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 Post subject: Cats Tests in Year 7
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
What can my learned friends tell me about these? What do they consist of? When do they take place? Do schools use them for setting? Thanks for any info.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:01 am
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Location: Herts
Hi,

My DD is in Yr7 at DAO and sat the CAT tests in the first week or so of term. No revision was necessary and all tests were computer based and quite enjoyable (according to my DD!). The results were used to place children in their teaching groups (along with exam results for those that sat the exams). This Yr7 there are 6 'upper' and 1 'middle' group (as described by the Head of Year) but all groups are given a random letter so no child knows how they performed.

Several teachers at parents' evening also said the CAT results had been used to computer generate a predicted KS3 level for core subjects although the same teachers said to not pay too much attention to that as they had done quite a few more specific assessments since then which gave a much better indication of progress and performance.

Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Thank you for the reply
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Yes, very helpful, thank you very much for the reply. So do you ever know the results or anything about them? Surely you can work out which teaching group is which by who is in them? Do you have different teaching groups for diifferent subjects?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:01 am
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Location: Herts
There is one teaching group for all subjects but for a few subjects the groups are split down even further – e.g. food tech, textiles & PE. I don’t think you can work out which teaching group is which. I certainly haven’t heard of any discussions amongst children or parents on this. My DD, for example, is in a teaching group with some of the academic entrants, some siblings & some distance children. There are also some very musical children and some very sporty ones (my DD is sporty but doesn’t play any instruments).

From my (limited) experience there are so many children with extremely high academic/musical/other abilities, there are a real mixture in each group.
My DD has made several very close friends already and most are in both her form and her teaching group as it is these children who she spends most of her time with.


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 Post subject: CATS and DAO
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:37 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Herts
HR - Thanks for the feedback.
It's quite daunting thinking of my dd in a big, new school. She's quite shy and reserved so I'm hoping she makes friends quickly and adjusts easily.

What does CATS stand for?

Did your dd find it easy to settle in and how did the school make it friendly or welcoming?

What size are the teaching groups?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:57 pm 
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Location: Herts
CATS = Cognitive Abilities Tests

Try not to worry about your DD (easier said than done I know). I haven't heard of anyone not settling in Year 7. My DD was the only one from her primary to even sit an 11+ test so she didn't know anyone at all and settled in in a matter of days. She's made some lovely friends and been to lots of parties/sleepovers already.

The school know that there will be a lot of children not knowing anyone and they did a lot of 'getting to know you' games etc. in the beginning. Year 7s also started a day earlier than the rest of the school in Sept and spend the day doing orienteering around the school in groups and with their form teachers and 6th form prefects. My DD also said all the older children went out of their way to help the new ones with directions etc.

Hope everything goes well for your DD.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:59 pm 
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Location: Herts
Sorry, just realised I didn't answer your question re: teaching groups. They are the same size as the forms (30ish) with the exception of art, food tech, textiles, product design etc. where they're split into smaller groups - about half of a teaching group I think.


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 Post subject: dao
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:37 pm
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Location: Herts
That's a great help and very encouraging. It's good to hear the details and to take away the great unknown feeling about it all. It sounds like your DD had a smooth transition. I hope I will be the one reassuring others in a year's time and saying how settled my dd is!

My dd is the only one from her school starting at DAO. Only one other child sat the exam. Sounds like DAO have a good system in place as they expect the children to come from a wide variety of schools. Did you find that the majority of children had no one from their primary school with them?

Thanks for the kind wishes and the very quick response : )


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:51 am 
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Location: Herts
Actually most of my DD's new friends did go to DAO with at least one other of their old primary school friends but it doesn't seem to have affected new friendships. Only problem is the friends are spread out all over the place so taking/fetching becomes more of a challenge!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:55 pm
Posts: 103
Hi DAOGroupie

I read your message when you originally posted it, and knew that my DC had recently had CAT tests at school (in Year 6), but, at the time of your post, I knew nothing more than that. It should be noted that neither the children nor their parents were told that there would be any CATs testing taking place ..... just came "out of the blue".

Today, I asked for and found out some more info, so I'm relaying it here (don't know if it will help you or not though).

My DC's school were apparently piloting the CATs testing in their school this year, and the results will be passed on to the childrens' respective secondary schools, for "banding" purposes.

The children were tested in 3 areas:

VR
Maths
Non VR (which I was told equates to the child's natural IQ level and bears no reflection on anything learned during the child's life)

On a personal level, the feedback that I received was very positive: DC's results were:

VR : 94th percentile
Maths : 90th percentile
Non VR : 97th percentile

(not meaning to boast, but just feeling immensely proud of my DC at the moment, having just been given the results).


Has anyone else experienced CATs being done in Year 6? ..... just curious.

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