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What's normal re. levelling and performance management in schools?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by milliebear1, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Bit of a kerfuffle in my school at the moment re. levels - esp. maths and writing. Apparently some people feel they are receiving levels that are 'ahem' - unrealistic. Not by much, but perhaps a sub-level out.
    At my school, we have a PM target (for all teachers I think) that they move at least two thirds of the children in their class on two sub-levels each year in reading, writing and maths.
    I think the sub-level out thing is a combination of different ways of levelling (which we are working to rectify), different perceptions of how to use the APP grids (some people will give a level 5 if most criteria are highlighted, some won't unless it 'feels like a level 5' etc), and sheer panic about not making 'enough' progress - which of course is then creating a self-perpetuating problem.
    What do other schools do re. the two sub-levels targets? Do you find they are necessary/helpful/counter-productive? Our school wants professional honesty, but I can't help but feel people are always going to be tempted to inflate levels if this is one of their PM targets. What would actually happen if this target wasn't met? Should we be emphasising that the world won't cave in if children don't make enough progress?
  2. I took some of my class from Y4 to Y5 this year so I levelled them in July and again in September. Some of them had dropped a sublevel, others 2 over the summer. Previously, I would have assumed their Y4 results were inflated but, as I'd been the one to level them, I knew this wasn't the case! I think some of them had simply not picked up a pen or pencil all summer and were too busy being children and having fun to worry about silly things like punctuation and paragraphing!
  3. Thanks - I think that's a very valid point. I have also been surprised at the amount of time it can take to get children doing the things they must have been able to do in the previous year. I notice it especially in writing and maths (where they just seem to 'forget' stuff - and it seems a particular problem with our lower set children.
  4. Definitely! One little toad in my class refused to use any punctuation for the first 6 weeks or so, even though I'd spent most of the previous year battling with him to do it! I've come to the conclusion that he just wastes the first term of each year, mucking about and not trying because his parents think he's 'settling in'. His mum even said that to me and looked slightly miffed when I said, 'But he was in my class last year!'.
  5. Hi
    We don't look at past results when leveling each term until after they've been imported into our tracking system and tend to give them whatever level we believe them to be; usually marking down if unsure rather than moving them up a sub level. (teachers remember past levels but are not pressured and feel confident to be realistic - as it should be) The results are truer and they do work out at the end of the year. There's always a bit of 'ahem' at the beginning of a new school year even though our Deputy Head does ALL of the marking and leveling for writing every year (360 children - 2 pieces of writing each)
  6. We have 'Assessment Week' the second last week before the end of every term when we do tests, big writes etc. Then in the final week our TAs take over the day to do Christmas, Easter, Summer fun activities while we sit in the staff room with a range of books and moderate each other's work. Then these moderated levels are the ones handed in for data collection. In September we also do baseline assessments and any that do not match previous summer's data are moderated and discussed.
  7. We do an assessed piece of writing per half term and moderate a selection in teams. We hold moderation staff meetings for other subjects occasionally and thrash out any differences. We also do published levelled assessments for years 2-6 in maths and English at the end of each year alongside teacher assessment. We raise questions in teams and as SMT if the teacher and formal assessment marks differ by more than one sub level. This does not mean that the TA is assumed to be 'wrong' but it has lead to less inflating. People think more carefully about whether the child consistently demonstrates a level, can only do it with adult help, one:eek:ne, does badly on tests or just had a very good day. We also level each term for maths and English and analyse this as teachers, teams and SMT. Any problems should have been spotted and help put in place before we get to the end of the year. All levels are held centrally on the school system.
    We don't have PM targets that are as broad and sweeping as 2/3 achieving 2 sub levels either. We have very focussed targets based on groups of children who we think need a bit of extra attention. My target this year was to try and get a small group of specified individuals to level 5 in maths. They won't all get there, but I have never been told I have 'failed' a target and can't imagine that my reviewer will start now. The target was ambitious. I can show what I have done to try and achieve it and I can also show the progress and detail mitigating factors. I am lucky that my school has never used PM targets as stick to beat me with and so I've never felt the need to inflate levels.
  8. Hmm - thanks for all the responses - lots of food for thought here! It seems my school is way behind when it comes to moderating levels and creating a atmosphere where all staff feel confident to level accurately. We are making changes now though, but I am hoping this is helpful and suportive, rather than becoming just another way to 'opportion blame'.
    I am interested and surprised that some of you don't have a straightforward PM target to achieve two sub-levels of progress. I had expected that to be pretty much normal across all schools. How do other schools link PM to children's progress?
  9. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul New commenter

    There has to be a target relating to children's progress, but since "standard" progress in KS2 is one and a half sublevels per year, it's really difficult to frame a target in terms of sub-level progression. The best way is by using APS across the teaching group. "Standard" progress would be 3 points APS in KS2, so this could be used as a starting point for a PM target. Such targets should I think be the same for all teachers across the Key Stage.
  10. The new Performance Management arrangements which began a couple of year's ago state (somewhere) that PM targets should not relate to children's targets I'm sure. I'll try and hunt this out but sure someone more senior than me on here could confirm?
    Two targets - one linked to school improvement plan and one linked to an individual's professional development.

  11. </font>
    <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">

    </font>With regard to the incorporation
    of the pupil progress element required by the Regulations, members should not
    agree to objectives, either shared or individual, which commit them to
    improving pupil progress by a specified percentage.

    Taken from:
    I think you need to get advice on this. As you say, at the very least, it can actually lead to inaccurate (panicked) levelling which helps no one.
  12. Eek! Sorry - not sure why pupil progress came out so large and green!
  13. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    That document in last post was from 2001 . I think things have recently changed and a new regime starts this September. Not sure of details though but our County has laid down guidelines for PM depending on where you are on scale so upper Pay scale and SMT are expected to show further outcomes, all part of govt way to show weak teachers and get rid of them quicker.
  14. Ah, thanks. It was done after a very quick google. I guess I must be lucky in that at our school PM is not linked to percentages of sub levels progress etc (that's not to say that we dodn't have to account for ourselves).
    Do you have anything more recent? I'll have a look .... Seems to me a recipe for disaster and (ahem) fibbing.
  15. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    what no moderation!
    are they a marker for SATS or jsut ultra confident in their own judgement?
    Or do they then moderate against other local schools?
    if none of the above, i understand why they do it but am not sure it can be regarded as definitely accurate
  16. CB123

    CB123 New commenter

    Our pm are also more specific to the teachers needs but pupil progress may be used as evidence eg If a teacher wants to work on differentiation in maths then this will be their target but some evidence that they have met this may be children from all ability groups (or may be SEN children, if thats the issue) make 3 points progress. However there will be also lots of other evidence eg planning showing differentiation, lesson observations etc

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