I know they are important to schools but its madness at dds school. They've gone on and on at them a out it for months, extra homework, extra lessons and generally created a great deal of expectation and stress. Poor dd gets migraines and they are currently rife due to her worry over sats. She thinks they will impact on her going to her already allocated secondary school. Then yesterday she came out with a list her teacher had given them. Apparently it's bed early a d a good breakfast (preferably cooked) which obviously all children need everyday. It seems ott to me but hey. Anyone got any comparisons?
DS1, is in Y6, and sat Level 6 maths today, he is in knots saying "I am letting my school down if I fail" Whoever gave him that idea? I am sure it was motivational pep talk, but come on! Way to increase the pressure on young children! I feel justified in telling him "Rubbish, if you fail you are not letting your school down, your teacher has let down both you and your school".
Could I just gently say, to the parents who get worked up about these things, and to the parents of children who do, that now is the time to start thinking about strategies to deal with exam nerves and panic. Because it doesn't get any better. In a heartbeat all these stressed year 6s will be facing GCSEs, and they really matter!
And I know that everyone says all the pressure comes from the school, but some children put pressure on themselves. And some parents, whether they realise it or not, put a lot of pressure on. So be brutally honest (in secret!) with yourselves as parents about where the pressure comes from. And plan for the next few years. My oldest one was in year 9, I think before I realised that I was too involved with her school work and I wasn't helping- she was trying so hard to please me, as well and to just do well, that she was putting extra pressure on herself, and making herself unhappy. So I backed right off- which was good for both of us.
From the stats given here it seems very few DC's will get the level 6 Quint - so no-one put in for them should have been given the impression there was even a question of "passing" or "failing" it, let alone letting anyone down if they didn't "pass"
Having said that, personally at the end of the week, I feel it's all been quite good practice for DS - and appropriate that there is some academic climax to the end of Y6 and their time at primary school, alongside all the social events such as their upcoming residential trip and end of year show etc.
But I know I might feel differently if DS wasn't such a chilled out dude
I do think kids have more to worry about these days, as when I was going through school tests were taken not talked of in advance, with exemption of GSCES.
I don't think it is good for young children and youngsters to be bogged down with all this worry so I totally agree with you op, when schools go to such levels as your dc one.
My dd is doing sats (yr5) and she is a stress bucket and bites my head off over everything in this past week. The school doesn't seem to be pressurising her, but she is rather het up over doing them and came home to me telling me some of the questions she has had to answer and gave me the 3 scenarios and asked if she had got them right and started panicking over having got some wrong. The school has allowed the children to take in a chocolate bar/treat in with them as a treat for after, but the misery these tests bring with them I think warrants a cup of tea from school or some sort of reward tbh.
Treated dd to some phone credit today and hoping she relaxes at her nans tonight.
Agree with what you say Seeker. My dd1 is yr 9 and has just done exams and coped verey well with the whole process.
I'm interested of course but don't keep on at her. You have to stand back a little sometimes and have faith that your dc needs to, wants to (and can) manage such things without micro-management.
However I do feel there's a world of difference between being 11 and 14. The yr9 exams are a culmination of what has gone before not a 6 month intensive cram fest such as my yr 6 dc have had. So yes, whilst the best that can probably be said about SATS is that they are a trial run for 'taking an exam' I feel the whole experience leading up to that moment is more measured, better paced, relevant and carefully managed in secondary school.
I love the attitude of one of my daughter's friends to the spelling test. She was checking how she'd spelt something, found she'd missed a letter out, and just shrugged and said 'Well, I should get 90% for getting the rest of the letters right in that one...'
I have noticed with dd1 that although the procrastination over homework may still be a factor, it's not the same repetetive grind that the yr6 stuff was.
Secondary school indroduces a different ethos in that you feel as though you are working towards a bigger picture, that you are more in control and that you are entrusted to be more mature about your work. Not everyone rises to the challenge, but many do. And best of all the work is much more interesting and inspiring.
Phew! He's done! A couple more internal Science assessments next week but that is the worst of it over. I am so proud of him for coping with the changes in routine and for managing to concentrate for that long.
He got star of the week from his teacher for behaving so well and staying calm this week; not a single meltdown. We have offered to spend £10 on books of his choice as a reward. He has chosen a book about fractals and another about relativity.
Now for a period of calm... until DS1's exams in June