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Year 8 report - attitude to learning

(16 Posts)
Alsoplayspiccolo Fri 05-Apr-19 10:22:18

DS has just been given his termly report. It has 3 sets of grades: working at ( 1-9, but actually they only give to 8), challenge grade ( ditto), and attitude to learning (inadequate, adequate, good, excellent).
DS got all 7s and 8s, and all good/excellent, except for Latin where the teacher said his attitude to learning was adequate.

Last term, his "working at" grade for Latin was 5, challenge grade 7 and attitude to learning was also adequate; he had been given several negative points for forgetting books and failing to meet targets for tests.
This term, he hasn't forgotten his books, has met every test target, always gets his homework in on time, has met his challenge grade etc, but is still only recognised as " adequate" in attitude.
DS said yesterday that he'd consider taking Latin at GCSE, if it wasn't for this teacher. I haven't seen his report yet, but he says that the teacher only commented negatively; I know last term he described DS's grammar errors as "clumsy".
We've met the teacher and he is very dour, unlike the rest of DS's teachers who all say he's a delight to teach, an example to other pupils etc. Part of me thinks I should tell DS to shrug it off, but the other part wonders if the teacher believes DS is capable of more and therefore is coming down heavily on him, despite him meeting targets etc. Surely a "working at" level of 7 is good enough in year 8 ( I know the levels are all nonsense, but within the context they're being used here, he's meeting his targets).
Should we shrug it off, or ask the teacher what DS is expected to do to have a " good" attitude to learning?

OP’s posts: |
LeFaye Fri 05-Apr-19 11:53:16

I'd have a look at the report and take it from there. If the teacher hasn't indicated how your DS might improve, then I'd encourage him to have a chat with his teacher about it.

My DS1 was in a similar situation in French, and he had a meeting with his French teacher where he was told the teacher felt he only did exactly what he had to and nothing more, and given how the other teachers were raving about his class participation etc, the French teacher felt his attitude towards French was lacking.

RedSkyLastNight Fri 05-Apr-19 12:50:23

I wouldn't even give it a second thought. Some teachers naturally mark harder than others (and it's not as though the teacher has said is behaviour was "inadequate"?). The important thing is your DS has a long hard truthful look at his behaviour and work out whether there is any room for improvement. If he genuinely feels not, then he should carry on as he is.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 05-Apr-19 12:53:10

At DD's school I'd ask the teacher. He might have just copied over the grade from last term, and/or not 'noticed' the improvement.

Dear MrGrumpyClassics

FlutePlayer enjoys Latin and is considering picking it for GCSE, however we and FlutePlayer were a bit disappointed with his attitude to learning grade in his recent report. He felt he had put a lot of effort in this term to improve and be more organised and preparing for tests etc. Can you please let me know what areas he needs to work on further?

Kind regards

TansyViola Fri 05-Apr-19 13:53:50

I think the same as Teentimes that he probably copied the grade over from when he was getting behaviour points and hadn't noticed or checked to see if there'd been less behaviour points this term.
You could ask what he needs to do to improve his grade

OKBobble Fri 05-Apr-19 16:04:26

Adequate is fine though. It means he is working in a way that means he should adequately reach his target grade.

As someone else said some teachers just mark on a stricter scale.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 05-Apr-19 16:08:49

Adequate might not be fine. Just like for the old Ofsted Satisfactory was definitely not fine. Our school grades from 1-4. Where 1 is the best. The expected standard is 2.

Though yes, OP, does the school indicate whether 'Adequate' is fine, or is well, inadequate?

BubblesBuddy Fri 05-Apr-19 17:46:34

Adequate is never a top grade though is it? It’s always mediocre. Teachers are not always fair. I remember DD getting a B for effort when her test results were 97/100. So just rubbish really! It’s not motivating and I would ask for an explanation. I think our teacher muddled DD up with another child with the same name. She said she gave DD a B because she never answered anything in class. Quite obviously, that was not our DD!!! We let it go but it sucks. DD failed to ever get a gold bar for effort due to this teacher (and the rules). Other quite ordinary DC had loads of gold bars for quite small amounts of effort and even smaller levels of attainment.

noblegiraffe Fri 05-Apr-19 18:16:21

Teen my school switched from a 5 point system to a 4 point one too, as it was felt that average students were being given a satisfactory when really that wasn’t satisfactory and should be ‘requires improvement’.

What has happened is that students who were previously rated satisfactory are now being rated ‘good’ rather than ‘requires improvement’ because generally they’re not seen as bad enough to get a negative grade, but before they wouldn’t have merited a positive one. It’s misleading to parents.

Witchend Fri 05-Apr-19 20:20:52

The junior school used to have a 3 point system.
1.Excellent. Always does home learning and classwork with enthusiasm
2.Very Good: Usually does home learning and classwork to their ability level
3. Good: Sometimes completes home learning and classwork, but not always to a satisfactory level.
Then they announced with great gusto that every child in the school had got at least a "good" on their attitude to learning. grin

Various parents pointed out that "Sometimes completes home learning and classwork, but not always to a satisfactory level." should not equal good. Plus saying that everyone scored "Good" or above when "good" was the lowest was similar to saying "everyone scored at least 0% in the exam". So they changed it.
1.Excellent. Always does home learning and classwork with enthusiasm
2.Very Good: Usually does home learning and classwork to their ability level
3. Good: Sometimes completes home learning and classwork, usually to a satisfactory level.
4. Satisfactory: Attempts some home learning and classwork, but not to a satisfactory level.
5. Inadequate: Doesn't usually attempt home learning and classwork unsatisfactory.

We then had the pronouncement "In our attitude to learning levels (out of 5) most pupils scored at least a 3, with 100% of pupils scoring 4 or above.

I believe the teachers were told they weren't allowed to score 5.

I gave the following feedback to their system (well they did ask).

I would score the new "attitude to learning" marks scheme a 4 on your new levels. Satisfactory attempt but totally meaningless.

Alsoplayspiccolo Sat 06-Apr-19 16:13:52

So, today I'm even more non-plussed.
I looked at last term's report and DS actually had " good" for attitude to learning ( despite forgetting books and missing target scores in tests) and a working at grade of 6, with a challenge grade of 7.
A challenge grade is described as " ambitious but realistic, personalised goal".
I've now seen DS's report for this term. In Latin, he has a 7 for current grade and a 7 for his challenge grade, which means he's met his challenge, but also that his challenge grade hasn't been increased to an 8; to me, that suggests he's working to his potential.
However, the teacher's comment is "Although your marks are reasonable, I think it's fair to say that I don't think you are pushing yourself very hard".

I think the way I'm going to tackle this is to ask the deputy head of academics for clarification of the reporting system. I'm not sure what the point of setting a target is, but then still not being happy when a pupil reaches that target.

OP’s posts: |
TansyViola Sat 06-Apr-19 16:34:15

Have you spoken to the teacher about it? Is it possible he's not trying in class or even being silly? I'd speak to him before going above him to the DH

Alsoplayspiccolo Sat 06-Apr-19 16:52:42

How can he not be trying in class, when he's gone up a grade? There is no mention of poor behaviour in his report comment, just inconsistent grammatical applications. Either he's working at his challenge grade level or he's not, surely?
As I said, he got a better attitude grade last term, despite the fact that he forgot books and missed test targets; in his most recent vocab test, he got 62/64, which was one of the highest marks in the class. How does that equate to not trying very hard?

OP’s posts: |
GreenTulips Sat 06-Apr-19 17:00:41

So you equate hard work as grades?

Dyslexic kids work hard to stand still
DD does very little for an A* pupil

Your sons teacher feels he could do better. He may not like your son, or other kids work harder

Just drop it and stop fretting about minor details - your son will either enjoy it and pick it, or go with something else

Alsoplayspiccolo Sat 06-Apr-19 17:39:03

No, I definitely don't equate hard work with grades - DD has SEN, so I know very well that effort doesn't always = attainment.
The point I was making was that last term, DS was missing test targets and having to resit them, but this term, he's not, which suggests he's upped his effort ( I know for a fact he has). He's also improved from a 6 to a 7, which was the target set by the teacher, and which presumably also demonstrates improved effort.

I bet if I posted that DS was "only" predicted 7s but I was pushing him to work harder to get 8s and 9s, I'd be flamed.

OP’s posts: |
TansyViola Sat 06-Apr-19 18:08:50

Maybe the teacher made a mistake on the report. I think it's always better to talk to a teacher direct and it may be resolved quickly and amicably, than to go over his head and maybe get his back up.

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