Too many Year 6 SATS exams?

(43 Posts)
justicewomen Wed 24-Apr-13 17:00:06

My son came home and said he has to sit 10(!) exams/tests in english, maths, and science. I believe they are over 5 days morning and afternoon. It feels like too many too quickly. I understand that this is a national requirement rather than the school organisation, but crikey!

Im not worried about him as such (as he has previously done 11+ and private school exams this year) but feel it is overkill. Surely they could reduce the number down.

What do others think?

chickensaladagain Wed 24-Apr-13 17:03:47

Presume he is doing level 6 then

Dd enjoys exams so is looking forward to sats week strange child but you are right there are a lot

However the longest is an hour, the shortest 10 minutes so manageable for most dcs I would think

mrz Wed 24-Apr-13 18:23:17

There isn't a science test this year
Last year the Level 6 were administered at a different time which IMHO is better.

chickensaladagain Wed 24-Apr-13 19:01:30


Do you not think its better to get them all out of the way in one go?

It's all school seem to have spoken about for weeks and I'm glad it's not being dragged out

mrz Wed 24-Apr-13 19:14:12

I think sitting a level 6 paper in the afternoon may be too much for some children and I would prefer to take an extra morning or two instead

lljkk Wed 24-Apr-13 19:18:04


lljkk Wed 24-Apr-13 19:19:34

The tests are quite short, btw, L6 is all of 30 minutes each afternoon. Does anyone know how long they have to complete L3-5 tests?

The children will have set heaps & heaps of such tests before, including morning & afternoon same day assessments. The kids know these tests matter a bit more than the others, but otherwise it's old & familiar experience.

StuffezLaYoni Wed 24-Apr-13 19:22:09

Link I thought the same! Sorry OP just messing.
I'm hoping the week will not exhaust them, especially the level six kids. I've tried my absolute best though not to inundate them with SATs papers so am hoping they peak at the right time!

StuffezLaYoni Wed 24-Apr-13 19:22:40

Lijjk sorry, not link!

lljkk Wed 24-Apr-13 19:48:22

Sorry OP, how IS your child managing to sit 11 separate exams?

This link only lists 9 of them.

mrz Wed 24-Apr-13 19:49:53

"The children will have set heaps & heaps of such tests before, including morning & afternoon same day assessments."

Not in all schools we certainly don't do heaps of such tests

lljkk Wed 24-Apr-13 19:51:45

The maths SATs test in KS2 has three parts: Test A, Test B, and Mental Mathematics. Tests A and B last for 45 minutes each, and the Mental Mathematics test is 20 minutes long. It will take 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete the entire test..

Grammar test is 45 minutes, too.

2 hrs 15 minutes for all the English, including grammar

so... 45 + 45 + 20 (math) = 110 minutes of math

135 minutes of English

45 minutes of grammar (or is that included in the English?)

4x30 minute L6 papers = 2 more hours.

I think I'm making that out as 335 minutes of regular tests (5.5 hours) + 2 hours extra for anyone able to sit all L6 tests. Spread over 4 days that's 33% of all the time usually in class those days. Call it 50% of the classroom time with faffing around matters before and after. Bit heavy, but over & done with.

chickensaladagain Wed 24-Apr-13 19:55:07

Dd is having a practise sats week this week and is coming out with some of the worse scores she ever has because she is so pig sick of it

She just wants it over and done with

Pozzled Wed 24-Apr-13 19:57:46

There is no writing test this year, only reading, grammar and spelling. So only 90 min + around 10/15 minutes spelling for English.

mrz Wed 24-Apr-13 20:03:31

Our Y6 are on an exchange visit

justicewomen Wed 24-Apr-13 20:06:47

Llykk - Sorry! Did not mean to be, but now see why it looks bad...(if I knew how to, I'd put in a smiley face but Im almost a newbie).

As to number of tests, just what my son told me (in between whinges!)..they are doing a lot of revision. I still dont see why they cannot devise one maths,one English?

Mrz if there is no science exam why has he been given science revision and told there is an exam? He said some schools send theirs in, but they did not have to, because they did it last year? Have they got it totally wrong?

lljkk Wed 24-Apr-13 20:09:59

I guess if it's supposed to be a thorough assessment then it takes a while to test everything thoroughly.

Really don't know what to say about the science! Is there an optional Science KS2 SAT?

mrz Wed 24-Apr-13 20:22:20

There hasn't been a national science test since 2010. In 2011 and 12 science sampling tests were administered to selected schools only but this year there will be no science test for anyone.

"There will be no Key Stage 2 science sampling in 2013; a new, biennial (every other year), pupil-level sampling system will be introduced in 2014."

lljkk Wed 24-Apr-13 20:26:54

I wonder if OP's school is doing optional science tests for their own unnecessary internal monitoring?

(Clutching at straws, but I think it's feasible)

kilmuir Wed 24-Apr-13 20:28:41

chickensaladagain my DD feels the same! School are keen for her to sit level6 English papers, but its booster sessions endlessly

StuffezLaYoni Wed 24-Apr-13 20:30:36

If I remember correctly, there is to be no calculator paper for maths scheduled next year. Whether or no this means there will only be a single paper...

Hassled Wed 24-Apr-13 20:30:52

Yes, the science must be something the school has decided to do.

They're over fairly quickly - yes, the L6ers will have more to deal with in the afternoons but I think most schools go out of their way to make the remainder of the week, i.e. the non-exam periods, as stress-free as possible.

Feenie Wed 24-Apr-13 22:10:22

Level 6 reading is 60 mins, not 30. Ours do a residential the week after, so one week is better, I think.

mrz Thu 25-Apr-13 06:26:05

They could still do it in one week but over five days rather than four.

Feenie Thu 25-Apr-13 06:46:27

Yes, you're right - not sure what the obsession with four days is about. confused

Feenie Thu 25-Apr-13 06:58:26

Silly phone - meant to be confused

lljkk Thu 25-Apr-13 07:53:14

ours does residential the following week, too, this is why school said initially that no one could do L6 tests this year (and good on the school for prioritising the residential over SATs, too).

DD really wanted to do L6 tests so I'm glad she didn't have to choose between them & the residential.

Everyone doing L6 will do them same day so yes they are tests of endurance, too, but so what? It's not like they are important to anything in the long run.

Feenie Thu 25-Apr-13 08:00:10

Another school had children sitting level 6 papers at the residential venue! Poor kids. But they had been told categorically that it wouldn't be allowed this year.

lljkk Thu 25-Apr-13 09:50:04

Dd was begging to be allowed to sit the L6 papers during her residential, when we thought 2013 L6 were following week. Daft Girl. She even asked about being allowed to sit on them at a school in the area instead. I blame myself for telling her in October about L6 SATs and would she like to try for them (her teacher hadn't told us about any date conflicts back then but had said she might be put in for L6s). I guess it's worked out okay now, anyway.

(I have 3 determined underachievers. I'm allowed a few stealth boasts for this one DC.)

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 25-Apr-13 11:20:25

My DS1 is sitting them over 4 days, Monday to Thursday. He's sitting the lvl 6 papers. He's doing 3 papers in one day on the Thursday!

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 25-Apr-13 11:28:41

I think it's too much for 10/11yo's, and can't see why if there are going to be lvl 6 tests, which are essentially putting DC's in for tests to make the school look better, why they can't be sat at a different time to the rest of the SATS.

All the Secondaries do CATS tests in the first half term anyway, so the SATS are only really for the school's league table position anyway, so the obsession with the lvl 6 papers seems a bit nutso to me, just putting lots of stress on very young children unnecessarily.

I'm not 'stealth boasting', I have a DD that didn't get lvl 3 on her SATS in Y6, in fact she is working at lvl 3/4 in Y10 now.

It's just a fact that different DC's have different abilities.

DS1 is academic, DD could cook Gordon Ramsey under the table with far less swearing.

IMO, SATS are for the school, not the pupil, so I'm not over stressing him. He's already done the 11+ whilst ill this year (he insisted), THAT was for him, this isn't. I've just told him to do HIS best as that's all he can do.

Still too much for 4 days though, I think.

forehead Thu 25-Apr-13 19:54:27

, Can you tell me whether those taking level 6 maths also have to do the
level 3-5 papers?

kilmuir Thu 25-Apr-13 19:55:11

yes they are at my DD's school

mrz Thu 25-Apr-13 20:02:08

Yes they must ... if a child only completes the level 6 test they will be marked absent.

forehead Thu 25-Apr-13 20:39:45


Feenie Thu 25-Apr-13 21:04:11

And they can only be awarded a level 6 if they achieve a level 5 on the first paper and a level 6 on the second.

If they were to only score a level 4 on the level 3-5 paper then got enough marks on the level 6 paper to theoretically be awarded a 6, they aren't allowed a level 6. confused

kilmuir Thu 25-Apr-13 22:00:47

that seems a bit mean. if the level 6 paper has been passed then why do they need to have a level 5 on another paper.surely they have achieved a pass or not

Feenie Thu 25-Apr-13 22:18:41


StuffezLaYoni Thu 25-Apr-13 22:21:04

Although in reality, how likely is it that a child who passes the level six would fail to achieve level five on the "normal" paper?

Feenie Thu 25-Apr-13 22:23:26

Hmm, have had one or two (in Reading and Maths) with a bit of an attitude - as in, 'why should I bother with the small stuff?' Have had to have serious words to explain why they needed to secure the level 5 also, clever or not!

StuffezLaYoni Thu 25-Apr-13 22:31:49

Oh please don't say this - I have one such of so I've entered for level six in everything. Serious, pre-emptive arse kicking may be needed!

sandgrown Thu 25-Apr-13 22:39:37

choccyeggs I completely agree. The only purpose of SATS tests is to determine where a particular school will be in the league tables. I refuse to put my son under pressure at age 10 and I know he will do the best he can but like most boys will not really stretch himself until he reaches about age 13. I was very sad to hear that my friend's 11 year old daughter is suffering from alopecia brought on by the stress of SATS. To put young children under such pressure amounts to child abuse!

Feenie Thu 25-Apr-13 22:44:06

Yep, 'fraud it might be an idea, Stuffez!

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