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National Curriculum level madness - help needed

Discussion in 'History' started by andiepj, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. We have been asked by SLT to devise a sheet where both students and staff can see the student's progress- this has been the easy bit. Where we have run into a wall is writing down on this sheet how a student progresses from a C to an A in any level. For example, how do they get from a 4c to a 4b and then a 4a. What is the difference between a 4c and a 4b?

    In the past this has always been done verbally - but now SLT want it in an easy to read and follow written format.

    Has anyone already done this and managed to keep it brief and simple and if so, would they mind sharing?

    If not, does anyone have any ideas?

    Fingers crossed for an answer!
     
  2. We have been asked by SLT to devise a sheet where both students and staff can see the student's progress- this has been the easy bit. Where we have run into a wall is writing down on this sheet how a student progresses from a C to an A in any level. For example, how do they get from a 4c to a 4b and then a 4a. What is the difference between a 4c and a 4b?

    In the past this has always been done verbally - but now SLT want it in an easy to read and follow written format.

    Has anyone already done this and managed to keep it brief and simple and if so, would they mind sharing?

    If not, does anyone have any ideas?

    Fingers crossed for an answer!
     

  3. OMG! This isn't helpful I know but you have my sympathies...the whole thing is utter madness. Sub levels don't exist but at least if you are only imagining it makes it slightly better. To write them down is an absolute madness. Politely remind your SMT that levels are supposed to be an end of Key Stage indicator and no educational advisor would recommend this. That said I'm sure there will be someone on here who has been made to do this and might be able to help. I suppose the best thing to start doing is copying out statements from the levels and have 'working towards' as c, 'regularly' as b and 'does really well' or some such rubbish as a.

    Good luck!
     
  4. I agree with both of the above posts.



    We've got a similar excel sheet which tracks progress across the school - but it's really much more geared towards helping with report writing and target setting. Originally, we thought the SMT were going to ask us to sub-level our end of year reports for foundation subjects, but they didn't (thank God). We just report the whole level, which is very easy. I think it's more about keeping the parents informed - I think the reason people start thinking they need to do sub-levels is that they feel parents are going to kick off if their child ends up getting the same whole NC level year after year. I think it's about keeping them informed and letting them know that progress is being made within a specific level, even though the level itself hasn't changed.
     
  5. Ah. I've just realised my reply wasn't very helpful either...!



    I response to the actual question - if we had been asked to sub-level, we were going to do it much the same as you would for, say, Literacy APP - basically use a process of best fit. IE: Majority of a level highlighted = B, almost all highlighted with some above = A etc.



    Hope that's perhaps a little more helpful!
     
  6. hi - we have also had to do this, and have produced very simple, one sentence level descriptors for students and teachers to use. Students have a copy of this in their books to refer to - its not perfect, but its the best we could do. Am happy to forward on if you would find it helpful.
     
  7. T34

    T34 Established commenter

    A NC "level" is a point in a learner's progress.
    The NC level "the learner is at" is the last such point which the child passed.
    So if a learner is said to be "at level 4" it means that he has equalled or exceeded the level 4 criteria but has not yet achieved all of the level 5 criteria.
    It makes good sense to make an estimate of where such a child is on the road from level 4 to level 5 by using the "sub-level" concept. Whether "4c", "4b" or"4a" will be determined by how many of the level 5 criteria the child has achieved.
     
  8. That;s just not how history works though...it may be appropriate in a more linear subject such as maths but history has more of a 'climbing frame' of progress...read some Teaching History articles on the subject...and it doesn't really help kids understand what they can and can't do in history, rather it just gives them some number to be labelled with....
     
  9. T34

    T34 Established commenter

    Well, the powers that be, in their wisdom or otherwise, have decreed that there is such a thing as "progress" in the subject History. Do you agree with that?
    They have furthermore defined "levels" of progress. E.g. a learner has reached or surpassed level 4 if he
    "...shows factual knowledge and understanding of aspects of the
    history of Britain and the wider world. He uses this to describe..." etc.
    Do you agree that the level descriptions (attainment targets?) are valid, i.e. do all learners pass by these "milestones" as their level of competence in history increases ?
    If you do agree that the level descriptions describe points in the learning process for history, do you agree that it is may be useful at times to make an assessment of how far the pupil has progressed towards the next milestone (sub-levels)?
    I'm not sure what is meant by a "climbing frame" of progress. I imagine it means learning progresses in jumps. I think this is true for all subjects - the "penny drops" and their is a sudden jump in progress as an epiphany occurs.


     
  10. As a history teacher with ten years experience I can confirm that I more than aware of what progress in history looks like. I am also aware that Level Descriptors and Attainment Targets are exactly that, a method of measuring the attainment of pupils at the end of Key Stage 3. They were designed to form part of an holistic judgement after three years of teaching and learning and are a summative rather than formative method of assessment. Therefore it remains false to level individual pieces of work and to split levels into sub levels. These tactics have been dreamt up by Deputy Headteachers who would like to show a smooth graph of 'progress' against each pupil.
    It is quite clear that you don't know what I mean. Yes all pupils have jumps in progress but I mean that different conceptual foci in history may lead to a pupil being "a level 4" in causation but "a level 5" in interpretations. History is underpinned by these second order concepts which means that it is only sensible to look at levels as part of a summative, holistic assessment progress at the end of Year9...the only time that your beloved powers that be are interested in levels.

     
  11. T34

    T34 Established commenter

    I don't think anyone is arguing for that, are they?
    That's a different point from "levelling" an individual piece of work.

     

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