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How to convey to parents that level fours are FINE?

(87 Posts)
JonSnowKnowsNothing Mon 27-Jan-14 18:58:24

Obviously can't be specific although I'd like to. I'm just so frustrated by the parents of lovely kids with level four targets who are unhappy with progress and don't see why their children aren't getting fives.

Why do they not get that not all children can score level five on these bloody tests? Why do they not see that their children are thoughtful, honest, motivated, happy, hard working young people?? Why do they assume we are failing their children if they do not leave school with sodding level fives?? One child is on track for a four but came to juniors on a one. Still not happy!!!

Sorry for the rant, just dreading a meeting tomorrow where I'm going to have to either bite my tongue or be very blunt.

CouthyMow Fri 31-Jan-14 00:02:01

(DS3 is likely to be a 'late bloomer' like DS2, given his current development)

DS2 has made 6 sub levels progress in Maths in just 13 weeks. Though that IS mostly down to moving out of a school deemed 'Outstanding' to one deemed 'Satisfactory' (Due Ofsted soon.)

Give me the 'Satisfactory' school any day...

Again, it's all just pointless hoops for teachers and schools to jump through, and bears no real meaning to how real life children (rather than some textbook 'average' child) actually progress.

noblegiraffe Fri 31-Jan-14 07:23:15

Level 4 at end of ks2 would suggest level 6 at end of ks3 which would actually put them on B grade trajectory.

Not in maths, a level 6 at KS3 is more likely to map to a C.

Badvoc Fri 31-Jan-14 07:30:36

Tarte....I hear you! My ds1 had obvious issues right from pre shcool tbh but the teachers had to deal with the more disruptive/chair growing kids so ds1 just fell through the net.
We have done loads with him though and it's paid real dividends so don't despair!
Agree with morethan too...don't compare. That way madness lies!

Badvoc Fri 31-Jan-14 07:32:13

Couthy...I did the same! Moved ds1 from an "outstanding" school where he was left with clinical depression aged 6 sad to a satisfactory one.
I wasn't - and probably never would - by happy with the sen provison at either school but at least at the latter he was happy and not bullied.
And you can teach your child yourself.
For me, school is a socialisation tool.

TicTacTastic Fri 31-Jan-14 08:31:12

I think parents will easily do the convincing themselves that a level four is fine, but only after they are 100% sure that their child is a level four because that's his or her real ceiling level. If they've got even a whisper of a feeling that the teacher is happy with their child's level four just because "that's generally fine for most kids so there's no need to try for anything more", then they're going to be unsatisfied and worried that their child might be being affected by lower expectations than her ability deserves. You might interpret this as them not being happy with a level four in principle, but it's just as likely to be them being worried about your attitude to level fours in relation to their particular child. Being ever more reassuring about level fours being "fine" might actually be counterproductive if you want them to back off a bit and stop worrying!

Gunznroses Fri 31-Jan-14 11:22:14

Tictac You put it all extremely well!

gleegeek Fri 31-Jan-14 11:56:52

If a level 4 is a real achievement for the child than it's great. If a level 4 is the minimum they should get and there is a possibility/probability they could achieve higher grades with some hard work, then I wouldn't be happy with a level 4. It's all relative.

But I do despair about the low expectations of one of our year 6 teachers, whose class aren't expected to do as well as the other two classes angry He thinks if children are self motivated, they will be fine. I think some of them just need a rocket behind them!

HelpTheSnailsAreComingToGetMe Tue 04-Feb-14 00:55:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

midnightmoomoo Sun 16-Feb-14 20:24:03

I have a year 6 son who is on course for a level six in his SATs, a ear 4 DD who is already 4a across the board and a well-above average year one son.

In my honest opinion......there's a part of me who thinks they will be better off in a trade later on.....hairdressing, building, carpentry....because they will always have a skill which will enable to work/earn, and going on to achieve fab grades/degrees etc may not do that (as my unemployed scientist husband can testify!!) I want them do be happy in the life choices they make, and getting hung up on levels/grades is a waste of time. What I have drummed into them is that it's not the results they get which matter but the choices these results will give them in life which is important.

To me as a parent, teacher, and governor it's just a hoop for schools to jump through. I'm lucky that our school is 'good' and all three kids love it, enjoy school, have nice friendship groups and approachable teachers.....they do well academically but it's only one piece of the puzzle. I just think it's unfair the amount of pressure it all puts on teachers who are already dedicated enough.

ReallyTired Fri 21-Feb-14 23:55:09

"It's the parents whose kids will never be academic high flyers, but who work their arses off, who are most awful."

I think that the parents understand that their little ones are growing up in a dog eat dog world. It is tougher than ever to get a job in the UK as our children will be competing with immigrants for a job. Even apprenticeships are getting harder to get. Just look at the massive levels of youth unemployment in the UK. If a child has not got good literacy and maths skills then it closes a lot of doors for them.

I pushed my son quite hard in year 6 as I was not content with him scraping a 4c in English. I was utterly ballistic with the suggestion that 4c was OK, as he was a hard working child who had got level 3s in keystage 1 SATs. OFSTEd have subsequently rated the school as inadequate as they don't think its OK for a child who got level 3 in keystage 1 SATs to only get a 4c in year 6.

I wanted ds to have the literacy skills to cope with secondary so I sent ds to a tutor. He has absolutely flown at secondary where he has teachers with reasonable expectations. Secondary schools in my town ignore SATs and use CATS instead.

I feel the really awful parents are those who don't care about their children's education in the basic ways. Ie. they don't read to their children or get their children to school on time. Save your wrath for the parents of the child whose reading diary is empty and wears dirty clothes.

Quinteszilla Sat 22-Feb-14 00:05:24

Op, you asked further down "I'd love to know what strategies you'd like teachers to use to push average and below average children towards the highest levels, which they have no chance of reaching, at this stage. "

Well, maybe not the highest levels, but higher?

In my sons Y6 class there was a big focus on putting children forward for the L6, my son included, he achieved an L6 for maths.

I was not keen, because I think it is rather pointless for the children (although I understand many schools like to say they had so and so many L6 kids) to teach to three different levels, 4, 5 and 6 in class. Why start so late? And why teach to 3 different levels, rather than just try to ensure more children achieve their very best, at L4 and L5?

I did not like the pressure the kids were put under.

Lizziegeorge Sat 22-Feb-14 09:07:59

Unless a child is extremely one way or another ie high or low level in Year 6 their SATS have no bearing on their GCSE results- children are often late or early developers. Knowing how to learn and wanting to learn as much as possible is far more important. IMHO.

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