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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:59 pm 
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Location: Bexley
I am finding it very difficult to get a feel for how my year 8 son is doing at grammar school. He's in top sets for maths and english and the middle set for science, but his reports always seem rather bland and uninformative. He refuses to do any revision for end of year tests and his marks, which are now filtering through, are not particularly inspiring (71% for maths, his best subject doesn't sound brilliant and he's worried he may get moved down a set; 50% for geography, 60% for French...)

He gets 4 reports a year which show what he is in target for achieving at the end of KS3 (all 6s at the moment and 8 for maths) plus his target attainment (ie what he could get with more effort, a mixture of 6s and 7s). Given that he was a level 5 in core subjects at the end of year 6, level 6 doesn't seem that good for KS3.

I guess what I'd really like to know is whether or not there's a correlation between KS3 results and GSCE results. For example, would it be fair to say that a child achieving a 7 at KS3 is likely to achieve an A at GCSE; and a child achieving a 6 at KS3 is likely to achieve a B at GCSE? Or is that overly-simplistic.

Anybody got any views?!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 4:10 pm 
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You can't tell much from school tests - unless they are QCA optionsl tests they are not standardised in any way.

Levels will vary:

KS2 level 5 should go to KS3 level 7 (or 8 in maths)

From KS3 to GCSE:

a level 7 should go to A/A*
a level 6 to a grade B

DT and Languages don't fit this model well as most children start KS3 at a low level -


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 4:29 pm 
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Guest 55 - does it matter if they're not standardised? I didn't think KS3 tests and GCSEs were standardised?

I do find it so difficult to get a feel for his performance. I don't understand why, for example, when he was a level 5 in English at KS2, and is in the top set, his predicted attainment and target attainment at KS3 are level 6? Maybe it's because he's at a single sex school and not many boys like writing?!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:20 pm 
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Yes it does matter because if teachers set the test the marks are all relative to the cohort and how hard the test is.

GCSE and KS3 are sat by all children so there is a national standard - perhaps 'standardised' might not be what happens they do set the grade boundaries by some process. [No age weighting though of course]


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:13 pm 
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Guest 55 - do you think it likely that children in year 8 at any one school will all do the same end of year tests or is it likely that, if they are in sets for maths, english and science, they will do tests at different levels?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:17 pm 
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I can only speak from my own experience that, in a GS, all groups would take the same papers. It will usually be set by the school but some do the QCA optional tests to get an 'official' level.

In a Comprehensive there might be a common paper and a differentiated paper.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:25 pm 
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I was told that a Level 8 Sats in Yr 9 was the equivalent of a GCSE grade C, is this wrong?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:25 am 
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Yes! A level 8 is similar to a grade B although you have not studied all the topics and the assessment is different.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:49 am 
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All I can say is that when DD did her sats in year 9 all the girls were aiming for level 7 and 8 in maths and it was a bit of a disgrace to get anything else. When the results were known she said she could have predicted the ones who did not reach these levels (bad attitude, lazy or "retards" - her words not mine!!)
At her school generally the difference between, say, top set and bottom set is that the top set will all get A or A* and the bottom set will contain a few B's. That is what all the teachers say anyway.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:02 pm 
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It's not the same in Buckinghamshire - the 11+ selects the top third by a VR test. Some children are weak level 4 in Maths with an occasional level 3 - they will do well to get a B at GCSE!

I find the term 'r*t*rds' offensive by the way when talking about anyone ... I hope you would tell any child this.


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