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AIBU to think our kids have been set up to fail?

(299 Posts)
theluckiest Sat 13-Feb-16 14:49:24

There are heated conversations in Education about this but I really feel everyone should know what's happening - I have only been teaching primary for 5 years. However, for most of that I have taught Year Six. This week I came close to quitting a job I love and think I'm good at. This isn't about pay or conditions. This is about a system designed to make kids fail - the new 'expectations' for an 11 year old will ensure that most children this year will simply not reach them. They will be judged as 'working towards' ie. not good enough. AIBU to think this is going to be a national scandal this year?!! If your kids are in Y6, I am so so sorry. Sorry that they have been set up to fail, sorry that their lovely rich curriculum will be abandoned for a diet of SATS drilling and sorry that concerns for children's mental health have gone through the roof. This is happening right now people - in your kids' schools. AIBU to think something just has to give?!!!

theluckiest Sat 13-Feb-16 14:51:32

Sorry - don't know if that link worked!! Here's another attempt-

UndramaticPause Sat 13-Feb-16 15:22:20

The new expectations for the current y6 are too high, they've not been taught this curriculum however for subsequent years it should be attainable as they'll have been taught the subject matter from earlier on.

SaucyJack Sat 13-Feb-16 15:27:05

What are the consequences for a child only getting "working towards"?

I have a Year 6 child. Your OP sounds a bit dramatic to me.

Most parents I know don't consider their children to be failures.

UndramaticPause Sat 13-Feb-16 15:29:31

At out school the levels are

Upper within

Within I think is working towards. So where a y6 child should be

LilacAndLovely Sat 13-Feb-16 15:32:08

Tbh I don't really see how the article is linked to your op - the article is laying out how bad teachers have's not much about the kids.

Feelingworriednow Sat 13-Feb-16 15:34:47

This is my first year teaching year 6. I agree with you OP, the expectations on this year cohort are staggering. I can imagine a lot of children will ask their parents what "working towards" means when they get their results and because I worry parents won't know how much harder this years SATs are, their parents might use the word "fail" in their response. There aren't really any practical consequences other than a potential to really damage the confidece of some great children. I won't think they have failed but I worry they might.

MrsPnut Sat 13-Feb-16 15:41:32

My daughter is in year 5 and she is worrying about failing. That is the damage that is being caused by these changes - not to teachers but to the children.

Eelus Sat 13-Feb-16 15:46:30

You are absolutely right that the majority of children will be 'working towards'. I teach Y6 in a school that has historically always had excellent writing results, on average 95% achieving L4+ and 40% L5+ for writing. It looks like this year we won't even have 50% reaching the expected level. The children's ability hasn't changed, just the goal posts.
However, I don't think it's the kids that are being set up to fail, it's the schools and teachers that are being set up, the kids are merely collateral damage.

QueenofLouisiana Sat 13-Feb-16 15:48:13

I teach yr5 and have a son in yr6. I am very concerned about the impact of the new curriculum- the expectations have been raised massively and children in yr6 now haven't been taught to complete curriculum as they've had 2 years in ks2 being taught the old curriculum.

Half term will involve a bit of maths and SPAG everyday in an attempt to cover the bits I know he's weaker on.

caroldecker Sat 13-Feb-16 15:49:20

Teachers are the only ones who care about this and are responsible for 'that their lovely rich curriculum will be abandoned for a diet of SATS drilling'.
It has no effect on the pupils at the time or in the future - so stop bleating about the children and admit what you don't like - teachers being performance measured.

OhYouLuckyDuck Sat 13-Feb-16 15:50:13

We had a meeting at the school and were told that they will get a scaled score which will mean above average attainment (>100), average attainment (100) or below average attainment (<100) and that the raw score that equates to 100 will be different each year. 100 will be the national average.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sat 13-Feb-16 15:51:18

Forgive me as I do not know much about state schools.

Do parents have the legal right to withdraw children from these assessments?

Highsteaks Sat 13-Feb-16 15:51:25

The new expectations for the current y6 are too high, they've not been taught this curriculum however for subsequent years it should be attainable as they'll have been taught the subject matter from earlier on.

The worry is though that some.children, mainly the lower ability, will come out without basic building blocks, as the much higher expectations mean that time for consolidation will be out, as teachers push on, on, on to teach harder and harder stuff. Where will it end?

Panicmode1 Sat 13-Feb-16 15:52:11

As the parent of a year 6 child for the second year in a row, I agree that the bar has been set very high. However, I will tell my daughter the same thing I told my son - you have passed your 11+ and are going to grammar school. These tests have absolutely no bearing on your abilities but are for the government to show what they want teachers to try and teach. I don't care what your results are, just that you can always promise me that you have tried your hardest and always do the best you can......

It's the teachers I feel sorry for, not the children!

WorraLiberty Sat 13-Feb-16 15:58:40

Gosh your OP reads a bit like a sensationalist tabloid headline.

My almost 17yr old DS is in sixth form. When he was in year 6 at Primary, his school boycotted the SATS along with a few other schools.

It has made absolutely zero difference to his secondary schooling.

This really is more about the teachers/schools than it is about the children.

MerryMarigold Sat 13-Feb-16 16:02:17

I have a Y5 child and I am worried about him:
a) wasting time on SATs drilling when it would be better spent ermm...learning?
b) his confidence at having to answer questions which are way beyond him
c) his perception of the 'result' as he is very hard on himself, regardless of what I say.

YANBU, OP. However, on the other hand, I have moved my kids this year (we moved house) and their last school (also state) had much higher expectations and didn't bleat and moan on about stuff. I am hoping higher expectations will drip down through the years and help kids achieve more than you can.

HanYOLO Sat 13-Feb-16 16:05:32

My eldest is Y6 and I feel like he and his classmates are getting a raw deal.

The goalposts have been massively shifted to include content, concepts and skills that take more than 7 months to become fluent in. What would have been level 5 last year (ie above average expectations) will be "emerging/working towards" this year. The marking and assessment was only presented last week in our LA. So half way through the year, hardly fair. It is very stringent and many children will be branded as failures despite exceeding last years expectations.

The consequences are the expectations and setting/streaming that happen in secondary. This will determine the expectations the secondary schools have for their GCSE grades. So at 11 you could be told no-one expects you to get more than 2 GCSEs. Hardly motivational. Most schools do their own tests for setting, but the SATs is what progress will be benchmarked against.

carol decker, you could not be more wrong. For a start, anything that undermines the teaching profession, and puts more pressure on schools impacts negatively on children. For seconds, there simply isn't time to do the lovely enriching stuff when you have to fit 2+ years work into one.

SpotOn Sat 13-Feb-16 16:06:46

I know my DD is very unlikely to "meet expectations".

I care about this very much, so it's not just teachers. I hope she doesn't ask any questions about SATs results because the only answer I have is "Youre fabulous and I'm so proud if how hard you've worked." She's not stupid though. She'll figure out she hasn't performed as well as the government would like her to. If I were 10yo and in her shoes, I'd feel crap knowing I wasn't "good enough". So I will be talking as little as possible about SATs in the hope she doesn't ask.

She would probably have got a 4b in maths if she'd taken last years SATs.

HanYOLO Sat 13-Feb-16 16:07:44

NeedASock, no parent's cannot withdraw their kids from the SATs - and assessment is of work through the year, not just during "testing week". If kids are absent they get a standardised score.

I am so very tempted to de-register and home ed for the last term.

TeenAndTween Sat 13-Feb-16 16:11:01

highsteaks The worry is though that some children, mainly the lower ability, will come out without basic building blocks, as the much higher expectations mean that time for consolidation will be out, as teachers push on, on, on to teach harder and harder stuff.

This is my concern for my DD2. Time spent on harder grammar (for her)should be going on re-enforcing basic grammar. She is getting stressed, being faced with papers where she really hasn't got a clue about half the questions. School is doing a great job, within constraints set. I'm just not convinced it is what DD needs.

When DD1 did y6 a few years ago, I was really pleased as it was an excellent consolidation year for her, and provided a really good grounding for secondary. I fear DD2's secondary will be based on foundations of sand rather than stone.

I also fear DD2 won't even get 'working towards', but I'm not sure what is lower than that. I am seriously considering not revealing her results to her, though I'm not sure how I would achieve that.

witsender Sat 13-Feb-16 16:11:51

As a governor I was goingn through this the other day with a head of literacy. The structure and goalposts have massively changed, yrs 2 and 6 are going to struggle this year.

caroldecker Sat 13-Feb-16 16:14:25

Maybe teachers should have been teaching to higher standards previously?

witsender Sat 13-Feb-16 16:15:43

And it really isn't just about the teachers, this will massively impact many children. For no real discernable benefit.

PosieReturningParker Sat 13-Feb-16 16:16:15

My seven year old (YR2) is having to learn stuff about grammar that I don't even know, and I got a good degree.

If we could just go back to Head teachers running schools, teachers teaching and kids learning a wide range of stuff that would be great. You look at education and see teachers at the end of their tether. It's disgusting.

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