Year 6 Sample Tests – early data

 

warning

I haven’t got room for all the caveats that this needs, so let me cover it all by saying that this could all be nonsense. However, since when did ‘being nonsense’ ever stop something happening in education?

A couple of weeks ago I put out a request for people to share their test data. Today, I have the raw scores of around 7000 Year 6 pupils on the sample tests, and can begin to draw some very very dubious conclusions. (See below if you want to add to the pupils!)

So, what can we see so far?

Updated 26th March 2016

Reading

Looking at the data from tests taken this term alone (as earlier tests are obviously likely to show lower attainment), the following can be said of a sample of 6426 pupils’ test scores:

  • The mean average score in the sample was 29 marks
  • The median score in the sample was 29 marks
  • The middle 50% of students scored between 23 and 36 marks
  • If the passmark were set at the 50% mark (i.e. 25/50), then 70% of pupils would have reached the expected standard

Obviously there is still some time until test week, and so children’s scores will unquestionably improve.

The graph shows the spread of results in the sample:

Reading

Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling

Looking at the data from tests taken this term alone, the following can be said of a sample of 5489 test scores:

  • The mean average score in the sample was 35 marks
  • The median score in the sample was 35 marks
  • The middle 50% of students scored between 26 and 44 marks
  • If the passmark were set at the 50% mark (i.e. 35/70), then 53% of pupils would have reached the expected standard

Obviously there is still some time until test week, and so children’s scores will unquestionably improve.

The graph shows the spread of results in the sample:

GPS

Mathematics

Looking at the data from tests taken this term alone, the following can be said of a sample of 6926 test scores:

  • The mean average score in the sample was 59 marks
  • The median score in the sample was 59 marks
  • The middle 50% of students scored between 39 and 79 marks
  • If the passmark were set at the 50% mark (i.e. 55/110), then 55% of pupils would have reached the expected standard

Obviously there is still some time until test week, and so children’s scores will unquestionably improve.

The graph shows the spread of results in the sample:

Maths

More Caveats

I will have made mistakes here. Some people may have made mistakes when entering data. Someone may have made up their data completely. Some of the data will be from the first week of January while some will be from this week. Some teachers will have marked more generously than the test markers might; others will have been more strict. The schools who submitted data were entirely self-selecting. The tests are still weeks away, and booster groups will be going on up and down the country. And frankly, there is no predicting what the DfE might have in mind.

Nevertheless… if teachers can take some comfort from the fact that their data is not horrendously different from everyone else’s, then our work here has been worthwhile.

More data please

We’ll never have anything like a random sample, or even a well-chosen one, but the more data the better, surely. Please do continue to contribute by sharing your data. See my previous post for more details. (And yes… I’m collecting data for a KS1 version too if you’re interested.)

28 thoughts on “Year 6 Sample Tests – early data

  1. Kelly 29 February 2016 at 9:57 pm Reply

    This is very reassuring and shows that we are all swimming up stream together. Thank you for collating and sharing. We’ll have more up-to-date data in a couple of weeks and will gladly share. See how I got my hyphens in there?

  2. northnibleyhead 29 February 2016 at 9:59 pm Reply

    Fantastic work. Very helpful and the first time I’ve been able to compare my 9 Year Six pupils and gain any sense of what might be possible.

  3. florencewalker 1 March 2016 at 7:18 am Reply

    Reblogged this on florencewalker and commented:
    It might be nonsense, but we are all clutching at straws….

  4. Philippa Jackson (@HollymountHeadT) 1 March 2016 at 8:29 am Reply

    This is so helpful and gives us a ‘ballpark’ idea – but I do worry about your own work life balance!

  5. Rebecca 1 March 2016 at 8:34 am Reply

    This is really interesting in terms of comparing where children are with others. Thank you for sharing! I will add my data today.

    One of the other things that might be useful is to compare children with the same new combined KS1 APS score, and see how they are doing as that might add some control for cohorts? It would also be interesting to see if there are any children in our own schools who are wildly above or below the average compared with children in their groups – for instance, are all the 13.0 children are performing similarly?

  6. Matthew Read 1 March 2016 at 9:19 am Reply

    Thanks for this – keep up the good work!

  7. kharvey70Keith 1 March 2016 at 9:35 am Reply

    Thank you so much for this. Really helpful. I’m not sure if everyone has included children who are disapplied, but on my data, I included them as achieving 0 marks. We probably need to include these children so that the national averages are consistent with real data.

  8. Ali Abbott 1 March 2016 at 7:59 pm Reply

    This was really useful thanks and reassuring to be able to compare with others’ data. Thank you for all your hard work.

  9. Ken Jennings 1 March 2016 at 8:05 pm Reply

    Thanks Vicky,

    Do to think the mood was generally positive, muted or ecstatic?

    Ken

  10. dvdb (@derkvdbroek) 1 March 2016 at 9:22 pm Reply

    Great work and thanks for bring this together – Any thoughts about looking at the percentage of pupil working @ the expected level in writing?

  11. Clare Greene 2 March 2016 at 9:16 am Reply

    Interesting if you compare L4 threshold for SPAG for last year (45 marks= 64%) if you apply the same to this data set only approximately 11% of pupils would achieve the pass rate!

  12. Rachel 2 March 2016 at 11:55 pm Reply

    This is really useful, and much appreciated.

    Given that we know that for 2016, the proportion of pupils who will reach the expected standard will be the same as the proportion who achieved 4b+ in 2015, are you able to work back and suggest what the pass mark would be based on your data?

    • Michael Tidd 3 March 2016 at 6:36 am Reply

      We don’t quite know that. We know that originally we were told that the expected standard would be broadly in line with an old 4b, but when the thresholds are set, it will be done based on the test framework descriptors, rather than in proportions of pupils.

      • Rachel 3 March 2016 at 8:28 am Reply

        I didn’t think it was possible to be more confused! I have definitely been led to believe that, for this year only, the standard will be set according to a proportion because this is necessary in order to track trends in attainment pre and post changes. The first time was on an FFT course in the autumn, but it has definitely arisen since in other places. I will try to find it in writing.

        Maybe we’re not supposed to know in case we all conspire to do badly in order to set a low threshold!

        • Michael Tidd 3 March 2016 at 8:38 am

          It’s a common misunderstanding, and I agree that FFT are partly to ‘blame’. Their model of predictions works on the basis that the DfE originally said that the new standard was around a 4b.
          However, if you look at the test frameworks (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum-assessments-test-frameworks), each has a descriptor included in it. It is this that will be used to set the thresholds for the test. Obviously, because FFT don’t have the tests, they have to make a prediction based on something, so they went for the indication that is the proportion of pupils who used to score 4b+.
          If the tests are much harder, then it may well be that far fewer children reach the expected standard, and so that proportion drops… but we’ll all be hit equally hard!

  13. Helen 3 March 2016 at 7:12 am Reply

    Hi Michael, I’m at a head teacher conference for two days. You’re work is being shared widely. Very much appreciated. Thank you! Oh, sorry about that….. what an inappropriate use of an exclamation mark!

    • Michael Tidd 3 March 2016 at 7:17 am Reply

      Haha, you’re clearly not wiring at the expected standard yet!

  14. Whil de Neve 3 March 2016 at 9:03 pm Reply

    I take my hat off to you for doing the work that the DFE or STA should be doing. You appear to be having something of an impact in Norfolk as a voice of reason and helpful thinking. The data you have collected here is the only indication of how we may fare in this sadly disappointing muddle. Thank you.

  15. Daniel 5 March 2016 at 5:29 pm Reply

    This is brilliant – thank you for taking the time to create this resource.

  16. heather 6 March 2016 at 10:02 am Reply

    Thank you for taking the time to set this up – we have added our data on.

  17. Sharron 6 March 2016 at 12:10 pm Reply

    I thank you for this. We need some sort of reassurance as it is unforgiveable to place schools in the position where they cannot realistically predict. We were asked by our LA to give them our predictions (as an Academy), for their ‘monitoring purposes’. I told them if they could supply me with a format then I would consider it. They are that muddled the response was, ‘in any format you want’. Quite. I decided there were better uses of my time.

  18. Donna Gittins 6 March 2016 at 4:11 pm Reply

    Thank you so much. I will share any data in the coming few weeks. Good to see we are not far off the pack. Wonder what the likelihood is of a boycott.

  19. […] I found this blog by Michael Tidd is interesting and can offer some possible reassurance on how it all works and what […]

  20. Jo M 8 March 2016 at 1:11 pm Reply

    Apparently they will make the pass mark the mean of the children, who were 2a at the end of ks1. I have some children who are now not aged related. This means that even if they try really hard they will not pass. This is not fair!!

    • Sharron 8 March 2016 at 7:12 pm Reply

      I am a Junior which is fed by an independent Infant! Stuffed….again…..

  21. Baggers 20 March 2016 at 11:35 pm Reply

    I am a Year 6 teacher and was in tears about how ‘badly’ my class have performed in the sample tests; then I stumbled across your blog which has reassured me that my class seem to be comparable to the averages you have shared. I cannot thank you enough as this has reassured me. My data has been inputted – I really do hope that the thresholds will be somewhere close to those you have suggested based on this data (fingers crossed).

  22. mjlstories 21 March 2016 at 3:51 pm Reply

    Am I reassured or still completely baffled? Possibly reassured that nobody else knows anything for sure…
    Would be interested to know how closely you think this (scary) statement from the Maths test framework will be applied: ‘Pupils working at the expected standard will be able to engage with all questions within the test.’
    That definitely suggests children above 4b to me.

  23. Robin Friday 22 March 2016 at 9:04 pm Reply

    Standards in Primary schools have steadily risen for a number of years and again increased in 2015. Last year the national average for 4B combined Reading/Writing/Maths was 69%. The national 4B average for Reading was 80% and Maths was 77%.

    It has widely been publicised that the new standards will ‘roughly’ be the same as 4B so national outcomes in 2016 should ‘roughly’ match these percentages. If they don’t, then the government will have smashed 10 and 11 year olds with a disproportionately hard test. This will undermine all the good progress that has been made in primary schools and not reflect well on the government. Parents will rightfully complain and the teaching unions should call for industrial action. There really should have been some action already with this farce. There have been some small placations to NAHT demands. The government know that thousands of Heads of signed a pledge of concern about this year’s assessment and won’t take dreadful results lying down.

    Politics will have a big part to play in the final thresholds and I can’t imagine this government will want to ‘crash’ the car by plummeting everyone’s results and pushing thousands of schools below floor standards. There isn’t the capacity for Ofsted at the moment to inspect failing schools. They don’t have enough inspectors and they are well behind with all their inspection schedules- not that they are going to admit that!

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