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Slowing of progress in Year 3?

Discussion in 'Assessment' started by Zoeinlondon, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Hi there,

    I am just coming to the end of my second term teaching year 3 as an NQT (i was with year 3 from sep but was finishing gtp year).

    Both year 3 class teachers had reviews today. They both went quite badly. The head is very unhappy with the lack of progress in our year.

    I know that my children have made progress, but on QCA tests, or even independent reading/writing there are a fair few 'middle achievers' who have only moved one sub level, if at all over the year.

    I feel incredibly disheartened and frustrated. My highers and lowers have made progress but the middles seem a bit stuck. Management expect all year groups to achieve 2 sub levels of progress per child per year group or we have them on our backs. My head said that our year 3 results could mean a fail from Ofsted (who we are due any day - oh joy). I received lots of good feedback in my training year, and in all observations this year so I know that my teaching is not a disaster. I do have nine SEN which brings my averages down and I am sure impacts on the whole class but still, most of them have made sub levels of progress.

    I have been really honest and gave levels based upon what children could do independently - not just in the session after 20 mins of carpet session, teacher modelled input. I believed that levels should be a reflection of retained knowledge that can be applied, no?

    I've talked to far more experienced teachers than me who have said that year 3 is a consolidation year, that progress in terms of levels often plateaus. Others have said that a KS1 2a is different to a KS2 2a say?

    Does anyone here have thoughts / experience on this one please?
  2. 2 sublevels per child per year gives a target of <u>8 </u>sublevels across the keystage!
    If you look at the latest 'Improving Schools Programme' handbook, it shows an expectation of 6 sublevels progress from KS1 to 2, and indicates expected progress in Y3 of 1 sublevel.
    If you can show that your children are making progress (in <u>your</u> assessment, not a test, a snapshot on a given day), and can identify what you are doing to help those who are not, it will not be your Y3 test results which result in 'a fail from Ofsted'. They want to see that schools are aware of what they have in terms of children and potential, and what they are doing in terms of addressing their own issues.No two schools are the same and it is more than just test results which determine the overall grading.
    You are more than aware of what your children can do. Have the confidence not to be browbeaten.

  3. Thank you for your comments.

    I know, I added up the sub levels thing before and it makes no sense. I guess they set the target higher in the hope that we push to get near it, fail, yet get the national expectation all the same!

    More support is coming my way now as a result of the review so it is having a positive outcome for the children which is great.
  4. If you achieve 6 sublevels progress from KS1 to KS2 then you will have made the expected progress, but what people are looking at is the "value added" score, so if your school wants to have a good value added score then you need to make more than expected progress, hence the 2 sub levels target. You also need to keep an eye on kids who have only made 1 sub level progress in the long term, as if they do this every year then that is only 4 sub levels altogether.
    There is also a big difference between the KS1 tests and the Y3 tests, as in Y2 the children have as long as it takes to complete the tasks whereas in Y3 they are timed for the first time. In addition, if the children have moved schools to start junior school that also has an effect on their progress.
    My school has a good set-up where children who have not made the expected amount of progress are identified and details are passed up to the next teacher so that they can focus on those children in particular right from the start. It has really helped me this year, and those children who had plataeued in Y3 have now in some cases made 3 sublevels progress this year. Children's progress is not linear and should not be expected to be.
  5. Hi Zoe in London,
    Your head/SMT are plonkers!
    I am currently undertaking a masters degree and am about to embark on my dissertation looking at progression and achievement across KS1 and KS2. This is a relatively under researched area in terms of hard research. A chapter in a book by Andrew Pollard released in 1987 has a chapter by P. Woods called Becoming a JUnior: pupil delevopments following their transfer from infants' and they 'Year 3 dip' was a buzz word coined by OfSTED in early nineties. More recently Christine Donnington, Julia Flutter, Eve Bearne and Helen Demetriou have poduced a review of a research project carried out in 2000 called "SUstaining Progress in Pupils' progress at YEar 3" This can be ordered for &pound;1:
    , Report of a project funded by Ofsted, Homerton Research Unit." This gives an interesting insight into this issue.
    In terms of your situation - don't you baseline test your Y3's when they arrive so as to give you an accurate picture of assessment as they arrive in your school? Particulalry, considering that they have been off for 6 weeks. We did this last year and gave them the same Maths, Reading and writing test again - while I dont advocate testing - there's no way you can argue with the results in the tests. Without fail, they all go down!! What is your school''s relationship with infant's like? What % of Level 3's come up? What were your's and your infant's OfSTED grades like? If your school don't think baselineing is a good idea, then what about APP - do your infants do it? Have they got records that they pass up to you? What evidence have they got that their work is at that level? We track the acievements of our pupils against KS1 SAT's and Baseline data and the story is much better against baseline. Any kids who are lagging from the basline are APP'd and together with any lagging from KS1 data. You sound liek you are workign your socks oiff and doing a good job! Your SMT must be walking around with eyes closed - all Junior schools are experiencing the same thing! I teach Y3 and I always have a nightmare at the beginning of the year with my Level 3's - they are never level 3! Hope this helps
  6. Very interesting Smithy.
    My first 2 schools were juniors and I always assumed this was a problem particular to junior schools.
    I am now working in a primary school and guess what? It still happens!
    The only problem being, because we are one school, it is very much frowned upon to do baseline assessment at the beginning of year 3.
  7. Hi
    I feel for you. In our school, we are expected to move children on 3 parts of a level in year 2. Serious questions are asked if we don't achieve this.
    In addition to this, there are a number of children who are behind a target set by ELG. So, in year 2, my job was in some cases to move children 4 or 5 levels in a year!! There is only myself and a teaching assistant, so god knows how i was supposed to do that. I was really disheartened at my pupil progress meeting.
    Basically it means next year I will be doing nothing but literacy and numeracy to ensure I don't have to go through another meeting like it. Topic and creativity will be out the window!!
    In year 3, children are expected to move one sub-level only. I think it is much harder to get a 2A to a 3C, than it is to get a child from 1A to 2. The jumps become higher as you move up the scale. This should be taken into account rather than a blanket approach or x amount of sublevels in a year.

  8. Totally agree with smithy - your head/SMT are plonkers.
    The whole notion that children make smooth, linear progress through sub levels is complete and utter nonsense. So expecting a child to make a specific number of sub levels progress a year (whether it be 1, 1.5 or 2) tells me a lot about the complete ignorance that your head has about children's learning.
    It also angers me when heads, in the quest to be "above average", demand 2 sub levels progress a year. Levelling isn't about averages, it's about expectations. We "expect" our students to be at level 2 at the end of year 2 and we "expect" them to be at level 4 by the end of Year 6. Of course, it would be nice if they did more, and high expectations are important, but to "expect" it for all?
    Twisting this like your head has done again displays his/her complete ignorance of teaching and learning.
    Of course, you can twist the system too, and get your head off your back by up-levelling your teacher assessments. If Heads want to play the numbers game instead of the learning game, that's what teachers will resort to. Doesn't help the children, but your head's focus seems to be more on spreadsheets and Ofsted than them.
  9. Hi we have been told that next year we have to move all children 3 sub levels - ks2 - and I am unsure how to do this, as others have said, children don't all learn at the same rate.
    Am worried because I try my best and most make 2 sublevels, some 3 but some only 1!!!
  10. It was only a matter of time....used to be 2 levels a key stage was good enough, then they broke it down into sublevels, then they demanded 1.5 a year, but so did every other school so that wasn't good enough, then it was 2, but then every school demanded that too, so now that's not good enough and 2.5 sublevels doesn't fit into a spreadsheet, so soon every pratt who managed to get a headship will be demanding 3 sublevels.

    How long will this nonsense go on for?

    Sorry, but all the teachers in your school need to say no to your Head. And then say no again. Not just for your benefit, but also for the benefit of the children in your school and for the profession as a whole. Threaten resignations en masse if you have to. Stand up to this pratt who told you to do this.
  11. likegoodwine

    likegoodwine New commenter

    Its only a matter of time before Ofsted tell us all that primary teaching is appalling because we cannot move the children up high enough! The entire teaching fraternity can't be so inept - one day they'll get it! I don't think they realise what they're talking about. Should the majority of children leaving year 2 with a level 3 (we have to call it a 3b apparently) be 4b (average year 6 currently)? This is madness!
  12. likegoodwine

    likegoodwine New commenter

    I mean by the time they leave year 3 obviously! Sorry, blind in my madness!
  13. Pam I'm really interested in the above but can't find the reference in the handbook, could you point me in the right direction? My gut feeling is that progress should be 1 sub level in Y3 and would really like to have this backed up!
  14. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    Look up, or ask for, your pupils' FFT KS2 estimates (in points).
    Subtract the pupils' individual KS1 points.
    Divide by four.
    The answer is the expected average points progress per year during KS2. for each pupil.
    Depending on the pupil it could be anywhere from 2 to 5.

  15. Have a look at the start of appendix 2 - somewhere around Page 65 which shows a grid of 'age related' levels for children who are 'on track' to achieve level 4 at the end of Year 6. Expected progress year on year is shown as one sublevel difference between Y2 and Y3, 2 sublevels from Year 3 to Year 4 , 1 in year 5 and 2 in Year 6.
    Clearly this is very general and different children will have differing targets - as T34 says FFT may well set quite challenging targets based on KS1 data. There is sometimes the case that a child assessed at level 3 in at the end of Year 2 appears nothing like that level when they start year 3 but the target cannot be changed!

  16. Got it thank you!
  17. Wera6

    Wera6 New commenter

    WHAT???? 3 sub levels in year 3?
    And how many are they expected to go up before they reach year 6? Another whole level a year?
    3 points maybe, a sublevel and a half..., but 3 sub-levels is wholly unreasonable!
    That would put a child attaining 2b at the end of KS1 at 3b by the end of year 3 where the 'average child' attains level 4 at the end of KS2.
    I'd have a word in school to see if this is really true.

  18. We have just been told the same, 3 sub levels progress in yr 3 ( well in all yrs actually) when I pointed out that my 3c children would therefore be expected to be a 6c in yr 6, I was told that I musnt have low expectations and that level 6 is perfectly resonable for a child who achieved level3 in yr 3! SMT say 3 sublevels is excellent progress, and 2 sub levels is satisfactory, but satisfactory is no longer satisfactory so it has to be 3 sublevels!! I have my ppm meeting next week and am expecting to be publically flogged.
  19. I've just had the usual disheartening pupil progress meeting in which the progress is ignored & the static children are homed in on with the question 'what are you going to do about these?' I find this thread reassuring, although I doubt anything will ever change. I teach Y3 & it was the same last year followed by 'I think we need to review Y3 again at Easter' Every yeargroup in our school s expected to make 2/3 level progress. It all seems aimed at reducing the pressure on Y6.
    From my experience a level 3 at Y2 is only a low level 3 & I did teach Y2 for several years & felt the same then. Why the dept for ed ever labelled it 3b on the school tracking systems I'll never know. It's so clearly not. I also agree with the comment that some sub levels are harder to break through than others.
  20. Same here everyone is expected to make 2 sub levels each year. What ever their starting point or if they have SEN.
    I've a third of my class with SEN no support in class. Plus observations that always spot the child off task. And it's what will you do about it? what extra support are you giving?
    We all want to know where /when /how but no-one from SMT tells us this.
    All we can say is we try our best.

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