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Thread: School Report - what is criteria for marking and comments

  1. #1

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    Default School Report - what is criteria for marking and comments

    Hi,

    Thought i'd like to share my experience with Devrim (my 6yo son) when he received his report on Tuesday. I've begun a new thread as this is about his report.



    He was absolutely devastated. He cried for 15 mins because he got C's and B's for most subjects and A's for Religious Ed. I kept on reassuring him that his report card was ok given that he is only 6 and going to grade 2 when the other children in the class are 8-9 years old. He wanted all A's.

    I couldn't believe and neither can my colleagues is that why does a 6yo cry over his report at such a young age when kids his age don't care.

    What i don't understand and neither could he is that the comments on his report card are worded like "outstanding", "exceptional" or "above average performance" etc.. yet he gets C's.

    Should i bring this up with the school? Oh, and his teacher left so i can't really ask her for her reasoning either!

  2. #2

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    I think its a bit harsh to be placing such gradings (A's B's etc) on little ones.

    At DD's school her report card gives a score from 1-5 for effort (1 being exceptional, 5 being poor) and then a further reading for achievement. The achievement section only gives you the following:

    - Over achievement
    - achieved
    - satisfactorily achieved
    - below expected achievement
    - not achieved

    (or similar wording, i don't have it right infront of me!!)

    So even if they don't quite acheieve an exceptional status they are still graded on their effort - which makes them feel a whole lot better about themselves.

    I have to admit your 6yo's report sounds a little harsh!

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    I agree that you should look into it. I firmly believe that labelling kids leads them to act in a certain way. If your son gets into his head that he is a 'c' student then it is a hard barrier to break. He is obviously feeling disappointed in the results and I think there should be better reasoning especially when the comments were so good.

  4. #4

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    HI TD...

    DSS report has the same grading... apparently they are

    A - well above expected average
    B - above accepted average
    C- at expected average
    D - below expected average
    E - well below expected average

    it is a new style of marking, and possible this is the same with your school reporting.

    If this is the same explain to your DS that he sould be aiming for C's as this is what is expected and anthing above that is fantastic

    I hope this helps -

  5. #5

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    SammieJane is right.
    If your school is following a VELS system, then to get an A or a B, the student needs to demonstrate that they are well above the expected standard. This is often quite hard to do, as they are not often given opportunity to demonstrate this higher level learning by the tasks they are given. In other words, you would find that nearly all class members would get a C except for absolutely exceptional students or students who could not grasp the majority of concepts.

  6. #6

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    Hi All,

    Yes, the school does follow the VELS and i do understand the marking criteria as mentioned above. But what i don't understand is why they make such comments as i had mentioned earlier but still give him C's??

    I did explain to DS that it is quite normal for him to get C's now and that he is on the right track. I also told him that i do not expect him to get As or Bs until high school.

    Rainforest - the comments do use words such as "exceptional" and "above average perfomance, so i would have thought that they give him at least Bs in subjects where they used those words and mark him as Cs in all the others.

    Kitt3n- I do agree that using the A.B.C grading is a bit harsh for primary levels. In my time we got S or US i.e. satisfactory or unsatisfactory and then the comments below.

  7. #7

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    Maybe talk to the Principal or Deputy and ask why there is a lack of consistency? Is there a Year Coordinator (don't know how big the school is) who you can talk to?

    Seems strange that the words and grades don't match.

  8. #8

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    It's possible that his teacher is comparing him to other 6 year olds in the comments but the marks reflect his performance compared to his classmates. He may be exceptional for a 6 year old but he probably has exceptional 8 year olds in his class whos parents have chosen not to advance them - it's unlikely that he could achieve the same grades as a gifted child who is 2 years older.
    I hope i"m not overstepping the mark here but do you think that his reaction is more about you and his perception of your expectations than about him? In each of my schools there were a few students for whom report card days were the worst 2 days of the year because of their parent's expectations, despite the fact that they weren't bad students. Most of my report cards said 'could try harder' lol but I can confidently say that I enjoyed education far more than they did. The brainiac who won the scholarship in my year got into medicine and then dropped out when she realised that she didn't have to spend her whole life living out her parent's dreams. These days she works in a bar in Fortitude Valley.
    I truly believe that our success and and more importantly our happiness is based on our EQ far more than our IQ so report cards aren't the be all and end all and we never need to expect our children to bring home A's.
    If report cards are making your son unhappy why not rip the next one up and throw it out without reading it. If there are any issues you really need to know about they will let you know.

  9. #9

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    The grading of school reports especially in primary school level isn't the same as when we were there so I think the opinions of your work colleagues should be forgotten!

    This is an extract from the literature that came with my sons report card. Hopefully you got the same. If not the go to the school and ask for it!

    The A-E ratings and comments that are on your child's report show what your child has achieved, not against other students in your child's class or year level, but against state wide standards.

    In reading your child's report, it is important to remember that the A-E ratings have a specific meaning that is consistent in all Victorian schools. For example, on the report card, no matter what school your child attends a B rating will always mean your child is above the state wide standard expected at the time of year.
    A 'C' rating will always mean your child has achieved the state wide standard expected at this time of year and their learning is on track. (This is highlighted on the literature so I highlighted it too as they are obviously wanting to emphasie it).
    I think if you talk to him and explain to him that he is being graded against every other little boy and girl in the state and not just his grade then he should have some understanding of why he got the grade he did.

    Just typing this out I can think of an example in High Shool where I was very good at running cross country at a school level but come inter school sports I didn't do very well at all!


    I have a 6 year old that achieved straight C's for the first semester. He achieved above the average expected so we are really happy with that. We were a bit taken aback but after reading the comments couldn't be more happier.
    He doesn't care one iota so I guess that is the main difference between your son and mine

    I would be working on your son to try and teach him to focus less on the letter grade and more on the written appraisal from the teachers.

    Why has he been put up a grade? Maybe he isn't ready emotionally to compete with older children even though he is doing well academically.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turkish Delight View Post
    I kept on reassuring him that his report card was ok
    I think his report was excellent, don't you? He has reached the expected level of performance as a Grade 2 student, when he is only 6. Of course they are using words like "outstanding".
    He is being scored according to his grade, what more can you want? He is already performing alongside with older children, yet you want him to exceed that too?????

    What is your role in his reaction? I mean come on, you give him extra work in the school holidays, you are extremely focused on his performance level and scores and have questioned if you push him too far.
    I think a 6yo crying over a report is your answer.

    Maybe you should have celebrated his report with him and pointed where they had written exceptional and outstanding instead of questioning the teacher.

    I know you only want the best for him but maybe you can lighten up a little and he will follow your lead. It musn't be nice to be stressed like this at such a young age.

    xoxoxoxoxo

  11. #11

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    I agree 110% with Lulu on this one. I think you have a perfectly average child and I think that any parent should be happy with his report card. After all he is only 6 - he has the next 11 years ahead of him at school. Not to say that you shouldnt encourage him to do the best that he could, but he is only 6 after all.

    I think you would find if you actually questioned his teacher about it, that maybe he could have gotten a higher grade, but isn't performing at that level consistently enough to warrant giving it to him.

    If it is an honest answer you are after (and in light of reading your other thread) I think you need to land your helicopter and let him be a 6yo old.

  12. #12

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    As a primary teacher using the new reporting system I have seen time and again the confusion over the new reports, but have to agree with previous posters here with your situation.

    The A, B C etc is NOTHING like the old A, B C's in old reports.... In order to achieve At expected level (C) most teachers look at each subject and strand and then look at the indicators to show that the child is achieving these indicators. In order to put a child up from a C to B (above expected level) generally means that they are achieving at least or roughly 80% of those indicators. So for him at grade 2 June means he would be working where most students across the state and in the school would be expected to be at the END of grade 2. That is a pretty big jump.

    I hope that clears it up for you a bit. It is not as simple as saying, "oh this student is outstanding in literacy" and putting them up to a B which in any case is nothing like the A's, B's and C's we are used to from when we were at school. The comments are generally for students attitudes, behaviour and work habits. You really need to do a huge mental shift away from what the letters stand for and focus on the fact that he is performing at expected level for his age, which, in my opinion is outstanding and what I want for all of my students in my grade.

    To put it in a bit more perspective - I have a grade 4 student who in the holidays doesn't get a holiday. She does hours of Maths, English and Chinese homework every day of the holidays.... her weekends are the same and she does Maths work every morning before school. Not much of a life really - when does she get to be a kid? Well the answer is in this case she doesn't.

    She is brilliant at Maths, to the degree that the teacher who I grade share with and I occasionally find her work from grade 5 texts to do, and also extend the work she does in grade 4. In number on her report she was at a B and her mum and her were upset because it wasn't an A..... She is working above the average grade 4 student but for us to put her up to an A meant she could do roughly 80% of the work in the middle of grade 5 and we didn't feel she was quite there yet. It was tough explaining the shift and really, the government has botched it nicely for us all, but that is the way it is and C is to be "Celebrated".
    HtH.

  13. #13

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    Hi All,

    I appreciate ALL your responses.

    I do agree that his report was good and i have told him that. We have even celebrated by going out and buying him a Nintendo DS which i promised to get him should his report card be good.

    Dachlo: Every parent wants his/her child to be the best and so do i. He has already made us proud my skipping a year level and all i expect him to be now is to be the best he can. I feel very privelaged and honoured to have him as my son. This is not about me or us. It is about the inconsistencies in his report card between his marks and comments. I hope i haven't been harsh as i do not intend to be harsh.

    Lulu2- you are so correct and made me see the light in regard to your
    "I think his report was excellent, don't you? He has reached the expected level of performance as a Grade 2 student, when he is only 6. Of course they are using words like "outstanding"."
    Yes, outstanding for a 6 y.o. Never thought of that. I always thought of it as being "outstanding for a grade 2'er" yet the marks were C's instead of the A's which we were hoping for as a grade 2'er.

    Again, thank-you to all. We have parent-teacher interviews on Tuesday but doesn't look like we'll achieve much as his teacher last term left. She was the one who graded him so i can't ask the new teacher as she has only taught him for 1 week!

  14. #14

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    Enjoy the teacher-parent interview! By the sounds of it, you will just have to sit back and listen to them singing his praises!!

  15. #15

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    Turk - if you drop him back a year level he is guaranteed to score constant A's. You have to try with all your might to change your mindset now he has skipped a year (but even if he didn't its hard to get excited when you see C's everywhere, its a SILLY system with the ABC, when C means GOOD...)

    Now he has skipped a year, thats the academic side covered. So please, please make sure you cover his socialization. Its not going to be easy for him to cope between 2 peer level groups. Does he play with the kids his age at lunchtime, even though he is not in their classes? Does he have anything in common with his older classmates, does he play with them too?
    Encourage friendships and have his buddies over after school from time to time, I can't stress the importance of after school friends.

    xoxoo

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lulu2 View Post
    Does he play with the kids his age at lunchtime, even though he is not in their classes?
    But it's not the same is it Lulu?
    Because the friends you spend time with over lunch are the ones that you sit near in class (and the ones that you smoke out the chemistry class and the entire science block with - just an example ) . So you share in-jokes and experiences with them that someone you only see at lunchtime can't really be part of. Some of my funniest memories from school are the dumb stuff we did in class. But that a whole new thread *scrurries off to start tehehehe*

    Quote Originally Posted by Turkish Delight View Post

    Dachlo: Every parent wants his/her child to be the best and so do i.
    I guess I'm going to have to disagree with you. I don't care if my children are the best, just so long as they're happy and fulfilled, that's enough for me. I tend to align myself with slow-parenting rather than hot-housing. That said, I probably have a different attitude towards giftedness than you do because I come from a family where it's pretty common (immediate and extended) and I tend to think that children are best left to extend themselves in the areas where they chose to rather than being put into classes without their peers.

  17. #17

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    TD, I think this is a tricky one. I suspect that part of the reason your DS was disappointed with Cs is that you were. You said that you weren't, but later said
    the marks were C's instead of the A's which we were hoping for
    so I think on some level you were disappointed and I'm sure your DS would have noticed being bright.

    But I also think this one of the downsides to skipping a grade. Definitely there is the social side - being expected to have social skills beyond the age group plus the point Lulu raised about who he plays with at lunchtime. But also, it is a big change academically for him. Instead of being at the top of the class, he is now with older kids, so is no longer the top of the class. He will have to get used to that and he, and you, lower your expectations. In effect, he has been "promoted" to the point where he is no longer "outstanding" in the group. That was your choice (together with the teachers and your DS I'm sure), and there is not necessarily anything wrong with it, but that is one of the effects of the choice that was made.

    Often when it comes to skipping grades, parents are advised against it, as a child who goes up can be a follower, when amongst their age peers they could be a leader. I have no idea of your individual situation so I am in no way saying you did the wrong thing or anything, but I am just pointing out that he needs to understand that his expectations of results, etc will have to adjust to his new circumstance. Perhaps you could try explaining this to him if you haven't already?

  18. #18

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    I have just re-read alot of what is here and must have missed something the first time around but didn't realise that he had skipped a grade at some stage.... to be getting At Expected level (C) when he has already skipped a grade is an absolutely wonderful acheivement for him. I won't comment on the social side as that has been covered, but realistically you should be SO proud of what he has achieved. To expect him to be getting A or even B's when he has skipped a grade is pretty unrealistic and TBH you need to get used to him getting majority of C's and B's in this reports from now on because that is the reality of the new reporting system. Major mental shift as I said in my PP and if you don't you will be setting yourselves up for huge disappointment over his schooling life for no reason.

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