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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:18 pm
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Hello, I hope you can help. I have been on the forum for a long time but have had to re-register as my past ID would not resurrect!

DC did not qualify for grammar schools through the 11+, but the score was close enough that we think a selection review or appeal could be feasible.

DC’s progress in their highly-regarded school has been perfectly acceptable but, we believe, has been affected by significant disruption in the class in the last 2 years due to, in turn, disconnected (due to personal issues) and inexperienced (NQT) staff, plus some behavioural issues in class (not DC :-)). Parents repeatedly expressed their concern to the school but little action was taken; the school has been defensive on the issues and has very much adopted the attitude of “leave the teaching to the teachers” (an attitude I would endorse normally!).

My anecdotal understanding is that there is a distinct contrast in general achievement (don’t know about in 11+ results and school will not disclose) between DC’s class and the other equivalent class in the year group whose progress through the school has been much more stable. I feel that this bumpy ride through school has had an impact on DC’s achievement which simply isn’t captured anywhere, and won’t be by any school reports.

Although DC is predicted comfortable Level 5s in Y6 and has made 2-sublevel progress each year, I do feel that the results shown are not representative of DC’s ability. In years where the teaching has been of a good standard, DC’s progress has been better (this year so far already a marked improvement under a very good teacher).

Anything I can say on this would be hearsay as it is undocumented by the school and not likely to be. I broached the topic gently in conversation with HT and was shut down promptly as the school does not agree this has been an issue.

So how do – or should – I capture this in a selection review letter?

I’d be very grateful for thoughts on how/whether to approach this very sensitive and contentious issue. I do not want to come across as blaming the school and DC's progress is maybe "good enough", but it could be better and of course the bare-bones info on the HT report does not reflect this.

Thank you.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:43 pm 
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Quote:
DC is predicted comfortable Level 5s in Y6 and has made 2-sublevel progress each year


I think any criticism is likely to be difficult to prove given that two sub-levels is 'good progress' and levels will be high at the end of KS2.

Was your child at level 3 at the end of KS1? If so, then two sub-levels every year would imply possible level 6 ...
Year 2: level 3
Year 3: level 4c
Year 4: level 4a
Year 5: level 5b
Year 6: level 6


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:08 am
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Quote:
Although DC is predicted comfortable Level 5s in Y6 and has made 2-sublevel progress each year, I do feel that the results shown are not representative of DC’s ability. In years where the teaching has been of a good standard, DC’s progress has been better (this year so far already a marked improvement under a very good teacher).

It may be true that periods of swifter improvement coincided with years where a stronger teacher was in place but a child's progress is seldom linear so this would not necessarily point to any failings in the other years.
I agree with Guest55 that any argument based on a bumpy ride educationally is also going to be fundamentally undermined by showing 2 sub levels of progress per year. It isn't really a stop-go patterns at all.
In addition of course you have the issue that not only is your stance difficult to prove but one that is more likely to be actively countered. I would have thought that concentrating just on evidence of your child's high ability and expected SATS results might be a better way to go?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:13 pm 
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Thanks for the quick input, have revisited the levels progress and realise I have overstated. DC was at 3 and 2a in KS1 and made two sublevels progress initially, one sublevel in year of disconnected teacher, two in better year and predicted at least another two this year, putting DC at 5a and 5c or b.

Very good points made though, thank you; my concern is that DC's progress is *in spite of* difficulties in the school, which aren't captured anywhere. Definitely believe the progress would have been greater in a more consistent environment (which seems to be borne out by the other class's progress but again this is anecdotal). So I am concerned that the track record, while quite strong, could have been much stronger but there isn't any way of capturing this.

In the same way that an extenuating circumstance of pressures at home can affect a child's learning, so can the pressures at school; but in this case the school is not and will not document them. Which I understand, but which causes me concern.

There is a very real possibility that I am over-thinking this...


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
merrygoround wrote:
There is a very real possibility that I am over-thinking this...

I am inclined to agree! :lol:

At the very most, a rider such as this might be appropriate:

"..., and these results were achieved despite some disruptions to staffing for the class over 2 years."

You can assess the likely chances of success at a Review here: https://docs.google.com/a/elevenplusexa ... dfcWs/edit


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:18 pm
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Thank you all for the responses and advice. I do want to include some such "rider" as you suggest. Although I may be "over"-thinking, to ignore the issue completely seemed wrong. Thanks for the input!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:44 am 
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Having been through the appeal process and been in attendance at group hearings where reviews were discussed in general terms, I can honestly say that imo even a rider that could not clearly define a specific problem may be counter productive if not worded very carefully. You have to bear in mind that the review panel consists of heads of grammar schools and education specialists who are fully aware that nqt teachers, sometimes distracted teachers and disruptive children are present in all schools very much including grammar schools. The progress your dc has made throughout school is very much in line with expectation which is great, it shows he works consistently hard.

Can we help you with ensuring the best evidence is included and the most positive way to progress with clearly linking your statement to the evidence?
Is the head teacher statement good and did your dc have a high recommendation entered prior to the test, does he have any cat test or other reasoning test results? Reading age, music levels etc?

Wishing you every success for your sons review and the future.


Last edited by southbucks3 on Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:17 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
southbucks3 wrote:
Having been through the appeal process and been in attendance at group hearings where reviews were discussed in general terms, I can honestly say that imo even a rider that could not clearly define a specific problem may be counter productive if not worded very carefully.

I agree with all that you say, sb3, but I think a small mention could be important on one front. If merrygoround is unsuccessful at a Review, and then wishes to go to an Appeal where s/he would be likely to mention this, it would cause some scepticism if there were no mention of it at all in the Review paperwork.

That said, I think it would be far better, merrygoround, to focus on putting your best possible case for the Review in the first instance, and hopefully none of the rest will be necessary.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:18 pm
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All great advice and I really appreciate it. I don't want to appear to be assigning blame as I absolutely do not blame, but do think there's a contributing factor; but if I go down that road I could find a contributing factor everywhere I look... :roll:

Grateful for the sanity checks, thank you. :D


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