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What does my school report mean?

What does my school report mean? This is a question often asked. There has been a long standing trend in schools towards "use of data". This has had a positive effect on spotting trends of attainment in class and analysing what teaching methods are most effective. However, it has become so pervasive that many schools are now sending out school reports almost entirely devoid of commentary and just composed of, to most people, a meaningless list of numbers and letters.

The important thing to get your head around is the National Curriculum (NC) levels. These start at 2 and go through to 8. They are divided into sub levels as follows (Lowest to highest):

2c,2b,2a,3c,3b,3a,4c,4b,4a,5c,5b,5a,6c,6b,6a,7c,7b,7a,8c,8b,8a.

At the bottom and the top of this list there are some more complications. At the bottom they have things called p levels which are supposed to measure very small increments in improvement for students who may be struggling dramatically with a subject. At the top the levels tend to be superseded by GCSE grades, level 7 is approximately equivalent to a grade C at GCSE.

National statistics suggest that the average child in the average school from the average background with an average life will "make 2 sublevels progress per academic year". However, every person is different and if you find a child who actually does this in a reliable fashion they may be the only one! What this means is that for a child targeting a grade B at GCSE who, by the end of year 8, when they still have three full years to go, should be working at a 6C or better. However, students who have worked with the tutors at Sheffield Private Tutors have been recorded to make 6 sublevels progress in a single academic year, so at no point is any child a lost cause.

Most school reports in year 7 (11-12 years old), year 8 (12-13 years old) and year 9 (13-14 years old) are based on this levelling system. Once a student moves into year 10 (14-15 years old) then the report tends to focus on GCSE grades which are much less opaque. Again a typical student will start year 10 on a certain grade and finish year 11 two grades higher than this. However, with modular courses this can be a bit more convoluted. For more on that see our FAQ on course structures!

Again Sheffield Private Tutors has a record of achieving two or even three whole grades progress in a single academic year. The key is early intervention, regular lessons and a commitment from the student in question.

If you have any questions about your child's school report contact Sheffield Private Tutors via email or on the phone 01142 219 423.

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