Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Bloody SATS!

Those of you who have had or currently have a child in year 6 at school have either thought or are thinking this at the moment.

Bloody SATS!

There, I've said it and I feel better. Just a little.

Actually it's not the actual SATS I have an issue with. I understand the Government need a way to mean test the schools and see how they perform with actually educating our children.  What I have a massive problem with is the schools cramming so many practice tests on our children from January to May that they become utterly demoralised, un-interested and can't wait to leave the place and head off to their next adventure of bigger school.

I have a 10 year old in year 6 currently. He is tested on maths and literacy every day. It's too much. Sadly, it means the actual SATS are worthless, It's a result not based on what your child has achieved to learn over the past few years but what they can remember that has been crammed into their minds in the past four - five months.  It's too little, too late and ultimately not a true representation of the schools education system.

This year we have been told they are harder than ever. Some of the literacy they are expected to know is of GCSE standard.  I can construct a sentence but I'm buggered if I know what a modal verb or a subjunctive clause is.  Do you?

This year they are tested more aggressively on spelling, punctuation and grammar.  Oh and handwriting.  Now you may have seen my previous post about handwriting The Writing Rant  and the fact schools are told to teach children cursive writing when it's about as much use as a chocolate tea-pot.  As long as it's neat and readable and they know when to use lower or upper case.  When they get to Secondary school, they can write how they want.

I also disagree with the schools boosting. They take the high achievers and boost them to get their marks up. They take the low achievers to try and scrape them through.. then the plodders are left bobbling along.

Today is the day many of us find out what secondary school our child is going to.  As far as I can tell, most secondary schools don't even use the SATS to group the children when they start, preferring to place the children themselves.

Maybe it's time the government changed this outdated system and actually used teacher reports to grade the schools for their league tables?

What are your thoughts on the SATS?

1 comment:

  1. I think a lot of what is going on with school testing and exams at the moment is a complete joke. I've been teaching for 20 years so have seen change upon change upon change - sometimes inflicted because there's a new face in politics in charge. The latest daftness is this obsession with grammar, which yes I agree must be learnt and understood (I'm an English teacher after all) but it's being taught as an abstract entity so it becomes dull, complicated, contradictory and the message seems to be just jump through this hoop.

    The problem with solely using teacher reports though is that some teachers / schools upgrade some of their students and results so they will appear more favourably in league tables and the like, such is the pressure they are under. I've seen it done, been admitted to that a colleague has done it because they know other schools have done it so why should they suffer - so what is the answer?? But yes, great article and have forwarded to it my chief exec at post40bloggers.