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Now I know you're all going to jump on me for this, and you'll be right, but still I need to voice this somewhere (and I am almost def being unreasonable):

23 replies

emkana · 19/12/2008 20:34

Dd1, in Yr 3, received an end-of-term report today. The grades you could get were A (well above average) B (above average) L (in line with average) D (below average)

She received a B for maths - fine, expected.

For reading and writing she got B's as well. Great, I hear you say, and I agree. But I still don't get it! She has not made a single mistake in any of her spelling tests throughout the term, and the words she has had to learn have included "quadrilateral" "centurion" "genre" to name but a few. Her reading age was tested and put at 11.6, she is 7.6. So what I wonder is: What do you have to do to be well above average?

But what really gets me is the homework thing, she got and L for that. She has all through the term always done her homework on time, mostly she handed it in the next day. All the h/work I saw marked later did not contain a single mistake, and only had very positive comments underneath.

Now tell me AIB very U to think that this is all a bit harsh, even THOUGH, and I know that, what we do have here is great nonetheless?

OP posts:
TipsyFairydifferentID · 19/12/2008 20:35

I would have a waord with the teacher if you can. If the report is in direct contrast with what the school are telling you then there may be a simle clerical error.

cory · 19/12/2008 20:41

The only thing I can think of is that spelling may not be the main thing they measure in literacy: it could be things like expression, range of vocabulary, ability to build interesting sentences. When dd did her SATS we were told spelling only accounted for a very small part of the marks.

emkana · 19/12/2008 20:42

Dd achieved level 3 in all her SATS at the end of Yr2, and again at the beginning of Yr3 when they tested them again under exam conditions.

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bigTillyMint · 19/12/2008 20:47

It probably reflects her ability to compose a piece of writing, including exciting vocab and various grammatical conventions, plus style, etc, etc. Spelling is just a very small part of it.

However, just seen that she is a level 3 -

Have a chat with the teacher

emkana · 19/12/2008 20:52

So I am not being totally unreasonable then?

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wheresthehamster · 19/12/2008 20:52

Spelling tests wouldn't count towards any assessment. It's the quality of her writing that matters. They may not have graded the homework any higher than an L. (Remember, they can't guarantee that the work is done solely by the child!). Level 3 is above average and that's where she is. And yes, it is great! Well done dd!

LIZS · 19/12/2008 20:54

agree with btm . dd - also year 3, 7 and 3 months similar levels, got marked down on her written work because her comprehension answers weren't full enough and her creative writing although a great story to time, well set out, good punctuation and spelling lacked the adjectives and descriptive phrases they had recently worked on.

llareggub · 19/12/2008 20:54

I think it sounds like a cock-up.

In my (very) younger and fitter days I was a county level swimmer and swam twice a day, every day.

During my first year at secondary school I had an E for swimming. My father, who was incredulous and mildly irritated by the sleep deprivation my early morning swimming caused him, queried it and was told by the swimming "teacher" that she gave all beginner swimmers an E grade.

On further questioning it transpired she'd mixed me up with someone else.

RustyBear · 19/12/2008 20:57

Is the 'average' the average nationally, or for her particular class or literacy set?

Level 3 is above average nationally, but it may not be in this particular class - in our current Year 3, all the 'top' set are level 3, so the children who got 2a are in the 'bottom' set, even though they are above average nationally. If they didn't do this, they'd have 40 children in the top set & only about 12 in the other one.

emkana · 19/12/2008 20:59

I think it is the average nationally, because she is definitely in the top set within her class

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singersgirl · 19/12/2008 21:04

I queried something similar when DS1 at the end of Y4 got all 4s on his report - which is the expected level for end of year 6. But he only got 2s for attainment, with 1 being 'well above average', 2 'above average', 3 'average' etc. His teacher said that 1 meant 'gifted and talented'. So I was willing to concede that DS1 wasn't that.

What does 'average' for homework mean, anyway? It seems an odd category to be grading them on.

PortAndStilton · 19/12/2008 21:09

How does the school do its grade bands, though? It could be policy to have (say) 5% As, 10% Bs, 70% Ls and 15% Ds. If they do that then your DD could be bumped down to a B just because there was another child in the class with a reading age of 15 who could spell sesquipedalian. And the homework could be down to the "mostly" handing it in the next day -- if there are a few children who always have it in the next day, beautifully presented complete with an apple for the teacher (OK, maybe not that bit) then she's going to fall down into the "average" category.

emkana · 19/12/2008 21:16

I'm kind of miffed as well I think because it's such a rude awakening after the type of reports we had in the Infants, which were all warm and fluffy. This is just a stark listing of grades, with very short comments how dd could improve ("expand knowledge of times tables", that sort of thing)

There is not one nice, encouraging, personal comment.

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abraid · 19/12/2008 21:26

A lot of the reports my children received in years 3 and 4 left me baffled. They often seemed to have regressed, owing to the grading used.

emkana · 19/12/2008 21:45

Felt a bit sorry for dd as well because she bleeding well works her little socks off and there was no praise in there whatsoever.

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loveingigglypiggly · 19/12/2008 21:51

Just picking up on a few comments about Level 3 being above average. Level 3 is a really hard level to progress within for Year 3 and 4. I would say a Level 3b AT THE END of the Year 3 is above average. These children would then be on track for 4c at the end of Year 4 and level 5 end of Year 6.

Strange levelling for a report though! Doesn't leave much scope for weaker children????

LittleJingleBellas · 19/12/2008 21:52

I don't think it's unreasonable to wonder how they come to the grades they do.

Absolutely fair enough to ask the question.

emkana · 19/12/2008 21:59

So if they are level 3 in their SATs in Yr 2, is that level 3a?3b?3c? Or what?

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loveingigglypiggly · 19/12/2008 22:01

LEVEL 3c, not any higher. A year 3 QCA Sat's paper is very different. Some children therefore remain within Level 3 throughout years 3 and 4. I wish parents were explained this as it looks like children do not progress when they do!

wheresthehamster · 19/12/2008 22:29

Yes, I wish that had been explained to me! I thought dd2 hadn't progressed at all from level 3s at KS1 and still on level 3 at the start of year 5. She did go on to get level 5s at the end of KS2 but a few words of explanation along the way instead of 'she's fine' would have been more helpful. With dd3 I know so much more!

emkana · 20/12/2008 10:35

I must admit I'm a bit confused by all this level malarkey.

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TotalChaos · 20/12/2008 10:41

I don't think YABU, no harm in asking the teacher what is expected for what grades. Is teacher normally a cold fish? As she could just have been having an off day when writing the reports if your DD is normally happy with her.

pinkfrogsroastingonanopenfire · 20/12/2008 10:45

The levels and marking system baffled me throughout my DS4's Primary school life. He has just gone to High school and all his work is marked weirdly!! For example 6/B1!!! When it was parents night I was relieved to see a teacher who was around my age - I just pointed to the 'scoring' and said 'What the ....' She LOL and said - 'It makes no sense at all does it - we just used to get marks out of 10 and our class position!'

I also dont like the new style of impersonal reports.

Incidentally my friends little boy, 7 years old, is the most hard working, well behaved little treasure. His report said 'below average for maths' - Maths is his passion. He has been able to tell the time for at least a couple of years. He loves maths problems and questions. My friend challenged the teacher about it and she said 'He is excellent at Maths but tends to be very shy!!!!' My friend passed over the report and said 'Sod his shyness you need to put the correct evaluation.' AND SHE DID!!!!

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