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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:13 am 
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We are hoping to appeal come march fir the bucks 11+
We decided not to review as ds2 is about to see a specialist optometrist, (having been under a normal optometrist for 18 months) and that will hopefully help us in making a decision about his secondary education, and whether we can help him overcome a tracking issue, and also give us evidence of his extenuating circumstances. (He can't find his place as he reads/works if he stops for even a briefest moment, to a frustrating level)
He achieved 5b for reading last May, 5c for writing and 4a for maths, which he had been stuck on for 9 months, but his new yr 6 teacher said only two weeks ago that his maths class work was now going up in leaps and bounds.
He has just had two informal sats tests and achieved 4a for reading and maths.
Obviously we are both quite upset, he feels every test he does he is rubbish and all his mates scored 5b's in the same tests, and I know he is able to and has achieved much better results, so am worried about why he is under performing, in fact going backwards two sub levels!
Teacher puts it down to a kick in confidence, says his schoolwork is fantastic and he should be going to grammar in September or at very least able to take the 12+.
My worry is I will have no evidence of his true ability, if we do not sort this out almost immediately, and even worse, if he does not achieve level 5, he will not be in the top set at our chosen upper for the first year as this forms a big part of the selection at our upper (which is an unthinkable scenario relating to the school and sets below the fast track group) and will not be allowed to sit the 12+
His last cat score last academic year was 124, but he only had 119 for vr, and his teacher thinks they are looking for 130 really, so we are hoping he gets better in January, but I feel at the moment he will bomb any timed test?
I feel sorry for him and a bit cross with him too, even though I don't want to feel cross, but he has obviously given up a bit even subliminally. He did not use his line guide ruler for his reading test, and skim read instead, because he saw everyone else had finished reading, which he admits meant he simply did not understand the latter questions, He also continues to make a fuss about using his normal reading glasses for astigmatism because he hates the whole notion his eyes are faulty so rarely uses them at school. (This is the boy who is reading "the boy in the striped pjamas" with me because his school topic was WW2, and understanding most of the huge amounts of inference within it...We have not got to the real misery yet btw!!

Sorry for the long rambling post, but has anyone been in this situation, can anyone give me ideas how to build his confidence, and get him where he can and should be at tests? I am on the verge of resigning myself to a seven year battle to get him to fulfil his potential. He is the boy that everyone assumed would just breeze into grammar from an early age, so perhaps he is just sick of trying to live up to expectation?
Help.
SB


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:36 am 
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Quote:
post 11+ mid year sats taken a dive? will it scupper appeal?
In short - no, because the appeal won't be until the end of April at the very earliest, and what matters will be the academic evidence available at that point in time.

I'll have to leave your other questions to any teachers on here - but I suspect progress could zigzag, especially if confidence was affected by the 11+.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:52 am 
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southbucks3 wrote:
...if he does not achieve level 5, he will not be in the top set at our chosen upper for the first year...


Is this the case, though? Level 5s clearly would be useful, but I thought SATs levels were just one of the aspects taken into account - do uppers carry out CAT tests at the beginning of Y7? Just wondering - I'd be interested to know how schools decide who goes in which set. And during the transfer, presumably the primary school records would show that DS is quite capable of achieving L5 as he's done it at a much earlier stage - if it came to an appeal against a refusal to allow 12+ testing, wouldn't information like this count in his favour (especially in view of the tracking problems)?

Good luck with the appeal! :)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:00 am 
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Thanks Etienne, that has relaxed me a bit, get of his case...My mind is saying...let him have his sulk then move on.

Mary Lou, our upper does cat tests, but the fast track set has only comprised year 6 level 5's for the last 5 years, as they have had so many bright kids enter the upper, they use both tests to evaluate. My friends dd has just been put up this year 8, with two others, and the difference is class is astounding actually.

We had a long chat this morning, and I let him do half a nvr 10 min test for fun (he likes them) with his glasses sneakily hidden behind my back, then when he started panicking he wasn't going to finish, I produced his glasses, he sped up, finished easily, and made only two mistakes both in the first half, one of which was purely eyesight, so my case was very well proved.
He also went to bed earlier last night, I think that has been creeping later and later, as dh loves his blazing stove, boy telly snuggle time, after they have read, but the two little ones cannot cope.

Any confidence building tricks more than welcome, his teacher gave him extra house points yesterday for his topic, so she is on the case, but it is really for the actual test scenario we need help.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:01 pm 
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CAT score centiles don't I think compare with 11 plus centiles. I think that a CAT of 130 would be incredible. The other CAT scores you refer to sound comfortable high too - I think there is some mistake in the interpretation.

I would suggest that you dig out his correct CAT scores and dig around to convert them all correctly into centiles so you can see where they place him in the population at large. Plenty of misinterpretation of CAT scores takes place in schools.

Personally I wouldn't worry about the results of whatever these tests were your teacher made him do in school. What was the test? Presumably old KS2 test papers? They could dig out some more for him to do maybe when he has had time to rectify the weak areas? There should be loads of time between now and the appeal for him to do a whole host of old KS2 papers, not just one random morning in November when he wasn't at his best.

Also, the teacher will have other evidence - it isn't necessary just to rely on results of old tests is it for the appeal?


Last edited by mystery on Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:08 pm 
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For maths, work your way through year 6 pitch and expectation questions, Bond, Schofield and Sims, old KS2 test papers etc .... like you were still going for the 11 plus!

For reading - download the old test papers and do them with him?

SPAG - some spag workbooks and old tests - level 5 and 6

Writing --- that is teacher assessed.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:29 pm 
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For my part I am saddened that a ten year old is being given graded sublevels after 'informal tests'. The drip, drip of pressure on these children is horrible. Can you imagine if your work were constantly graded and compared with others like this? I worry about our children's mental health -perhaps he is just sick of trying to live up to expectation is a very sad statement.

Sorry SB that doesn't help you at all but it's just my personal response. :(


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:13 pm 
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I agree Amber, totally, but this blooming educational set up does make tests overly important. I would rather they had no tests at all to be honest, not at primary school, it always amazes me how much they are tested and peer compared. The teacher does not tell them all their marks, they do it to themselves!

My comment about living up to expectations was not putting him down, never ever, far from it and we at home knew it was unlikely he would pass hos 11+ as far back as June, and told him it was ok, and the upper was cool. You would have to know him to understand the social pressure, he is a genuine genetic oddity here, he is one of lifes golden boys, sport, literacy,art, common sense, being able to find the car at an event car park etc, he has it all by the bucket load but if every one expects you to do well, when you dont, for whatever reason it must be far more pressured than if you are happily sitting on the fence. He has a sports match tonight, he has been the main goal scorer in this event this year by far, today he actually said he was nervous about not scoring...i mean really... i have never put any pressure on him ever because i just dont get sport, just rejoiced or comiserated with him as required, but rather than celebrating each goal, he worries he will not get one!

I just want him to put his glasses on, use his line guide and relax enough in tests to get back to where he was last year. I am sure the not wearing glasses thing is about living up to expectations too...sporty good looking kids dont wear glasses in his peer groups world... not helped by Clarke blooming Kent!

Thank you mystery... i dont want to bombard him with more work at home, but i will do a bit, as and when and pitch it a bit lower than normal i think to boost him up a bit. I think you are right about the cats, as jpk said something similar a while back. An average of 124 puts him firmly in top 10% nationally, and as our tests aim at top 25% nationally that should be fine. his score for vr was 119, 125 for qr, and 131 for nvr. As the bucks test is so heavily verbal based it is thought the 119 will be the one they focus on and it should be near or over 130??


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:53 pm 
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Hi Southbucks, sorry I'm not clear when you quote those test scores whether you are talking Bucks test scores or CAT scores. If they are CAT scores they can't be hoping for 130. That would be extremely high in the centiles. Why would an appeal panel need that?

Will try and link you to a site which explains about CAT centiles. GL assessment publishes the CATs - you might also find something helpful on their website.

Yes I agree, ideally, about not doing extra at home, but I just thought you had asked for some ideas. You might be hitting upon something that is to do with test taking for him (in addition to the vision issues) and sometimes the best thing to get out of the "test block" is to do more of them. If your school sets so much store by one mid term test in year 6 it would suggest to me that they don't do much "let's sit down now and work through this in silence for 50 mins" or whatever. This lack of work in this style makes it hard for children who are not "natural" test takers.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:58 pm 
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http://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/sites/gl ... idance.pdf

Try this - go to the graph which links score to centile. You will see that (if this is the test that your child did) that what the school is telling you is crazy.


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