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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:41 am 
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Here are the level 4, 5, 6 results for last year:
4. 5. 6
Reading. 100%. 81%. 0
SPAG. 98%. 83%. 0
Writing. 100%. 39%. 0
Maths. 100%. 61%. 10%

My dd is very very good at the first 3, (trust me on this) but this school hasn't been sitting for level 6 literacy subjects before, in recent years. I'm sure they plan to do the level 6 maths with her.

I want to encourage them to try her-what to say? Are there consequences for the school if she sits and doesn't succeed? They don't know she has sat for HBS (still waiting for letter to know if she's in top 250, but she made it to top 500 out of ?2000).

Shall I say I will support her at home? That she is resilient to not passing and I am fine with it? Shall I point out she got 4a for reading in Y2 at another local school, as the teacher felt 3 was too easy for her?

I don't specifically care about these tests but want her to be challenged-she was 5a last year and not given any higher tests. She likes doing exams!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:32 pm 
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There is no disadvantage to the school. A lot of schools invent a policy of who can and cannot enter.

You need to ask about it soon as they have to order the papers in advance.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:35 pm 
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I think Ofsted might ask questions if a lot of children failed as to the appropriateness of the test entry.

A child must be working 'above level 5' for entry to be appropriate.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:47 pm 
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If you look at the overall country results for level 6 reading - 2000 children passed it - that equated to 0% passing the test. My DS did it last year and I really questioned the point as I knew he would not pass - he is great for a 10 year old at reading - 5 A for reading but just not mature enough to answer the type of questions on the level 6 papers. He did the test and was happy enough to do it - just aware it was a bit of a waste of time- having said that he is getting some of his Yr7 english work back as 6b so in the end maybe there was some point.

The maths test did at least get a decent proportion of children passing over the country and DS really needed to do it as he was level 5 at the end of yr4.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:55 pm 
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I don't think it is important in itself that she gets a level 6, but I fear they will continue to repeat preparations for level 3-5; she won't be given any alternative or enrichment, and has already been made to stare straight ahead when quickly finishing a task with all correct long before the rest (not assessment just everyday work).

She needs more advanced work to keep her engaged. Can we tell how many were entered and didn't pass for these levels? The y5 teacher implied last year that they didn't do the Literacy level 6 tests but he was going to help set them up (new teacher). Don't you think even a few of those at level 5 (see my rather messy table) might have been able to try?

One mum told me her son was assessed at 6b on arrival at year 7 from this teacher and school, who only gave him a 4 test max for anything. He's been a star student at secondary, always in the newsletter. The secondary rang her and retested him to confirm it.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:16 am 
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Guest55 wrote:
I think Ofsted might ask questions if a lot of children failed as to the appropriateness of the test entry.

A child must be working 'above level 5' for entry to be appropriate.


Schools have to apply for copies of the paper for the number of children that they want to enter in advance so there is some guesswork going on as to which might be capable of the level 6 at the time of ordering the papers. Also the standard for achieving it possibly varies from year to year so there's nothing too hard and fast.

Apparently there are a lot of myths about which children can be entered across different primary schools. A government funded piece of research has been carried out into the different reasons primary schools don't enter children for level 6. I'll try find the link later this week. Schools invent their own criteria when there are none laid out.

OFSTED shouldn't really care two hoots if a child has been entered who didn't pass because it really doesn't matter. OFSTED should be bothered if there are children not achieving higher levels in a school who could have done.

In the new KS2 tests (for the new national curriculum) there will not be separate higher level papers (in part because levels are being scrapped) but the papers themselves will cover the equivalent of the higher levels somehow or other (another of those mysteries of the future). This means that the different entry criteria that different schools spend their time devising and applying will no longer be needed.

Good luck convincing your school in the meantime Silverysea. I'll try and dig that thing out for you as you may find it helpful in your discussion with school. A lot could happen between now and May but I bet a lot of schools have already decided which children not to enter. From what you have described of your school Silverysea I think you might be banging your head on a wall. They clearly have fixed ideas about children's capabilities and their own way of interpreting government guidance which are hard to change.

Maybe try asking on TES primary forum for some good materials to cover the high level 5 / low level 6 ground at home in the various subjects in case your child is not included in their arbitrary, but probably apparently "scientifically" developed list of children suitable to be educated to this level and entered for the test.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... -RR279.pdf


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:42 am 
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Thanks for that, it's interesting and fits with my own observations of primary-secondary transition. My older daughter was only offered level 5 (and tested in the 6s at secondary) but that other primary school despised sats and she did lots of other good projects in year 6, this school is more sats-centric.

There's been a big upheaval at the school, new head, lots of good teachers moved at same time, so I will be interested to see the response I get.

What would be music to the ears of a primary teacher when meeting the parent who is interested in the school stretching her able and passionate child in literacy? She has wanted to be a writer for 5 years now, and writes or reads every waking hour she isn't being made to do summat else. Previous teachers have always acknowledged her as able, I don't think this one will try to say she isn't, but I can't expect the teacher to take on loads of extra work for one individual.

I'm seeing her tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:17 am 
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I don't know what is music to the ears of primary teachers. I find some very unpredictable. I also think that they are ruled by "school policies" whatever thoughts and opinions the individual teacher might have. In general, teachers also do not have time to find out what the facts are - they just do what the SMT tells them.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:44 pm 
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mystery wrote:
I don't know what is music to the ears of primary teachers. I find some very unpredictable. I also think that they are ruled by "school policies" whatever thoughts and opinions the individual teacher might have. In general, teachers also do not have time to find out what the facts are - they just do what the SMT tells them.
Actually that is quite insulting. Most primary school teachers really do not have any interest in putting children in for even more tests than they already have to sit, just to 'prove' to either their parents or the children themselves that they appear to be clever. Level 6 primary tests offer no educational benefit to teachers or the children concerned; there may be some league-table or OFSTED 'benefit' to a school in our warped world of measurement but the 'school policies' are there for a reason. A good teacher will of course want to challenge all the children in the class, but may not see delivering a pared-down, tailor-made for primary level 6 curriculum which they are neither qualified to teach nor which would benefit their pupils as the best way of doing this.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:07 pm 
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It was not intended to be insulting but merely to point out that when you talk to many primary teachers about quite a few things concerning one's child's education one is, rightly or wrongly, getting the school's view / policy presented to you, not the views of the individual teacher.

If a child learns a little more in year 6 in order to sit a "not very level 6" paper isn't this a good thing, whether they "pass it" or not? We don't worry too much about level 3 and 4 children having to sit the same test as level 5 children? I think maybe we should.

I have been reader / scribe for low level children doing year 6 KS2 tests. This was a far more pitiful exercise than a child keen to have a shot at a level 6 paper and probably not make the grade required. It's probably a very good experience for these children as it's one they won't yet have encountered during their primary years and will give them good experience for exams later on which are not just a pile of pap that they can do standing on their head.

The children I have read and scribed for at KS2 were the ones having the bad experience. They'd barely been taught to read or do basic maths for several years and couldn't read as well as they might have done; they mostly (but by no means all) had no help at home to achieve better. The test that they then sat at the end of KS2 included very little of anything that they could actually do. So after a poor attempt at the first few questions they were sitting there twiddling their thumbs - and then they had extra time at the end to prolong the agony.

Shouldn't the parent have an opinion on this as well as the school concerned about level 6? The same child may be allowed to sit it at one school and not another. The same child may be taught some new things in year 6 at some schools and not others. It is not an ideal situation whichever way you look at it.

I think our school has probably already decided in year 2 which children they will teach towards the level 6 papers, and also whether they will try and get individual children up to levels 3, 4 or 5 by the end of their time at the school. Thank goodness that 2016 is the last year of the current KS2 tests. The next one could be worse though.


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