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Tier of entry (that old chestnut)

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by lancsHOD, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. lancsHOD

    lancsHOD New commenter

    After almost 20 years working in schools I have worked as a private tutor for the last 4 years. I just wondered what people’s thoughts are on the best tier of entry for students.
    In the three tier system it was easy...grade C student = Intermediate.
    But now....Grade 4 student, which tier?
    I realise it’s only anecdotal but my three higher students in 2017 did as well if not better than expected getting Grade 5 or 6’s. My two Foundation students in 2018 did slightly worse than expected, there are of course many factors at play but I did wonder if the student who attained a Grade 4 at Foundation would have been better off doing Higher. I would say she was a Grade C in old money and hoped she’d get a Grade 5, comparing her to 2017 students.
    This year my students are easy to place, clearly either Higher or Foundation pupils. But what advice would you give a family if they were discussing tier of entry for their Grade C (old money) child?
    I do try hard not to undermine teachers and their work, I remember being on the ‘other side’!
  2. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    Foundation for those who are Grade 4 or below, Higher for those who are definitely going to get Grade 5. For those on the borderline, some say Higher is "easier" but if they don't get a 4 they drop off the bottom. Last year we made the right decision, I think. Nobody at Higher got lower than a 5, and nobody on Foundation got a 5.
    lancsHOD likes this.
  3. munkster

    munkster New commenter

    But *do* they truly "drop off the bottom"? There was a grade 3 available on the higher tier last year (and before that wasn't there?) and there'll be one this year I think, something like 12% needed IIRC? Talking about Edexcel here. Miserable experience if you sit through 4.5 hours of papers and are only looking at getting that sort of score surely.
  4. lancsHOD

    lancsHOD New commenter

    35/240 for a Grade 3 on Edexcel last year. 50/240 for a Grade 4.
    I don’t like the system, indeed must be soul destroying to sit Higher if you are a Grade 4 candidate.
  5. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    agree @lancsHOD , for the child's sake I would always want to enter a 4/5 borderline pupil for Foundation. If they have a chance of a 6, then yes, go for Higher
    lancsHOD likes this.
  6. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Some subjects have no choice :(
  7. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    ...at least they then have no dilemma! ;)
  8. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    last year was considered an "emergency" situation, as so many schools made the wrong cal for so many students. That grade 3 will not be available this year, in my subject at least, or only for students that miss grade 4 by 1 or 2 marks
    slstrong123 likes this.
  9. bevdex

    bevdex Star commenter

    Wow, compare those requirements for last years 58/110 to get a "pass" grade of 100 on the ks2 maths papers.
  10. lancsHOD

    lancsHOD New commenter

    A Grade 4 student should be entered for Foundation so needed 136/240 on Edexcel last year to get a ‘pass’. Very similar really!
  11. lancsHOD

    lancsHOD New commenter

    Just realised how similar the situation at KS2 & 4 is. Our Maths testing leaves me saying to children & parents at both KSs don’t worry about all those questions you can’t do. You only need 60% (playing safe) to ‘pass’ KS2 test, 55% on Higher for a Grade 6. Not happy about system!!!
  12. munkster

    munkster New commenter

    This was from Edexcel "Maths Emporium" back in March: "Grade 3 will continue to be awarded as an "allowed grade" at Higher tier - the boundary will be about half a grade's worth below that for grade 4."

    Not saying I agree with it, but that's what it is...
  13. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    In 2018 Edexcel the grade boundary for a grade 6 on higher was only 109 out of 240 i.e.45%.
  14. pi r squared

    pi r squared Occasional commenter

    I don't really understand the surprise at the Grade 6 boundary being around the 50% mark on a paper that, essentially, covers material from Grade 4 up to Grade 9. Where would be a better place to set the boundary? 70%? Then have just 30%'s worth of questions to differentiate between your Grades 7 to 9? It doesn't make sense.

    I know it is more nuanced than this in practice but having the first 50% of the marks differentiating your 4s, 5s, and 6s and then the back half of the marks differentiating your 7s, 8s and 9s seems pretty correct to me.
    slstrong123 and strawbs like this.

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