What if my son/daughter is not currently on the highest level?
We don’t expect every Year 7 student to immediately achieve a Level 8. KS3 Levels are NOT like percentages, they indicate the skills within any given subject that your son/daughter is evidencing consistently in their work. Lower grades do not automatically equal lower performance; they simply mean that a student has not developed the skills required for the higher levels. For example, many of the Level 8 skills are equivalent to the skills that we would expect a student to develop for their iGCSE studies. In general, skills within a subject are learnt progressively and this is why the general pattern is that students make progress from a lower level to the higher levels over the course of the three years of study in Years 7-9.
What do the Levels tell me?
Students learn by building on prior knowledge, and this means that as a School, we start by teaching the essential knowledge, skills and understanding of the Key Stage 3 subjects, having mastered these, students are ready to progress onto the next, more demanding set of skills etc.
For example, in Mathematics, a Level 6 algebra skill is “They formulate and solve linear equations with whole-number coefficients”. However, this first requires students to acquire the Level 4 skill “They begin to use simple formulae expressed in words”.
So I hope you can see, a Level 4 in Maths is NOT a bad grade, it’s simply a starting point for many students.
If you have any specific questions on this topic, or suggestions for future topics please feel free to email me.
Deputy Head Teaching & Learning and School Improvemnet