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AIBU to take DD off of doing her SATS (YR 6)

(48 Posts)
gotthearse Mon 20-Feb-17 13:58:04

She is really stressed. She has always found her school work difficult and spent much of her time on an IEP. Has slowly done some catching up, but she has to work twice as hard as everyone else to achieve this improvement.

Her school has always been quite high-performing with the no of kids hitting the target (whatever it is ) in mid 90's (%). The changes to the curriculum have put everyone in a spin - the teaching staff and the kids.

They are caning it at the moment with 3 45-minute practice tests per week, 12 spellings to learn, pages of maths, English and science revision books to do, plus extra classes in maths and English, and extra booster maths homework on top. She hates all of it. She had 40 pages of questions to complete over half term. I have to Google the English to help her with it - utter bollocks grammar that I don't know and have never needed to.

Its utterly destroyed her confidence doing weekly tests and seeing her low marks compared to others. She used to bounce into school and now she hates it and looks grey. She cries all the time and I hate it and feel resentful that this is being done to my DD in the name of "raising standards". I am scared that it will give her a life-long disposition to anxiety. She is 10 FFS.

So I am on the verge of saying NO, she won't be doing them. The school really don't want me to do this and say I'll be the first parent to ever do this, and that it will look bad on them. My main concern is her best interests and what's happening at the moment feels entirely at odds with this. They say she'll miss out on seeing how much she has progressed, but they have already told me they are pleased with her and that's all I personally need to know.

Its not a case of "letting her off" when things get tough. She is working her arse off. Universally everyone is saying this years SATS are so much harder with the double whammy that its on stuff they have not previously been taught. They only thing I think we are going to achieve is further eroding her confidence when she gets the marks back.

So AIBU to do this? School think I am. Be gentle, I'm fragile too.

Allthewaves Mon 20-Feb-17 14:00:17

If be taking her off sats tbh life should not be miserable at 10 yrs old.

SukeyTakeItOffAgain Mon 20-Feb-17 14:03:58

This makes me so sad. What on earth is this government thinking of, that they think this level of anxiety for kids is OK? sad Learning should be fun in primary school.

YANBU but I don't know what the consequences would be.

Freddorika Mon 20-Feb-17 14:04:42

I wouldn't, no. But I agree that SATS put lots of pressure on children.

However... Having really never ever pushed my Dd1, she really struggled at gcse. She didn't have the basics.

Watching dd3 go through sats I think at least she will have a solid grounding in the basics of grammar and maths. And by doing a few workbooks at home I can see where she is which I have found useful.

So I can see both sides is what I am saying. I do think some children get more anxious than others

DratThatCat Mon 20-Feb-17 14:06:39

Absolutely take her off them. At 10 years old no child should be doing that amount of work purely to prepare for a test that has no bearing on their adult life. My eldest is only in y1 but I am seriously considering taking her out of the y2 sats, and if the education system doesn't improve by the time she's in y6 she won't be doing sats then either. You have to do what's best for your daughter, not what's best for the school's results.

icecreamvan Mon 20-Feb-17 14:09:12

YANBU. Not at all.

You could deregister your daughter and homeschool her from now until secondary. So she misses the SATs and all the preparation.

Or could you just not do any of the extra practice they are asking you to do and emphasise to your daughter that her mark affects the school and not her.

I know some people say it affects setting in secondary school - but her mental health is priority, so at the moment I wouldn't be worrying about that.

hibbledobble Mon 20-Feb-17 14:09:48

Is it even an option? Practically, how would it work? Would you withdraw her from school until the sat?

Buildalegohouse Mon 20-Feb-17 14:10:04

Well you aren't in a position to decide whether she is disapplied from them. Only the school can make that decision. All you can do is keep her off the week of the tests, if that's what you choose to do and that won't change their expectations of her in the lead up to the tests. Homework etc will still be set.

Freddorika Mon 20-Feb-17 14:11:47

Really? I think you should calm down, not push her to do all the homework and let her take the sats along with everyone else. If she wants to get very high marks then she does the extra work. I don't think it will be helpful to anyone to march in and demand your dd doesn't take them. It will make things very hard for the teachers.

Areyoufree Mon 20-Feb-17 14:13:43

I probably wouldn't take her off them - I think they are ridiculous, but think it wouldn't set a great precedent. Instead, I would downplay them as much as possible. Make sure she knows they are testing her teachers, not her. Tell her to use them as exam practice for the future, but not to worry too much. I think her not doing them at all could be more trouble in the long run.

DontTouchTheMoustache Mon 20-Feb-17 14:13:51

I'd probably let her take them but as PP said don't do any extra practice for them outside of school, just let her take the papers and explain to her that you won't be disappointed in her if she does not achieve as high as Mark as her peers. It sounds like an awful amount of stress for such a young age!

InTheDessert Mon 20-Feb-17 14:14:43

If you say no to the SATS, but keep her in school, is she not going to do all the prep anyway?? The way you have written it sounds like you might be best deregistering her for the rest of the school year, and returning at Secondary. Are you in a position to do that?
Are they still talking about making kids who 'fail' the SATS retake in Y7? Would this be a problem?

allowlsthinkalot Mon 20-Feb-17 14:16:48

I'd keep her off. I think you'll have to keep her off for two weeks otherwise she will sit them on return. That's what I'm doing with dd for the year 2 sats.

You could home ed for the last two terms of primary, that is also an option.

CancellyMcChequeface Mon 20-Feb-17 14:17:11

YANBU at all. They're SATS, not GCSEs - not taking them won't make any real difference to her future life or educational prospects. You don't want her to hate school or associate it with anxious feelings and low self-confidence, and you know better than the school does whether she just needs a bit of encouragement to get on with it, or whether it's seriously affecting her and so needs to be taken seriously.

Deregistering her is probably the best option - but if you can't do that, then making it clear to the school that she won't be completing any extra SATS-related homework, and clear to DD that the tests in school don't mean anything at all. And keep her off school for the week itself.

EB123 Mon 20-Feb-17 14:17:37

YANBU your DD's mental health is far more important than these tests. The kids are basically being taught to pass a test and education is about so much more than that.

purplecollar Mon 20-Feb-17 14:18:44

I have a year 6 dd. We haven't had any SATS related homework. They're just doing the standard homework they've always done - about two pages of maths and two of grammar or literacy per week. None over half term.
So I don't think this is typical of all schools.

I would refuse the extra homework and allow mine to take the tests myself. It's useful to see where they're at.

Ours are used to weekly maths tests. And less frequent literacy/grammar tests. It's all part of school. But 40 pages of hw over half term sounds really excessive for the age group I think.

We've been suggested revision books if we want to use them. But no pressure has been used at all. I think that's how it should be. It's your school here that's at fault imv.

Shortandsweet20 Mon 20-Feb-17 14:19:44

I know it is incredibly stressful, what has her teacher said? If she has an IEP, does she fall into the category of having additional support in the sats? A lot of secondary's now re test them anyway so they can set the accurately. You could always keep her in school as she will still benefit from the SATs practice as the knowledge of grammar etc is now expected at GCSE so she could really miss out on things she needs for her future. Also, I wouldn't deregister her as she will miss out on the fun side of things after sats! My year 6's have got some great stuff planned!

Parker231 Mon 20-Feb-17 14:26:41

They are only SATS - they are not going to improve her education or prospects in the future. Nothing is worth stressing a child like you are describing. I would pull her out of the SATS.

Kitsandkids Mon 20-Feb-17 14:28:42

Keep her off for the SATs. Don't let her do the extra work. Poor kid. The level of stress the curriculum puts on some children is ridiculous and so unnecessary.

I had a lovely Year 6 back in the early 90s. Lots of story writing, art, PE, singing, history and all sorts of things that lots of schools openly admit they don't do during Year 6 anymore because they have to 'teach to the test.' Plus we had an hour and a quarter lunch break every day plus morning and afternoon play times. It was great and it really saddens me that children these days can't have that type of fun, relaxed experience.

I'm pregnant and planning to home educate.

PurpleMinionMummy Mon 20-Feb-17 14:29:13

Yanbu. However, it probably wouldn't stop all the tests etc she's currently doing, so would there be any point? A different approach may be required to put a stop to the situation.

RedAndYellowStripe Mon 20-Feb-17 14:34:58

Is the secondary she is going to going to use the SATS results to put her in sets from Y7? Will not having any SATS results affect her in anyway once she reaches secondary?

gillybeanz Mon 20-Feb-17 14:37:39

My dd was the same, but to make sure you'll need to deregister her from school and H.ed, otherwise they just do them when they get back.
I'm pretty sure they are compulsory if they attend school.
I've heard of some schools not entering individuals who have severe learning disabilities and wouldn't pass, but everyone does them,by hook or crook.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 20-Feb-17 14:38:45

The SATS are not in your dd best interests, and the school only care about their targets and records. If your dd is stressed and struggling, take her right off.

christinarossetti Mon 20-Feb-17 14:42:23

I would ask for a meeting with the class teacher and phase leader or Head, explaining exactly what you have in your OP.

State that your dd's well-being is your priority and, whilst you're not opposed to the SATS per se (inasmuch as every Y6 child will do them unless exempted), the stress that your dd is under is unacceptable and unnecessary. The curriculum changes happened over the last two years not this one; it's not your dd's fault that the school seem to have only got into gear in Y6.

It's now 3 months until the SATS. You need to work with them to come up with a plan to take the pressure off dd, but still enable her to engage with school. For example, homework focused on quality of learning/consolidation rather than quantity. Does she need to be tested every week? Is 'booster' homework actually achieving anything than upsetting her - if not, what's the point?

I do think you need to get the school to take some responsibility for what sounds like their late and panicky response to the changes in curriculum. It simply isn't fair to offload all the stress onto 10 year olds.

bigearsthethird Mon 20-Feb-17 14:48:20

Most secondary schools do their own judgement during year 7 anyway, so I can't see her not doing them will effect her secondary education. Could you check with anyone whose child is at the secondary school if thats the case for yours? Or call the school and ask them.
Could you just play the whole thing down to her and say it really doesnt matter, they are for the school and wont affect her anyway or would that not work with her?
One of mine took the sats 2 year ago and was fine about them. Until the school started saying how not to worry, but to put extra effort into this and that, but not to worry and then again not to worry, but come in early for breakfast club so you can be clear minded for the tests but again not to worry. TBH all the 'not to worrys' actually made her start worrying more because she thought, there must be something to this if they keep stressing on about how not to worry about it!!

probably not too helpful, but if you decide to keep her off for sats from my experience from older dc's the sats results made no difference to their secondary education at all

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