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Class average - what would be considered a bad result?

(27 Posts)
Anothermum2467 Thu 03-Jan-19 16:58:43

Just wondering what is considered a bad/low score when you are given a class average? For example top set average class result in English is 84%, obviously anything above is good but what would be considered a low result, anything bellow class average?

OP’s posts: |
Yinv Thu 03-Jan-19 17:02:12

Well no because about half the class have to be below the average for it to be the average.

It’s probably not great to be placed last in the class or second last.

BackforGood Thu 03-Jan-19 17:02:47

Why would you consider it to be a 'bad' result ?
If people are 'set' and they are in the top set, then they are obviously in the top 20% of the year (depending on how many sets there are, obviously). Even if that were important, what are you going to do with the information ?
Surely you want to know if your dc is achieving the best they can, whether there are 99% of their cohort above them or below them is irrelevant.

AlexanderHamilton Thu 03-Jan-19 17:04:00

it totally depends on the cohort & the difficult or otherwise of the exam paper set.

RedSkyLastNight Thu 03-Jan-19 17:04:26

Class average is a meaningless concept anyway - all it tells you is how your child is doing in relation to the other children in the class. You have no idea how that class is doing in relation to any other class in the country ...

AlexanderHamilton Thu 03-Jan-19 17:08:58

We used to be given the year group median but that was in the context of a selective school & we were also given a number 1-4 which related to expected final GCSE grades.

Ds’s current school & Dds previous school are non selective and wouldn’t dream of giving such information as it would be of little use.

AlexanderHamilton Thu 03-Jan-19 17:10:51

If there is a considerable gap between the bottom couple of results and the rest of the class that might indicate the child needs to be moved down a set.

Anothermum2467 Thu 03-Jan-19 17:11:30

The lowest results obviously will drop sets and that’s why I was asking, as dc was 3% bellow class average in a certain subject.

And I agree class average is meaningless, unfortunately that’s all we are given.

OP’s posts: |
AlexanderHamilton Thu 03-Jan-19 17:12:49

You’d need to know the entire spread of results for it to be of any use.

AlexanderHamilton Thu 03-Jan-19 17:13:36

You might have an outlier for example that would raise the average score.

Pieceofpurplesky Thu 03-Jan-19 17:16:05

I wouldn't really think an English class would give a class average as a % as that is not how grades are calculated. It is a complicated balance of papers/Spag/content.
What age and is it private school?

AlexanderHamilton Thu 03-Jan-19 17:17:21

I’ve always been given percentages purple.

Pieceofpurplesky Thu 03-Jan-19 17:17:27

But that said there will be pupils in the set below who will have got much higher marks than this and will be set according to this and teacher involvement

Pieceofpurplesky Thu 03-Jan-19 17:17:47

Alexander - why?

AlexanderHamilton Thu 03-Jan-19 17:18:51

You would have to ask the SMT of the three schools my children have attended.

bruffin Thu 03-Jan-19 17:19:39

Well no because about half the class have to be below the average for it to be the average.
Some people need to go back to school

AlexanderHamilton Thu 03-Jan-19 17:21:15

Would that be the median or the mode bruffin? )maths not my strong point). Ds’s previous school gave the median not the average.

Anothermum2467 Thu 03-Jan-19 17:22:16

It’s not English, that was just an example as don’t want to give the exact details. But our school gives class average for all subjects. No it’s not a private school and dc is in year 7

OP’s posts: |
bruffin Thu 03-Jan-19 17:24:33

Thats the point we dont know whether they use Mean ,Mode Median or Range. But in most of the methods half the class wont be under average

ShalomJackie Thu 03-Jan-19 17:26:02

Yes my DS gives exam results as a percentage too. Because unless they are actual gcse/A level papers there are no grade boundaries as such.

SexNotJenga Thu 03-Jan-19 17:27:02

the lowest results obviously will drop sets

If that is correct then it is a remarkably short sighted way of doing things. Students should be moved sets only if they will benefit from the move - I'd expect teachers and schools to be taking much more information into account than one test result alone.

To put your mind at rest, OP, it is pretty unlikely that 3% below the mean mark would make someone the lowest in the class.

Do bear in mind, though, that getting moved down can be the best thing that happens to a student, if it gets them into a class where they really click with the teacher, or the work goes at their pace, or they are better able to concentrate etc etc. I worked in a school with 12 sets in a year group once, and there were students in set 8 who outperformed students in set 2.

bsc Thu 03-Jan-19 17:28:15

You need to know the range as well as the average for it to be meaningful.

TeenTimesTwo Thu 03-Jan-19 17:30:16

Personally I can't see being 3% below the mean score (which is normally what is meant by average unless otherwise stated), would be low enough to drop a set.

But so what if they drop a set. The purpose of sets is to be in the most appropriate one. If that means set 2 for your DC then it means set 2.

That said, I don't think setting should be done purely on test results anyway. It should include performance in class as well.

BackforGood Thu 03-Jan-19 18:34:20

The lowest results obviously will drop sets

Why obviously ?
Even if there were some dc in Set 2 who got a higher % in the exam - which, in itself, isn't necessarily a 'given', it doesn't necessarily mean there is an automatic swapping of sets.

I'm still confused about this. Do you mean that your ds has been given a grade for the exam - in this case 81% - and you have been told the "average" mark in the set was 84% ?

clary Thu 03-Jan-19 18:40:46

I think a result like this after one term of studying it (unless it is English or maths) is fairly meaningless tbh.

But yes, 81% in an exam sounds pretty good. So if it's below the mean (for example) then that would indicate either some very high outliers or an exam that was quite easy.

As a pp says, moving down sets (if that's what you're worried about) is not necessarily a terrible thing. Setting in yr 7 for anything but maths is not especially meaningful or helpful IME anyway.

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