of town and both have similar local reputations.

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TheFallenMadonna Sun 23-Sep-18 13:36:13

Progress 8, for the groups your daughter is in eg higher prior attainment. That compares how well children in that group in the school compare with the national cohort of that group.

MaisyPops Sun 23-Sep-18 13:38:20

Progress 8 figures and then have a glance at 9-5 & 9-7 if they make that distinction.

Plentyoffishnets Sun 23-Sep-18 14:36:24

thanks - looking at it this way the schools break down as follows
school a) higher achievers-0.08, middle 0.07 and low -0.03
school b) higher achievers-0.21, middle 0.03 and low -0.04

so school a is overall much better then by the looks of it? I'd say my daughter is about half way between mid and high achiever.

what has confused me is that school b seems to put a lot more children in for the ebacc -79% of higher children and 34% of middle children. The higher children get 58% standard and 43% strong passes.

school a only puts in 31% of higher children and 7% of middle achievers in for the ebacc and the results are lower.

Does the ebacc mean anything at all? is progress 8 a much better indicator? that's average progress made of the core 8 subjects isn't it?
was worried as know in the past schools were bumping up the ratings by putting kids in for "easier" gcse' s but does progress 8 ensure that doesn't happen?

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TheFallenMadonna Sun 23-Sep-18 14:51:34

The 8 are English (best of Lang and lit but have to take both) and Maths, both double weighted. If lit not taken, then English only counts once. Then three EBacc subjects (Sciences, history, geography, MFL or ancient languages, computing), then three other subjects, which can be GCSEs or approved vocational subjects. The total point score across those subjects is divided by 10 to give the attainment 8 score per student. And the mean attainment 8 score across the cohort is the attainment 8 score for the school.

The progress 8 is taken by looking at the end of KS2 attainment of the student (fine levelled, so eg 4.6), and comparing their attainment 8 with every other student in the country with the same KS2 fine level. So if they are exactly the same as the average, that is a P8 score of 0. If they are on average 1 grade higher, P8 will be 1. Again the P8 scores for all the year 11s are averaged to give the school's P8 score.

The EBacc is a measure of how many students took, and achieved a particular grade (4 for good pass, 5 for strong pass) in English, Maths, 2 Sciences, History or Geography and a language. I would suspect school a doesn't insist on a language at GCSE.

High prior attainment means 5.0 or above for KS2. Middle prior attainment is 4.0 - 4.9.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 23-Sep-18 14:53:22

Sorry, 4 is the "standard pass".

Why we can't t just refer to grades rather than this pass, standard pass, strong pass nonsense is beyond me!!

Plentyoffishnets Sun 23-Sep-18 15:09:27

Thanks madonna! That's great and i can ask that at the open day about the language. I guess she would count as middle achieved then based on ks2 results though they all changed as well with no more levels so who knows?!!
As the progress 8 seems to be core subjects then I think I conclude that school a is the better results wise, which is what I suspected and makes sense as it has historically always got far stronger 5+ a to c GCSE s

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TeenTimesTwo Sun 23-Sep-18 15:16:53

You need to ask both schools about how flexible the option blocking is. Maybe ask to see this/last years options sheets.

The progress8 figures aren't worlds apart so I would choose mainly on other stuff such as ethos, flexibility of options, pastoral etc.

Plus, as you are y9 entry and progress8 is based on y6-y11 progress you have to take into account the quality of the middle schools that feed in to the upper schools.

Plentyoffishnets Sun 23-Sep-18 15:35:12

Thanks teen
That is a very good point and actually the better middle schools feed into school a so probably then the quality of teaching is better at school b.
The reality is dd will probably prefer school a as that is where the majority of her friends will be going and her best friend. With both options being similar then at least if she does not get in there (it's not our catchment school) then I don't need to be overly concerned about if she ends up in school b.

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elkiedee Sun 23-Sep-18 16:52:17

If she's really sporty and already thinking about a career in PE teaching, how would the schools meet her interests in doing a range of sporting activities now? What's the content of PE lessons, range of after school clubs? If she's likely to be doing mostly academic options, what are her choices for learning and developing in that area, and can she do those while keeping other options open should she decide she wants to teach something else or not to be a teacher?

My choice also came down to two schools although no specific interest - my ds1 perhaps favours careers with a science orientation but he's still only 11 (has just started secondary). I basically gave him the choice.

BubblesBuddy Sun 23-Sep-18 20:21:00

It’s interesting that you ignored Ofsted for primary. Ofsted crawl all over the stats you are crawling over now! They inform their starting point for an inspection.

I’m surprised that school b puts a lot unbfir the Ebacc. I think that says they are aiming high because it says they are committed to a strong core curriculum. They are less keen on students not having an all round education.

I would look at sport in your position and also are the schools running GCSEs over 2 or 3 years? Some do them over 3 years so breadth of education is limited from y9. Clearly taking GCSEs over three years should improve results. Otherwise why do it?

BubblesBuddy Sun 23-Sep-18 20:22:01

Puts a lot in for the Ebacc!

TeenTimesTwo Sun 23-Sep-18 20:52:41

A lot being entered for Ebacc could be because they are committed to a strong core curriculum . Or it could be that they are chasing statistics to the detriment of what individual pupils are interested in. Especially as 1/4 of the higher achievers entered for Ebacc don't actually get it.

Plentyoffishnets Sun 23-Sep-18 22:21:48

With the Ofsted thing for primary I felt that somewhere more nurturing and closer was better than a further away school pushing for results. However for upper as the gcse's are something that goes with you for life and has an impact on your life choices I want to be as sure as I can be that I am making the best decision. I still take Ofsted with a pinch of salt but both schools come up as "good". They are both the same distance away and both have reasonable local reputations.
I think everyone's interpretation of the figures here shows how results can be taken in different ways. I think I still sway towards school A but it will be interesting to visit the schools to see how they come across then.

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BubblesBuddy Sun 23-Sep-18 23:25:34

Well you have spent a lot of effort looking at Stats and that’s exactly what Ofsted do and then visit to back up their views on the stats. A useless primary will mean pupils have not achieved what they could have done even if a school is nurturing. Plenty of schools do both by the way. These descriptions are not mutually exclusive.

. However there is little difference between Outstanding and Good in practice and often Outstanding schools have not been inspected for years so you probably dodged a bullet anyway.

The school with the high Ebacc entries could be making wrong judgements. However, it does show 75% of pupils are doing these subjects. Most grammar schools have high Ebacc entries so a broad education is valued for bright children. Not just cherry picking the easy options.

BubblesBuddy Sun 23-Sep-18 23:26:56

I didn’t intend to imply your primary was useless by the way - I was just trying to explain that outstanding schools can give you the best of both worlds.

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