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Year 6 SATs - how much pressure from your school?

(49 Posts)
freddiefrog Wed 13-Feb-13 09:50:29

I currently have a very stressed and worried 11 year old due to the pressure being put on her over SATs and I am seriously not amused.

They have been told that the local secondary school uses the SATs to stream them and to predict their GCSE results - I rang the secondary and they state that this is absolutely not the case - they reassess them when they start as they find the SATs results aren't a good indicator of ability (I.e, they've just been taught to test)

I've told her time and time again that SATs are a way of testing the school, not her, to relax and just do what she can and they're nothing to get stressed over but she's not listening to a word I say, she's being given so much pressure at school, school keep telling her that if she doesn't get high marks she'll get put in the wrong set at secondary school and that will affect her GCSE results

DD did a test last week and got a 5a, her teacher wrote on the paper ' ok result, but don't worry, you've got plenty of time to pull it up to a 6'

They bring home 4 A4 sheets of old SATs papers every night, double that at weekends, there was a massive booklet over Christmas, and they've been told they're getting the same for half term - we're going away so she's having a massive panic over this as well. If it's not done at home, they're kept in at lunchtimes.

She's worried and stressed and last night was in floods of tears at the table so I put the lot through the shredder and refused to let her do it. Her relief was obvious.

I've been in today to see the teacher about it as I simply cannot allow this continue, it's not fair.

I just don't know how to help her, I've now told school that she won't be doing these papers every night any more, and I wasn't happy with the pressure they were putting on her

They don't sit the blooming things until May!

TheBuskersDog Wed 13-Feb-13 20:10:42

I'd complain to the head,never mind the teacher. Unfortunately some schools do do this, it's all to make their results look good, not for the benefit of the children. Children should do a few practice papers in the run up so that they are familiar with the format, not spend from Christmas doing nothing else.
Secondary schools know that some schools do this and therefore some children's SATs results are as a result of extensive teaching to the test, rather than a true reflection of their ability and will usually do some testing e.g CATs themselves.

TheBuskersDog Wed 13-Feb-13 20:13:34

Just to add the school that I work in refuses to play this game just to boost our results a little, as a result our year 6s have a great last year in primary (I know as my son attended this school and loved his last year here).

freddiefrog Wed 13-Feb-13 20:25:18


I saw the head this afternoon (I volunteer with reading up there) and the class teacher had obviously spoken to her as the head called me into her office

Not very productive, she kept trying to tell me I was wrong and the secondary did use the results to stream, I explained several times that I knew full well this wasn't the case, but she wouldn't accept it, I left it that if the pressure continued, I would withdraw DD from school for the week and wouldn't be sitting them at all

KingscoteStaff Wed 13-Feb-13 21:11:31

My year 6 class spent this morning building an Anderson shelter in the garden and this afternoon dragging their shoes around the playground / hall / astroturf / headteacher's carpet with force meters. Not a SATs paper in sight!

ThreeBeeOneGee Wed 13-Feb-13 21:14:54

No SATs pressure in Y6 here. They have just started a huge art project that won't be finished till May.

Magdalenebaby Wed 13-Feb-13 21:15:38

My Y6 DD has had no SATs pressure. Last week was arts week in the school and they spent the whole week doing fab creative things. No SATs papers will ever come home (she is DD3 so I know this from her older sisters' experience). Whatever your head claims it is not normal or necessary to put children under this amount of pressure.

Clayhead Wed 13-Feb-13 21:26:08

Nothing like that here - dd has been sewing today.

ThreeBeeOneGee Thu 14-Feb-13 07:10:33

When DS1 was in Y6 (two years ago) the school didn't send home any papers as homework. Most of his homework was weekly spellings and reading.

mankyscotslass Thu 14-Feb-13 07:40:35

Our school has in the past been a Sats factory - even last year the Year 6's were loaded up with homework from the start of January on.

So I have been pleasantly surprised this year with DS1 in Year 6. He has had no additional homework yet, though will have from the end of this month, and he has had one trip out, a Shakespeare Company performance to take part in, and they have been heavily involved in redesigning and decorating the corridor outside their classes with a Battle of Britain mural. They also have a day trip to some local air raid shelters.

I've just asked him and they haven't done more tests than usual, and he doesn't seem bothered at all - normakly he is a stress head! I'll wait and see what the work he brings home at the end of the month is like though.

Lynned Thu 14-Feb-13 07:46:55

Mine got tested again in yr7, but oddly their sats results are still shown at the top of their school reports, so who knows how it works!

I would say that some pressure won't hurt, my dd in yr9 is already struggling with work pressures, she's sitting maths and science gcses this year.

lljkk Thu 14-Feb-13 07:54:22

That sounds pants, OP. I'd complain, too.

No SATs pressure here. My sense is they know the tests are coming & a bit nervous about it, but DD is always talking about other lessons. Music, art, history, PE (including several afternoons out for competitive events), science. Tomorrow is a special maths event across the whole school (kind of a maths party with lots of silly math games).

I think DD has somewhat more homework than last year.

lljkk Thu 14-Feb-13 07:57:01

Tell your DD that Even if secondary did use the SATs as primary tool for streaming/setting (which they rarely do, but never mind), the sets aren't fixed. Kids get moved around from set to set, how else would they be encouraged to improve? No one gets stuck in the wrong set for ages & ages.

freddiefrog Thu 14-Feb-13 09:51:50


I have been trying to reassure my DD, but the stress from school is daily so she's just in a panic now and nothing I say, or her friends who are already in the high school, say is going in

They've called a class meeting for parents the Monday evening they go back to school so we can discuss it, I'm the latest in a long line of parents going in to complain apparently!

racingheart Thu 14-Feb-13 16:09:43

No Sats pressure at all in our school. Didn't even know they were in May until you said so. Staff and pupils seem far more fixated on putting on a mammoth musical this term and having and end of year party. Today they watched a video of a musical.

newgirl Thu 14-Feb-13 16:45:28

No pressure in our y6 - but past parents have told me the local secondaries DO use results to set in maths.

But I think the key is that Sats test the school and the figs are used to place them in ranking tables. To give the teacher some credit she-he must think your child capable of doing well and wants her to do well. We hear on here that plenty of schools don't challenge the more able kids.

ReallyTired Fri 15-Feb-13 13:06:31

You have my sympathies. My son has had full blown panic attacks, insomina and being crying over SATs. Luckily for us our school has started having local authority intervention and we are noticing a great improvement. I think that teachers sometimes forget that the children are only ten or eleven.

SATs are about the schools. Many secondaries consider SATs to be an absolute joke and reassess in September.

yellowvan Fri 15-Feb-13 13:20:07

School ds goes to: last week was spent doing creative projects across yeargroup so mixing with other classes, then 3 days of this week being creative in colour teams so across the school. Only the usual spellings and project work for homework, top maths group occasionally get a bit extra I think. They're doing a full blown mock week after half term however, to decide, among other things, who to put in for the L6 papers.
School i work at: lots of booster groups and support from TAs, deputy and other cover teachers, so intensive input at school but no major increase in homework . However, y6 team have been through their data with a microscope to really target specific needs of specific kids, and support offered is made to be fun and a bit of special time in small group or 1-1.
No pressure on kids in either place as far as i can tell, but can't say the same of the staff as both schools are under major pressure to get/maintain good results.

YippeeTeenager Fri 15-Feb-13 13:21:18

My daughter got really stressed about SATS, she was capable of Level 5 or literacy but didn't always quite make it in the practice papers and the school told her that it just wasn't good enough and that when she went to secondary school she'd get detention every day! It's awful that they put children through this.

We just refused to buy the extra practice books that they leaned on us to buy, didn't do any of the practice papers that they sent home for holidays and I told her I didn't mind if she got Level 1 when it came to the real thing. They gave them all a piece of chocolate each morning of SATs week as a special 'aren't you wonderful' sweetener which she refused to take!

All they did in maths was the same handful of past papers from Jan till May so that she knew all the answers off by heart without working any of them out and then got seriously told off for not showing her working out!

I'm usually always very supportive of school and had always had a great home/school relationship, but this was horrendous. But taking the pressure off completely at home and letting my daughter know that we thought the school was completely wrong and insane really helped her cope with it all and laugh at their lunacy!

Good luck with your class meeting - threaten not to send her in for SATs week unless they get more sensible!

flakjacket Fri 15-Feb-13 13:30:16

My daughter had to do a full set of practice Y6 SATS a few weeks ago (all through that snowy week we had). She is in Y5!!!!

TheBuskersDog Fri 15-Feb-13 16:16:41

The SATs results are actually used to predict a childs GCSE target grades, so pushing children to overachieve in Year 6 can make it really difficult for them to meet their targets.
My son did very well in SATs (without being pushed) so is supposedly not meeting his target in some of his GCSEs because he is only on track for A not A*. He happened to be very good at the comprehension etc. that was assessed in Year 6, slightly different to analysing poetry or Shakespeare not to mention history or spanish, but they use the SATs result to predict grades for every subject.

AScorpionPitForMimes Fri 15-Feb-13 18:55:58

Our high school does CATs in the second week of Yr7 precisely because they don't believe the SATs levels. They don't do predictions for GCSE grades until the end of Yr8.

DD1's school wasn't as bad as the OP's school, but they were bad enough - a pile of SATs booklets over the Easter holidays and we were told to do an hour a day. We chose to do some recycling instead.

If after almost 7 years at school they don't know their stuff, then there has been a collective failure of parents, school and children.

DD did very well in her SATs without the drill, and what is more important, she has not had to deal with a dip in achievement because her level reflected what she could really do. She has continued to progress - it can't be good for children who scrape L5 because of lots of drilling to start Yr7 struggling to keep up and being told that they aren't really a L5 at all - very demoralising.

We need to scrap all this league table nonsense.

bruffin Fri 15-Feb-13 19:00:19

Dcs school use cats and Sats to set from day1. The cats are taken on transfer day. My dcs are year 10 and 12 and their year 6 Sats results are still on the school website as part of their record.

freddiefrog Fri 15-Feb-13 19:57:50

Our high school does CATs in the second week of Yr7 precisely because they don't believe the SATs levels. They don't do predictions for GCSE grades until the end of Yr8.

Exactly what our high school says

Huge booklet of old SATs papers home tonight, DD is already stressing about it. We're away from Sunday - Sunday and I refuse to take it on holiday with us.

I feel like putting the bloody thing through the shredder tonight so she can't do it

By year 6 they should already know this stuff, school shouldn't be cramming and stressing them like this

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 15-Feb-13 21:34:09

No pressure here, but quite a lot of practice papers being done in school. And very dull grammar worksheets for literacy homework, thanks to being guinea pigs for the SPAG test.

I'm aware that there are a number of children being pulled out of their regular timetable for some small group and one-to-one work. I'm assuming they are the ones that are on the level 3/4 borderline. There are other groups being taken out for "booster" groups, to assess whether they should have a go at level 6. DD1 is one of those and is not being put under any pressure to get a level 6 for the glory of the school - it's been very much "would you like to have a go, just to give you something to aim for".

No practice papers sent home whatsoever. I'm shock at the notion of daily SATs homework - how amazingly stressful and counter-productive.

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