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Year 7 Streaming

(30 Posts)
Cbeazley01 Sun 04-Nov-18 17:32:09

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone can provide us with some advice to help resolve a very difficult situation.

We live in West Kent and our son passed the Kent 11 plus in Sept 2017.

His score was not high enough for the super selective schools and we did not think the local grammar.

However, we all liked one non-selective school but were in a dilemma as he deserved the opportunity of going to grammar school. After a very impressive Headmaster's talk on an open evening encouraging grammar kids to join them and after reviewing their GCSE results and being informed that they have a grammar stream (although they call it something else) and my son's primary teacher advising us that he would definitely be in the grammar stream we decided to take the plunge and go non selective with the goal of him being in the grammar set.

Our son has settled into his new secondary school really well and making lots of friends.

We did have some initial concerns after only 4 weeks when our son advised us that they his allocated reading band was 3.6 - 5.4 and he thought the book was really easy and not challenging at all (he was reading 25 pages in 20 mins). So I contacted the school to express my concerns and we were advised that the library and english dept had notice some discrepancies on his levels but will reassess before Christmas. We were happy with their response.

He came home two weeks ago to say that he had not made the grammar stream, which we reluctantly accepted. Last week he came home saying he go 90% in a reading test, 95% in Biology and 100% in a History test and he does not feel challenged.

We subsequently arranged to see his Head of Year who advised us that as had came from an Independent school and not done the SAT's test they have no record of his previous academic achievements and therefore cannot be compared to other pupils.

They had been sent his CAT scores (above average) and reading age of 15.06 plus he passed the Local Authority 11 plus.

I have arranged to see the Head but any help or advice would be appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
MaisyPops Sun 04-Nov-18 18:52:35

It sounds to me like the school do some internal baselines and take it from there.

With regards to the reading book, it sounds like he is doing Accelerated Reader. The reading range is generated by a test the children do. The lower end are books that students will be comfy with and the upper end is challenging them and getting them confident in a range of texts at that level (e.g. you might have a student who'll read A particular book series that's out of their range but struggle with different genres in their range). Even Accelerated Reader say it's not an exact science.
Book selection is up to the student doing Accelerated Reader (so if he isn't feeling challenged by the boosk then he needs to be picking different books). What I would say is that a child ploughing through at speed but getting a lower reading range is either a child who isn't paying attention and rushed the test/rushing reading or a child who is quick to decode and so skim reads words without actually thinking about the plot and ideas in the book.

Ultimately a child can do well in a top group or a top/middle group (some of my middle students have left with A/A*/8/9 whilst some in set 1 got Bs).
It might be he's clicked with those topics and next topic he doesn't. Equally, you don't know what the rest of the cohort is like.

I think the mistake you made (If I can say this) is getting drawn into the primary teacher saying he'll get into the grammar stream. They can't possibly say that. If your reasons for choosing the school were speculation from a teacher in a different school then you may have been misguided.

I think you need to go into the meeting with an idea of what you want to achieve:
Is it a reason why your DC isn't in the grammar stream?
Is it a move into that stream? (More tricky to push for as schools are always being bombarded with why my child should be in top set requests)
Is it questions about levels of challenge in class?

Cbeazley01 Sun 04-Nov-18 19:06:09

Thank you for your reply.

Our main issue is that he was excluded from streaming as they had no previous data for him, when in fact that had his CAT scores but they chose to ignore them (and he passed the 11+).

I have been advised to take along as much evidence as possible to prove his grades.

OP’s posts: |
Cbeazley01 Sun 04-Nov-18 19:07:54

He did his first AR reading test and scored 90% (I am not sure if this is a good or bad score?)

OP’s posts: |
PotteryLady Sun 04-Nov-18 19:15:58

Have you the option to send to the local Grammar School? He may not get moved until next year.

Cbeazley01 Sun 04-Nov-18 19:39:03

We had the option before but this is not sure if we would get a space now.

OP’s posts: |
TeenTimesTwo Sun 04-Nov-18 19:59:16

Do you know how flexible the streams are?

When will they reassess, and how many pupils on average move between streams?

Is he going to be disadvantaged by not being in the 'grammar stream', e.g. not permitted to do triple science later, or not being taught higher levels of maths?

(I don't like streaming, I think flexible setting is better).

MaisyPops Sun 04-Nov-18 19:59:40

AR Reading quizzes are comprehension based on the books theyve been reading. I expect most students to be getting 80+% because they've picked a book in their ZPD range.
AR quizzes help support reading development. They're not a test to compare students.

If your issue is on prior attainment then the Head of year may have a point if he has a cat score and others have sats then they don't compare across. SATs scores are scaled scores and don't (that I'm aware of) tally across to CATs.

Take the evidence of his ability. I would be counting AR quizzes though as they show nothing other than he's read a book. You could take his reading range along, but I'll be honest that's a fairly standard reading range based on year 7 classes I've taught.

RolyRocks Sun 04-Nov-18 20:02:56

Do you know what his CAT scores were, exactly?

BarbarianMum Sun 04-Nov-18 20:19:01

How can 15 years + be the standard reading age for an 11 year old Maisy?
OP Id question it. Not all children take SATS and any half decent secondary would have ways of assessing that doesnt rely solely on them. In your position I would ask how your son's abilities have been assessed and why he was not being challenged in class.

Cachailleacha Sun 04-Nov-18 20:35:44

Haven't they all done CATs in year 7? SAT results can be over-inflated because of some primary schools spend excessive time teaching to the test.

Cbeazley01 Sun 04-Nov-18 20:41:03

CAT 4 Level D
NVR 114
Verbal reasoning 104
Quantitative 124
Spatial 103
Reading 15.06
Spelling 11.10
He was 10.10 when he took tests.

What do you think?

OP’s posts: |
MaisyPops Sun 04-Nov-18 20:48:27

A reading range of 3.something to 5.something on Accelerated Reader is typical for many of year 7s. Many of my y7s are reading books in the 5.0-6.5 range.

Reading age the OP mentioned is separate and done on another test, not through Accelerated Reader (although AR can give a reading age).
What that means in reality will depend on the test they were given. (E.g. I've seen students score highly on a reading age test but have below average or average comprehension because the reading test was decoding words based. So schools have been able to say x years improvement in reading age but it's reading age based on decoding benchmarks, not ability to process texts).

The focus, in my opinion, needs to be on ensuring DC is being challenged and can make progress.

Cachailleacha Sun 04-Nov-18 20:58:58

Only the Quantitative CAT and reading age look to be above the average range (NVR maybe?).

BarbarianMum Sun 04-Nov-18 21:03:23

According to ds1's accompanying notes, the average score for NVR, VR, SP and Q is 100 so he's ranging from very slightly above average to above average (quantitative). The scores have been adjusted for age so he wont be disadvantaged for that.

BarbarianMum Sun 04-Nov-18 21:04:00

Thanks Maisy that makes sense.

Cachailleacha Sun 04-Nov-18 21:09:33

My child got a reading age from a accelerated reader test (think it was a STAR test). I think it was 15.06 the first time, 16.06 the second, but the ZPD was something like 5 to 11 or 12. So I'm not sure why the OP's child has been given 3.6-5.4.

Cbeazley01 Sun 04-Nov-18 21:11:58

We were told in our meeting with the Head of Year. "I was unable to assess him because I dont have any information on him" When we queried this she said " My job is not to input the data. I compare the information in front of me and decide who should be in the higher stream"

OP’s posts: |
BarbarianMum Sun 04-Nov-18 21:16:03

Well that's clearly totally crap so I would challenge it.

Cbeazley01 Sun 04-Nov-18 21:30:17

he also passed the 11plus and hope that data will support our case.

OP’s posts: |
Cachailleacha Sun 04-Nov-18 21:34:28

Found the STAR report and it has reading age 16.06 and ZPD 5.0-12.9. So I would certainly be questioning the reading band if he got a reading age of 15.06 last year.

mrswormwood Sun 04-Nov-18 21:38:19

Which subjects is he streamed for? Is it one stream for all subjects or different streams for different subjects? He might have been at an advantage for the 11 plus being in a private school, did he have tutoring too? State schools tend to focus more on SATs so some might have accelerated in yr6. The school will also be under pressure to get those with higher SATs marks achieve better GCSEs so that might be a part of their strategy.

Cbeazley01 Sun 04-Nov-18 21:43:41

From my own experience with my older son schools tutor children for SATs.

OP’s posts: |
Cbeazley01 Sun 04-Nov-18 21:47:31

They are streamed for 5 subjects.

My gripe is that if we had known then, what we know now, we would of chosen a grammar school as 1st choice and why did they not tell us at the open evenings that you will be at a disadvantage if you come from an independent school.

OP’s posts: |
MaisyPops Sun 04-Nov-18 22:45:33

The school don't give the reading range. It's auto generated based on the student scores on the star test. The star test is an adaptive one so if a child is getting answers right then it gets more difficult.
To get the ZPD of 3-5ish then the OP's child will have answered the test in a way to generate thay score. Either his comprehension outside of personal interests isn't as strong as believed or he didn't complete the test properly and rushed it (sometimes students do rush it as they see multiple choice, devide it's easy so don't bother to pay attention).

I get your frustration but the school don't have to tell you on open night how they will allocate groups. If only one result is significantly above average then that to me suggests the child isn't a dead cert for a top group.
I think the mistake you made was taking it from the primary teacher that your DC would get into the top stream when clearly they weren't in a position to say.

It would be like our feeders telling all their greater depth students they'll be in top set at our school (we dont set for most subjects at ks3 so hypothetical) which is fine until there's actualy 100 students who are targeted 8s and 9s in core subjects and not enough spaces in the top group.

Absolutely have the chat with the Head about right levels of challenge. I'd also get it cleared up whether the stream will affect gcse options.

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