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 Post subject: Year 9 English Target
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:56 pm
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Hi

I'm not sure if I have posted this in the correct place....

I'm just after a bit of advice really. My Son is in year 9 and has been given a target level of 6b for English.

In year 2 he got a 3 and year 6 he got a 5, so I can't work out why this is low. I have asked the school and got told such a load of gobbledygook about projections and targets that it went in one ear and out the other !

All they ever seem to do in English is read books so again I am confused how this mark will be achieved. One of my friends told me that the school make the year 9 marks low so that the GSCE results look even better,surely this can't be true ?

Has anyone else had this with their children ?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:07 am 
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It could be that they are setting the targets low to make sure they dont have too many children missing them?
I thought the base point for the value added score was taken from entry to the school - but I could be wrong.

Please dont accept any explanation from school that isn't clear - don't be afraid of asking teachers to explain things clearly & get them to explain their jargon in layman's terms. My suspicions are always aroused when staff hide behind jargon & waffle :)

They should be able to show you your child's attainment levels for year 7 & 8 and the targets for the class (without individual details of course!) You should also have access to KS3 results in previous years.

Hope you get a proper explanation that puts your mind at ease.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:04 pm 
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Mum23,

First of all you should bear in mind that the levels reached at primary school really bear very little relevance to the levels at senior, so a level 5 in primary is definitely not the same as a level 5 in key stage 3.

When year 9 were still doing official SATs, the government target for 14 year olds was a level 5 - so actually a level 6b is above average.

However, that said, it really depends on the type of school your son goes to and whether you expect him to be significantly above average at English. My DD1 (also in year 9) has a higher target for English but it is her best subject and her other targets are no where near as high as her english target!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:35 pm 
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I started teaching in the dawn of SATs. Granted I was a primary teacher but we were told that.

Key stage 1 - 1 = below average, 2= average and 3 above
Key stage 2 - 3 = below, 4 = average and 5 above.
Key stage 3 - 6 is average 7 above.

Presently at my son's school (grammar) they are expected to get a level 5 in the main subjects on entry and targetted if they are not acheiving this. There is an expectation for 7's at key stage 3 as they should go up two sub levels each year.. I understand that the levels get broader but I would say that the target set is low for a child that achieved above average levels at previous key stages.

The new target measures that have been introduced are supposed to flag up this sort of thing.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:17 am 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
The expectation in the years when levels were born and children still lived in trees was one level per year for an able child. So level 6 by the end of y6, etc. Levels went all the way to 10 for the extension paper in y9 maths, but as it was harder than a GCSE it made little sense.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:05 am 
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Thanks everyone for your replies.

English was always his best subject which is why the low level has surprised me,Maths was always his problem yet that target is a 7b !

He seems to do far more of what I would call "English" in his History and R.E lessons with long essays every few weeks,his teacher for both is really hot on punctuation,spelling,connectives etc all the things I would have thought would be covered in his English lessons ? His last 2 essays got him a level 8 which he was really pleased with,so his English target confuses me...

We have parents evening next month, so I will ask again there.I will try and be firmer this time which is not easy as you get 2 or 3 minutes and people are hovering over your shoulder the whole time.

Any more views/help is welcome :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:39 am 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
I've been reading through the levelling for English. Appreciation of text, plot and character are all significant markers. The only explanation for possible low levels that I could find in the KS3 levelling guide is the literature element.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:01 pm
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mum23 wrote:
One of my friends told me that the school make the year 9 marks low so that the GSCE results look even better,surely this can't be true ?


Schools don't control the targets that way. There are expected levels for each child, dictated to the school by the Fischer Family Trust. Schools can set higher targets; if they tried to lower them, Ofsted would soon be on their case! Low Y9 targets would not, in any case, have any effect on how the GCSE results look since they aren't published side-by-side.

That said, the FFT data doesn't apply to every subject, so schools generally make a 'best fit' judgement based on the predicted levels for the core subjects.

As others have said, MFL targets tend to be lower if they only started the language in secondary. A target level below 6 in ICT would concern me if all the other subjects are above 5. RE is compulsory; most schools therefore offer at least a half GCSE course - I don't know about the low target, but there's no reason for a child to do well in other subjects and badly in RE as the skills at each level are similar - e.g. more explanation/analysis in higher levels.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:36 pm 
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in my daughters school there are 2 targets a kind of "expected target" (or middle quartile or somthing) and "above expected target" (upper quatile) most of my daughters "expected targets" were level 6 which did seem really low (she got 5a's year 6) but she had "above expected" levels 7's (and 1 level 8 ) which was what they said they expected her to get, did they give any breakdown like this ??


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:03 pm 
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There seem to be loads of rubbish targets set by schools for pupils these days.

If they can't get beyond a gobbledy gook explanation, I would ask them three things:

- what is the highest NC level in English your child could hope for by the end of KS3
- what his NC grades currently are in all the various bits of the subject
- what is the best grade they would hope he could get at GCSE
- what the work scheme is for this year and what he needs to do to be able to achieve the highest NC grades in each bit of the subject

From other things you say it sounds like the English teacher may not be great at the moment, particularly if they can't give a clear explanation of the target system. Not much hope for the pupils is there?!

Have you tried looking at the Letts guides etc and seeing if the lessons seem to be working their way through the necessary stuff?


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