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NC Levels, any escape?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by lalspc, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Does anybody out there work in a state school which does not require you to level pupils throughout KS3 in MFL? We are forced to do so and I am increasingly convinced that the time taken to prepare students for specific tests and then conduct them is actually detrimental to their learning. Can anyone suggest a way out of this which SMT might go for?! As far as I am aware, we are only required to actually submit levels to the borough at the end of KS3.
     
  2. Does anybody out there work in a state school which does not require you to level pupils throughout KS3 in MFL? We are forced to do so and I am increasingly convinced that the time taken to prepare students for specific tests and then conduct them is actually detrimental to their learning. Can anyone suggest a way out of this which SMT might go for?! As far as I am aware, we are only required to actually submit levels to the borough at the end of KS3.
     
  3. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    I use my professional judgement and their performance in class to assess where they might be on the continuum so beloved of SLT
     
  4. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    Your SLT on the other hand has to report progress to parents and be in the position to 'know' the progress of pupils in the school at any given time and measuring that at the end of year 9 is not enough. In the absence of any other way of measuring, NC levels are used.
    We use the FCSE to test our students it is time-consuming but their mark/NC levels have gone up as a result. SLT love it because it is an externally set and moderated test so that they can have confidence in the results. The children get a certificate for their work in KS3, and we can just imput the numbers add them up and hey presto we get individual NC levels for each skill and an overall NC level emerges too! The only down side is the cost and the fiddley admin.
     
  5. BrightonEarly

    BrightonEarly Occasional commenter

    We love the FCSE for all the above reasons.
    The only pain is having to re-plan the curriculum every 2 years to take the changed vocabulary into account.
     
  6. This all sounds like absolute hell. What a waste of your time! Hopefully Gove's free schools will be exempt from this nonsense. It adds nothing to the pupils' real levels of attainment and saps the energy of the teachers.
     
  7. sam enerve

    sam enerve New commenter

    You are correct that NC levels should only be given at the end of a Key Stage.
    I share your pain. My school has adopted a six weekly assessment system where all pupils are assessed in all subjects every 6 weeks. So we teach for 4 weeks, practise assessments for a week and then test for a week in each of the Attainment targets. It's a nightmare for the students and for teachers.
     
  8. runaway

    runaway New commenter

    It is madness but in the absence of any other system...
    Meanwhile are these of any use to you? https://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/MFL-Personal-Learning-Plan-for-KS3-6151359/
    Maybe then you can informally assess as you go along rather than test? Sorry not to be more helpful
     
  9. salsera

    salsera New commenter

    Runaway - I have looked at this resource and it is nothing but brilliant!
    It gives some clear breakdown through sublevels and allows for progression - at least it will give some focus when justifying levels to parents as well as SLT.
    Thank you so much for your hardwork.
    And even though we all know we are not supposed to be reporting until end KS3 and that NC levels were not devised to show progression, we are all having to do it. Like another post, we have to report and log assessment every half term.
     
  10. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    I share your pain everybody! I reduce the pressure on pupils and teachers slightly by only testing in 2 skills each half term. ....that way, we're not continuously preparing for assessments. Speaking assessments are particularly onerous to prepare, so are only done once a term but then often peer-assessed at KS3.
     
  11. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    How are the assessments made by so many pupils moderated?
    As for the requirement on SMT to be reporting to parents more often that at the end of each Key Stage, parents only need to know that their child was at a certain NC Level at the end of KS2, say, and is now, at the end of YR7 working their way through the next NC LEVEL or consolidating the Level that they ONLY JUST ACHIEVED AT THE END OF ks2.
    As I've outlined on a related thread, parents are happier knowing specific information about a subject and what their child needs to do to improve. Commenting on how well they assimilate vocabulary or that they need to practice their pronunciation or verb endings are all report information that allows a parent to monitor and help their child. It's more child-centred too than mechanistic, tick box Levels and made-up sub-levels.
     
  12. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    My argument is...if at least one of the (I imagine two assessments) speaking tests is teacher-led in the year - I see no problem in a first one being peer-assessed by the pupils. Our levels throughout the year are always 'Working Towards Levels', so as long as the second speaking assessment is accurate, I feel that it's fine in terms of moderation. You could argue that it is important that the speaking assessments in the final year of KS3 should always be done by a teacher (as at our school)....as essentially it is most important that the final level is accurate. I think that's your concern isn't it Jubilee? I must admit though, it does infuriate me, always working towards a test....
     
  13. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    ...and don't get me started on the GCSE controlled assessments....
     

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