AIBU to think that Effort grades are almost meaningless ?

(90 Posts)

DS has just got his end of Y6 report and it's all good really - phrases like "intellectual curiosity", "creative flair", and "an enthusiastic and friendly member of the class" - so, lots to be proud of and be pleased with.

However he's only been given B's for effort - which translates as "satisfactory" where A's would represent "always working at or near full potential". His sister nearly always got A's for effort. Now they are both pretty much equally bright and both getting similarly good results, but DD is a bit quieter whilst DS is, as the report says, "a naturally sociable boy". The other issue, which they both apparently have, is getting enough done in the time available. I really don't think for either of them this is due to any lack of effort. DD for example has been recognised as having mild dyslexia.

AIBU to think that my sociable boy has been a bit hard done by regarding his effort grades & that schools don't really "get" boys and tend to treat them slightly harshly compared to the girls. Also that anyone struggling at all tends to be given a lower effort grade than those for whom academic success just comes more easily (though this not so much of an issue with DS, though he does find it hard to get enough done in the time, especially with the distractions of friends around him)

And basically that grading effort is a very inexact science which is very difficult to judge fairly ? - and the whole thing is just a bit pants !!

Wuldric Thu 18-Jul-13 17:01:04

I have found the effort grades awarded to my DCs, both in secondary education to be accurate and perceptive. I know which subjects they are working hard at, from my own experience of their homework and what they talk about. Their teachers have confirmed my own experience.

With both children, there is a clear correlation between the effort and the achievement grades. It does help that they can see that. We have a reward system chez Wuldric and the reward is based on the effort grade. I think that's fair.

"Just wondering if "sociable" is the new "spirited" smile

No, not in DS's case, though IMHO (as his proud Mum) he is both sociable and spirited in the true sense of those words smile

Thanks all, some interesting new thoughts ...

Wuldric Thu 18-Jul-13 17:17:21

The ultimate in cool, per my DCs, is to receive the top grade for achievement combined with the bottom grade for effort smile

So far, this nirvana has not been achieved.

Hmm, looks like my DS is heading towards that Wuldric smile ...

I think I better keep it to myself that it's considered the ultimate in cool !

(an interesting new angle !)

Maryz Thu 18-Jul-13 17:52:08

ds2 does that on a regular basis, according to his teachers hmm

I mean, if he gets good results, he must be listening in class. And doing his homework. Even if he is twitching, rocking his chair and staring out the window.

Another aspect to raise ....

on reflection, and judging from the remarks, it seems to me that the teachers are reading too much into the fact that DS can do very well at times (for example with a tricky maths problem) but doesn't always get as much finished in the time as they are expecting him to during class-work.

Now, I just think that children do work at different rates and not much allowance or accommodation is being made for this fact.

I am in general against this culture of "every child should be getting a level 4"/ doing XYZ that Gove et al. are pandering to. Children are individuals with their own learning needs and trajecteries.
I was pleased at least that with their recent new ideas they did at least say "Every child excepting some with particular learning needs ...."

(They've obviously been reading and taking on board my recent comments here on Mumsnet grin)

exoticfruits Thu 18-Jul-13 19:16:24

I have found them very useful.
I would have thought that even if you didn't agree it is interesting to know what impression the teacher has and you can contact them and discuss.

Maryz Thu 18-Jul-13 19:18:56

Yes, that's the idea exotic.

But what do you do when you talk to a teacher, they tell you your child is really trying hard and has improved a lot, but they are still giving him a C because they know he can do better confused

Or that they are giving him a C because he always gets a C.

Or that they are giving him a C because they have to give out a certain number of C's.

It's quite depressing. And yes, I know, it is up to me to fight with the school about their systems and how it applies to my children. But it's hard to get through to all the teachers in a secondary. We get 5 minutes per teacher at the PT meeting, and I really need to use that to talk about his academic work.

Yes, that's a fair point exotic
But I'm really not sure a discussion would be that fruitful.
I think it might just be even more annoying
- I think I prefer to discuss them as a more general issue on here.

For DS I think it's largely about perceptions of work done in time allocated.
And he didn't score that badly - just a rather rubbish grading system - report was actually very good overall.

exoticfruits Thu 18-Jul-13 19:33:22

At least you know what the teacher thinks-without it you don't.

yamsareyammy Thu 18-Jul-13 19:44:38

Maryz. I dont know if it is the same as where I am, but parents can make appointments anytime with a teacher. They are quite happy about that.
Once, I made 2 appointments with different teachers, a week or two after meeting them at parents evening.

Maryz Thu 18-Jul-13 20:25:11

I would have to kick up a huge stink to meet an individual teacher yams. I have met his year head on a number of occasions, who actually agrees with me but is having difficulty convincing the other teachers.

Hence my escalating it to the head - when I have narrowed my email down to a reasonable length blush

Thanks for starting this thread Juggling - it has given me quite a lot to think about.

cansu Thu 18-Jul-13 20:35:49

Unless you are actually present in the classroom and mark the dc books etc how do you as parents know how much effort your dc are putting in? I just don't understand how you can question the effort grades based on what you think about your dc personalities? surely the person best placed to grade the effort in the classroom is the teacher who has been taking all the lessons. Being sociable is great but it can spill over into doing much less work or actually producing poorer quality work and distracting others. For all those who say isn't it lovely that he likes to talk about his learning etc there will be others who say my dc can't concentrate because the kids on his table chat all the time!

yamsareyammy Thu 18-Jul-13 20:45:40

Thats awful Maryz. And must be immensely frustrating.

My pleasure Maryz - it's very enjoyable and interesting when a thread gets some thought-provoking responses

All the best to you in taking things forward for your DS

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