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How much progress to expect in KS4 (in GCSE grades)

(10 Posts)
LynetteScavo Sat 14-Nov-20 15:46:13

If DDs "current grade" was a 3 in November of Y10, what would she be expected to achieve now, and at GCSE (in a normal, non coronavirus year)?

Is working at a 4 now, with hopefully a 5 next summer a reasonable expectation, or am I way off? confused

OP’s posts: |
NotDonna Sat 14-Nov-20 23:03:39

How was that 3 awarded at the end of yr10? Was it what she would have achieved if she’d sat the gcse in yr10? DDs school used to do this for maths ‘if they took the gcse right now’. If so, then a 5 or maybe even a 6 is possible, if she continues to work hard etc etc. Exams are a nightmare to predict though!

AlexaShutUp Sat 14-Nov-20 23:08:38

You probably need to ask the school.

DD was mostly getting the same grades in autumn of year 10 that she is getting now in year 11; I think they use a kind of flight path model though, rather than giving the grades that you might get if you sat the exams tomorrow.

clary Sat 14-Nov-20 23:19:59

I've never seen the point of "this is what you would get if you sat the exam now". You're not going to so why? DCs' school used to do this, drove me mad. Also they called it "predicted".

What you want to know is (as you say, OP) what they will most likely achieve when they do sit the GCSE, based on their ability and work in this subject. It's hard to say that in Nov of year 10 tho, esp with non-linear subjects.

I would ask the school OP what they expect her to get in the summer. What she was achieving last November is pretty irrelevant now.

LynetteScavo Sun 15-Nov-20 08:01:02

Thank you, it seems to be a bit "how long is a piece of string?"

I have DDs target grades based on her Y6 SATS, which at low as she is severely dyslexic and left primary virtually unable to read or write. Just before lockdown her reading age was above her chronological age, and some teachers (drama/music) are bemused by her low target grades.

School were going to tell us current grades last Friday. Now they are saying next Friday. They have firm for being late with things, so with Covid and half the year group isolating I imagine it will be sometime before they will actually give any report. I'm frustrated because some teachers are telling her she will get a 6/7 and others are saying 2, with a 3 if she's lucky, but that's directly to DD and not a report.

Maybe I'm being too impatient.

OP’s posts: |
LolaSmiles Sun 15-Nov-20 08:07:54

It depends how school are reporting. Schools I've worked in have always reported a current working grade.

I tend to find, assuming we are talking about students who work hard throughout Year 10 and 11, students increase a grade between the start of Year 11 and the end. Some manage more with tailored revision, hard work, and becoming more familiar with the exams.

The other thing to consider is how they've generated the current working grade. Is it best fit across the work in a subject, or assessments, or mock exams? They will all give different current working grades as a child might be performing around a 6 in class but with poor exam technique only be scoring 3s in tests.

Her drama and music teachers shouldn't be bemused by her low targets as targets are statistically generated from Year 6 SATs. If she has low SATs then she will have low targets. Really they should be saying 'we understand how the target was generated, but as we are a practical subject we feel this is too low and would like to adjust the target upwards'.

If you're concerned then have a chat with the school, but based on what you've said 5s in most subjects sounds achievable with higher in practical ones.

LynetteScavo Sun 15-Nov-20 08:48:21

Thank you @LolaSmiles

Her targets cannot be adjusted, I asked in the spring term of Y9 and was very firmly told no, by a deputy principle.

The targets are supposed to be high targets. I've pointed out to school (and had no reply) that going by her target grades DD should be applying for SEN college courses to help her with life skills. Meanwhile her RE teacher is asking her which A levels she is thinking of taking, and which 6th form she'd like to go to. Realistically she's somewhere between the two, I've just no idea where.

OP’s posts: |
Pythonesque Sun 15-Nov-20 15:57:53

If targets are set in stone from SATS and the underlying issues have been substantially addressed, as it sounds like (is she getting whatever support she needs for tests in written subjects?), then you just have to ignore those targets. I would be politely asking if individual teachers can give unofficial predictions though, to help with planning her future choices!

LolaSmiles Sun 15-Nov-20 16:23:57

They can't be changed on the spreadsheets because of how school assess progress, but individual teachers are usually able to have a realistic chat with students and parents to say 'realistically X is high, bordering on denotivatingly unattainable so why don't we aim for Y and once we get Y look at the next step up' or 'I understand this was from your SATs but actually you are great at Geography / Music / PE so I think that's probably too low. Let's set ourselves the target of getting Y instead because you're working well'.

As a teacher I tend to take spreadsheet generated targets with a pinch of salt and go off the students I have in front of me. As long as they are making progress and I can genuinely end the day saying I've done what's right by them then the target grade doesn't matter.

It sounds like some of your DC's teachers have a similar approach.

OnTheBenchOfDoom Sun 15-Nov-20 17:04:08

I would be politely asking if individual teachers can give unofficial predictions though, to help with planning her future choices!

Completely agree with this statement and that learning isn't as linear as SATs project. If individual teachers are willing to give her a working grade then you at least know where to go from there. A lot can be achieved with guidance from teachers on where and how to improve. I don't know when your usual parents' evenings are for year 11, we had one set in November and another in February (after both sets of mocks). This is where teachers could tell you their thoughts. If this is not going ahead then get your DD to ask each teacher.

I will confess that I do not know how much of an impact your DD's dyslexia will have on her ability to perform well in exams. Ds doesn't have any learning difficulties and went into GCSEs with a very can do attitude and put time into extra study, mainly YouTube with the speed increased to get through more content grin so he beat his SATs targets and did incredibly well. Because he refused to be defined by their predictions.

If you need specific advice on how to revise and what to revise ask on here. Also which exam board it is.

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