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 Post subject: Non-verbal paper
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 4:25 pm 
In teaching/academic language what is the non-verbal paper assessing about a child's ability? Our area introduced this paper alongside a verbal reasoning paper last year saying that it was a fairer assessment of a child's ability to have different papers and didn't penalise those children who had difficulty with verbal reasoning. Grammar schools thought they might be missing bright children if only verbal reasoning was used. Can any of you teachers out there help me to understand what the non-verbal paper is assessing and, if a child does struggle with this, are they still capable of doing well at a grammar school?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 4:51 pm 
The NVR tests pattern spotting and better predicts Maths and Science - so they are perfectly capable of coping in a Grammar school. It also does not penalise dyslexics or those for whom English is an additional language.

The problem with VR is that it selects on language fluency - pupils can be really weak at Maths and Science.

So a combination sounds a good idea to me!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
Apparently there has been a high correlation between scores on the VR and NVR this year in Lincolnshire and (contrary to some expectations) the introduction of NVR did not significantly change the ratio of boys and girls passing.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:21 pm 
I think NVR and VR tests are fairer than just VR.

Although they don't make any difference in pass ratio it is a fairer method.

However there is more stuff to revise...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7059
I agree with Guest55 and Darren, and rather like the idea of including NVR.

However, NFER warn that single results are only an estimate of true ability. For a more reliable picture, I think ideally the tests would need to be repeated, i.e. 2xVR and 2xNVR. (This would also provide very useful data for appeals panels.)

Unfortunately 4 tests could be an administrative problem. Bucks, for example, has reduced its 3 VR tests to 2 in order to ensure that all timely appeals can be held before 1st March.

_________________
Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
I must first admit to having a bias towards including a NVR paper in 11+ exams.
My son has aspergers and finds great difficulty with VR yet has achieved a place at grammar and is thriving. If the 11+ in Slough had only been based on VR then I am certain my son would not have got anywhere near the passmark.
Yes his lowest level is in English but he has shown his aptitude in maths and science.
I believe that only having VR does not give children like my son the same opportunity as their peers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
Guest55"]
Quote:
The NVR tests pattern spotting and better predicts Maths and Science -



Is there anything published which shows that NVR is a better predictor of Maths and science? Or for that matter whether VR is a good predictor of success in English and language based subjects?

I too am inclined to favour testing both VR and NVR, but share the concern over the reliability of using just one test in each.

I must say I find it surprising that there is such a high correlation between VR and NVR scores this year in Lincs. and that boys have not seemingly done any better with the introduction of NVR.

There are so many questions about what would really constitute a fair test of ability. As far as I am aware the only stipulation about which tests should be used to select children for Grammar schools is that they should be "fair", but there is a plethora of different systems of testing thoughout the country and apparently little evidence as to which ones really are most useful. It seems clear that much of the testing is not "fair" on children without good English and it can only be a matter of time before there is a legal challenge about the discrimination inherent in these tests. It would be interesting to know whether other areas are dicussing this probem and what solutions they have come up with.

NVR has the advantage that it can be used for non-English speakers with only the instructions needing to be translated. The VR tests disadvantage those without good English skills. They do not even translate well as there are quite a few questions which are culturally specific.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:37 am 
Thanks for all your comments. It was the NVR paper that my son panicked over most and consequently scored a lower mark in his results. I'm confused though as maths and science have always been his stronger subjects - level 3 at KS1 and Level 5s predicted at KS2. I feel we have to come up with very strong evidence as to why he did not do well in this paper. Nerves certainly played their part as did the timing of this paper, the stop/start approach - they were given eight minutes to complete each section and given a one minute warning (I know this wont hold much sway). As Alex mentioned introduction of the NVR was thought to have been advantageous to boys but it doesn't look as if it has been in this area. I've heard of children having problems with 'application'. What does this mean in layman's terms and what are its the implications? Thanks again


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:19 pm 
Louise,
What area are you in? (I'm in Bucks)
This is exactly the type of information that we could do with having... do you have any sources about NVR being a better predictor for Maths and Science?

Many thanks

BucksDad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:28 pm 
BucksDad,
Try NFER website - recent research paper 'The Importance of being Spatial'.
Good luck


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