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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:53 pm 
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With just a week to go to the exam - the answer to this question will have major impact upon effort required.

Original topic dated January 2013 by Patricia - mentions Year 5 is the curriculum basis.

I am hearing different stories ...

Is there some official guidance regarding the Curriculum content ?

best wishes

DIY Dad


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:23 pm 
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I guess you can only ask whoever commissioned the bucks test and see what they will tell you.

The only topic that is really taught in school that is in the tests is maths, and arguably reading comprehension. In kent a lot of grammar school pass children would be level 5 by the end of year 5 so maybe this is what to aim at in kent.

Year 5 maths curriculum - in kent this would vary from school to school and maths set to maths set. G55 reckons that in bucks primaries everyone does the same stuff in year 5 from the old primary strategy. As you have not been tested in maths in bucks before maybe this is sufficient if the schools are that uniform and this is what the grammars have specified c e m should do.

In kent the actual questions are looked at by maths specialist etc from the local authority. Maybe this will happen in bucks and te questions will be based on going no further than the year 5 maths curriculum as bucks sees it.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:36 pm 
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Hi There:

For Bucks we have : CEM under the guise of the University of Durham.

CEM are setting tests this year for Bucks, Birmingham & Warrington [?]

On the CEM web site (their own or a commercial site) - there is acknowledgement of differences in qualifications for entry and for the tests.

Bucks have a "catchment distance" whilst Birmingham select the highest scoring pupils. So a lot of competition in Birmingham and the need to do better and more (eg Year 6 curriculum).

If I posted a query to "CEM" - would anyone bother to reply ? Not sure if there is a phone number to ring.

Thanks for the response


DIY Dad


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:43 pm 
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Horse's mouth: "30. Won’t taking the tests so early in Year 6 disadvantage some pupils because they will not yet have learned things on which they may be tested?
No. There will be nothing in the tests that goes beyond what pupils will have covered in Year 5."


At least, that's the advice given by Bucks Council in their FAQ accessible here http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/education/sch ... idTOdI4SSp

I'll be interested to see if CEM come up with the same answer!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:47 pm 
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I don't think c e m would be allowed to say anything other than the standard stuff for parents they put on their website. You would have to ask whoever commissioned the test - bucks cc on behalf of the grammars or however it was done in bucks. I suspect you will get a terribly vague answer - a freedom of information request would be better but it is too late.

Have you looked at the bexley c e m practice papers and the headteacher briefing in bucks that Okanagan and patricia have linked to somewhere?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:28 pm 
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Hi Mystery & Marylou:

Found the same para under "Q&A" of the Bucks Education Authority site.

So Officially - it is Year 5

But my girl's tutor has been coaching her for Year 6 stuff during the summer break using CEM 11 plus books. On the belief that tests will be difficult - and only those who have tried Year 6 stuff will get through [?]

No wonder - she was finding things difficult [!]

Are there any test materials out there - that do not include Year 6 material ?

I have a week to recover her confidence and scores ....


DIY Dad


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:09 pm 
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Oh who knows? What do you think year 5 work is? Different maths sets are taught different things in different schools in the real world.

If you want to see a load of sats type maths questions a teacher might in the past have used with year 5 try to google year 5 pitch and expectations mathematics. These are archived dfe documents but still in use in some schools.

I think a key skill in these tests is to be able to plough on through knowing that you will not be able to either understand how to do all the questions or complete them in the right amount of time.

So the tutor's preparation might be better than you think. What new maths did she teach your child that you feel she should have avoided at this late stage?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:14 pm 
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We are finding the same problem. Under the old system I would never set practice work that went beyond the difficulty level of the actual test, to avoid denting confidence levels. With this new test, though, we can only really take the "nothing beyond Year 5" assurance at face value. Remember that CEM is more used to setting tests for superselectives and "opt-in" areas, so I would hope they've been briefed to make these tests more accessible - let's hope they err on the side of caution!

Good luck to all DCs next week. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:30 pm 
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Has anyone asked what is meant by year 5 work in bucks and if the test adheres to whatever is meant by it. It does not have a face value meaning to me.

I asked in kent what the reference to national curriculum expectations meant in the tender documentation for our new test. I was told that many schools report teacher assessments at the end of year 5 of level 5 for those children who ultimately pass the kent test, and that the new test will indirect way embrace this.

Is it possible to be level 5 at the end of year 5 and not have covered some year 6 work, whatever that is?

Bucks is cobbling together all the scores so a weakness in one area can be made up for with a strength in another.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:40 pm 
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Mystery - Bucks have said Year 5 curriculum so please don't make people more worried by your speculations as they really are not helping.


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