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Writing level

Discussion in 'Primary' started by elizabeth1972, May 7, 2012.

  1. We're being moderated for Y6 writing, and I'm struggling with one child. I think there are certainly elements of level 4 in this, but I think I'm probably leaning towards a 3a.
    What do people think? Am I miles off?
    Long ago in the hot dry mountins lived a beauteful greek princess called Analise with amazing singing powers. The mountain was surounded by large rocks, the tip of the mountin dissepierd in to the clouds. Adisius a greek prince brother to the amazing princesss analise and ther beloved mother and farther called henryetti and Epamithios were king and Queen.
    One day while Analise was working one of the gods came down it was king Zuse saying that one of the goddesses have lost there golden harp which belongs to athino... Her extrodanery harp was on the bottom of mount olympus it was garded by a half bull and half human beast.
    It had horns and heary legs with strong hoves, it was strong as a rock and as mighty as king Zuse. Before long princess analise beagan her extrodanery jernoy to get the beautfle golden harp and kill the terrafuying beast...
    Two days past while analise set off to fined the glorius harp but then she heard a loude roare. She was finally at the bottom of mount olympus. There the beast stood, it tried to charge at her but she quickely sang a song wich made the beast fall easleep beafor he could strike at analise. After the beast fell asleep analise quickly killed the beast and found the astonishing golden harp and gave it to athina. Athina granted Analise one wish. Analise said "I wish I had an amazing husband wich, will always love me." Athina said "I will grant you the wish but after that I will have to go."

    Any help very gratefully received!

     
  2. We're being moderated for Y6 writing, and I'm struggling with one child. I think there are certainly elements of level 4 in this, but I think I'm probably leaning towards a 3a.
    What do people think? Am I miles off?
    Long ago in the hot dry mountins lived a beauteful greek princess called Analise with amazing singing powers. The mountain was surounded by large rocks, the tip of the mountin dissepierd in to the clouds. Adisius a greek prince brother to the amazing princesss analise and ther beloved mother and farther called henryetti and Epamithios were king and Queen.
    One day while Analise was working one of the gods came down it was king Zuse saying that one of the goddesses have lost there golden harp which belongs to athino... Her extrodanery harp was on the bottom of mount olympus it was garded by a half bull and half human beast.
    It had horns and heary legs with strong hoves, it was strong as a rock and as mighty as king Zuse. Before long princess analise beagan her extrodanery jernoy to get the beautfle golden harp and kill the terrafuying beast...
    Two days past while analise set off to fined the glorius harp but then she heard a loude roare. She was finally at the bottom of mount olympus. There the beast stood, it tried to charge at her but she quickely sang a song wich made the beast fall easleep beafor he could strike at analise. After the beast fell asleep analise quickly killed the beast and found the astonishing golden harp and gave it to athina. Athina granted Analise one wish. Analise said "I wish I had an amazing husband wich, will always love me." Athina said "I will grant you the wish but after that I will have to go."

    Any help very gratefully received!

     
  3. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Question before I have a go. Is this the child's best spelling? Did they have access to a dictionary? I wouldn't like to assess the spelling for a (TA) NC level if no dictionary was allowed. Also, has the child used full stops better in other pieces?
    First impression is that sentence structure and vocabulary are much better than punctuation and spelling. I'd like to have other evidence of the child's spelling and punctuation if I were a moderator.
    Does your moderator only consider single pieces?
     
  4. Yes, this is the child's best spelling. They had access to a dictionary but didn't use it. Full stops (and other things) are variable in different pieces of writing. The child is on the SEN register, with their difficulties described as SPLD.
    I agree that sentence structure and vocab are much better than punctuation and spelling, and this is pretty consistent across different pieces of writing, especially the vocabulary choices.
    Yes, our moderator wants individual pieces levelled. I have to provide 6 pieces of writing, all with a whole level assessment. That's why I'm struggling on the 3a/4c boundary here. My APP grids show quite a few elements of L4 but my head and knowledge of the child say 3a. I think this is where whole levels do some children a disservice: there's a world of difference between a 3c and a 3a.

     
  5. Regarding the spelling, I've just looked at my LA's level guidance for moderators, and at the bottom it says very clearly, 'When assessing the range of a pupil's writing, spelling and handwriting should be considered but should not be given such weight as to change the overall level judgement'.


     
  6. wordclass

    wordclass New commenter

    Gut feeling - Level 3. Worth erring on the side of caution for moderation? M
     
  7. I'd stick with the 3a, it would easily only end up being stuck in the 3b category I'd sa, definitely not a 4!
     
  8. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter


    I don't have anything to do with as, bs, cs, ds, es, etc I'm going to have to say level 3 if this is the overall standard. Evidence of better use of full stops and better spelling will make L4 a certainty.
     
  9. Soooooo... we're still going with a level 3?!

     
  10. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Close to a 4, but who wants individual pieces of work levelled?
    TA is over a range of work. It makes no sense to level each one by themselves.
     
  11. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Personally, I'd be refusing to comply with such nonsensical instructions and instructing the moderator to do their job properly by looking at a range of writing.
     
  12. I'm just doing what I've been told to do. It's easier in my school!
    We have been asked to provide 6 levelled pieces of writing for a number of children. They will then check our judgement on individual pieces and together we will come up with a TA across the range.

     
  13. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Who has told you to do that?
    That expressly contradicts the guidance given by the Department.
     
  14. rek45

    rek45 New commenter

    I am a moderator and I would say level 3 because of the lack of awareness of how punctuation should be used. If there are occasional omissions, with the child more regularly demonstrating a good understanding of effective use of punctuation then I would say a level 4. However, despite the good structure and vocabulary choices, the lack of punctuation does effect the overall flow of the text, which impacts upon AF4. I work as a group of 6 moderators and all the others in my group are fairly harsh compared to me. I don't believe any of my group would award this piece a level 4. Also, we have been told to consider the task. Is this a re-write? If so then how much of the vocab was given to the children to assess this assessment focus? If they were given a fair bit of the vocab (and I am not saying they were), then, in our authority, we would not use this piece as evidence for AF6 anyway. I'm not questioning you at all, but these would be the questions I would be asking. Hope this helps.
     
  15. Thank you, that does really help. It was an independent piece of writing, following planning using a planning frame. We boxed up a few Greek myths, and spent the week leading up to the writing reading and unpicking different myths. Children then wrote a paragraph per day, based on their own planning, and following a modelled write for that paragraph. Some of the vocabulary was magpied from that modelled writing, but most of it is the pupil's own.
    I know that moderating includes a dialogue between moderator and teacher, but it is really helpful to know what sort of questions might be included. This is new to me, and we weren't given much information by the LA.
    To the poster above, this is a combination of the headteacher's and LA's request. The LA want to see 6 pieces of writing for a certain number of children, and my headteacher has told me he wants a firm level judgement on each of those individual pieces of writing, plus an overall level judgement. We are not one of the schools selected by the DfE, but one of the schools selected by the authority.
    My gut feeling was that this was a level 3 piece of writing, with elements of level 4. I'm aiming to get this child up to level 4 by the end of year 6, since we have been told that the moderator's judgements can be overriden if children continue to make progress in the last two months of the year.

     
  16. I am a moderator too - I'd go with level 3.
    However I agree with Tafkam this completely goes aginst the guidance and training we've had. Teachers should not have to produce a 'portfolio'of work. It should just be work from across the year and across the curriculum.
    And the schools I will be visiting will not know which children's work I want to look at until I arrive and meet with the HT and Y6 teacher(s).
     
  17. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter


    " I work as a group of 6 moderators and all the others in my group are fairly harsh compared to me."
    So, the moderators aren't standardised?
    You just do your own thing by your own standards and how a school's work is judged just depends on who they get?
    A school gets you and they get away with lower standards than if they get one of the other five?
    Strange system. If you can call it that.
     
  18. I know... I'm just doing what I'm told. My headteacher is really not worth standing up to, life ends up being very unpleasant for those who do.

     
  19. For moderating, what are you expected to use to make your judgements? Is it purely using national curriculum levels or are you expected to use APP or other materials? Or is each moderator expected to find/ use their own?
     
  20. rek45

    rek45 New commenter

    Actually, I was just trying to be helpful to the OP rather than replying with my an unhelpful comment which simply demonstartes an over inflated sense of my own importance rather than answering the original point. Of course we are standarised and we have many standardisation days to ensure that the system is as fair as it possibly can be. HOWEVER, assessing writing, by its very nature involves a certain amount of subjectivity. Much of the guidance/level descriptors that we are given are open to a certain amount of interpretation. Who decides, for example, what constitutes adventurous vocabulary?That was the problem with the test - it could certainly very much depend on who was marking the test papers as to what level the child came out with. By asking for a range of work, across different genres this at least allows us to see the child's overall writing capability. Also by engaging in a dialogue with teachers, they have the opportunity to explain how they have decided upon a certain level.
    If you have ever been involved in any form of moderating of writing in any capacity, I would assume that there has been an element of discussion or a certain level of disagreement. If not, then well done. It would be great to find a school that could look at a piece of writing and all say this is a level 3b and we all completely agree. I haven't come across one yet presuably because as humans and not robots, interpreation and opinion will always play a part. Writing is never simply right or wrong. There are a lot of factors which need to be taken into consideration. I do not simply go by my own standards and our many hours of training and scrutiny are constantly improving our practice. Nor do I go in and say, "Well I reckon this is about a level 3." I unpick guidance, scrutinise the evidence, ask perinent questions (see original post) and come to a decision based on all the evidence available to me as a professional. Also all the moderators passed a standarisation exercise with little room for mistakes or disagreement. More than one disagreement with what the Dfe had decided the level of that writing was, meant that we were not considered as moderators, therefore hopefully demonstrating my security with writing levels. There was one piece of writing, that nearly everyone else said was a level 3, that I decided, based upon all the evidence was a level 4.The Dfe agreed but our head off assessment for the authority would still argue it was a 3.There will always be pieces that are boarderline but actually this doesn't happen very often and we have discussed how to rely on objectivity as far as possible. I hope this clarifies my abilty for the role and my level of professionalism. I take the role seriously and actually want to help schools to be more secure with their own TA; I am not just there to judge and be critical.
    Another point, why do people feel the need to just try to undermine people on here? The OP was just asking for advice, which I tried to give in my capacity as a moderator. I was trying to help - in future I probably won't bother!
     

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