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 Post subject: Appeal on 117... (Bucks)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:50 am 
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Appeal on 117...
And (urghh... ) 111. Actually, the reverse: first 111, then 117.
Some (rather complex!) background:
We are a bilingual family- I’m English, husband not- let’s say he’s from Xland. Child born in Bucks, but moved in infancy to Xland and attended nursery there. Returned to UK and entered UK Year 2 with no prior schooling and very basic English. We stayed in the UK until the end of Year 4, when we moved back to Xland.
Child wrote 11+ with special permission in spare class in Xlandish school (where nobody speaks English). No coaching- we did the familiarisation pack at home. Rather informally, I’m afraid. Child was totally relaxed about the whole thing, but didn’t finish the first test by quite a lot (but did remember not to leave blanks). We did some further practice tests that week, hence further improvement with timekeeping- this probably explains the difference in scores. Was fully expecting to be on appeal, as English has been in regression since we left the UK. Can we use prior education as extenuating circumstances?
Academic achievement. Yr 4 report in UK good- not great: (low 70s Literacy, high 70s Maths). VR from same year 117 (somehow familiar) and NVR126. Child was gathering steam when we left, and bulk of maturity has come about in past year on our return to Xland and a very demanding schedule: homework every night, weekends, Christmas hols, summer- lots of it! Younger sib struggled badly on return to Xland as had retained little Xlandish. As a result, our older child has managed everything autonomously and gone from strength to strength. Last year's report: Literacy (in Xlandish) 70, Maths 80%, Science 80%. I have established that Xland is comparable to the UK system with age equivalent results at 10 years with a number of useful reports (TIMSS, PIRLS- for anyone looking to see how different countries compare across different subjects). Is this useful or just over the top?! I know that I need to establish how good the school itself is to provide context to the marks. Any ideas? There are no league tables here.
Also, I think I won’t bother our Headteacher with the Summary Sheet- we’d have to get it translated, and the terminology has no bearing on the system here. We are going to request a general letter commenting on child’s performance from teacher/ Headteacher (and get them translated: must these be official?). Or do you think we should still go with the Summary Sheet?
Apologies for the number of questions in this post...


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal on 117...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:47 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Globalinc

Globalinc wrote:
Actually, the reverse: first 111, then 117.

A panel could well think: "And if there had been a third paper?" The scores are moving in the right direction.

Concerning education abroad and ESL, take a look at point E7 in the Appeals Q&A.

Quote:
Was fully expecting to be on appeal, as English has been in regression since we left the UK. Can we use prior education as extenuating circumstances?

The Bucks 11+ hinges to a great extent on the child's vocabulary, so yes.

Quote:
Academic achievement. Yr 4 report in UK good- not great: (low 70s Literacy, high 70s Maths).

You do not have to submit any evidence that might undermine your case.

Quote:
VR from same year 117 (somehow familiar) and NVR126.

Respectable scores, and the bias is towards NVR which is not tested in Bucks.

Quote:
I have established that Xland is comparable to the UK system with age equivalent results at 10 years with a number of useful reports (TIMSS, PIRLS- for anyone looking to see how different countries compare across different subjects). Is this useful or just over the top?!

That will definitely be needed for the panel to be able to equate the two educational systems and get a fix on your child's achievement. Could you please send a message to the AppealsBox to tell us which country "Xland" actually is? I think that might help us to advise you better.

Quote:
I think I won’t bother our Headteacher with the Summary Sheet- we’d have to get it translated, and the terminology has no bearing on the system here. We are going to request a general letter commenting on child’s performance from teacher/ Headteacher (and get them translated: must these be official?).

No, I agree that the summary sheet is redundant in this situation. There will not have been a "Head's recommendation", you have no predicted SATs and any test results are unlikely to be comparable to UK tests, therefore the only part that is relevant is the comments on individual subjects, any mitigating circumstances, etc. If you haven't already seen what the sheet covers you can download a copy here: https://schoolsweb.buckscc.gov.uk/schoo ... anuals.asp
I don't believe that the translation needs to be an official one. If the Clerk to the Panel has any doubts about it they will arrange to have it checked (Etienne may correct me on that point!) so do make sure that the translation is as literal as possible.

There are still some other complexities to address, because I assume that your child's schoolwork is all written in Xlandish? That will obviously prevent the panel from being able to assess the standard of it. I will ponder on that problem (which means "wait for Etienne to come up with the answer"). :wink:

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal on 117...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Thanks for your response, Sally-Anne- it's so helpful to have some outside input on this.

Re the scores- yes, I am glad they moved in this direction. And, at the risk of sounding like a walking/talking(posting?) cliché, I will add the following: I wish we'd practised more!

I will send a message to the Appeals box with further info on Xland in the next day or so- I’m still digging around for more information. I have been gleaning all I can from the forum/ and Q&A, but haven't seen any really good news on the whole schooling abroad/language issue. I can't say our child is ESL, as this is not true- child speaks both languages equally well. Having said that, due to all the moves, neither language is spoken as well at this point as if we’d stayed in one country. I am starting to think that maybe an EP report would be useful to provide an extra piece of information for panel members.
As for the class work- yes, it is all in Xlandish. Barring an English workbook where the level is at the same as primary school French in the UK (the boy is wearing... the pen is on the table). Maths workbooks should be ok, but literacy will by difficult to interpret (though may show breadth of work areas, from poetry to essays, determined by format). To make matters more difficult, a substantial part of marks come from "viva" assessments, where children are individually questioned on a concept or asked to demonstrate something. I'm sure the teachers on the panel will appreciate the value of this type of assessment, but it doesn't leave as much evidence in the workbooks.


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal on 117...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:41 pm 
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No easy answers to the issue of school work in a foreign language, I'm afraid, although a maths exercise book would probably reveal something of the standard of work being attempted.

It would help if the impartiality of anyone providing a written translation is beyond question. The letter heading, or an official stamp, should clearly show their status.

A bit surprising to read of English 'regressing' in a bi-lingual family, but the second post is probably a fairer reflection (i.e. less progress made than might have been expected).

Will at least one parent be attending the appeal hearing in January/February?

As it says in E7 (referred to earlier), appeals for children coming from abroad can be 'problematic' - especially when it's a non-English speaking country.

An EP report by a member of the BPS, if it can be arranged in time, sounds like a good idea in this situation. It is conducted orally, so it might give a much clearer picture of your child's abilities.

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal on 117...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:14 pm 
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You are right, Etienne- "regression" is probably emotive due to my current state of mind. I do see instances where translations/ substitutions from common Xlandish expressions are starting to be used incorrectly in English (eg "We were three" instead of "There were three of us...") when DC is speaking to sib, or even that Xlandish is now regularly used at home. These situations come up more frequently the longer we are here, but fade just as fast when we visit family in the UK for a few days. I really don't know that vocabulary is becoming reduced- I hope not! I do believe that an extra year in the UK would have been positive for vocabulary development, as DC is no longer surrounded by that language.

I am feeling a bit flat, now, to be honest. Looking at our posts, they all highlight the complexity of the issues involved. I don't want to fight a battle against the system in general for use of VR for students who are non monolingual (and indeed, I fully recognise the benefits of bilingualism). I believe that every assessment system has problems, hence the right to appeal. I'm just trying to understand the best way to put the appeal together to simplify all these issues. :?

I am speaking with the Head tomorrow, to request a comment. I am also going to seek some advice on the school standing (without offending, hopefully!),to see if there is any way to prove it. I know that the Head is likely to ask what type of comment- eg what areas. I don't want to guide a response. Is it better to just say, "Can you please comment on DC- this is why". Or: Could you please provide a statement on DC's ability, achievements in X and Y (using the Headteacher's Summary form for guidance).


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal on 117...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:19 pm 
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Forgot to say that, yes, I will attend in Jan or Feb. Trying to get everything across in writing is not easy- and I would like the chance to comment/ask questions/ answer questions on key points.


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal on 117...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:38 pm 
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Quote:
Could you please provide a statement on DC's ability, achievements in X and Y (using the Headteacher's Summary form for guidance).
This sounds best.
Quote:
I am also going to seek some advice on the school standing (without offending, hopefully!),to see if there is any way to prove it.
Destinations of school leavers might possibly be one measurement of success. It would help if the head could address this issue in his letter of support, as that might provide the 'proof' you need.

Quote:
I don't want to fight a battle against the system in general for use of VR for students who are non monolingual
Agreed. Criticising the system rarely goes down well. The mere fact that your child has been 'out of the system' for so long will probably be enough to satisfy a panel in terms of extenuating circumstances. The focus should therefore be on trying to establish high ability.

Glad to hear you can attend the appeal, as I fear non-attendance would have been a serious handicap. It also has the advantage that you can keep your written submission fairly concise and allow the panel to question you about those issues they wish to pursue in more detail.

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal on 117...
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:12 pm 
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Thanks for your suggestion, Etienne. There is, unfortunately, no information that would be relevant on leavers, as the next stage of schooling is not selective here.
Meeting with Head went well- and a comment on DC will highlight areas specified on summary form. Not sure exactly what will be said, but assuming it will be based on teacher feedback should be very good.
Also on a positive note, I have discovered that the schools here are tested nationally at 7 and 11 years (I knew that these tests existed, but not that they contributed to national stats; I thought they were for the individual)- and current school consistently scores at least 10% higher than the national average on these (the Head will include this in the statement- shall I also draw attention to where these national tests results can be found?). Given that Xlands measures at similar levels in TIMSS (Maths, Science) and higher on most recent PIRLS (Literacy), this seems to support our case in a positive way.
I have also found an article written by the DCFS and NFER entitled “Comparison of the Core
Primary Curriculum in England to those of Other High Performing Countries”- and Xland is listed. Having said that, the article is long, it is inconclusive, and only slightly more interesting than watching paint dry. Not sure that it is worth drawing attention to? Its main relevance to our situation is that it explicitly states that Xland and England can be compared at DCs age. I have found other similar articles but am wary of going in too heavy handed on this! Or is it the case that the more evidence I have on the system, the better?


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal on 117...
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:25 pm 
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Globalinc wrote:
Also on a positive note, I have discovered that the schools here are tested nationally at 7 and 11 years (I knew that these tests existed, but not that they contributed to national stats; I thought they were for the individual)- and current school consistently scores at least 10% higher than the national average on these (the Head will include this in the statement
Good!

Quote:
- shall I also draw attention to where these national tests results can be found?).
Yes. Your appeal statement (no more than a side of A4 and the shorter the better!) should list the evidence you're attaching as appendices. When you list the head's letter, you could write underneath "For confirmation of the national statistics to which the headteacher refers, please see .......".

Quote:
I have also found an article written by the DCFS and NFER entitled “Comparison of the Core Primary Curriculum in England to those of Other High Performing Countries”- and Xland is listed. Having said that, the article is long, it is inconclusive, and only slightly more interesting than watching paint dry. Not sure that it is worth drawing attention to? Its main relevance to our situation is that it explicitly states that Xland and England can be compared at DCs age. I have found other similar articles but am wary of going in too heavy handed on this! Or is it the case that the more evidence I have on the system, the better?
Suggest you just attach the article as an appendix. Leave it to the panel to browse through it, but it would help if you could underline any bits you think particularly useful.

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal on 117...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:32 am 
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Quote:
Could you please send a message to the AppealsBox to tell us which country "Xland" actually is? I think that might help us to advise you better.


Have now done this- thanks for help.


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