Some data on KS2 Writing Estimates

Following on from the work on the KS2 Sample Test results, I asked last week for people’s estimates (predictions?) for their outcomes on the new KS2 Writing Teacher Assessment framework in 2016.

The results have been … well, shall I say… erratic?

Data were shared by well over 300 schools, covering nearly 12,000 children, which is a fantastic result. In fact, there were initially more than that, but it turns out that teachers are not good at reading instructions. I had to delete some data that clearly made no sense (29 out of 17 children reaching expected standard?!) Then I had to correct some where people had clearly entered percentage values rather than pupil numbers.

Having looked at the outcomes, I still have my doubts. There are several schools who seem to be predicting sizeable increases in percentages working at the expected standard, and several who seem to be predicting exactly the same outcomes as in 2015. I just think schools are feeling in the dark. Thus, I confidently pronounce this data nonsense.

So, huge caveats aside, I looked at the data, I could pick out the following details:

  • As a whole, the data set appeared to come from slightly higher-attaining schools than average. The data entered for 2015 results was higher than national figures at both levels 4 and 5 (88% vs 87% and 37% vs 36%)
  • Over the whole set of data shared, the proportion of children working at the Expected Standard or above was 66% (compared to 88% achieving L4+ in 2014)
  • Over the whole set of data shared, the proportion of children working at Greater Depth within the expected standard or above was 12% (compared to 37% achieving L5+ in 2014)
  • The median percentage of pupils working at Expected or above was 68%
  • There appears to be little correlation between how schools achieved in levels last year and their predictions for this year. (Excel says correlation value of 0.23)

The graph below shows the scatter plot of results, with the x-axis showing 2015 percentage values for Level 4+ attainment, and the y-axis showing estimates for 2016 outcomes at Expected Standard or higher. Make of it what you will!


It’s worth noting that of schools who achieved 100% Level 4+ in 2015, the predictions for 2016 range from 20% to over 90% at the expected standard. Also, of the six schools predicting/estimating 100% attainment at Expected+ for 2016, two have cohorts of fewer than 10 pupils.

If anybody else with a mathematical eye would like the full data set to explore, I’d be happy to share it – drop me a line via the About page above, or on twitter at @michaelt1979.

The summary of my analysis of KS2 sample test data is here.


9 thoughts on “Some data on KS2 Writing Estimates

  1. oldprimarytimer 16 March 2016 at 9:17 pm Reply

    What I think this shows clearly is the guidance is being interpreted very differently as you’d expect some correlation

  2. Jo 16 March 2016 at 9:31 pm Reply

    I wonder to what extent the spread is due to the lack of clarity in the guidance. I mean, if I take children who will evidence all the statements in my class I’m looking at about 40% reaching the standard. If I look at children reaching 4b, I’m looking at around 85%. If you take the average…

  3. Andrew 17 March 2016 at 1:01 pm Reply

    I love the idea that some schools are predicting a higher percentage achieving the Expected Standard than they had a year ago at Level 4+. I need some of that!

  4. cazzypot2013 17 March 2016 at 2:53 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on The Echo Chamber.

  5. Jane Smith 17 March 2016 at 8:05 pm Reply

    I was sitting with a group in my Y6 class today who were writing. We had been looking at the success criteria for Writing Teacher Assessment

    Child 1 (middle ability) Mrs. S, why are the government making us do harder and harder work?

    Mrs. S Why do you think?

    Child 2 (lower ability – not joking) I think they want us to all be as clever Einstein – you know – the one who wrote Frankenstein?

    Child 3 (higher ability – matter of fact) I think you’ll find he’s the one who wrote the theory of relativity.

  6. Elastictrickery 22 March 2016 at 10:10 pm Reply

    As already noted, the variance is most likely due to differences in application of the STA frameworks.

    When the exemplification materials for KS1 suggest that making 1/2 mistakes with capital letters in a text with 10/15 sentences is enough to stop a child being given the ‘most sentences demarcated’ award for a specific task, and that at least 50% of assessed tasks should meet a given statement for it to be awarded more generally whilst paid consultants are telling people on training courses that it’s a ‘best fit statement’ and about 50% correct is fine, that variance is inevitable.

    Add to that the confusion over how much teacher input is allowed before the task is no longer ‘independent’ (answer: nothing written down that explicitly makes a suggested improvement, but as much verbal feedback as you like…!)

    It’s a recipe for outright disaster.

    25% of schools will get moderated this year.

    75% of schools will have suspiciously high numbers of pupils ‘at the expected standard’.

    In reality, very few pupils will consistently hit the standards unaided; so it comes down to how determined teachers are to cheat the system in order to protect their reputations or that of their school instead of doing the right thing and saying, ‘This is a silly game, most of my children will make at least four mistakes in a page of writing, because they’re children. If that means they’re not meeting expectations, so be it. They’re kids!’

    But instead, there’ll be worried teachers and TA’s standing over pupils with a rubber, post-it notes for easily removed advice and spelling assistance, and a constant stream of instructions …

    “Are you sure about that verb tense? I think you may have missed a comma… oh, and there’s an ideal opportunity for a hyphen in that compound verb… yes, that one. Why not make the next sentence an exclamation? Or a question? I think risible is a much better word than daft, don’t you? Use the dictionary to spell it. Well done, I’ll go and mark this right away; and I might as well tick dictation off the planning grid too…”


  7. deborsreflections 23 March 2016 at 6:43 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Empty Nest Reflections and commented:
    Not entirely surprised …

  8. […] More details on the Writing data can be found at this blog post. […]

  9. […] has collected new writing framework results from hundreds of schools nationally. The results are, in Michael’s words, ‘erratic’. They don’t follow any kind of typical or expected pattern, and they […]

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