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Assessment levels in PE

Discussion in 'Physical education' started by Paul_B83, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Morning all. <font size="3"> </font>I am doing some analysis of my PE department assessment levels against national benchmarking grades for 2011.

    Our data was sent in along with 45 other Middle Schools, and as a result the data looks like we are behind the national average because I have my assessments of last year's Year 8's are to low.

    This could be down to me being very harsh in the assessment grades or it could be a reflection of the pupil&rsquo;s performance, (as a whole they weren&rsquo;t a strong year group).

    What I would like to know, is what levels do people give out to their Year 8 pupils at the end of the year?

    I find it hard to justify giving out levels 5's to average performing pupils when you read the level descriptors. Which is what I am being told be the SMT I should be getting. According to the benchmarking data we have, out of the 46 schools that inputted data into it, 81% of pupils in Year 8 should be level 5 or above....


  2. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    The system is indeed a farce. As a P.E. specialist, I sent my son up to secondary school with a level 5. He was in the same school as I taught. He is a talented sportsman, way ahead of his peers and playing several sports at county level. So I felt fairly confident in giving him a level 5.
    Lo and behold, 3 years later and 3 years of secondary schooling, he is still at level 5 despite him continuing to be successful in a range of sports.
    Everyone goes on about improving transition between KS2 and KS3 but nothing will ever change while secondaries feel the need to show progression and therefore are extremely reluctant to accept Y7's at level 5.
  3. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    I have sent Year 6s through at Level 6 - bet the sec school loved that! They were Level 6, talking county standard, highly skilled youngsters.
    I used to spend every year working out levels for Year 6s, took my time, worked it all out. But now what is the point? The data is never used, they all end up in the same lessons - how to do a level 4 badminton serve, how to make a level 5 netball pass.
    Levels are not related to sporting success - if someone is a gifted games player, their level maybe brought down by their lack of gymnastic ability or dance skills. It just goes to show what a waste of time secondary PE is - scrap the lot, replace them with specialised coaches and get some proper sport in.
  4. I have taught the most talented year group in our school since they were in Year 2. They are in Year 9 now. The best at sports then are the best at sports now, with one or two not so strong performers doing well in sports they are being coached at outside school.
    The poster who said that he expected his son's grade to go up from a 5 from when he was younger has, I think maybe, missed the point. Your son should have been a higher grade when he was younger, not so much improved his grade as he got older...
    Mind you, the environment I work in is relaxed, well resourced and we are allowed to teach, assess (with reference to, and inevitably rejecting, UK recommendations) and progress as we see fit.
  5. Foney...do you use levels at all??
    My concern is that teachers focus on the numbers and lots of oppotyunity to improve techniques are lost. I mean, can a footballer really improve his ability in terms of 4c to 4a...im my opinion its just meaningless jargon.
  6. We grade and we group by ability, or rather, skill levels currently being reached.
    Your English is a disaster; and I thought we had had this convo on a million occasions, ability cannot be improved.
    Skills, however, can be....

  7. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    It is my opinion (and I have said this many times) that secondary PE is a waste of time.
    The levels are what make it a waste of time. Look at the money pumped into each department in terms of staff - all for lessons on how to make a level 4 badminton serve.
    Levels show progress, progress justify a wage. No-one has come up with another way to measure progress in PE. It's no good saying little Jack was not in the football team but now is and has played once for 10 minutes. For one schools just don't do enough fixtures, and you can't input this on a computer system (a level is much easier for that).
    So we have rubbish lessons, which pupils strangely enjoy (anything not to be sat in a classroom). But the lessons could be so much better if the levels were dropped and the teachers were allowed to just get on with it.
    In terms of assessment for PE all that should occur is fitness tests every year- sit and reach, cooper run, agility course, vertical jump etc. Scores recorded and sent home and the end of every year. This would show fitness - which is what PE should be about. Anything to do with sport is games - this should never be assessed except for the concept of A,B and C teams. Because you could be the worst football player in the world, but if you enjoy it then you should not be penalised and given a self check sheet on how to make a level 2 pass.
  8. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    have always been in favour of keeping things simple. The more complicated and involved they are, the less time there is to actually spend time teaching (and coaching).
    Parents do deserve some kind of feedback on a teachers view (assessment) of where there child lies in the scheme of things.
    I always liked the 'working towards' ' working within' and 'working beyond' statements. I don't even know if they are still used.
    Tick boxes are fine for this. Assess for Games, Water based skills, Gymnastic activities, Athletic activities and fitness levels.
    Support this with a grade/mark on effort and attitude.
    In addition a couple of sentences to add to this should suffice.
    If you are a good teacher you don't need to be tied to exhausting lists of ability level statements to mark against in order to assess this.
    We simply mark out of 10 in 3 areas - Effort, Attitude, Ability for each unit of work. For ability these roughly ally to 1 - 3 (working towards), 4 to 7 (working within) and 8 to 10 (working beyond).
    It's not rocket science.
  9. No its not. But unfortunately we are required to show progress through NC Levels. I would love to work with your system, im sure most PE teachers would. The thing is its not just about informing parents. We are supposed to make pupils kow what sub level they are working on, and how they use that knowledge to prgress to the next sub level.
    Its ridiculous.
  10. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    This is exactly where the problem lies. Somebody in an office somewhere decides these things, and there are no other options - ie do it or else!
    We use our system and the information from it to inform parents (at parents evenings) and children (in class) where they are up to.
    Again, it shouldn't be rocket science for either child or parent to work out where the child needs to go next (if in fact they want to, which isn't always the case - yet another presumption from the men/women in suits).
    I agree, it's ridiculous.
  11. My concern is though, that teachers who have recently qualified accept the curent levelling system as gospel. Levels have only been around a few years but now seem to be all important!

  12. This is my concern......level descriptors dont actually mean anything but teachers are spending hours worrying about their impact etc......how many of us, in our school days, ever encounterd such drivel.

  13. I have taught PE for over 30 years, I was, without blowing my own trumpt, an exceptional pupil
    ( represented my county in 5 sports at both junior and senior level).
    Yet based on the NC levels I would probably only got a level 6/7 ...
    Why.............I was **** at dance, gym and swimming............
    Is this really fair to pupils who excel in one or two or even three sports???
    Would you level, for example, Andy Flintoff, or Wayne Rooney at level /5/6 because they underperfrom at all but their specialist sports????
    Do we level at their best sport, or average it out across all acitivities??
  14. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Dance should not be on the PE curriculum, it is a performing art. I find it daft how pupils get a level that affects their overall PE level for what is a performance.
    The system is crazy - but why don't the big wigs get together to sort it out. Loads have been at the big conference in Telford - they keep on using this drivel because at the end of the day it is something they can manipulate to justify their jobs. No sporting success at the school, don't worry because our pupils are level 7 and don't need fixtures!
    Clear to see why I now reside in the indy sector and others are abroad.
  15. &middot; Pupils select and combine skills, techniques and ideas. They apply them in ways that suit the activity, with consistent precision, control and fluency. Level 6 Pupils select and combine their skills, techniques and ideas and apply them accurately and appropriately, consistently showing precision, control and fluency.
    Level 5

    I really dont see the point in bothering with it!
  16. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    So the only difference between a Level 5 and Level 6 is that a Level 6 uses their skills in ways that 'suit the activity'.
    Absolute codswallop - and if teachers are being made to plan lessons against this tosh then the quality is the lowest of the low.
    It's one of those big lies in PE, along with -
    * levels are important - what level are you?
    * GCSE PE is a structured coaching opportunity to improve your sport.
    * Year 10/11 PE is structured and worthwhile
  17. Stoppers, myself and other long standing colleague were discussing this for our possible assessments. We had an issue of a mark of 8 to 10 meaning the student is working 'beyond' their best efforts, 'beyond' their best attitude and 'beyond' their ability.
    Sholuldn't 10 be 'working to the best' of their efforts, attitude and ability? However, in the case of ability, this doesn't actually tell anything about where that is.
    Effort, attitude, achievement/level might be more suitable?
    I am sceptical of the phrase 'working beyond'...

  18. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    The 'working beyond' relates only to ability/attainment, ie beyond the level expected of the child's particular chronological age. ie if a 5 year old can reliably shoot 8 baskets out of 10 then they are working beyond the level normally expected of a 5 year old.
    Scores of 5,6, 7 were working within the range normally expected. The difficulty is explaining to a child that 5 out of 10 is in fact fine as it means they are demonstrating skils and understanding commensurate to that expected of their chronological age.
    Effort and attitude, the 9 and 10 did in fact mean they were working to an exemplary standard (eg attended every lesson, worked hard every lesson, cooperated, listened well, remembered their kit and were well organised etc).
    My brain hurts now!
  19. My daughter was given average grades when at the time she was british age group champion for gymnastics and competed internationally for GB since the age of 9. A youth Olympic bronze was in her haul too_Our son was in the top 5% of boys in the country and trained at an academy for football and couldnt get in the top set for PE. Ridiculous is the word!
  20. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I cannot agree about scrapping PE in KS4. As I have said before if you offer an optive programme, alas keeping within Nat Curr dictats ( I would remove the Nat Curr for a start if I were in charge) If you scrap it and rely on kids doign sport outside of school, what about the kids whose parents don;t spend weekend driving to fixtures/courses etc? They won't be accessing sport if parental time isn't there, transport, money for fees. So far too many kids and especially girls might not be involved in any sport at all.
    I feel that at least one fitness session a week should be held as well as a sport/athletic activity, maybe with the flexibility to mke it 2 fitness sessions a week as I do understand that team games arn't for everyone. Also if PE for year 10 girls involves them standing still feebly wafting an arm at a shuttle like a Weeble, then I am all for some active jazz dance/dance/movement classes going on.
    I agree totally about getting rid of meaningless levels and letting the PE teacher get on with it. Let's bring some of the fun back into the teaching of Phys ed.

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