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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:01 pm 
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Dd1 is currently in year 8, and has recently been assessed by her teacher as working at a level 4b in English, which is just a level above what she achieved in year 6. :shock: clearly there is a huge difference between where she should be and where she is now.

The rest of her report was fine but in english the main comments in her report was that she works very slowly often rewriting things because it was not neat enough. :?

Can anyone please offer any advice on how I can help her improve? I will also try and book a meeting with her teacher before the school closes for the holidays.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:31 pm 
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Maybe ask her to keep a diary? She can write her thoughts every day, as naturally as possible, without having to worry about an audience.
And yes, talk to the teacher. It can be really difficult getting access to secondary school teachers but they should be taking lack of progress in literacy very seriously at this stage.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:05 pm 
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The levels at secondary school do not correspond to the primary levels, in truth, which is why most schools will reassess the students after a few weeks in Year 7. The students have to do more, much more to get the same level. When Year 9 SATs existed, the complexity required for a Level 6 or 7 in English was quite startling.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:25 pm 
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In my opinion you have been given a completely unacceptable level of information on your dd's progress. That she is slow because she is rewriting for neatness should not be having such a dramatic level on her level. I have a Year 8 dd who has very scruffy handwriting but who knows that content is more important. Does your dd feel that she has been given that message? You need to know exactly where she is not making progress, it cannot just be a timing issue. Is what she writes good enough? What is she not doing? Is she using Level 5 punctuation? Are her reading levels strong? Is it just her writing that is a problem? When did you last get a chance to look at her school work? DG


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:11 pm 
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My Year 8 DD's levels are based on half termly assessment rather than continuous assessment. If she has a bad day (or gets hung up on presentation and runs out of time) then that is refected in her half termly report.
Which is why talking to teachers would be so helpful (if only I could find one willing to talk to me :( )


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:53 am 
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The rewriting will almost certainly be having an effect if she isn't putting in enough information as a result, especially for her Reading (understanding) marks for comprehension questions or analytical essays. It will have less of an effect when she is being assessed for Writing.

Writing should be legible but no marks are awarded in exam for handwriting! It is far more important that the content is addressed. Email the teacher and let her/him know your worries.

And remember, as your school assesses by half-termly assessment, it was the piece of work that was awarded a level 4b, that is not where your child is now. These things can fluctuate, especially if your DD is learning something new and has not quite grasped it yet.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:41 pm 
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AustinR,

How is her writing in, say, History or RS? Which subject sees her best writing? ... It would be great to have this foundation to build on and to praise your child's attainment in writing in other subjects.

And what kind of books does she read? ... I ask because English is not my first language and I learned to write a bit by adopting the structures put forward by the English Teacher in secondary school. It was awkward and painful, I'm afraid, but it got me through.

What may also have helped - given me vocabulary and help me lose some self consciousness - is lots of reading, including the strange mix of newspapers (Dad's idea), hobby magazines, Sherlock Holmes stories, W Somerset Maugham short stories, D H Lawrence and Barbara Cartland(!), to name a few.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:10 pm 
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Thanks for replying everyone, I was able to meet up with her English teacher after school before the xmas break.The level she achieved in the report was based on the last end of unit test which I was able to see myself and is not the level she is working at.

In the test itself there were around 10 questions with smaller ones, the handwriting comment referred to her rewriting her answers from the scrap paper onto the answer sheet which ate into her time.So of the questions she had been given she only answered 8 leaving two which were worth the most marks. :? I don't think she has been taught time management in exams which her teacher said could definitely be improved.

I always check her school books so was just shocked. Her teacher said her writing was good but she should focus more on comprehension and building more develped vocab.She does enjoy history but RS is another loathed subject mainly because she doesn't put detail in her answers. She is more mathematically inclined as she is currently at level 7b but I think she needs to put much more work into developing her English as well.

She is not an avid reader which I think is half her problem. We have started daily sessions though which I hope will pay off.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:37 am 
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What's the point in assessing a secondary child's nc level in a school report on one end of unit test?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:17 pm 
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mystery wrote:
What's the point in assessing a secondary child's nc level in a school report on one end of unit test?

It's what they always do at DD's school. Makes no sense to me either. :(
Glad you got to see the teacher though, AustinR. I'm sure everything will work out better next term now everyone's eye is back on the ball. Very easy to assume that secondary school progress takes care because you're not so closely involved on a day to day basis.


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