SATS - am I missing something? If not, how do I get the school to educate my child rather than prepare for SATS for the next year please?

(44 Posts)
tourdewaterparcs Sun 30-Jun-13 19:27:07

So, I think that SATS are standardised tests set to assess schools (not children) and are generally agreed to have passed their sell-by date. In our area, the maths results will, apparently, be used to decide what set children go into in year 7.

Big deal.

So why the song and dance? Why, at my year 5's November parent-teacher consultation did we spend 9 of the 10 minutes being told levels (4c, 5a, 5b, etc) that mean bugger all to me? Why were the current year 6s "stressed" about the SATS according to their parents and so "exhausted" that they dropped out of their after-school activities.

Please - help me organise resistance. If I'd wanted a year being taught to the test, I'd have moved to a grammar school area where at least the results of the test matter to the child as well as the school......

finallyasilverlining Mon 01-Jul-13 14:50:25

TBH I didn't attend my Dd's reception meeting so I didn't have to listen to the headteacher witter on about SATS and tables like when my Ds started, heard it all before, had experience of how important the SATS are rather than Dc's well being. CT's are constantly doing teacher assessments through out the school year so I don't see the point of the SATS especially the YR 2 SATS.

tourdewaterparcs Mon 01-Jul-13 15:10:11

rabbit -

oh bloody hell.

I'm stuffed!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 01-Jul-13 15:52:07

I'm part of the system? How so?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jul-13 16:04:23

TOSN.

Sorry, may have I mistaken you for another poster, are you not a teacher?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 01-Jul-13 16:13:38

No, I'm not a teacher - but even if I was, I think I'd still have some grounds to argue that I wasn't a proponent of seeing the result not the child etc etc!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jul-13 16:16:42

I'm not against assessment per se and I know that schools have to be accountable because they are responsible for most childrens education.
I just think the whole SATS administration has gone too far.
When my older dc were little they didn't know when they had taken their SATS and neither were the parents informed when this would be. There was no stress even from the most pushiest schools.
Now with the obsession of results and Ofsted using results to grade a school, children can in some schools be really pressured and this is so wrong.
It seems like its hit and miss whether your dc school acts in the best interests of the dc.
I know the teachers have no say in this and I certainly don't blame them, after all most of them do a fine job, but afaic the system stinks.

inthesark Mon 01-Jul-13 17:23:14

If we are still in the state sector at Yr6, the plan is to take DD out and home ed her for a year, so you're not alone in this.

The bigger issue though, which the SATs thing is just another example of, is that the interests of the school are no longer the same as the interests of the child. It's to no child's benefit to have a dull yr6, but it is very much to the benefit of the school, so it happens.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 01-Jul-13 17:39:58

"Teachers and schools in the state sector are obsessed with levels because Ofsted are obsessed with levels"

That

mrz Mon 01-Jul-13 17:45:36

Levels are to be scrapped anyway

tourdewaterparcs Mon 01-Jul-13 21:33:59

ah, ok, so maybe then I'll be knocking at an open door? Hope so.

teacherwith2kids Mon 01-Jul-13 22:03:07

DS and DD are at a state school, just recently graded Outstanding in all areas, which does not focus on SATs at all beyond a small amount of familiarisation in the course of the year.

They have normal lessons, do the full breadth of the curriculum, go on trips, enoy being the oldest in the school, do some great topics, loads of sport and some geuinely stretching Maths...and have a few days of tests towards the end of the year (every year group does tests at the same time so it's just 'something that you do'.)

End of story.

teacherwith2kids Mon 01-Jul-13 22:04:22

Levels are to be scrapped BUT Ofsted will still be looking for schools to provide robust evidence of progress at the individual pupil leve. Outstanding schools are to lead the way in developing systems that square this apparent circle....[as the government can't work out how to]

RaspberryLemonPavlova Mon 01-Jul-13 23:07:57

My Dcs have been at Junior school with great SATs results (my DC got Level 5s - 6 not an option then). It was a small part of a busy Year 6 that was full of visitors, trips, exciting topics, a production, sporting opportunities, music concerts .....

Most of the stress that there was seemed to be generated by pupils (generally girls) being aware that they were supposed to be stressed and therefore being dramatic and being stressed.

tourdewaterparcs Tue 02-Jul-13 11:09:19

let's hope it will be like Raspberry's year. I take your point about the way the girls can react.

I can see that it is squaring a circle - it's also perhaps something where the pendulum will and must keep swinging. After all, lots of bright people have tried to solve these problems. It seems that the more consistent and impressive the tests, the narrower the range of things they actually test (like the ABRSM instrument exams). Whereas if you start by trying to assess lots of different kind of children in different kinds of ways and to keep this all making some kind of sense you and up with a big baggy monster that's open to mockery by the general public and probably does become a parody of itself after a few years .... and so we go "back to basics" for a while.....

is there a model we could develop that takes the pendulum issue into account or is that hopeless?

My Dcs primary used to spend a whole month cramming for the SATS. The children got incredibly stressed, and I just don't see the point. Surely a spot test would be more accurate?

Sprink Tue 02-Jul-13 14:39:26

morethanpotatoprints,

Purely out of curiosity, if your daughter is no longer in state education and will not be assessed or monitored by anyone, may I ask if she's being home schooled? And do you hope for her to pass any formal qualifications (GCSE/A-levels) or continue to higher education?

I'm just wondering if that's possible without assessment at some point or another.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Tue 02-Jul-13 15:23:46

DS2 did SATs in y6, and although he as not stressed he was very bored by the endless practice for the SATs. DS1 who left primary in Y5 to go to an indie had a much more interesting Y6 as they did not do SATs. They did CATs (verbal and non-verbal reasoning) but the children and parents were not told in advance, and there were no practice tests - much better handled.
SATs are for the benefit of the school in league tables - of no use to the DC.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Jul-13 15:40:42

Sprink.

Hello, yes our dd is H.ed. I think she will do GCSE's in order to have choices for FE and HE if she chooses. There are a number of ways you can do this and at this moment there are changes emerging in FE to allow H.ed dc to attend colleges 14 - 19 to take GCSE's, so its quite interesting atm.
We don't follow the nc, although having 2 older dc who went through the system I know what type of thing they were capable of during primary school years. I don't think she will do 10/11 GCSE's like schools expect them to do, it will probably be just the 5 and a level 3 qual or a couple of A levels, really depending on her priorities at the time. There are several other opportunities she has for gaining UCAS points through exams she takes in Music and Dance.

EDMNWiganSalfordandBlackpool Tue 02-Jul-13 15:59:56

I hate Sats but so do most teachers I know.

At the Dcs school they do optional each year and have children crying in the playground and not sleeping. They have 100% pass rate, but there's so much pressure sad

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