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Year 7 targets.

(62 Posts)
seeker Thu 15-May-08 13:51:31

I've just come off the phone to a friend who's dd has been set level 7 as her target for the end of year 7 in all her "academic" subjects except MFL. She and her dd are pretty stressed about it - but she seemd to think it's quite normal. Is it? My dd is at a pretty high performing grammar school and her targets are all the the high 5 to high 6 range. My dd is nowhere near as clever as this other girl - but even so....! I suggested she queried it with the school and said she thought it a bit much to ask, but she says that "wouldn't reflect well" on her dd. What do you all think?

mumblechum Thu 15-May-08 13:56:06

Have just been looking at ds's targets for yr 8 funnily enough. Almost all 7s and 8s for end of yr 8, 9s for yr9.

Sorry can't remember what the yr 7 targets were.

Slouchy Thu 15-May-08 13:57:40

Level 7 is v high. It is what an able 14year old is looking at and end of KS3 (i.e. Year 9 SATs) and roughly equates to a c/d at GCSE.
If the dd is up to it ,she is clearly v able indeed.

mumoftwo37 Thu 15-May-08 13:58:13

Level 7 at the end of year 7 is way to high imho. My Year 8 son has targets of high level 6's to level 7's for this year. He did get level 7 in some essays last year and is very clever. Level 7 is expected st the end of year 9 i thought, I would query it with the school if I were her.

seeker Thu 15-May-08 14:09:44

She is a very clever girl but... Does anyone know whether there would be any advantage in hitting level 7 so early? It just seems bonkers to me - and I want some facts before I ring my friend back.

mumblechum Thu 15-May-08 14:13:46

Is the target based on just the teacher's opinion or some sort of test? I know ds's were based on MIDYIS testing.

Slouchy Thu 15-May-08 14:16:28

Targets have to stretch pupils but be realistic and achievable too. So she has to be working at a top L6 at least if she is being told to aim for a L7.

seeker Thu 15-May-08 14:22:55

I don't know how the targets were set. I know that my dd's were based on a series of tests they did in October, and they have been revised up (and down) three times since then. I thought this was how all schools did it - but maybe not.

mumoftwo37 Thu 15-May-08 14:23:24

Can't see any advantage of hitting level 7 so early - she will be bored from now onwards IMO. My DS is in the top set for everything and no-one at his school is aiming for all level 7. Do all the schools use the same levels ? Only wondering as DS is excellent at science and his lowest test mark this year is 93% ( normally gets 99 or 100%) and his target is 7-.
I think they should get rid of these levels it would end a heck of a lot of confusion for us parents!

fortyplus Thu 15-May-08 14:31:52

seeker my 2 were given targets of level 7s when they were in year 7, but the target printed on the report was actually the target they are expected to achieve at the end of ks3 ie yr9 iyswim. So maybe your friend is just confused?

To give you an idea - in the past 5 years only 3 children at my sons' high-performing primary school achieved level 6 maths at the end of year 6. I think it would be fair to say that even these exceptionally bright children would struggle to reach level 7 at the end of year 7.

scaryteacher Thu 15-May-08 15:18:54

It is expected that most students will achieve a L6/7 at the end of KS3 (year 9). The levels that they come in with in year 7 from primary (i.e. a 5 in maths perhaps) do not equate with the secondary school levels, and I would normally expect them at secondary to be a level or two lower than the KS2 level. My ds had 5s across the board from his KS2 SATs, but as a secondary school teacher I think his level is actually only now creeping towards a 5, and he is not hitting that in History or Geography, as he is not motivated. He is year 7.

If your friends' child came into KS3 with a level 5 from KS2, then I would hope that she is a secure 4/5 by the end of year 7, unless she is very bright, in which case she might be a high 5/low 6 by the end of that year, but I would balk at giving a year 7 a 6, as they don't always grasp the concepts necessary for that level at year 7.

Either your friend is reading the end of KS3 projection as suggested above, or the school doesn't really know how the levels work. Level 8 is a good GCSE level, so I would be surprised if she is at level 7 already, and worried about the pressure this places on her.

mumoftwo37 Thu 15-May-08 16:07:42

Thank you scary teacher I am not confused any more! When I go to parents evening in a few weeks I will feel more confident and slightly less thick when I am talking to the teachers.

seeker Thu 15-May-08 17:57:38

Thank you scaryteacher - I did actually wonder about that (whether she had misread the report) but she hasn't. My dd has a target of 6b in maths and 6a in English for the end of this year and I thought that was very challenging indeed. As you said, I just don't see how they could fit the work in to get a secure Level 7 at the end of year 7. I will ring her this evening and try to persuade her to talk to the school. Trouble is, her dd is a very driven personality, so I'm not sure that, now she's been given the targets, she would handle having them lowered. Oh, all this stuff makes me cross - they are only 12, ffs!

ScienceTeacher Thu 15-May-08 18:42:15

I have pupils who often get L7s on their Science tests in Y7. They are not totally consistent, but it would be reasonable to have 7 as an end of year target, if we were to set those kind of targets.

It is common in schools where they don't really know the individual pupils very well to set their targets as one grade above their actual performance. It gives them something to work towards and to not be complacent. Research shows that having high expectations is a key contributer to performance.

ScienceTeacher Thu 15-May-08 18:42:18

I have pupils who often get L7s on their Science tests in Y7. They are not totally consistent, but it would be reasonable to have 7 as an end of year target, if we were to set those kind of targets.

It is common in schools where they don't really know the individual pupils very well to set their targets as one grade above their actual performance. It gives them something to work towards and to not be complacent. Research shows that having high expectations is a key contributer to performance.

roisin Thu 15-May-08 20:20:08

These sound very odd targets to me.
KS3 SATs (at the end of yr9) have the following ceiling (i.e. highest mark achievable):
English - Level 7
Maths & Science - Level 8

If you are getting 7s in yr7, how are you going to feel if you just get 7s/8s in yr9.

scaryteacher Fri 16-May-08 09:27:35

The problem science teacher is that the levels aren't the continuum they are supposed to be from primary to secondary. We often have the problem that a dc gets a 5 at KS2, and then all the secondary assessments come in at a 3-4, and we have 'our dc is going backwards.' As a rule (and I teach hums and RE), a child with a L5, will get a high 3 / low 4 for an assessment until they have clutched in to what they have to do. For a child to be getting a L6 by the end of year 7 would be exceptional imo for the comp I worked in.

My ds is a bright cookie, but I would be astounded if he was achieving to that level apart from in English. The problem is, I might know a student is capable of those levels from what I see in class as well, but unless I can back it up with written proof (summative assessments etc), then I can't give the grade.

Yes I agree about expectations, but in some cases, if you set the bar too high, the student won't achieve it. I prefer to set SMART targets for the levels, rather than you must move up 2 levels by the end of year 7. That sets the student up to fail imo.

I wouldn't stress about the levels tbh. There is stress enough at GCSE, so I wouldn't go looking for it now. The key point is that the child enjoys education and learning, and that will do more to achieve good GCSE grades than a child who is burnt out by the end of year 9, and weighed down by the expectations of others. Yes, they need to pass thier GCSEs, but schools are not exam factories, but places of enquiry and discovery.

scaryteacher Fri 16-May-08 09:28:57

sorry, their, not thier. I used to spend 10 minutes doing that at the beginning of lessons, the difference between their, there and they're!

fizzbuzz Fri 16-May-08 14:37:00

I don't understand this. The expepected level for the majority of children at end of KS3 (Year9) is a 5, unless the govt have changed something. This is the standard most children are expected to reach across the country.

I teach in a very academic school(85% a-c)not many of our Y7's have a predicted grade of 7 at end of year 7(unless it means at end of KS3 which would make more sense) A target usually means an aspirational grade which child should aim for not what they will get, but still think it odd. Unless I and colleauges have been assessing kids wrongly for the 13 years I have been teachinghmm. I can access data on any kid in Yr7 from any teacher....., when I last checked (yesterday doing Y7 reports) not overburdened with level 7's at end of year 7

janeite Fri 16-May-08 14:51:32

Well at least one school mentioned on here has clearly not understood levels, as there is no such thing as L9. The expected level for the end of year 9 is L5, although obviously some children will perform better than this. L5 in English, Maths and Science at the end of KS3 ought to lead on to 5 Grade Cs at the end of KS4, which is the expected average target.

English at KS3 goes up to L7; Maths and Science go up to L8.

fizzbuzz Fri 16-May-08 14:54:33

Thanks Janeite, Level 5 is the expected level at end of Year 9, unless as I said I have been assessing wrongly for years...grin

Heated Fri 16-May-08 14:54:34

Are you sure it's not an end of key stage target which very often is a level 7?

These kind of targets are totally pointless btw, but for some mysterious reason we have to report them like that. It involves no thought on my part in awarding them.

Actually to compound the idiocy even further, quite a number of schools use the SATs style 'optional tests' to assess year 7 & 8 at the end of year, which often produces a totally inflated level. These are then used as the reported level to parents so subsequently the target level has to be a level higher, so it becomes possible for a year 7 pupil to score a level 6 and have a target of level 7, when in fact they are functioning at top of level 5.

The following term teacher reports their level according to the evidence of their class work which doesn't confirm earlier 'brilliance' and parents start to wonder why little Johnny has slumped in performance, stuff him full of omega 3, blame the teaching and hire a tutor wink

seeker Fri 16-May-08 18:49:53

I'm sure they aren't end of key stage targets because she is MUCH brighter than my dd, and my dd has targets of 6c for Maths and 6b for English, so friend's dd's targets are bound to be higher.They both go to grammar schools, BTW, so the selective intake means that you would expect them to have higher than average targets.

Heated Fri 16-May-08 19:55:43

But it is just a target, not attainment. If year 7 have done CATs then the subject target may be generated automatically from that. For grammar those targets are entirely reasonable and likely to be achieved in year 8.

seeker Fri 16-May-08 21:11:42

Absolutely. I would expect my dd to achieve some 7s in year 8 if she carries on as she's going now. But my friend's dd has been given targets of level 7 for year 7.

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