the consequences of not going to Saturday School.

(115 Posts)

not necessarily an AIBU but as I posted about Saturday School in this topic, I thought i would post the consequence of mine and DS stand against school pressure in here.

Obviously the ENTIRE year went to the 2 SATurday School events, except my son of course, and a great fuss was made over the huge success of the event in the newsletter. All fine, blow your trumpet. I have a happy DS who doesn't feel pressured.

Until this morning. he'd forgotten to do his homework, so panic mode kicked in, as he can't possibly let down his teacher. He does acknowledge that doing homeowrk 10 mins before he's due to leave is not acceptable but HE HAS TO GET IT DONE BECAUSE HE WILL HAVE TO STAY IN TO DO IT!! (capitals are to demonstrate the importance he has placed on this piece of homework)

All is fine until he reaches calculating probability, he knows what it is but doesn't know how to calculate it, it was shown in SATurday School.
This question I can help him with, so he calms down a little.

NExt question involves a table, a spinner and estimating the probabilty of the spinner landing on particular section when only spun once. 3 marks, so it must be a complicated answer, Cue melt down. This was also taught in SATurday school.

In fact most of his maths homework, relates to what the children have been taught at SATurday school. So I now have a distressed 11year old because he doesn't know how to do stuff because he hasn't been taught because he didn't go to fuckin SATurday school. He has now decided he is a failure.

It seems that SATurday school wasn't just about priming them for passing the SATs but was also to teach them extra bits.

Fuckin SATs, fuckin SATurday School and fuckin School. This is my 3rd DC to go through SATs and he is the first to be put under stress for something that doesn't fuckin matter.

I am now calm, writing it down does help, doesn't it?

meglet Thu 02-May-13 09:20:22

What on earth is saturday school? Is it a private / grammer / senior school thing??

Sirzy Thu 02-May-13 09:22:35

That is awful.

I would be tempted to complain to the govenors/lea about that one. The school should be able to do the teaching during the school day.

It is my DS state schools attempt to get all the year 6 children well rehearsed for sitting their SATs, for the past 2 weekends the entire year group have been going to school on a saturday, for the entire day to be taught how to pass their SATs.

YoniConnect Thu 02-May-13 09:26:08

If this is a state school then it is very, very wrong for them to teach key curriculum areas outside of mandatory school time. If this is a private school, then i suppose they can pretty much do their own thing, on the basis that this is their ethos which presumably parents sign up to when they decide to send their DC there.

If state, I would suggest you ask for a meeting with the Head to explain, and if you get no joy go to the Chair of Govs. If independent, I would suggest you meet with the class teacher first to establish their expectations for SATurday (crap name!) school attendance.

What year is your DC? State or independent, if the whole of SATurday school all year round is devoted to SATS, this seems a huge over-emphasis!

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 09:26:22

You chose not to send him.

YoniConnect Thu 02-May-13 09:27:11

OK, Xpost - that's crazy - complaint to Head, copied to Chair of Govs.

allnewtaketwo Thu 02-May-13 09:29:20

Would it really be such a problem to send him?

Sirzy Thu 02-May-13 09:31:43

I can see a lot of problems with putting children under so much pressure that they are expected to be in school 6 days a week, and then it seems do homework on top of that.

These are 10 and 11 year olds who need time to have fun and just chill and do nothing. They shouldn't be being pressured to improve school results

Its the HT that has set the homework, she's the one thats pushing for some of the children to pass their level 6 maths. So i know I'm not going to get anywhere with her and the Govs are supporting her.

Prior to her taking over as HT the school was classd as satisfactory(just) so she has spent the past couple of years getting the standards back up, so increased pass rates in the SATs ups the standing in the league tables.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Thu 02-May-13 09:32:54

This SATurday business sounds like bollocks and is potentially discriminatory on top of that (any religious Jewish people in your area who might use the school?)

Is there any chance you can get the course material and do it as extra homework? I bet there are a lot of parents (and teachers!) who would like this - you may even be able to get some of them on board.

Allnewtaketwo yes it would, he didn't want to go and any mention of him going caused him upset.

thebody Thu 02-May-13 09:37:41

Saturday is family time at body's house.

We all work full time and need to chill.

I wouldn't be happy with this. There's ample time in the school day to teach.

If it was just a maths club or sports activities that's ok for those who want to go but course work should be taught in the school day.

This sats stuff is all such bollocks.

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 09:41:35

If teachers are giving up two Saturdays for it, it's important. Yes, the stuff should have been covered in regular school time, but it wasn't, which is probably why they've given up two Saturdays to do it ...

allnewtaketwo Thu 02-May-13 09:44:42

Well I guess it's up to you obviously, but it sounds like choosing not to go had caused stress in any case

If teachers are giving up 2 saturdays to teach something that they haven't managed to teach during the school week then maybe they need to look at why they haven't taught it in regular school time.

maddening Thu 02-May-13 09:46:59

Why didn't you want to send him (sorry didn't read your other thread?

Tailtwister Thu 02-May-13 09:49:03

YANBU OP. They shouldn't be teaching stuff at saturday school which hasn't been covered in regular classes. It should be for extra revision of stuff they've already been taught. I would definitely complain, as you need to now find out what your son hasn't been taught and get it covered somehow. No wonder they were so insistent he attend.

BrigitBigKnickers Thu 02-May-13 09:50:08

My guess would be that their data is not looking good and they are trying to keep ofsted from the door...don't blame them- the goal posts have been moved recently and there are one hell of alot of stressed teachers out there.

If they have indeed taught areas of the curriculum NEVER taught before on these Saturday schools then obviously they are very much in the wrong. But before going in all guns blazing- how sure are you that this wasn't revision and they have covered it in class?

Probability of this kind comes into the numeracy curriculum in year 5 so I would be surprised if it had never been covered.

Of course it was your choice not to send him but surely being better prepared for SATs (no matter who they are for) will make a child less stressed not more?

And I have to say- teachers offering extra (presumably unpaid) tuition on their Saturdays shows real dedication.

You say SATs don't matter.

They will have learned or revised areas they will continue with in Secondary school. So what if it was for a test?- how can it not benefit them to understand better areas of the core curriculum they might need in the future.

The words foot and shot come to mind.

quietlysuggests Thu 02-May-13 09:50:19

Look you are right you are right you are right.
Now could you just let it go and stop making your son the odd one out?
Children want to be the same as everyone else, just let him go on SATurday and then he wont be all stressed out at missing important stuff.
You can have your principles and you dont mind swimming against the tide, but dont involve your son.

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 09:50:20

I agree, it should have been covered. It wasn't. That's their fuck up. They did however recognise that and try to make arrangements to deal with that. I'd imagine from what you've said that it's something that is needed for the higher level that they haven't really focused on in the past.

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 09:52:12

Ah, x posts, so it's something that they have done in the past but maybe a topic that they feel needs refreshing/that some DC haven't grasped.

He didn't want to go. HE made the decision.

teacher123 Thu 02-May-13 09:55:51

I have offered unpaid extra revision classes and coursework catch up sessions at weekends and in the holidays in order to help my students pass their exams. It's got nothing to do with poor planning on my part, but a desire to see my students do the best that they can. Think of all the school trips/sports fixtures/enrichment activities that schools are expected to provide. This has a knock on effect on class teaching time.

The teachers will not be doing this to make your child miserable, or to stress them out. They will have family and other commitments and things they would far rather be doing on a Saturday.

We are judged by ofsted and the lea and parents for how our classes do in their exams, whether it's GCSE, A level or SATS. Can you blame us for getting a bit stressed out about it and wanting our classes to do well?!

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 09:55:52

grin He's 11 at most??? Since when do 11 year olds get to make decisions about what's best for them educationally!

INeedSomeSun Thu 02-May-13 09:57:50

Don't you want your child to do well?
Its only 2 weekends, right?
I think UABU - the school is trying to improve standards and possibly teaching extra things, so that your child can do well. I would jump at the chance and as your child was the only one who didn't attend in the whole year, doesn't that tell you something?

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 09:58:39

Basically, if you've got teachers in at the weekend to cover academic stuff then it's worth attending. They're not doing it because they can't think of anything better to do on a Saturday.

Sirzy Thu 02-May-13 09:59:02

Revision classes are one thing but they shouldn't be covering new topics

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 10:00:15

If, as a teacher posted earlier, it is on the Y5 curriculum then it wasn't actually new.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 02-May-13 10:01:19

YABU. He should go. It sounds like he'll be at a disadvantage otherwise.

echt Thu 02-May-13 10:01:58

If the school can only cover the required curriculum with extra lessons then the teachers aren't much cop. I'd be challenging them on exactly that point.

Improving SATs scores is not improving standards. No secondary school takes them seriously, and precisely because of the hot-housing by primaries. So they have to re-test those poor children.

raspberryroop Thu 02-May-13 10:02:22

11 is too young to decide what is appropriate educationally, 2 Saturday's is hardly a lifetime. You made a mistake not making him go and are no being unreasonable about it.

spottyparrot Thu 02-May-13 10:11:32

I think you should have sent him to the Saturdays. Sounds like most children went and I'm sure your ds would have been fine once he got there with his friends.

I am astonished that you allowed an 11yo to make this decision and even more astonished that you are now complaining about some pretty straightforward and predictable consequences.

The school were trying to help with SATs. You declined the help. You were obstinate for no good reason and could have reasoned with your ds or offered him a treat for sitting through Saturday school. But you actively chose to resist and in dong so you increased your ds's stress levels.

I'm not really sure what sort of replies you are looking for. That the school is evil? Teachers are bastards?

Lovecat Thu 02-May-13 10:19:04

I thought the whole point of SATs was to identify how well children were learning and what areas they need support in? (DD goes to private where they don't do them, so forgive me if I'm wrong)

So this idea of cramming for tests seems entirely counterproductive. I appreciate that many people judge the worth of a school by the pass rate, but again, this is surely dependent upon the calibre (for want of a better word) of the pupils and their home environments and cramming can only do so much (and cause them unecessary stress)? It seems to me that SATS are almost being used as a punishment for pupils, rather than a learning aid...

If you can confirm with the class teacher that they haven't covered these subjects in Monday-Friday classes, I would be making a complaint - if it's the Head that's pushing this through then to the Governors or the LEA/Ofsted.

YANBU, OP, I would be furious in your shoes and I wouldn't be sending DD to the Saturday school either. Not unless I wanted to turn my child off learning for good... weekends are for downtime.

SantanaLopez Thu 02-May-13 10:19:05

YABU. It's not a surprising consequence to skipping a class.

He's 11, I'm quite sure most 11 year olds would chose not to go. You should have been a parent not a friend.

I'm pretty sure the last thread was mainly people telling you not to send him.

I was one of them and I think you made the right decision.

Whilst probability is covered in the year five curriculum, I would imagine not to the level 6 standard that you have previously mentioned that the head is pushing for. My understanding is that level 6 is at that stage and additional exam and requires additional information onto what has previously been done.

I personally would buy one of those revision guide text book things for the level 6 maths and check that he knows certain topics or use it to help you with homework. I wouldn't be doing revision as such but I'd get him to have a flick through and any areas he had an issue with I would help him work on. Only for his peace of mind.

My own opinion would be its the SATs, and I couldn't care less what the marks are.

knittingirl Thu 02-May-13 10:20:49

Did they learn the extra stuff on the SATurdays which would enable them to pass the level 6 paper, or did they learn stuff they would need for the normal level 3-5 paper? If the former, then I don't see a problem - it's not essential for it to have been taught in class normally as its only needed for the extra paper. If the latter, then I think it should have been covered in normal class time, like in all the other schools which don't get their kids in for extra saturday tuition.

livinginwonderland Thu 02-May-13 10:22:43

he CHOSE not to go

so? he's 11. i chose not to do a lot of things at 11, i still had to do them!

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 10:23:04

grin Only on MN would people be complaining about extra teaching time.

Fakebook Thu 02-May-13 10:27:21

Since when do children make their own decisions? My dd says she wants to wear her tutu to school everyday, but I don't let her, regardless of her making the "decision".

YABU for not sending him. You are also U for not making sure his homework is done on time and letting him do it 10 mins before leaving for school.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 02-May-13 10:27:57

I remember your original thread and I was one of those who said don't send him

I have a year 6 dd. she dances on acsaturday. Missing dance would mean she won't get to perform in the two big shows coming up.

I would be seriously seriously considerin g withdrawing my child if this was what she had got between now and the end of may it whenever the sats are

It makes me mad.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 02-May-13 10:29:19

Talking about discriminatory what about children with split families who maybe downs weekends with the NRP and may not be in the area on a weekend.

Totally wrong.

Startail Thu 02-May-13 10:39:23

It's neither here nor there who decided not to go to.

Saturday SATs classes the point is compulsory, teaching work need for the main KS2 L3-L5 paper should not be happening.

DD2 did entirely optional after school, L6 classes, which were a waste of time because the moved the pass mark way out of her reach, but that's another thread.

The OP and her DS are totally correct that he should not be expected to attend a state school on a Saturday just because the school is afraid of Ofsted. If the teachers were doing their jobs right it would not be necessary.

Nor should any school feel under pressure to make DCs try for L6 (which is the expected level for a reasonable Y8, average Y9) unkess they want to.

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 10:44:18

Damn them, they're making them learn.

allnewtaketwo Thu 02-May-13 10:46:00

But even in that case Startail - the OP/her son, whatever, made a free choice not to attend. As was her/his right. But every decision has consequences. Now the OP is stressed about the consequences confused.

didoreth Thu 02-May-13 10:49:51

Wtf is happening in primary education these days? I wouldnt dream of sending my child to school on a Saturday, but I wouldn't have worried about the homework either - just tell them you dont want him to have homework, its ridiculous at that age.

Startail Thu 02-May-13 10:51:28

My DD is also in a dance show and she would have refused to go to school on Saturdays this term.

It is quite simply out of order.

Children and families are being made to give up their free simply to allow HTs to keep their jobs.

Sadly, given the Ofsted induced resignations at the DDs secondary, it isn't even only bad HTs and governors who are being forced out, simply those who don't ruin children's childhoods chasing the impossible dream that all schools should be better than average confused

Clearly, as all schools cannot be better than average, it is Mr. Gove who needs to go to Saturday maths school!

echt Thu 02-May-13 10:53:25

No, if the school is teaching skills/knowledge out of hours that can only be accessed at that time, then they're fecking useless teachers.

allnewtaketwo Thu 02-May-13 10:58:19

"just tell them you dont want him to have homework, its ridiculous at that age"

The child is 11 confused. My 4 yo gets homework 3 or 4 times a week, plus a reading book every night.

Startail Thu 02-May-13 11:01:29

There are always consequences to standing up for what is right, that is why schools get away with this sort of rubbish. They make 10-11yo feel guilty.

The OP has to make it clear to her DS that this is not his fault and that like as not his exact SATs mark won't matter to him beyond Xmas of Y7 anyway. Most secondary schools know how hard DCs are being coached and readjust setting on their own testing pretty quickly.

FreckledLeopard Thu 02-May-13 11:02:30

You're foolish OP. Your son could have gone to a couple of Saturday school sessions, improved his maths, his overall knowledge and confidence, and potentially achieved a higher SATS result at the end of it, opening up more doors for him in the future.

Why make such a fuss about something that's done for his benefit?

allnew Some people don't agree with homework in primary, or even later.

I think a 4 year old having the quantity of homework you've described is absurd, and not something I'd be happy with.

I usually ignored homework in reception, (although eldest DCs never really got any until year 3) and then after that I would leave it up to the DC. I don't agree with it.

meddie Thu 02-May-13 11:03:53

No child should be forced to attend school on a Saturday just to cover the curriculum, that is a failing of the school. you were right not to force him to go, I would be complaining about that too.
Offering cram sessions outside school time or hiring tutors is a choice that can be made if you so wish, but should not be an obligation.

I can't believe the importance being placed on SAT's at primary level, honestly who cares? No University give a rats arse what the applicant obtained in their primary level Sat's. Why place so much weight on it in the long run.

Sats are all about the school looking good and getting a good Ofsted report, they have no impact on your childs future achievements. They should be a useful indicator of how your child is progressing, but thats all. trying to achieve the higher levels by cramming and Saturday schools is just ridiculous and unnecessary added stress

freddiefrog Thu 02-May-13 11:05:06

My eldest is doing SATs next week, she is under unbelievable pressure to do well in Level 6 papers which I just don't think she's capable of.

Our school have told the kids that the results of SATs will determine their GCSE results. I have spoken to the high school she's going to in September, they don't use SATs to determine anything as they think the results are meaningless and don't show their true understanding of the curriculum or subject because they are being taught to test so they retest in the first term

I had my 11 year old crying at midnight last night worrying about telling her teacher that she simply doesn't understand a maths question. She is being sent home massive booklets of old SATs papers every night and is expected to complete them, if she doesn't she will be kept in at lunch time.

This has been going on every day since they returned from the February half term

In these circumstances, I would have stepped in and refused to send her to Saturday classes too. I refused to let my DD complete one of the SATs papers earlier this week, she was stressed, in floods of tears, it was a lovely afternoon and she needed a break from the relentless pressure, so I took the paper away and kicked her out over the park to blow off steam with her friends for an hour

I don't think she should be pressurised like this, if school have done their job properly over the last 7 years, she'll be fine with revision. We support her and help her and do whatever we have to to help her to do well and achieve to her abilities but school are crossing a line and I am not prepared to have my child crying her eyes out at midnight again over SATs.

echt Thu 02-May-13 11:05:46

Astonished at the posters who assert you should have sent your child to school at the weekend.

Hold the school to account for not teaching as they should.

I didn't see your original thread but I agree with you - no way would I send DS to school on a Saturday. What happened to SATs being a test of the school, not the child?

DS has expensive drama lessons on Saturdays anyway, which trump anything else.

I would be livid if we were asked to make up for the school's shortcomings by giving up family time at the weekend.

Startail Thu 02-May-13 11:24:00

No they have been useless at teaching the maximum number of children to pass a particular narrow test which is almost certainly not fit for purpose.

Sending DCs to secondary with scraped L5, such that they end Y7 still on L5 isn't good for anyone. DD1's class landed their HT in trouble because 2/3 of them just missed their L5. these DCs are now set 1 in Y10 and doing well.

Far better the primary pupils have a wider ranging curriculum and the teachers ensure the weaker children are supported.

Encouraging able DCs to do their best is one thing, cramming for the test is quite another.

Cramming has its place. We have all had to do it to scrape public exams and some DCs may need to for the 11+/13+, but those thinks have real ongoing value SATs, especially inflated SATs do not.

Mumsyblouse Thu 02-May-13 11:31:48

How do you know for sure that probability was only taught in Saturday school? I can't quite believe in the ten minutes of fussing over homework you managed to find out exactly what went on over the two days of Saturday school (as you were not there) and are 100% sure it was never covered at any other time. If it was covered, it may have been revision, and that's why they set it again for homework for reinforcement purposes (which is not the same as never having done it at all in the previous year).

You may well end up with egg on your face unless you can show for sure that they covered key curriculum topics in Sat school, and how do you know this for definite anyway, unless you've been through all of his school books/checked the Sat curriculum which is turning out much more effort than going to the blinking Saturday school in the first place

Mumsyblouse Thu 02-May-13 11:33:50

And, not that I would necessarily be keen on Sat school my uncles all went to school on Saturday mornings at a normal grammer school 50 years ago, this was because they had games/sports matches on Wed and so needed to make up the time. It is not unheard of for school to use Sat mornings.

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 11:36:28

'Our school have told the kids that the results of SATs will determine their GCSE results.'

If they pulled that shit I'd be in to see before my DC had finished telling me.

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 11:36:51

Even before I'd typed them.

Startail Thu 02-May-13 11:38:20

2 or 3, not two-thirds, I'm sorry that is easy to miss read.

It is a small school, just over the reporting limit, one DC is worth ~ 8%

It's a rural area, years vary wildly in ability. DD2 year had four dead cert. L5 DCs of professional parents and DD1's didn't.

(In fact DD1 got them a totally fluke L5 for English on the cut off mark, but that is a whole different thread about, dyslexia, scribes and bending the assistance rules to breaking point).

freddiefrog Thu 02-May-13 11:41:29

If they pulled that shit I'd be in to see before my DC had finished telling me.

Oh, we have, all year 6 parents have been in at some point. We even had a meeting at school where the head of the high school categorically stated that SATs were of no interest to them.

As it stands at the moment, I'm prepared to pull DD out of school next week completely

seeker Thu 02-May-13 11:44:31

Hang on. I would be livid too- but are you sure probability wasn't taught in class? Because my ds certainly was.....

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 11:45:54

That is so completely out of line. Fussing about the tests is one thing. Feeding the children crap about the importance of them is Not Acceptable.

If you're sure it won't impact streaming for your DC in their senior school I would keep them out of school for the SATS. I would also raise hell to everyone who would listen.

Why on earth is it unreasonable to not send your dc to an optional class on a saturday?

I can tell you now, I would not have sent my dcs. They have activities, and its the weekend. If the school are unable to teach the curriculum during normal school, thats a big problem. But it does not mean that children should have to go to school on a saturday.

seeker Thu 02-May-13 11:50:58

"'Our school have told the kids that the results of SATs will determine their GCSE results.'

I bet they haven't, you know! That sounds like something that has gone through a "child filter" before it got home.

I'm amazed at all this SATS pressure. I've only ever heard of it on mumsnet- and I'm involved with a lot of primary schools in one way and another.

ShowMeTheYoni Thu 02-May-13 11:51:21

I live in Scotland so we don't have this at all. Saturday school? Um no, I don't think so. Show me an adult who will happily work six days a week! He is 11 and surely any prep work belongs in school time? Excuse my ignorance of your system but it sounds very pressurised for a child!

5Foot5 Thu 02-May-13 13:31:54

If teachers are giving up 2 saturdays to teach something that they haven't managed to teach during the school week then maybe they need to look at why they haven't taught it in regular school time.

Well said!!

When DD was in year 6 they had a maths teacher who was very, very good. So good in fact that he was able to cover everything he needed to in class time, didn't even need to set homework, and everyone in the year passed at level 5.

I really don't understand why the school are pushing for level 6 at that age. It is not in the children's benefit IMO it is just to make them look good on the league tables.

flatpackhamster Thu 02-May-13 13:52:32


Why on earth is it unreasonable to not send your dc to an optional class on a saturday?

I'm sure it's up to the parents to decide what is best for their children. I would welcome the chance for extra schooling for mine, but I think it depends upon what value you place upon education and what value you place upon home life. I'm not sure that 'reasonableness' or otherwise comes in to it. The OP made the choice that her 'home time' was more important to her family and child. There are consequences to that choice.

I can tell you now, I would not have sent my dcs. They have activities, and its the weekend. If the school are unable to teach the curriculum during normal school, thats a big problem. But it does not mean that children should have to go to school on a saturday.

The private sector does it. Look at the results they get.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Thu 02-May-13 13:56:12


My (private) school had lessons 6 days a week. Results were amazing even though it was not selective.
I think you are doing your children a disservice to be honest.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Thu 02-May-13 13:58:06

Also am soooo confused about why telling your kids education is important, prep is important, and you should work hard at school and out of it is suddenly anathema around here.

Yes they are 11 but the rest of your life can be dictated by the decisions as actions you make up to A level.

The point is, there shouldnt be consequences to that choice other than the loss of a revision class or whatever it was. The consequence of missing an optional saturday morning class should not be that key parts of the curriculum were not taught.

It does definitley depend on parental choice. As I say, I would not send my dcs to school on Saturdays. If you feel your dc needs extra schooling, there are ways to provide this. Mine do not.

The private sector may do as it pleases. My dd is managing exceptionally well in her GCSEs without the need for Saturday schooling. And the results of my own children are the only results I need to look at.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Thu 02-May-13 13:59:47

I jut don't understand why one would opt out of the opportunity for better educational advantages.


ll31 Thu 02-May-13 14:03:05

Think yabu to assume that new stuff was taught on Saturdays or do you know this for sure? And how do you know?

Sirzy Thu 02-May-13 14:05:22

I jut don't understand why one would opt out of the opportunity for better educational advantages.

Because education is about more than just what is done in the classroom.

because everyone needs time to relax and do nothing

because 11 year olds shouldn't be put under pressure to do well in exams

DadOnIce Thu 02-May-13 14:06:06

I must admit my first reaction was, "What fresh hell is Saturday School???"

ophelia in my case the reason I would opt out of thsi educational advantages is because
1- trying to cram information into childrens heads in a short space of time in order for them to gain a higher level on a useless test which has very little purpose other than to look good on a league table is ridiculous.

2-There is no benefit to be gained from forcing a child to go to school on a weekend when they do not want to go. For no reason other than supposedly to revise for the said test.

3-children do not always have to be doing something worthy and educational. Neither do adults. Things like football, swimming, family time etc is also just as important and IMHO more beneficial than trying to hothouse children who have already spent the required time at school.

If your child needs extra tuition to catch up, fair enough. But if it just so they are "doing something educational" or to get a level on the SATS that is not a true reflection of their actual ability but the result of trying to cram info into their head, then I honestly think the time could be spent in a better way.

thebody Thu 02-May-13 14:11:02

What tantrums said.

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 14:14:40

How is two days out of a year hot housing???

seeker Thu 02-May-13 14:19:22

I think the issue here is really that it is very unlikely that if this class was being taught even reasonably, they would have come across basic probablility in year 5.

So either the teachers are panicking because they realize they haven't covered the curriculum, or the OP's son is using it as a convenient excuse. Which, considering what a big deal everyone involved is making of it seems quite likely.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Thu 02-May-13 14:19:23

tantrums I see your points as valid but I still don't get it blushpersonally I'm afraid.

I remember crying like a banshee when I had one weekend to learn all my times tables backwards and forwards aged 8. But, now I can recall them in seconds.

I guess it's perspective. I worked hard at school, went to Oxbridge and have a really good career. None of that suddenly happened by magic.

Perhaps my priorities were wrong. Who knows.

Did you pick out the one word there that you objected to pickled?
Rather than responding to the actual point?

Goldmandra Thu 02-May-13 14:22:47

My DD has SN's and would never have coped with an extra day being added to the school week. Even if I had insisted she attend she would have learned absolutely nothing.

If she had therefore missed part of the curriculum I would have written a note explaining that she could not complete the homework until the teacher had taught her how to do it in class and that she was not to be sanctioned for not completing it.

It's great that the teachers are willing to offer extra revision sessions in their own time but no child should be penalised for not attending by missing out on part of the curriculum.

If the teacher hasn't been able to teach the full curriculum in the time available during normal school hours they should be wondering why this is.

thebody Thu 02-May-13 14:23:43

If my 8 year old was in years because a knob of a teacher had told her to learn her tables forwards and backwards in a weekend I would presume the school was so awful and teachers so crazy that I would have moved her.

My oldest 2 are graduates but balance this with offers of sport and socialising.

Saturday school!! Bloody ridiculous.

The school and teachers must be truly crap if they need to play catch up like this.

Ophelia well we dont all have to agreegrin

I have had 2 dcs go through their SATS, they have not affected their lives one tiny bit.
They have not had any additional schooling and are still managing to work very hard and produce excellent results. And there is no tears, and they have a lot of outside interests.
To me it is very important that they enjoy life. They realise they have to work very hard to get on in life. But not to the point of tears and hysteria.

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 14:30:46


1) Two whole days is actually a lot of teaching time and is more than enough to cover new ground and reinforce previously taught stuff. It's maths they'll use and build on over the next 5/6 years.

2) Children often don't want to go to school. When did we start giving them the choice? School hours are a minimum recommended time not a suggestion that extra learning might fry their brains!

3) Yes, children don't always have to be doing something worthy and educational. Which is why they have 8 weeks over the summer, 2 at Easter, Christmas, half term weeks and every other weekend in the year. It's 2 days not a 10 week course.

AmberLeaf Thu 02-May-13 14:34:22

I just don't understand why one would opt out of the opportunity for better educational advantages

Because SATs results don't give any educational advantages?

Saturday 'school' for GCSE students with upcoming exams = Brilliant idea and I am thankful to my sons teachers that give up their weekend time to do this.

Saturday 'school' for year 6s about to take SATs = Ridiculous. I would not send my child to school on a saturday.

It was not a compulsory class was it?
It was supposed to be revision, covering things they already knew. Not for learning things that are on the curriculum that should have been covered during normal school times.

School hours are recommended? That's one way to look at it I suppose. But do you honestly think children that have been working hard all week should be forced into giving up leisure time to go into school? To scrape a higher SATS level?
It's not about wanting to go to school or not. This is not a school day, not a compulsory day.

And yes of course they have holidays. Does that mean they have to give up a weekend activity? Do your DCs not do anything at the weekend? Have commitments to teams, clubs, things like that?
Does having a half term holiday mean that they need to go into school at the weekend in order to get this wonderful level 6 that everyone must aspire to, even if it puts the most ridiculous amount of pressure on children?

It makes no sense. To me anyway. I understand people have enormous respect and admiration for these tests. Like I say, we don't have to agree on that.

But the OP did nothing wrong by not forcing her DS to go to Saturday school with the sole purpose of revising for a test.

The school did something very wrong by giving homework based on what was taught in anoptional lesson

And where are these classes to teach the very bright children at any other time? It's funny how they only occur just before the SATS.
Because the only time it benefits the school is a few points on a league table.

daftdame Thu 02-May-13 14:47:34

OP - YANBU!!! It should have been covered during the week. Even for Level 6 teachers should be differentiating. If he needed that much extra tuition, is the material too much of a push? Or is it they haven't taught the material adequately?

Your poor boy, but at least once he's at secondary this will have passed.

Complain by all means but can you do a little of the probability with him to reassure him? Not homework but explain what he wants to know. I think its time for damage limitation.

SuffolkNWhat Thu 02-May-13 14:52:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YoniFoolsAndHorses Thu 02-May-13 15:05:25

My children do Saturday school from age 8 to 12, 2 out if every 3 Saturday through term time.

I pay a lot in schools fees - and I am thrilled that this extra teaching time is there as it means a lot more curriculum time in the week (and tons of time for extra games and PE and art, etc).

But they upside is, they don't bother with a SATS or 'levels' at all. Nada. And while I am a bit hmm about THIS Saturday bring a school day, with it being a BH weekend, it's probably worth it.

Btw, we have tons and tons of family time - that's not restricted to weekends. Does nobody of here work on a Saturday???!

Tbh, I'd send him. Not for sats. But for education!

But yoni thats different. Thats something that you want to do, that you feel is beneficial to your children all year round.

Not 2 weeks in order to try and scrape a better level on SATS

A lot of parents I am sure decide they would like their dcs to have extra schooling. But theres a reason for that. This is because the school want good results for the league table.

ReculverTowers Thu 02-May-13 15:13:33

My son school doesn't have SAT her day school but I am increasingly incensed by the amount of pressure he is being put under to do well this year (6)
he is a bright boy, i wish they would leave him alone

Cherriesarelovely Thu 02-May-13 15:13:42

This is horrible. I hate SATs. Our parents would do their nuts if we suggested anything like that. Yes, they are doing some SATs revision in class for the next few weeks but Saturday school as's too much.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 02-May-13 15:15:23

I'm really happy to say that most of our parents are more worried about their children being put under undue pressure. They know we have taught them well, they know their children will do their best.

Fillyjonk75 Thu 02-May-13 15:18:38

Will his SATS scores actually make any difference to him in the long run - i.e. is he going to try and get into an acedemically selective school? What do SATS actually matter except to the school itself?

Sounds like a big pile of bunk and YANBU to put him in Saturday school.

Fillyjonk75 Thu 02-May-13 15:19:07

To NOT put him in, duh.

edwardsmum11 Thu 02-May-13 15:20:22

It just shows it is a crappy that can't complete all work in five days imo. Sats are stupid for 11 yr olds tbh.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 02-May-13 15:20:28

I posted on your previous thread and am still 100% behind you. What kind of school is so badly organised that core elements of the curriculum have to be taught at the weekend?! You have no obligation to send your child to school outside school time. The school does have an obligation to teach your son what he needs to know during school hours - not panicky extra make up classes as they haven't covered what they needed to.

Given all this hassle, I'd be tempted to take your son out of school for SATS week. It's as though people have forgotten that learning should be fun, a mind broadening experience - not a tool to improve the results of a power crazed head who clearly couldn't organise herself and her staff properly over the course of the last year.

MummytoKatie Thu 02-May-13 15:28:07

Ophelia - Were youborn in 1822? Why in the world we're you given a weekend to learn all the tables forwards and backwards? That was a daft way of teaching - tables should be built over time with understanding.

I still know all mine (in fact I can do all the way up to 25 * 25 without really having to think) but learnt them nice and stress free.

When I was 11 I spent my Saturdays racing from gym to drama to swimming. At that age dh had already started spending competing at a sport internationally so would spend his Saturdays training. Didn't stop us getting into Oxbridge. Working hard is important but not to that extent at age 11.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Thu 02-May-13 16:10:00

Not 1882 grin I'm mid 30s.

My school was super strict and there was a lot of prep. GCSEs were a doddle though given all the homework and emphasis on rote learning. I'm grateful they didn't try and make learning 'fun'. Ick. I like structure now smile

And I did manage to have a life besides school grin

pickledginger Thu 02-May-13 16:19:43

No. i've decided not to bother doing anything extra for them as it's not compulsory. Surely they get enough stimulation in school.

valiumredhead Thu 02-May-13 16:21:44

I remember your other thread OP.

SATS are shit. FWIW I think you made the right decision

What a ridiculous thing to say pickled

Honestly, good luck to you if you value SATS and extra work for them works for your children. I don't agree. But I understand a lot of people do. And that they rate their importance above other things.

I have given my opinion. You clearly don't want a debate or a sensible conversation about it. Fine.

MummytoKatie Thu 02-May-13 16:41:02

But learning is fun. Otherwise what's the point? Ok - revision can only be made tolerable with large amounts of cake but the original learning should be enjoyable. There is no way I would have the career I have now if I hadn't enjoyed learning. Getting to this point would have been unbearable.

Sirzy Thu 02-May-13 16:44:22

Learning has to be fun. There is lots to show that children (speaking generally of course) don't learn well learning by rote, they learn by doing and engaging in their learning.

My daughter was in the first year that were given SATs (I am that old) and it was sold to us as a measurement of the school not the child.

It was to make sure that the children on the whole, were learning the right stuff, and the league tables reassured prospective parents that the school provided a good learning environment.

Why is it now an assessment of each individual child? My youngest' s school is SATs mad through April and May (although no Saturday schooling has been offered - the parents round here would tell them they could fuck right off grin )

UtterflyButterfly Thu 02-May-13 17:13:02

binky what a nightmare. I'm so pleased I don't have children in education any more, the pressures on them are ridiculous at this age. It doesn't benefit the children, it's just to try to make the schools look better in the league tables. When they're 22 and just graduated, they're hardly likely to look back and say, 'Thank god I got a level 6 in English when I was 11, or where would I be today' are they?

ilovesooty Thu 02-May-13 17:19:03

As a former teacher I don't think these classes are for the children's educational behefit at all. They're about league tables, Ofsted and covering the HT's arse.

I also think it's quite possible the teachers didn't want to run them either.

SuffolkNWhat Thu 02-May-13 17:27:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lljkk Thu 02-May-13 17:53:43

Ghastly story, but this is part I don't get:

"Its the HT that has set the homework, she's the one thats pushing for some of the children to pass their level 6 maths....she has spent the past couple of years getting the standards back up, so increased pass rates in the SATs ups the standing in the league tables. "

If Saturday school must be pushed (obviously stupid idea imho, but never mind) then it should be encouraged most to the children who are at danger of not scraping a level 4 or maybe not scraping a level 5, no? Because headline rate is the L4 passes, isn't it? Or L5+ pass rates, but I'm not sure the info on L6 passes is available easily (is it?). Also, only like 3% of children pass L6 for English & 0.5% for maths, so putting so much energy into possible L6 is crazy. I just don't understand how pushing L6 is likely to be a successful strategy.

Do you know any stats, OP, about how many children at this school gained L4/L5/L6 last year? Are you in an area with especially high KS2 SAT results, does the school compare badly to neighbours? (I mean really badly, not just a bit below group average but obviously well below). Is the school underfunded because it's undersubscribed? Else why care so much about the league tables?

FourLittleDudes Thu 02-May-13 18:06:05

My 10 year old has been stressed over his upcoming SATs, but I've told him they don't matter, so don't stress about it and to just do his best. He won't look back in 10 years time and wish he had got a better grade at 10 years old. I think its far to much pressure to put a child under and haven't decided yet whether keep him home during the exams. His teacher unofficially agrees with me. He has some Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) and struggles enough at the best of time with out being made to feel like a failure when his marks come back.

SneezySnatcher Thu 02-May-13 18:45:02

I really think you need to clarify whether the extra classes were to cover new information (unlikely IMHO) or to revise topics covered previously before you go in all guns blazing. I think it's very unlikely that your DS won't have covered probability before in earlier years. It is much more likely that he's forgotten he's done it before (understandable with the amount of curriculum content and the way units are spaced out).

My school has (differentiated) weekly 'booster' classes after school in the few weeks before SATs. These are not to cover new information, but to refresh the children's knowledge of topics they have covered a while ago, or may not have grasped first time. This does benefit the school, who obviously want the children to do well, but also the children who have their understanding developed in smaller, more focused groups.

Please be aware that the teachers probably don't get paid for this and would definitely rather be at home with their families.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 02-May-13 19:14:34

OP, how do you know this was taught at Saturday class if your DS didn't attend?confused

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