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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:52 am 
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Our DD is in Year 5. Last year (Year 4) her end-of-year assessment was in terms of levels, using what I think are called 'Optional SATs'. Next year (Year 6) her end-of-year assessment will be in terms of scaled scores (with a score of 100 representing the 'national standard' - i.e. 4B in old money). This year (Year 5) her end-of-year assessment will be in terms of whatever measure her school dreams up (all schools are coming up with their own means of assessing pupils).

How does one assess year-on-year progress between Year 4 and Year 5, and then between Year 5 and Year 6, when the unit of measure is different on each occasion?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
A question many teachers are asking themselves!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:53 am 
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Yes, it's very difficult, especially if schools are choosing different levels of detail. For example, our school only has three levels. Something like below expectations, meets expectations and good. Therefore, there is no differentiation between a child, say outstanding at Maths and another who has just achieved higher than the average. In terms of 11+ readiness, it's left to parents or tutors to decide what needs to be done. In terms of appeals if the child doesn't pass the test, how would an appeal panel know the child's attainment if all they get is an indication that the level is good? What if two children are appealing and both have a "good" level but there is a big difference between them?
I know every case is assessed separately, but without levels I think it's harder to prove that a child is grammar ready.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:25 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
We use standardised tests for the children to measure progress against the predicted standard. As no one knows what that is yet then we still await.

We also use teacher assessment to see how well the children are coping with the curriculum and judge by that too.

The old QCA tests that gave levels for yrs 3-5 were very unreliable and very overly used by schools. We are all in the dark this year but then we were in the past too. Levels between schools were very variable as schools judge their own cohorts against each other.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:16 pm 
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Thank you moved. I didn't realise that schools were assessing children against their own cohort. So, if they are all very advanced, their "good" or "outstanding" may mean a very different level to the same label at another school!
Presumably, we get a more accurate picture in year 6 when they take SATs?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
That is human nature and not the design. It is why moderation exists to ensure that those human assessments are standardised.

We had a local area moderation meeting for maths yesterday for EYFS to yr 6.

It was an excellent session as the schools were able to look at work together and discuss whether or not they felt that it indicated the correct standard for that year regarding the curriculum.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:04 pm 
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Location: East Kent
We have also had moderation meetings across the Local Learning Alliance. We are using different systems (as an Academy, we use a scheme which is used across our partnership.) We meet in year groups and so far we have found that we are usually in agreement, whatever scheme we use.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:54 pm 
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Thank you, a question I have wondered - how can i tell if my child has progressed in a world without 'real' (old money) measures. From my understanding most schools are using a similar system along the lines of Entering, Securing, Mastering, Exceeding. However if a child enters a year already mastering then they will also leave as mastering but how will progress be measured? As a parent the only way I really feel I can gauge progress is at parents evening when I can can sit and read school work books.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:08 am 
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We've spoken with our DD's school a couple of times on this subject recently. Their view is that no child can be considered to have exceeded expectations - by definition.

Their rationale is that they define a set of skills which a child is expected to have obtained by the end of the year ('can multiply a 2-digit number by a 3-digit number', or whatever), and they expect a child to have obtained all of those skills by the end of the year. A child who has obtained all those skills has 'met' expectations and a child who had not is 'below' expectations.

If a child has skills over and above the set defined (learned at home, for example) then these don't count - a skill has to have been taught in school before it counts. As they only teach what children are expected to know, a child can never exceed that expectation. It's a slightly circular argument.

It's obviously ridiculous, and very disappointing.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:31 am 
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You have a mad school possibly fed by a mad adviser from a mad local education authority. The DfE does not intend the new national curriculum to be interpreted this way - they leave it up to the schools and teachers to use their own professional judgement. If your school has no judgement you're stuffed.

The approach you describe is just the same as my children experienced with a mad reception teacher. They could read at home ---- why do they show up as not reading on the foundation stage profile records you are keeping? Because they don't read at school. Why don't they read at school? Because for it to show up on the records the child has to choose to read, it can't be teacher-led. So little Bunty has to pick up a book and take it up to the teacher and read to her spontaneously. So little Bunty was not included in the group of more "go ahead" children who were being taught to read because she apparently couldn't already read and didn't show an interest in reading at school

Carry on the good work at home if you can't change schools because if you're unlucky, they might not have taught the year 4 syllabus by the end of the year (because that wasn't what your school was expecting of your child) and then your child can't meet national year 4 expectations - but they could meet the school's lower expectations for your child --- because presumably your school thinks that a child can't fail to meet expectations either.

Good luck!

I hope CEM and GL Assessment know the various different shades of interpretation taht schools put on the national curriculum.


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