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Maths teachers, how are you assessing and grading key stage 3?

(8 Posts)
PumpkinPie2016 Thu 08-Feb-18 18:54:36

Not a maths teacher but I lead KS3 Science in my school and it's a nightmare to be honest. We don't use GCSE papers - we use the KS3 questions from testbase.

We can only give a maximum of a grade 6 at KS3 so the grade boundaries we use are high (although similar to other ones I have looked at) so the grades we are getting are a real mix. My top set Y8 are generally achieving around the grade 4 Mark with a few 5's and one or two pupils who are exceptional and get grade 6 no problem (approx 90% on a test).

It's a bit demoralizing though as I feel that are doing well across KS3 but the targets are also massively high sad

I feel like it's a stab in the dark!

Cat0115 Fri 02-Feb-18 06:24:24

Noble,I couldn't agree more. As an English HoD I DESPAIR of predicting 5 years ahead. We don't start to use GCSE questions until y10 because they are DESIGNED for 16 year olds...even the 'data 'we collect isn't accurate. The most on point predictions (and these are often a grade out)happen at Easter...just before the real thing.

Cantwineitherway1 Thu 01-Feb-18 23:45:44

Totally agree with you noblegiraffe. We had a lot of parents phone in (understandably) when reports went home and their kids got working towards a grade as they didnt understand. We are a deprived area so below national average anyway... most of year group were working towards with a few 1s and a handful of 2s in the top 2 sets. So demoralising for the kids!

noblegiraffe Thu 01-Feb-18 23:23:56

Sorry, that was unhelpful but I hate what is being forced on us not for the mathematical benefit of the pupils but soley to generate data which is bollocks anyway.

My school has us enter whether the child is making good progress towards their GCSE target grade. The answer ‘I dunno if they’re going to get a grade 4 in Y11, they’re only 11’ isn’t allowed.

noblegiraffe Thu 01-Feb-18 22:54:24

Oh god giving Y7 kids foundation GCSE papers, is this what we’ve come to?

You can’t accurately assess KS3 students against GCSE grades given how little we know about them two papers into the new course. More than that, why would you want to? Telling a kid that they’re a GCSE grade 2- in Y7 achieves what, exactly?
The GCSE papers are too hard for the majority of Y11s and not fit for purpose even then.

Test the kids on what they’ve been taught and pick up the stuff that they still don’t get. Parents don’t want numbers that have been plucked out of thin air and that they don’t understand, they want to know if their kid is struggling, doing ok, doing well or exceptionally well in the year group. Teachers can generally put kids into those bands.

Dermymc Thu 01-Feb-18 21:57:01

Ahh good to hear that foundation papers are being used. Our SLT don't like giving kids topics they've never seen (all history or English teachers hmm) I'd go to foundation papers in an instant.

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Cantwineitherway1 Thu 01-Feb-18 21:42:22

Year 7 did 2 foundation papers in September/October, they will also do one at the end of the year. Year 8 did theirs November time and are due 2 more after half term. We do two topics per half term and do assessments on those which are made up from GCSE questions but we dont get grades from those and i dont find them nassively useful for the majority of kids as they are too hard in KS3/ lower ability sets.

Dermymc Thu 01-Feb-18 21:04:14

Currently have to report half termly gcse grades for school to analyse pick apart
These are based on assessment using gcse questions from the topics they have covered and the topics accumulate over the terms. Eg the first test is 100% first half term topics, second half term is 40% first, 60% second.

Honestly we don't really know where students are! Does anyone use a different /better system?

One thought was gcse foundation papers at the end of the year to give a true grade.

What are you doing?

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