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Year 5 pupil working at high Level 6

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by flickadancer, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. Hello, I am a home educator abroad. I am educating my ten year old son, who would be in Year 5, were we in the UK, and have been doing so for two years now.*
    He is reasonably skilled in English, but in Maths he seems to be just eating up the subject in great gulps.
    We started off by checking his levels on a KS2 sats paper (only to see where he would be, not because he has to do sats, which he does not) but within a short time these became much too easy for him. He had a good level 4 in Year 4.
    This year we started off doing KS3 level 3 to 5 tests, which surprisingly he found easier than the KS2 tests, as they are laid out in a more friendly fashion. He scored 94% on his first paper in NOvember, just after his birthday. We did a few of these, but then decided to try Level 4 to 6. He has done two, scoring 86% and 88% respectively, his mental maths scores being 27 each time.
    We found another posting that said to take off the lower level marks and see what his score would be on the Sats level boundaries for the levels 5 to 7 test and the 6 to 8. Well, without having had to attempt any questions at either level 7 or 8 he managed to score respectively 62% and 42% both of which scores resulted in a Level 7.
    My question is, How can this be? This is a child who is NOT a level 7, however much it would please me as his mother and teacher to say he was. This is a child who has not even attempted any of the questions at that level or above. And YET, he has achieved a score on the tables apparently high enough to afford him that level. Yes, his mental maths scores helped him over the boundary between Levels 6 and 7, and he IS very good indeed at mental maths, but surely no child should be able to score a level that he has not attempted to answer a question at?
    This makes me question the scores my older children achieved when they were at school. They are all grown up now and left home. Did their level 5s merely mean they had answered correctly all the level 3 and 4 questions to get above the threshold for level 5, and did the scores actually mean anything?
    Why is the threshold so very low? When I was at school the 43% (average) you need at age 14 to get a level 4 would have been a fail. And in the level 4 to 6 papers, the score of 38% for a level 5 would have been even worse.
    It seems odd to me that my son can obtain this. ANd if he can do this at age 10 in Year 5 (I would not say he was an exceptionally gifted child, but he does seem quite good at maths) where does he go next?
    We are considering private schools/scholarships etc for him at age 11 or 13, but he will have to work hard for it. The standard of entrance exams appears to be set somewhere around Level 6. Much higher than the Sats papers. And if the highest you can get in a KS2 test is a 5, are the teachers only aiming for that score with their pupils?
    I am not criticising anything or anyone, well, maybe the government - I am just curious as to how this all works.
    I would appreciate some information as it fascinates me.
    thanks
     
  2. Hello, I am a home educator abroad. I am educating my ten year old son, who would be in Year 5, were we in the UK, and have been doing so for two years now.*
    He is reasonably skilled in English, but in Maths he seems to be just eating up the subject in great gulps.
    We started off by checking his levels on a KS2 sats paper (only to see where he would be, not because he has to do sats, which he does not) but within a short time these became much too easy for him. He had a good level 4 in Year 4.
    This year we started off doing KS3 level 3 to 5 tests, which surprisingly he found easier than the KS2 tests, as they are laid out in a more friendly fashion. He scored 94% on his first paper in NOvember, just after his birthday. We did a few of these, but then decided to try Level 4 to 6. He has done two, scoring 86% and 88% respectively, his mental maths scores being 27 each time.
    We found another posting that said to take off the lower level marks and see what his score would be on the Sats level boundaries for the levels 5 to 7 test and the 6 to 8. Well, without having had to attempt any questions at either level 7 or 8 he managed to score respectively 62% and 42% both of which scores resulted in a Level 7.
    My question is, How can this be? This is a child who is NOT a level 7, however much it would please me as his mother and teacher to say he was. This is a child who has not even attempted any of the questions at that level or above. And YET, he has achieved a score on the tables apparently high enough to afford him that level. Yes, his mental maths scores helped him over the boundary between Levels 6 and 7, and he IS very good indeed at mental maths, but surely no child should be able to score a level that he has not attempted to answer a question at?
    This makes me question the scores my older children achieved when they were at school. They are all grown up now and left home. Did their level 5s merely mean they had answered correctly all the level 3 and 4 questions to get above the threshold for level 5, and did the scores actually mean anything?
    Why is the threshold so very low? When I was at school the 43% (average) you need at age 14 to get a level 4 would have been a fail. And in the level 4 to 6 papers, the score of 38% for a level 5 would have been even worse.
    It seems odd to me that my son can obtain this. ANd if he can do this at age 10 in Year 5 (I would not say he was an exceptionally gifted child, but he does seem quite good at maths) where does he go next?
    We are considering private schools/scholarships etc for him at age 11 or 13, but he will have to work hard for it. The standard of entrance exams appears to be set somewhere around Level 6. Much higher than the Sats papers. And if the highest you can get in a KS2 test is a 5, are the teachers only aiming for that score with their pupils?
    I am not criticising anything or anyone, well, maybe the government - I am just curious as to how this all works.
    I would appreciate some information as it fascinates me.
    thanks
     
  3. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Just for starters, expect you know (but maybe not) that "Sats" is just an idle and ignorant nickname. National Curriculum Tests are really NCTs - and nothing like the Standard Assessment Tasks that teachers were promised at the start of the national curriculum. Sats only lasted a year or two.

    NCT results are only estimated levels, you know, and not the real thinsg. The real thing is the level a child attains for work over a year or two or three. So, don't pin too much on what you think is a Sat because it's nothing of the kind.
     
  4. Thanks for that, but I'm still not much the wiser. What is the real difference then between a Sat and an NCT? Have the exams done by Years 3, 6 and 9 ever been what teachers were led to expect they would be then?
    What can I assume from what my son has been doing?
    It still doesn't answer why a child who is NOT at that level can score well enough on the lower levels to APPEAR to be that level. Sats or NCT, whatever, how can this be? Why should it be, even?
     

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