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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:27 pm 
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Hi. We have just had DDs parents evening at school where her predicted SATs grades were presented. In literacy she was level 5c at the end of year 5 but the teacher has predicted a 5b in reading and 5c in writing for the end of yr 6. I have written to the school as I am more than puzzled and concerned. Besides her general development in literacy, if, for some reason we need to get into an appeal situation, I am thinking that one of the pieces of academic evidence will be predicted SATs. It is not going to look good if the school do not think she will progress in one area over the course of a whole school year!

Do any parents have advice on this and am I right to be concerned and request these predictions be reviewed. I wonder whether part of the problem is that because she has reached level 5 earlier, there is no focus on helping her develop further?


Last edited by Jules7 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:33 pm 
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was the level she received at the end of yr5 the test? did they give you the teachers assessment at that time and if so was it the same?
Same question for predicted sats - are those also the teacher assessment levels?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:48 pm 
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Yes the end of yr 5 levels were from an actual test. I am not sure if these were predicted or not but they weren't any great surprise as she has always scored reasonably well in literacy throughout school (she was level 3 in the tests at the end of KS2 if I remember correctly). The latest levels I am concerned about are from teacher target levels for the end of year 6. How can a target level be at the same level she has already attained the year before?!

I forgot to add in my first post that her reading age as tested by the school earlier this year was 15.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:47 pm 
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Ok i know that the test levels and teacher ones can be a bit different from each other- hopefully a teacher will come along here soon.

At the end of year 5 i was told that my dd had acheived level 5 in the english optional SATS. I was pleased but the teacher then said she felt the test was too easy and was putting down a teacher assessment of 4a!

dd scored a level 5b at the end of year 6 - she was predicted a 5 - i wondered if they had said the yr 5 test was too easy so they could give a lower rmark teacher assessment and then see more progress from yr 5 to 6?

My dd had passed so i was not too worried and her marks in english now at grammar in yr7 are great.

perhaps your teacher is being over cautious too?

i think you are wise to have asked about this lack of progress incase you need extra info for appeal. Does the school do CATS or NFERs as wekk as SATS?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:43 pm 
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Am glad your DD has passed and is doing well and everything. We have that discovery looming soon....

After re-reading the form they gave us, it is actually worded "target level" rather than "prediction". I think my concern is that they have set this as her target which seems weird - how can you have a target for a grade she has already achieved?? I want her to develop further, not remain the same.
I don't think the tests at the end of yr 5 were too easy as the teacher thought the level 5 she achieved was a fair assesment of her ability. The school don't do CATs etc. Do state schools usually do these sorts of tests? I am not familiar with them.

It will be interesting to see what response I get. The teacher is actually approachable and good with the class as a whole so am hoping it was just a mistake?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:23 pm 
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Just an update - the Headteacher phoned me after school today to discuss my letter so that was nice and prompt.

She was very helpful and explained that these target level predictions are based on a standard system involving what they have achieved at various points in assessments in different school years which translates to some scores which are then magically converted into a grade. What has happened with my DD is that she developed more in yr 5 than expected to get to the level 5c then. The Head said it couldn't be changed as it was "computed". However she was very supportive of explaining all this and DDs capabilities should the need arise for any appeal situation.

All in all whilst it still seems a slightly strange system to me that so much early assessment info is used to calculate something so far in the future. Anyway at least I understand what happened now even if it still seems a bit daft that there can't be a manual adjustment which takes account of different development patterns.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:09 am 
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The system is used to check whether schools are doing their job properly.

When the value added score is worked out your DC's progress will reflect that the school is doing a good job. If they adjusted the targets then there would be no way of measuring whether a school was producing results that were in line with expectation or exceeded it. The system is particularly important for measuring good teaching practice in schools where very few children will hit level 5s and a high proportion will struggle to get 4s despite the school's best efforts.

These are the value added scores that you will see in the league table charts and they are a better measure of a school's quality of teaching and standards than just looking at the numbers of level 5s, 4s etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:49 pm 
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Many thanks Tolstoy for the info. I do believe I understand it all now; am learning so much with DD1. Hopefully by the time the last DC goes through all this I will not be so green!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:45 pm 
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Don't count on it Jules. Have just returned from a consultation with DS4's headteacher where we were both sat staring at graphs pertaining to his foundation year and neither of us could work out if they meant he had actually achieved the required levels. ( Consulting with his reception teacher who poss would of understood them wasn't an option)

It a took awhile and we did have to resort rather un-ethically to comparing him with the rest of the class to get the required answer. Thankfully it was a yes. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:42 pm 
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Sorry for late post, but hope some read this later on...

SATs are not for children,they are for schools to measure their progress and we as parents need to not worry so much about them. (says me who is a big worrier).

I have known many teachers (not myself) who literally play games with taget levels and achieved levels so that they can massage figures to make their progress made look good. Example, under estimate at start and over estimate at end to make your self / school look good.

Also do not trust teacher (APP) over test. My feeder schools have traditionally had about 60% level 5s at KS2. Now they have changed to teacher assessment and not test... surprise surprise, we suddenly have 80% with level 5s. Just understand that schools play games with SAT levels and children pay the price.

If you really want to know what level DC is, then download a KS2 past paper and get DC to do it at home. You could also try a KS3 SAT paper. Many level 5s will actually get a level 6 if given the opportunity, but will not have the chance in year 6.

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