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How to talk about this at parent's evening tonight

(18 Posts)
notpushyinterested Thu 01-Nov-18 08:24:18

Mother of a high achieving year 11. He's on track for all 7,8,9 grades.

His end of summer report had his teacher assessment grade for one subject as a 9 . The report we received yesterday has dropped that to a 7.
We knew there was an issue because the teacher has made critical comments to my son about his results on weekly tests not being up to scratch. On the other hand she has agreed that he is working hard and she has no problem with his effort .
The summer report came out in july.
he has only been back at school 2 months. Am a bit worried/mystified about how he can drop two grades in that short time.
i suspect teacher is trying to to shake him him up rather than that being a true reflection iyswim.
How would you address this? Any helpful advice would be gratefully received! Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
malmontar Thu 01-Nov-18 08:30:49

2 options I think:

They’ve given him a lower grade so he can work harder
So their added value score goes up

Either way he’s obv one of the top and they’ll be working him as one so don’t stress. They do know your son better when it comes to how he works in a classroom

LittleCandle Thu 01-Nov-18 08:31:03

Just be blunt and ask her what the problem is. If she is just trying to shake him up, she should admit it to you. If she fudges the issue, then there may be a problem between your DS and the teacher.

CuckooCuckooClock Thu 01-Nov-18 08:35:01

Just ask why he was a 9 last year and now a 7.
What subject is it? Some subjects are very content heavy so grades will go up and down because they don't necessarily build on the previous topic.
Is it a different teacher to last year? There may also be an element of variation in assesments depending on how the school moderates these.

ShalomJackie Thu 01-Nov-18 08:46:48

Possibly because it was the first year for many subjects that were graded as 9-1 grades instead of A*-G so the school had no real idea where the boundaries for 9/8/7s were going to be and had to guesstimate until the first set of results were out in August. It may be that they had set their (artificially estimated) boundaries too high and that the new grade has been based on actual grade boundaries as published after August results day. Many schools were caught out overestimating what they thought kids would get so they may be erring on the side of caution.

As you say it may just be a kick up the bum to make him knuckle down rather than coast thinking he has a shoe in 9. If so, I may try to address this privately with the teacher rather than in front of your son because otherwise their tactic may fail if your DS realises this is the case.

BubblesBuddy Thu 01-Nov-18 08:53:27

Or it could be that the work is harder and he’s not as good as before? Predicting a 9 in y10 is foolish anyway. They haven’t finished the syllabus!

Zinnia Thu 01-Nov-18 10:24:22

@malmontar schools' value added/ Progress 8 scores are calculated against pupils' KS2 results, not internal monitoring.

OlderThanAverageforMN Thu 01-Nov-18 11:18:01

I can't understand why they would even predict a 9 when no-one knew what the parameters were for a 9. Our school only predicts up to 8.

We have also just received a bad report for DD for maths. Dropped from a 7 in the summer exams to a 4 in the recent report. Solely down to a really bad test prior to the report. It doesn't make sense, in that DD has gradually been moving up the scale for maths for the last couple of years, but it does show that poor revision, and one bad test can bring you down. She was upset, but now accepts that she needs to concentrate/revise better on some areas where she is not so confident. Hopefully it will help give her a bit of a push.

Frlrlrubert Thu 01-Nov-18 11:36:31

In some subjects (I'm thinking science) the first exams were in June, so it may be that the boundaries were higher than expected and the school are recalibrating their expectations compared to the national picture.

It could also be that this terms content it something he finds more difficult than whatever they were doing at the end of last year.

Are his percentage scores on tests less than they were or roughly the same?

notpushyinterested Thu 01-Nov-18 12:52:15

Lots to think about. Thank you.
I think it's just that the work getting harder and there is more of it.
I do think the teacher thinks he's not working as haRd. I only see what he does athe home but he works his socks off and puts himself under a lot of pressure which worries me a bit. Hence wanting to address it.
Thanks again.

OP’s posts: |
TeenTimesTwo Thu 01-Nov-18 15:03:22

Another option:

They have revised estimates for this y11 in the light of the actual GCSE results this summer.


They have decided that predicting 9s is counter productive as all it does is build unnecessary pressure on the student.

notpushyinterested Thu 01-Nov-18 15:54:53

No other students in school doing this subject. Very small class. It would outing if I named hence the name change!

OP’s posts: |
ghostsandghoulies Thu 01-Nov-18 17:28:10

Our school predicts a maximum of 8. There's very little between 7/8/9 and I think that a prediction that is too high can mean less effort as the child will focus on subjects with the lower predictions.

Lemoncurd Thu 01-Nov-18 19:11:17

My daughters school has target grades - including 9's and 'working at' grades at each review. They have been told that no one will receive 9s as 'working at' grades as they haven't covered all of the work yet so this isn't possible.
Despite this one rogue teacher gave her a 9 in the last report. She's quite angry about this and says that he completely misunderstood the system (and as an aside the whole course so daughter and friend have been going through the syllabus and trying to teach themselves and explain to the teacher what they are supposed to be doing). Maybe something similar happened for your son.

Theworldisfullofgs Thu 01-Nov-18 19:13:23

A school should never predict a 9. It's not predictable and is so dependent on cohort performance.

It may well be they overpredicted in the last round and are moderating.

Anasnake Thu 01-Nov-18 19:15:22

After the first cohort has sat the new exam we have more idea of grades and boundaries. Last year we were guessing .

notpushyinterested Thu 01-Nov-18 19:24:08

Been to parents evening. Had an in depth discussion. All sorted.
Thanks for the advice.

OP’s posts: |
TeenTimesTwo Thu 01-Nov-18 19:37:36

Go on, give us a hint
- teacher craziness
- drop off in performance
- revised standards

(you don't have to)

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