Primary School Tests...

(16 Posts)
SilverHoney Thu 05-Nov-15 18:05:32

Lots of parents on here (obviously) and also lots of teachers.

I'm interested to hear what people think of primary school testing, from both sides of the fence. Pros? Cons? Your experiences?

KohINoorPencil Thu 05-Nov-15 18:21:10

'Testing' is a rather large area, could you be more specific?

SilverHoney Thu 05-Nov-15 18:57:10

I'm thinking SATs rather than Monday morning spelling tests. And I suppose the 11+, prep school entry exams.

clam Thu 05-Nov-15 18:57:42

Why? Sounds as if you're writing some kind of article.

SilverHoney Thu 05-Nov-15 19:09:50

Ha! Primary teacher, based in SEN so less pressure around testing compared to mainstream. Currently on Mat leave, heading back in 4 weeks so doing some reading around current changes in education, and lots of political debate around testing for 7 year olds etc. So there's my life story grin

OP was deliberately vague as I didn't want to bias the thread by starting with my personal views.

multivac Thu 05-Nov-15 19:14:43

I broadly agree with Michael Rosen.

SilverHoney Thu 05-Nov-15 19:22:12

Multivac Yes! grin I could have shared every one of his Facebook posts, but I do try to show some restraint.

Clutterbugsmum Thu 05-Nov-15 20:19:48

As both a parent and school Governor, I really don't think there should be formal test at primary school. Assessments yes to ensure that children are where they need to be, but also to help put in additional help for those children who need it.

I think too much time is taken up in Years 2 and 6 to teach children to pass SATS rather then teaching children.

I also feel that the government expect so much from primary schools/children that the 'fun' side of schooling is no longer there as they have so much to teach in various lessons.

yeOldeTrout Thu 05-Nov-15 20:25:31

SATs
Meh, school makes a big deal in yr6 but it's the first time any of the tests are made a big deal of. Non-event yr2.

Monday morning spelling tests
DS got 9/10 on last one, well-chuffed.

11+, prep school entry exams
Meaningless words to me.

Why did you leave out termly assessments which are done in a SATs format from early yr3. They are why y6 SATs are just more of same.

Devonicity Thu 05-Nov-15 20:34:57

I think that they're fine if handled well and awful if handled badly. There's merit in learning (in a low pressure way) about working in silence and not asking your neighbour and getting to the end of the questions in the time allotted, as that's not just about exam technique but useful for homework and some class work. I can see no merit in stressing out kids, but that's more about the way tests are handled and approached than about the testing itself.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Thu 05-Nov-15 20:48:57

In upper juniors - fine it is the way learning is assessed in this country. In infants it should be banned. Ds is anxious about tests. They have regular maths and spelling tests. He is worried that if he doesn't count fast enough he will be stuck counting to 20 for ever. If he gets a spelling wrong he gets upset. He is very able and doesn't need regular testing to tell the teachers that. He is having lots of emotional issues centering on school and testing. We have told him that it isn't important and not to worry. He is in yr1. Some gentle testing from yr3/4 maybe, but younger than that they shouldn't even be aware of it.

SilverHoney Thu 05-Nov-15 20:59:44

Clutterbugs Have you voiced this opinion as school governor? If so what was the consensus / reaction?

Trout I don't think SATs style formal termly assessments are the norm for all schools. Certainly not at mine. I think they're more common if the school follows a bought in lesson pack. And well done to your DS star

Devon Yes, silent focused work is absolutely a skill. One that if children don't have, makes testing even more of a PITA!!

I think my feelings are mostly echoed in the comments above. Useful assessments are set by the teacher who knows the pupil and their skills / weaknesses. They are done in a way that works with the school day rather than against it.

Government prescribed tests are one size fits all. I can't seem to identify who they are for. Teachers? Pupils? Parents? Do parents care about previous SAT results when picking a school?

If all 3 stakeholders (teachers, parents, pupils) do not think these formal tests have a benefit why / how are they still being done?

Clutterbugsmum Thu 05-Nov-15 21:19:57

Silverhoney, we have had many a long discussions about the new SATS, especially the new year 2 ones. Even the school feel that they need to teach year 2 children, to pass a test rather then in previous years, as they are no longer an assessment type test which the children are used to but formal the same as year 6 SATS.

I really don't think the head and the SLT think that these test are what is best for children but also for schools. I wouldn't be surprised if the levels reached are a lot lower then expected.

I agree the assessments they do at my children's (every 6 to 8 weeks) are completely different in the look, style.

Feenie Thu 05-Nov-15 21:47:30

Non-event yr2.

Then you are blissfully unaware of the new style tests beginning in May for all Y2 children - EVERY child must sit 7 tests, regardless of ability. We may stop them if they become 'distressed', but every child must have the 'opportunity'. sad

SilverHoney Thu 05-Nov-15 22:13:11

I can't help but see myself withdrawing DD from the tests. I can't believe more parents don't.

Feenie Thu 05-Nov-15 22:22:44

Because you can't, without removing your child from Y2 for the entire month of May (new y2 tests have to be completed then - how much of a fine for a month?) or removing them from the school entirely.

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