Go to navigation
It is currently Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:05 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: CATS and the KS3 targets
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:43 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:03 am
Posts: 302
DD is my first (and only) child in secondary school and I am a bit out of depth here. I believe her school did CATS early this term but I have not received any report. Can I ask for these? I believe this is meant to be an untutored exam to assess the incoming cohort and set targets for the future. I believe it involves verbal reasoning, non verbal reasoning and quantitative so you would expect results to be similar to the 11+ exams. As I said before, I have not got the Cats report but the KS3 targets give me some indication of her performance. I always belived DD had a 'mathematical' mind but she did much better in English and VR in the Elevenplus than NVR. Now however, her KS3 target for Maths is much higher than English. how do i know what to help her in?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4607
I wouldn't worry too much about them! The school may give you the CAT results (ours do). It does interest me how they can make targets for a subject like history, or even Spanish from these, but they seem to. The maths thing (I think, Guest55 may be along to answer in more detail) is that maths is the only one where they can get a level 8 in KS3 (something like that anyway). At least, I don't think they set level 8 targets for anything else. Is it something to do with the fact that you can get 100% in maths, whereas there is some room for judgement in other subjects? I don't know really, but these are the things I've heard. Both my sons have high targets for maths when I would consider at least one of them stronger in other areas.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:03 am
Posts: 302
Thanks scary mum. It does make sense that they are generally setting high targets for maths. The only reason the cats score would be useful would be if it is standardised so one gets to know how DD has done relative to others. Not that I am competitive or anything but an isolated score means nothing to me. She is fairly competent in most subject so I want her to develop the habit of revising independently, but if her say English was weaker than others, I would insist she read everyday rather than just encourage her.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5922
Personally I take targets with a large pinch of salt as they seem utterly meaningless in my children's cases. One exceeded his Year 8 targets by the end of the first term but they were never modified and I don't think he is prodigiously brilliant. One has never had them until her recent move to GS for sixth form and now the targets are AS grades. Well I kind of assume everyone will be aiming for an A so why make it a target? The little one has been issued with a set of targets apparently from the sky; he seems to find it quite amusing to look at the grades on his work and see if there is any relation, and rather enjoys competing with the other children, but not sure they are an especially valuable learning tool.

Less frivolously, I think by the time a child gets to secondary school you can't really, as a parent, 'insist' that they do anything like reading - they need to take responsibility for their own learning as soon as possible. For me that means encouraging a child to speak to teachers if they are having problems, and to know where they are and where they want to be. I am a great one for letting them make their own mistakes and if that means bombing a few exams in the early years of secondary, then that is one powerful lesson learned. I think that soon enough you will get something written from the school, telling you your daughter's weak and strong areas. And at the end of the year there will be exams; this will help to give you further insights.

Try not to worry - certainly not about 'helping' her with her work...she needs to become independent and you need to be there to support, encourage, nurture and feed her; the work is hers to do and to liaise with her teachers about. The latter will soon shout if there are any serious concerns.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:03 am
Posts: 302
Thanks Amber. We do know our childeren better than the tests predict. My DD is very independent as far as school work is concerned. She has asked me for help in Maths a couple of times this term and I realised she had missed the class because of music lessons. Of course the stuff was nothing new and she should have remembered it from Year 6 but perhaps she needed the revision of that class.
The only thing I feel she could more is a bit of reading- not just for improved grades in exams but for general education in the widest term. I feel in Year 7 it is no use cramming for exams but more useful to just read something that you enjoy.
However the childrens books seem so grim and she enjoys books that are about happier subjects. Maybe I will start another thread!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5922
There are lots of threads about choosing books for children; including this one started by someone who used to post on this forum many moons ago:

.viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17436


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
As with anything that is on your child's "school record" you do have a right to see them if you wish.

I don't think one individual's CAT results are that reliable - yet a whole edifice of target setting is based upon them. Now this would only matter to me if it resulted in a secondary school child being mis-setted so to speak and not taught material they were capable of assimilating. e.g. in some schools in maths they are taught in sets, with differentiated text books, and each set heading for a different NC level, from early year 7 onwards. Hopefully the school would not base the setting on CATs alone, but if they did, you see that an "underperformance" on the day of the CAT could have an impact on the material your child was subsequently taught.

Also, I think they underpin a lot of the assumptions that some schools make in their regular reports to you. So if a child scored highly in their CATs and then performed in an average fashion the teachers will shout, but if your child doesn't perform highly in the CATs and then does well, they will receive regular accolades.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6694
Location: Herts
You have a choice Modernista, either you can take the "being responsible for their own learning and speak to the teachers when they need to" approach or you can personally make sure they are on track and are making the most of every opportunity. I would not expect my dd's to get the chance to speak to their very busy teachers when they need to. Also there are always going to be good and bad teachers. I am not prepared to let a teacher spoil a subject for them. A surprising amount of students who enter my dd's school through entrance exam then do not make it in the top sets in Year 8 and 9. A lot of this has to do with the fact that their parents are blissfully unaware of what is going on. Opportunities come up, other students grab them and then they disappear and the parents are none the wiser. I take the latter approach. I did not put myself and them through the 11 plus treadmill in order to then leave them to muddle their own way through secondary school. They can become couch potatoes when they are adults but not before. (They can't anyway as we don't have a TV!) I have both dd's CATs results and their targets and their regular assessments and we all know where we are! Suits me, but I am surrounded by parents who prefer to leave them to it. It is just a personal choice. Just make sure you make the choice and don't just not realise what your options are. DG


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5922
Daogroupie wrote:
. A surprising amount of students who enter my dd's school through entrance exam then do not make it in the top sets in Year 8 and 9.
Why is it surprising? Presumably there is a finite number of places in the top set so not all those who passed to go to the school can get into it? Or have I misunderstood and your school is only partially selective?
Daogroupie wrote:
You have a choice Modernista, either you can take the "being responsible for their own learning and speak to the teachers when they need to" approach or you can personally make sure they are on track and are making the most of every opportunity. Just make sure you make the choice and don't just not realise what your options are. DG
Indeed. We all parent in ways we are comfortable with. Happily I believe my children are able to decide for themselves how to approach all this and when to seek advice from home; and it seems to be working so far, through both 'good' and 'bad' teachers, none of whom has managed to 'spoil' a subject for them yet...but maybe we have just been very fortunate. Of course I look at school reports and get updated on test results, I am not that cavalier, but targets for me are a step too far to get heated about.
Hope it goes well for your daughter modernista. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
I think it would be highly desirable just to leave it all up to the child at secondary school. I'm just not sure whether in reality it works out that way for some parents of some children at some schools. Certainly I don't remember my parents being involved at all, and that would be my ideal. However, they probably were keeping a quiet eye on things and would have got involved in some way if they had needed to.

If there was an absence of meaningful information it would be more difficult to take that tack, and certainly these days it does seem as though some information might be more misleading because of the way it is prepared e.g. put some past data about a child into Raise Online, see what targets it chucks out, and inform the parent whether or not the child is performing to "expectations". If the expectations are low, one could be looking through rose tinted spectacles at their performance and only realise a few years on that maybe things could have been different. Of course it is never too late as they say, but our life spans are finite and one's education at school can have some kind of effect on what takes place later on.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016