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Where do the a,b and cs come from?

Discussion in 'Assessment' started by mrpag, May 27, 2012.

  1. Hi all

    Can someone please explain to me how I know when a child is a, b or c in the level. Is there some kind of rule of thumb?
    I am confused NQT, who trained as APP was being introduced to schools and my mentoring is very lapse.
    Thanks for any support

  2. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    You lose your bet! Sorry - don't know of anywhere official bringing sublevels in.
    For true NC levels (i.e. the Teacher Assessment at the end of a key stage) there can only be "whole" levels.
    I've marked single level tests, where there are three grades of marker response to each test answer and then the mark is awarded accordingly but I don't think that's quite the same thing.
  3. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    markuss, I can't believe you let me down!

    I think the KS1 reading test used to divide Level 2 into 2C, 2B and 2A (and actually report it as such, rather than than schools having to work them out themselves from the raw marks).

    Whatever happened, the idea of sublevels must have come from somewhere with some 'official' authority.
  4. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    There are only 9 levels.
    3c, 3b and 3a are estimates of how far a student who has aready demonstrated ALL of the criteria for a level 3 has progressed towards demonstrating ALL of the level 4 criteria.
  5. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    This is how it came about.
    NC levels were originally meant to be used once in a key stage - at the end. It's still the law that assessment in levels only has to be done like that. Legally, you only have to level every two or three years.
    However, some people thought you had to know children's levels during a key stage but it didn't look good if you gave levels every half term say because NC levels for any child are usually the same for at least a year and so report after report would give the same level.
    So, there cam the idea that if a child was level 3, say, you'd say they were 3 and then next time you had to say something, you'd say "4c" and next time "4b" and hope nobody knew that it meant the child was really still level three!
  6. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    So you're saying a student who has reached a level will be at the C sublevel...

    ...and you're saying a student who has reached a level will be at the A sublevel.

    The beauty of there being no definition of sublevels, of course, is that you're both right.
  7. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    I think Markuss is pointing out that teachers may feel impelled to show progress, even if there hasn't been any, rather than saying that levels 4c and 4b mean the child is at level 3. I hope so, anyway!
    There may be no definition given of how to decide on a sub level, but RaiseonLine gives estimates in points and also in sub-levels. A level is 6 points wide and a sub-level is two points wide.
    And 4c, 4b and 4a are all within the Level4 band!
    As far as the justification for sub-levels is concerned, a child might stay within the level 3 band (say) for a year. Does that mean the child has made no progress during that year?
    Is it not possible to give some idea of how close this child is to being classified as a level 4?

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