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What's year 7 and 8 like testing wise in state schools?

(22 Posts)
Indecisiveismymiddlename Mon 14-Mar-16 21:31:56

I've got lots of friends complaining about year 6 and SATs and that the children feel they are just spending their whole time doing practice papers.

I was feeling grateful that at independent school we don't have SATs.

However, not feeling so smug now after having a meeting at school re common entrance work and what the next two years consist of.

Now seriously considering going to state school as the CE sounds horrendous, but is it just the same in the state, are there more exams in year 8? (Not talking about internal tests) or is it no exams until GCSEs?

mummytime Mon 14-Mar-16 21:41:55

In my experience there are limited exams in state school until GCSE. Some schools do end of year exams, others do tests at the end of each topic - but these might be extended pieces of writing, others do a mixture.
But some private schools also don't test that much, especially those with 11+ entry. A local girls school has end of year exams just before the summer half-term, and then no homework until the end of term (except GCSE years).

sunnydayinmay Mon 14-Mar-16 21:44:54

DS is year 7 in a part selective state and seems to be tested constantly. At least every half term in every subject, but all in class and fairly low key.

PettsWoodParadise Mon 14-Mar-16 21:52:28

Avoiding tests now may just be pushing the problem further down the line. Yes when they are younger it can be more traumatic, or it can be handled in a way that the children don't see it as stressful and so by the time they are older testing isn't something scary. DD has learnt some valuable self-reliance and self-studying skills as part of our journey through the 11+ and we have encouraged her to see tests as an opportunity not a threat. I appreciate some schools don't always handle it well. DD is moving from an indie to state grammar in September and the school she is moving to publish their testing and assessment criteria so it is fairly transparent but what is on paper and what happens may well be different. The published criteria includes end of term mini tests or projects to consolidate learning and identity any issues. That seems to make sense to me.

PettsWoodParadise Mon 14-Mar-16 21:55:33

I would add that testing shouldn't be in isolation to day to day observations of the teacher - if there was a major issue a teacher would ideally pick that up and not wait for a test to tell them that.

OddBoots Mon 14-Mar-16 21:57:55

There is some testing as schools often use this for streaming or setting and to set a baseline if there are no results from KS2 tests, it's not the same as all the CE stuff though, it is generally low key.

Vajazzler Mon 14-Mar-16 21:58:22

My Dc's (yes 7&8) have a week of tests every half term to asses progress.

TeddTess Tue 15-Mar-16 09:23:19

DD1 at selective private secondary yr 7 is barely tested. the odd test for maths. the odd french vocab test. low key tests at end of year.

nothing like the horror of state primary yr6 SATS !! (actually she wasn't bothered or stressed by the testing of these, just bored of it).

PatriciaHolm Tue 15-Mar-16 09:51:27

There are no external, mandatory exams in state schools in years 7&8.

What each school does in terms of testing in those years is up to them; some will set exams regularly, some will use termly testing to determine sets, some will do weekly testing. It is up to the school.

meditrina Tue 15-Mar-16 09:55:18

Your DC must already be in year 6, from the sound of it (next two years being CE prep)

Year 7 places for September were allocated at the start of this month.

Do you actually have a state school in mind; one that you like the look of, but that is also undersubscribed?

IdaJones Tue 15-Mar-16 09:56:49

Dd has had regular testing in year 7. She doesn't mind though and it helps the teachers see what they know and what they need to work on. It was also used for setting. Dd didn't mind the Year 6 SATS either, although perhaps it has become more stressful this year with the new curriculum?

yomellamoHelly Tue 15-Mar-16 10:00:54

Tested regularly at end of modules in class for all subjects. Maths tests every week though. Maths is the only subject he's beginning to complain about so far. (Yr 7 Could be that he's on their fast track for that one though and are covering a lot of ground quickly.

redskytonight Tue 15-Mar-16 12:37:24

Y7 DS has formal assessments in every subject at least once a term, and in some subjects every half term.

tiggytape Tue 15-Mar-16 17:20:04

I think it will increase at many schools in the coming years regardless of what they do at present.
The GCSEs are all changing to become fully exam based. Course work and controlled assessments are all going.
The changes happen in English and maths for the current Year 10's and continue over the following 2 years or so in other subjects. As such, schools are going to need to get pupils in to the swing of revising a lot of content for multiple exams taken over a short space of time.

pourmeanotherglass Wed 16-Mar-16 12:27:31

Large state comp, girls in years 7 and 8. They seem to have end of unit tests in Maths and science, and subjects like history and geography sometimes have an essay/project that is graded to assess progress. Nothing to worry about.
The problem with year 6 is that they spend a term or so just revising for the tests, and not learning anything new, and they get REALLY bored. I'm not sure either of my girls learned anything new in year 6.
I don't have anything against testing to find out what they have learned, and help them consolidate learning, the sorts of tests they do in year 7 and 8 are fine, it is the whole term or 2 of dull teaching to the test that is the problem in yr 6.

ChalkHearts Thu 17-Mar-16 05:22:29

In state schools Y7 and 8 are very much muck around years. They have an awful lot of subjects, and therefore an awful lot of subjects only one hour a week. Therefore the teachers can't get that involved with them.

They certainly ain't stressful years.

Teachers spend all their time concentrating on Y10 and above.

TeddTess Thu 17-Mar-16 08:28:47

in private schools too chalkhearts

it's all about the extra curricular, getting used to everything, organisational skills, independent learning and general settling in..

Bunbaker Thu 17-Mar-16 08:44:53

DD is at a state comprehensive - a rather good one. She is in year 11 now, but has had end of topic tests every few weeks and internal exams every six months from year 7. The students have exams in the school hall under GCSE conditions from year 9.

pointythings Thu 17-Mar-16 18:46:50

All years in our local state comp are tested half termly. They're told when the test is so that they can revise, the results all go online for parents to look at. It gets them used to it and it's pretty low key. Then there's fairly major end of year exams for everyone except yr 10 and 11.

DD1 is in Yr10 so a lot of her testing is getting used to the format of GCSE papers.

I have no objection at all to testing in secondary school, it's the proliferation of testing in primary that I have huge issues with - that and the incessant meddling with exams and the curriculum across the board. Fronted adverbials my arse.

lljkk Thu 17-Mar-16 20:29:42

My kids didn't find yr6 SATs an ordeal. I could literally list 20+ other fun projects or activities DD did in yr6 (like tag rugby, field trips, arty stuff, etc)

The assessment regime at the high school seems very similar to yrs3-6 of primary? So basically 3-5 assessment weeks per yr, which really means in yr7-8 up to an hour each day in 'exams' during that week.

The main difference from primary is that if they do badly enough (or quite well) yr7-8 can move sets which they may not like.

MilkRunningOutAgain Sun 20-Mar-16 00:14:16

DS in yr 8, has termly tests in most subjects and they are taken seriously. End of year 7 tests had a specific exam week and I expect the same again this year. DS attends a large state secondary, 10 form entry.

SATs at end yr 6 were not overly stressful for him. His primary did not put unnecessary pressure on the kids.

Brokenbiscuit Sun 20-Mar-16 09:18:06

My dd is in year 6 in an "outstanding" state primary. The school gets excellent results in the SATS but they don't seem to put much pressure on the kids and dd has done loads of interesting topic work so far this year that has had nothing to do with the SATS. DD knows that the SATS are coming up in May, and they have done a bit of practice, but she certainly isn't stressed about them. So I think it depends on the school and how they handle things.

No idea yet about years 7/8, but the older siblings of dd's friends appear to have been having a whale of a time!smile

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