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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 6:56 am 
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My DD1 now year 8 was not offered L6 in year 6 which was normal at that time and I felt made no academic progress at all that year- she was told she had already reached the top level (5) at the start. DD2 is in Y5 in a different primary; this year hasn't been very impressive at all and I feel I have taught her mostly myself what with 11+ prep. Worse, I've heard horror stories from mums further along, about the Very longstanding Y6 teachers being shouty and uninspiring and i.e. giving the same lessons five times to the upper ability group, who were only doing level 5. When the children complained they were told they all had to get 100%.

Surely now this school would have to do Level 6 with the more able? One problem for them is the previous school gave DD2 a level 4 in her KS1 assessment- so they MUST do L6 for her, right?

I don't really care about SATS, only that DDs aren't put off school work by boredom.


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 7:08 am 
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Location: East Kent
I'm not sure at all. I think poor teachers will still be poor teachers , just teaching to the test, albeit a slightly higher level test.

Unfortunately, the pressure to produce good SATs results leads to some schools being blinkered. A great pity imo. Other achievements like a huge improvement in self confidence and independence , or a love of learning are just a important as a number.

Good teachers will be good teachers whatever the goals, there are far better ways of raising attainment than death by practice paper, and the knowledge is more likely to stick with child


(other opinions are available)


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 7:25 am 
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A true Level 6 (not this farcical 'equivalent), is very difficult to obtain. You will find that Level 6 in Secondary does not equate to Level 6 in the primary. Primary school teachers are not trained to teach Level 6 Maths or English, hence poor teaching, panic etc. It only reinforces my view that the levels mean little and should be withdrawn.

Your school sounds dreadful, by the way.


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 9:34 am 
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I can only say that my dd did not do level 6 sats last year but had been taught beyond L5 as she had been moved up a class for maths so completed the level 5 curriculum at the end of yr5. There was a small group in her class doing higher L5/ L6 work but only 1 got put up for the test but DD was not. When she moved up to secondary school she was assessed as level 6b in the first term so I guess it is possible to do the extension work without l6 test being done. DS has done the same this year but has done the l6 test - so it will be interesting to see if there is much difference when he moves up to yr7.


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 10:30 am 
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Thanks for interesting replies- I totally agree about teaching to the test, and know that secondaries don't seem to take any notice anyway of primary. The school isn't dreadful but the teachers make a big difference and vary greatly each year- the comments about y6 are hearsay and I fully agree dd can have a good year six beyond academics-DD1 achieved many important things and it did her no harm.

DD2 is different to the extent that I am looking to send her to a selective girls school-she lives and breathes book-learning and feels a very odd fish in a state primary albeit one that does well in league tables/ofsted.

I just wonder if any teachers have had to cater for more academically able DCs, who they could warehouse/bank before?


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 10:53 am 
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Silverysea, if you think your DD would be better in a selective school, then try her for one. I knew my DD was not right for a state primary and I took her out. She is in a super selective independent now and finally she is in the right place.


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 11:13 am 
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My year 8 boy took a level 6 paper in year 6 but I only knew he took it after the event. Roll on two years - younger dc's is not in level 6 group, but there's a lot more pressure on those who are.


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 12:37 pm 
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Thanks Kingfisher but there's no way she is moving before secondary-she's happy all in all I am ok to supplement ATM and she's already changed schools twice in primary. I am only wondering if Year 6 turns out to be boring for her, I should a) complain or is it a waste of effort b) continue the heavy home extension we already do on her lead. It affects my own work as I am part time and would like to find a better job, but am too busy supplementing my DDs state education.

There is a new head on the cards.

In the short term I guess I was hoping that the school would step up to the plate for their high ability kids- it is too easy for her. She got some extension in year 4 from a gifted teacher but no more.

The poor teachers in DD1's secondary form have got 33 kids ranging from level 7 in academic subjects to level 2. So I am less sympathetic to the primary now, there is nothing like that ability range-the primary parents are very affluent and I know two with difficulties have been swiftly moved to suitable private schools. One at the bottom of every set happens to be DD2 s pal who comes round sometimes, and she can read etc much better than DD1s struggling classmates according to DD1 who often ends up helping them.


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 1:51 pm 
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I don't know to the OP. Yoyo says a poor teacher will still be poor teacher but just teaching some slightly more complex material. Well, I would rather that than they were poor teachers teaching nothing.

One of my children has a poor teacher this year. She has taught the top group no new maths this year because they all arrived in her class having covered the material she normally teaches to that year group, so for the most part they've just gone over last year's material again, but very patchily.

If this was year 6 (which it isn't) and they'd all turned up with a 5a at the end of year 5 it would have been pretty shoddy not to teach them something new if there was a higher level paper available. If there wasn't a higher level paper she'd teach the nothing in that year too.


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 4:49 pm 
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Yes Kingfisher that's what I was wondering. The goalposts have been shifted recently- have parents noticed a change? Pheasantchick sees more pressure on the new level 6 group, hence her school must be doing something differently perhaps?

Are there threads on here discussing level 6 in 2011 and 2012 year 6 DCs? My searching skills seem to have abandoned me!

At the time my DD1 was in year 6 she was immature and had a good teacher in other ways so not pushing for added SATS performance nor having to, in 2010, was ok.

DD2 is much more self-motivated and prone to frustration at already knowing material they spend hours repeating-I am really worried she will switch off in year 6 and fully get used to hiding her interests and abilities. She'll be preparing for the 11+ at home for GS in June and September and independents in January in hopes of a scholarship- but I'm worried it will make year 6 even more redundant for her.


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