to wonder why new year 7 students need to go in for more testing on a Saturday in July?

(17 Posts)
decisionsdecisions123 Mon 09-May-16 19:00:03

Just received a letter requesting that my child attends secondary school for a Saturday in July for almost 3 hours to do more tests. This is on top of the full day they are also expected to attend this term in the new school and the appointment I am expected to attend with my child next month, oh and I'm invited to an evening sessions as well.

Is this the norm these days???

situatedknowledge Mon 09-May-16 19:02:43

DD didn't have to do any tests before she started. They did do some a couple of weeks in though.

Lilaclily Mon 09-May-16 19:04:30

It must be to set them
It does sound arduous though
Is it a selective pushyschool ?

SaturdaySurprise Mon 09-May-16 19:07:56

They're probably CAT tests (i.e. cognitive ability tests). Some schools use them for setting classes and they are done at the end of year 6. Our local boys' comprehensive does them. The headteacher there says that they can't really rely on SATS results. I think they are basically IQ tests.

Noodledoodledoo Mon 09-May-16 19:15:03

I would imagine they are for setting purposes. We do ours in the first weeks of term and get parent complaints that they aren't set straight away - schools can't win.

The settling in day will be more about finding their way around type activities to make it less scary. We also meet parents before they start to give them a chance to raise any concerns.

GeorgeTheThird Mon 09-May-16 19:21:44

It'll be non-selective - hence the need to set/stream ASAP.

Fourarmsv2 Mon 09-May-16 19:23:37

Some schools do them on moving up induction days.

This is better IMO so they're not stressed on those days and can enjoy them.

It's valuable info for teachers that love data smile

decisionsdecisions123 Mon 09-May-16 19:27:31

Its just your average secondary school (state school, not private).

decisionsdecisions123 Mon 09-May-16 19:29:39

I wonder why they cant just rely on info from their current Year 6 teachers. You would think that this plus the SATs results would be more than enough to figure out what set to put them into.

Pooka Mon 09-May-16 19:30:49

All schools round here test either in first week or in July before. Most in the summer term before. For setting purposes and to use in conjunction with SATS info and other stuff from primary. By collating the data the school can set a baseline of their own I suppose, unsullied by SATS shenanigans.

tkband3 Mon 09-May-16 19:31:37

The secondary school DD1 goes to (and that the DTs will be going to in September) tests the students in the first couple of weeks of term in all subjects - they call them baseline tests. They don't set the children, except for in maths, until year 8.

The problem with this is that once SATs are out of the way (at the end of this week, yay!), the children do next to no work and have forgotten quite a lot by the time they start year 7 in September. By doing the tests in June/July (as another secondary school near us is doing this year), I think the schools think they are getting a better reflection of the children's abilities, rather than letting them stagnate for four months from May to September and then testing them.

I don't think there's a right or wrong way...testing them this term won't stop them sliding backwards a bit over the summer, and will mean they then need to catch up to where they were even more quickly.

All schools do the induction process differently. At DD1's induction morning, they were put into their form groups, met their form tutor, had a guided tour round the school and a taster lesson (I think). Parents just had a brief presentation from a few members of staff and were then dismissed! We had a session fairly early in September, where we got to meet the form tutor and address any concerns.

PatriciaHolm Mon 09-May-16 19:34:22

They'll have kids coming from lots of different schools, much more reliable to do their own standard rest across all than relying on schools to give feedback (which would come in many different forms now levels have been abolished). Sats scores will be all over the place this year and in yet another new format, so many schools are ignoring them/ doing their own testing as well.

Pooka Mon 09-May-16 19:34:43

That's only as good as the individual teachers/primary schools - while SATS are supposedly the same for all schools, some have different approaches/emphases in pushing and pushing, i suppose. If lots of schools feeding into the secondaries, then the secondaries would prefer to have their own data early on (preferably before they need to work out sets for the early weeks - kids do in practice move up and down).

AugustRose Mon 09-May-16 19:34:46

Our local secondary schools do the CAT tests within the first two weeks of September for the new Year 7. It seems a little odd to ask children to come in on a weekend as not all the children will be able to attend.

They clearly want to stream from the start whereas our school doesn't start streaming until October.

tkband3 Mon 09-May-16 19:37:35

DD1 got the distinct impression when she started year 7 that her SATs test marks were completely irrelevant to her secondary school hmm.

Noodledoodledoo Mon 09-May-16 19:50:44

We have an intake from 43 primary schools, some put huge pressure on the students for SATS, some put on none, some do loads of prep, some none. SATS results are used to help with setting but other independent info is also used.

Info from Primary can be somewhat sketchy.

decisionsdecisions123 Mon 09-May-16 22:24:46

I still say its a bit odd to expect children to come in on a Saturday to do tests and tell us that it is essential that they all attend.

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