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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:38 am 
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Hi

I have been given the following predictions for my son in year 7 and I'm confused by the English prediction...

Maths year 7: 5c year 8: 6c year 9: 7c
Science year 7: 5b year 8: 6b year 9: 7b
English year 7: 5b year 8: 6c year 9: 6b

Maths and Science go up 2 levels in 2 years but the English only goes up one.He does well in English and has no problems,when I asked the school for an explanation they said "the aim is to go up 2 levels of progress across a key stage but at present most children are predicted one level of progress over ks3 in English and 2 in maths and science"

I am still confused and I am wondering if anyone could explain this better if they have had experience of ks2 ?
I can't keep writing letters to the school so I hoped someone out there may have an explanation...

Thanks for any advice you may have.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:36 am 
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Is this a GS? Levels are a bit artificial but I would expect at least 1.5 levels in English - most GS pupils do make 2 levels in English.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:48 am 
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Thanks for replying.
No it is not a GS, we don't have any near here but we managed to get him into the best secondary (RC) school in our area.I am very pleased with the school,just confused why only 1 level in English is expected ? Also,what do you mean by artificial ? Sorry if I'm asking silly questions but this is all new to me!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:01 pm 
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Location: kent
It sounds as though you need to speak to the English teacher. You seem to be receiving some kind of "stock" answer from someone rather than a discussion based on your child's current performance in English and future potential for improvement.

Do you have a parents' evening coming up soon, or is it the kind of school which encourages talking to teachers in between times?

Improving a child's English has a benefit right across the curriculum, and is also important in the workplace, so it's worth finding out more now.

There are several possibilities here, so you need to keep an open mind.

-The target setting process may be disconnected from reality, and your son's progress in English, and teaching he is receiving, may be as good as you could possibly hope for

- the teaching he is receiving in English may not be as good as it could be, so although the target is reasonable based on his current progress, his current progress may not be as good as you could hope for

- the teaching might be great, and the assessment of your son accurate, but for some reason he may be "slacking" or lacking confidence in English

Have you looked at his exercise books recently? Is his use of English in all subjects good or not in your view? Do his English exercise books match the standards of English he uses in other subjects? Does he read widely or not? Does the English teacher seem to do interesting work which covers the KS3 syllabus (look at some KS3 revision guides in WH Smiths)? What grade are they hoping he might get at English GCSE? Does this match your hopes, and reasonable expectations of him?

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:32 pm 
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Lou72 - what I meant by artificial is a level 5 in English is not necessarily the same as a level 5 in Maths -

However - the national expectation is 1.5 levels in KS3 - 2 levels for value added progress (which is what most schools set).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:40 am 
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Thankyou both for your replies.
I know these are only predictions and anything can happen but it seems strange that he can get level 3 at ks1, level 5 at ks2 and then only be predicted level 6 at ks3,which is why I queried it with the school.
We don't have a parents evening until the summer which is a shame.The confusing answer that I copied out on the original post was from the English depertment (though not his actual teacher) The children are taught in mixed ability groups and (so far) the work seems very easy.He is getting A's in everything important so he doesn't appear to be slacking,he reads widely and writes long spy "novels".
I'm still confused as this is a school that is well known for it's pushing of the pupils and it's exam results,which is one of the reasons we tried so hard to get him in.Perhaps he did poorly in his cat tests which they did on their second day ? He loves English and it is his favourite lesson so we will have to hope that he can prove them wrong and go up 2 levels !


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 Post subject: English predictions
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:04 am 
At comprehensives it is quite normal to have a more modest English prediction. In fact, I have known of several parents shock about their children being predicted (and achieving) a '5' when they also achieved a '5' at primary school.
Of course it appears to the parent that the child has stood still for 3 years but this may not be the case. At most primary schools there is a huge drive to optimise children's sats levels. Thus, with booster classes, a child might achieve a 5 in maths which is slightly artificial because it is the result of short term cramming rather than consolidated work, and, if the child was tested 3 months later, they would possibly be back to a 4.
Secondary schools will then see a discrepancy between the child's work and their SATS level, and disregard it to a certain extent. Also secondary schools don't take SATS that seriously in that their ultimate goal is GCSE and 'A' level. They do offer booster classes but they tend to be voluntary and try persuading a 14 year old to go for extra who isn't enamoured with the subect in the first place.
Also, a 3-5 Sats paper is an entirely different exam to a 4-6 or 5-7 Key Stage 3 exam, requiring different skills.
Anyway, I would be quite pleased with a prediction of 6 because chances are he'll end up with a 7 if he works and that puts him in the top 10% of the national population.
By the way, I am not saying your son's primary school grade was inflated--just that secondary schools may treat them with caution because some are.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:13 pm 
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fm,

Not sure where you get your information from but I worked at a comprehensove for a number of years and it was normal to set value-added targets (ie two levels).

Schools DO take KS3 exams seriously - if your child's school does not they are in the minority ...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:36 pm 
Sorry if I have upset you, but I live in Birmingham and our local comprehensives are fairly unambitious. My own son was predicted a '4' at science, having achieved a '5' at primary school. I was disappointed, as you can imagine, but was assured '5' was the national average. He was also the only child in second set maths to achieve a '6', and that was down to extensive tuition by me. His experience was fairly typical of his year group and he certainly does not attend the worst school in the city.
I think the bottom line is that there is a wide range of comprehensives in England, and cities possibly fare worse than more 'leafy' areas. I am sorry if I generalised. I know from conversations with sister-in-law in Berkshire that her state comprehensives are a completely different kettle of fish.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:54 pm 
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You didn't upset me - I was just disappointed that your experience is so poor -


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