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Do all your class make 3 sublevels progress?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by teslagirls1, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. Ah yes, the wonderful pupil progress meetings. Waste half a morning justifying whey poor johnny didn't make 3 sub levels while the class are covered by a supply, or even worse, a TA.
  2. Hi,
    I am a seasoned year 5 teacher. The expectation in our school is to make 2 part level progress. This would be fine if all children were the same! Our KS2 levels are a spin off from KS1 and of course the transition into Y3 is a force to be reckoned witho this is where it goes ear shaped for some kids (and us). It is all a load of tosh. We are not expected to really make 2 part levels but 'value added' OMG! So yes I wake up most mornings with that churning feeling in my stomach and yes this is even after 31 years of teaching! It's the kids I feel sorry for. They look so resigned when I mention 'targets' All you can do is your best. Keep stringent records and annotate your planning to flag up where kids have not 'got it' Fight back! We are asked to put notes on our trackers to justify results and keep an eye on APP. Let me know how it all goes. You cannot be a ad teacher.
    A from Nottingham.
  3. tangerinecat

    tangerinecat New commenter

    lol @ Year 3 being 'ear-shaped'!
    But I do know what you mean.
    Sadly, the whole education system is flawed, from bottom to top. Have just spent an afternoon with my cousin's boyfriend and it has only served to fuel my ire. He is the loveliest, most hard-working, motivated person you could hope to meet, and has just come out of uni with £30,000 debt and no job to go to. He's applied to every job going, and there's nothing for him. I feel so sorry for him.
    As my OH puts it, the people in Government have pulled all the ladders up behind them.
  4. generally children are only expected to make 2 sublevels progress in a year - a few may make 3 and obviously the SEN will not do so well
    dont think it is you- your school seem to have high expectations - it will depend on a lot of factors - is it a school in a good area or not?
  5. I'm a teaching head with a class of year 2 children and previously have expected 2 sublevels of progress over a year ,however my SIP (and therefore the LA) is now pushing for all children to make 3 sublevels progress. I and therefore the school is now being judged on the % of children achieving 3 sublevels progress.
    We are are a school that consistently achieves at least 2+ scale points above the national average at key stage 1 in all subjects, and a high % of level 3s. It feels as if however well the pupils achieve .... more is expected. Where is the celebration of the achievements of individual children on their learning journey?
  6. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Oh dear!
    It's just surreal or something, isn't it?
    We all know that sub levels are imaginary. We all know that SATs for primaries are non-existent. But still the myths take hold and even drive the curriculum somehow.
    Anyone outside England looking at this would think we're crazy!
  7. We expect 5 sub levels of progress in KS1. You've also got to remember than Yr2 teacher assessments are usually made by the end of May. This isnt a year, it's 9 months. If you had till the beginning of July, they would make more progress! Don't worry!
  8. I couldn't agree more! The fact that we are still even DISCUSSING young children in terms of levels and sub levels makes me want to weep! What ever happened to the idea of education being a stimulating environment where young children took risks, experimented, asked difficult questions, became critical, analytical independent thinkers and discovered a lifelong love of learning? Maybe Guy Claxton's 'What's the point of School?' should become compulsory reading. That education can be reduced to a collection of tickable boxes is depressing and short-sighted!
  9. According to our DH, if a child is a 2A at end of KS1, we need them to acheive <u>at least level</u> 5 at end of KS2 to indicate appropriate progress.
    This is because even though a 4A would equate to the required 2 full levels progress, Level 4 in SATs is <u>always treated as a 4B</u>, whatever the score the child gets. So statistically, it appears they haven't made 2 levels progress.
    Is this correct?
    And if so, has anyone managed a way of successfully arguing against this, on the grounds that it is ridiculous?

  10. ditwee

    ditwee New commenter

    I believe you are correct, at least according to the last Raiseonline training session in data that I went on. I confess, the whole thing is making me very cynical. I think some Heads are embracing the challenge and seeing just how it is possible to manipulate the data to their advantage. It seems to be the only reasoned response. Having just filled in my assessment grids, I wonder how many other Y2 teachers are now regretting the September assessments as being rather generous with hindsight? And no, we have definitely not made 2 sub-levels progress for every child. I must be a very bad teacher indeed.
  11. I agree with you about Guy Claxton. Also recommend his Building Learning Power, and Creating Tomorrow's Schools Today by Richard Gerver - a critique of our 200 year-old model of education and an account of one Headteacher who did something about it to create a 'magical' school.

    Just discovered this thread and I'm fascinated by how things are different in England (cf Wales where I teach). What are these sub-levels? Can you define for me the difference between say Level 3b and Level 3a in Maths or English? Do you do it for Science and other subjects too?
  12. <u>Anyone outside England looking at this would think we're crazy!</u>
    I am looking from NZ, and it does look crazy!
    our esteemed ministry of Ed is heading down your path of testing and all the other madness you all seem to be talking about.
    on a slightly diff note, a lot of the forums are quite bewildering when read from afar. all these SATs, sub levels, supplys (are they real people? or little machines?) and lots of other bits of shorthand.
    I think I'll stay here with my chair throwing, swearing headlice ridden little troop.

  13. Our school says all children should make 2 sublevels progress a year (even tho they admit it can take 2 years to make it through a level!), I thought this was the same in all schools but apparently not!I don't understand how you can be expected to move them 3 sublevels as that is equivalent to a whole level!
    I think its totally ridiculous to expect all children to make the same amount of progress, like another post said, progress isn't in a straight line. Children progress at different rates, have different problems going on at home, may miss big chunks of school, may have unidentified learning difficulties / SEN holding them back (or just be labelled as having learning difficulties without it being explained to the teacher exactly what that means and how to help the child, as in our school. Very unhelpful - anyone else find that?).
    None of that is taken into account, nor is the experience of the teacher. This is the only job where I am expected to produce the same results as someone who has been doing it for 5, 10 even 20 years -of course I'm not going to get the same results, how crazy! You wouldn't expect a junior accountant/mechanic/doctor to perform the same tasks as a senior one!
    Does anyone else get put under pressure to show that the children have made progress? I feel I'm put under enourmous pressure and strain to show that my class have made the required 2 sublevels, even tho some won't/can't for the reasons mentioned above. It doesn't matter what I do, how hard I work, how much help I try to get for the ones with learning difficulties, its just never good enough. I feel constant pressure through my lessons to make sure we get through it all and don't get behind. It's so demoralising and totally unfair. At a recent pupil progress meeting I was given such a hard time about the children who weren't making much progress, and as for daring to say that some have had a dip and gone backwards (which in all honesty some have, despite my best efforts), well, you'd have thought I was calling up the devil! No matter what reason/explanation I gave, it wasn't good enough - even saying I'd been asking since Sept for the child to be tested as am convinced there is some sort of special needs going on wasn't considered good enough reason! What more can a person do!!!!!
    I totally hate assessment and sublevels, as it just makes you feel that you are doing a **** job and are a **** teacher, when in fact that's not true. We work so hard for these kids, we're doing the best we can in very difficult circumstances, most of the kids are happy and enjoying school and that should be enough. I truly believe that all this pressure to show they have made 2 sublevels progress makes peeople say the children have, even if they haven't quite, to keep SMT off their backs. What this means is that the next teacher gets a class where several look brighter than they really are, and you have to keep them at the same level which shows no progress even tho they are making slow progress, because they probably shouldn't have been put at that level in the first place and are definately not ready for the next level! How is that helpful to teacher or child???
    I think there is something very wrong with the education system, as we shouldn't be put under so much pressure and neither should the kids. Instead of worrying about how they/we are performing, help us to help them and then they will do better. Support instead of pressuring us! No wonder we have the most tested and unhappy kids in Europe and the most stressed teachers around!!! The government's own survey has shown teachers to be the most stressed profession, even more than doctors! What does that tell us!!!
  14. I think the levels system is a joke, much like Ofsted, QTS and the rest of education in the UK. Every year I get classes who are nowhere near the levels they have been given by previous teachers. It would appear some teachers 'make sure' all students are making progress when we all know that there are a multidue of factors as to why children dont progress. Coupled with problems at home, etc there is unfortunately a real lackadaisical attitude among lots of students who think that school is a social occasion and everything will come on a platter once you have finished your schooling. Add to that the large numbers in every school who are adamant that they are well on the way to becoming professional footballers and those biding time till they are able to claim benefits. Rather than bemoaning SATs, I think there needs to be one education and exam body with externally set examinations for basic standards that everyone is responsible to. Maybe then we will see students get fair results and 'levels' that reflect both their skills and knowledge, and their attitudes.
  15. I totally agree, I'm in Year 3 and the children who come up as level 3 as almost always not. Then when they leave me they are still level 3 (or sometimes 2a) and it's my fault!
  16. We have been told that the national expectation is 3 sub levels across 2 years, but our local authority expects 2 sub levels progress a year.
  17. I can't believe this thread is still running, just goes to show the strength of feeling.
    What happened to quality not quantity??
    This would be at the expense of the children developing a broad understanding and moving on when they are ready.
    We are expected to push then through the levels so quickly that they get to year 6 and have to go back to basic skills because there has been no allowance for consolidation.
    What a waste! Of our time, the kids education, tax payer's money employing these people.....
    Please leave me alone so that I can teach!!!
    Children should leave primary school with good basic skills and a notion that school and learning is fun. What are we doing?
  18. forestje

    forestje New commenter

    I'm glad it's not just me. There has already been a very good thread on this subject which helped me when I felt really down.
  19. My school expects 2 sub levels a year. Even this is unrealistic, but in all the years it's been my target for performance management, nothing has ever happened when I fail to meet it except that I used to feel dispirited and question my ability as a teacher until I realised a few things around me:-
    many of my colleagues weren't achieving that 2 sub level target either
    only my colleagues with huge egos and competitive spirits did achieve it - and when I taught the children afterwards, I found them lacking many basic building bricks of learning and knowledge, so I question the accuracy of their results
    if a child does not start the year at some 'average' level then unless they have been badly taught or missed school, they are what we used to call slow learners; they take more time to pick up new concepts and learn new facts, so how can they possibly make average progress? I justify lack of average progress when I teach children with prior low achievement.
    a child leaving ks1 at level 2c (below av), who makes 2 sub levels a year through ks2 would get 4b by Y6 (average). Lovely but that would be above expectations. And, if all below average children could become average, then the old average would no longer be average .....
    I could go on at length about this!
    And that's without the idiocy of schools asking for 3 sub levels!
  20. I entirely agree. And I am one of the Headteachers asking for this because this is what the SIP is demanding! The expectation is for all children by the end of KS2 to be average or better and that is mathematically impossible!
    This is the target however and the whole point of pupil progress meetings with your Head or whoever is to have a conversation about those who haven't made the target for that term/year and what you have tried to put in place to make it happen.
    As long as you show you have TRIED, HT can then tell SIP how hard you have tried and everyone is happy. It is the complacent or dishonest teachers who do not try alternative approaches or who 'massage ' the data who are making it hard for all of us.

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