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School only gives most able KS1 harder Reading Comprehension paper

(31 Posts)
iamworkingonit Mon 29-May-17 08:30:16

My child is an average reader with fairly good comprehension. He can make inferences and make valid comments about what he has read. I didn't make a big deal about his year 2 SATS but equally I wanted him to do well.
I work in education and am aware of the expectations for children of this age. I have seen all the year 2 SATS papers and am reasonably confident that my child is working at the level required for a year 2 child.
I asked him how he got on with the various papers and was somewhat disappointed and curious when he told me he did not do the more testing comprehension and reading paper. He said that 3 or 4 children did the paper. He was completely unconcerned about it and I haven't mentioned it to him since.
I have marked some of the comprehension papers at my school and am reasonably sure my child would have got a middling score. He is not highly anxious and could have scored reasonably well. I cannot be sure because he did not do the test. There must be many other children in his class who would have achieved a similar result but have not been given the opportunity to demonstrate their ability.
SATS at year 2 is about to be scrapped and there are many negatives attached to teachers teaching to the test etc. However they do validate (sometimes) teacher's expectations and provide information which is not always expected. The results if used correctly can be used in a flexible and sensible manner to improve and target teaching.
I am not a particularly pushy parent but value education and like all parents want the best for my child. I feel slightly uncomfortable with the fact that most schools except many private schools, would give the reading comprehension papers to all children except for children who are obviously struggling or anxious. If the schools policy is not to give more testing papers to all but a few I would have preferred to know this. I am not entirely sure that I agree with this stance.
I would be interested to hear if this happens in other schools and how others view my concerns.
I have made an appointment to talk to my child's teacher.

BoraThirch Mon 29-May-17 08:33:56

I think it's utterly ridiculous to get so invested in year 2 SATs, it has no impact on your child.

MrsKCastle Mon 29-May-17 08:37:41

Are you absolutely sure that your son didn't do both papers? No misunderstanding? It would be very strange indeed for the school to behave as you described. They would be breaking the rules. They would also be stopping most of their children from reaching the pass mark: the maximum score on each paper is 20 and last year the pass mark was 22 (as I'm sure you know). I

I would speak to the teacher to clarify what has happened and why. Is it possible that your son panicked during the first paper? Or was away when the second paper was done and they forgot to administer it to him separately? I can't see any reason why a school would deliberately do what you have described, it makes no sense.

iamworkingonit Mon 29-May-17 08:49:46

Thanks.No I am not absolutely sure.
My son mentioned aspects of the first reading comprehension when I talked to him. He talked about the maths papers. I asked him if he had read and answered questions about a swimming lesson etc and he said no.
But I agree it could be a 7 year old being vague. As I said I have an appointment to talk to his teacher after half term.

zeeboo Mon 29-May-17 08:56:23

It's the way it's always been done, only the very best in literacy are given the paper. My eldest two did the level 3 paper, my younger son didn't and I doubt my current year 2 kid did either. Big fat hairy deal.

bruffian Mon 29-May-17 08:59:14

Omg it DOESN'T MATTER

Take him to the bookshop and let him choose a book. If he then reads it and enjoys it, you are winning. Back off!

bruffian Mon 29-May-17 09:00:08

This is about your ds not being recognised as one of the most able?

Whosthemummynow Mon 29-May-17 09:00:53

I'm not sure why you are so bothered about this? Year 2 sats have sod all to do with the child, and quite frankly should have been scrapped years ago. What does it matter if he did or didn't do the "advanced" paper. He' 7! These tests are not going to define his life or education going forward

ChickenBhuna Mon 29-May-17 09:07:59

Agree with others. SATs have little to no importance, if your child is happy at school and has a love of learning then that's what a parent should focus on.

BeyondThePage Mon 29-May-17 09:12:47

It doesn't matter. What matters most is a parent invested in their child's education, not their child's testing.

Read and ask, read and ask, watch stuff on TV and ask... repeat...repeat... repeat.

teaching was targeted, tables set, in our Dds' school based partly on how well the kids could sit and get on with it, rather than just how well they performed in some arbitrary test.

GraceGrape Mon 29-May-17 09:17:30

There is no longer a separate level 2 and level 3 paper. That was under the old system. All children are supposed to attempt both papers. Either the school has administered them wrongly or your son didn't realise he did two different papers.

MrsKCastle Mon 29-May-17 09:27:37

Other posters are correct in saying that KS1 SATs don't really matter. However, the OP is right to be concerned about this particular issue. I strongly suspect that the DS has done the papers and has forgotten. If this isn't the case, then the school has administered the papers wrongly, which would make me lose trust in the school- it's pretty clear what they are supposed to do, why make a mistake in something so basic? The other possibility is that the school has made a decision not to get the OP's DS to do the second paper, but the other children have done it. In which case, the OP should have been made aware, with the reasons clearly explained.

In my school, I think there were only 1 or 2 children who didn't attempt paper 2. They were children who really struggle with reading, found paper 1 difficult and we knew there was no way they could access the texts.

AllMyBestFriendsAreMetalheads Mon 29-May-17 09:35:16

We were told that this year all children had to do the harder paper, which I don't agree with.

But my DD has no idea that she's done SATS, or any tests of any kind. She's just been doing her work, she hasn't noticed anything different.

bsmirched Mon 29-May-17 09:45:09

All the children apart from my SEN chn who are at pre key stage level sat both papers, which is how it should be, although it is at the teacher's discretion to stop a child at any point if they're obviously struggling.

bsmirched Mon 29-May-17 09:49:32

I think it's lovely that your daughter is unaware she's done tests, but I'm not sure how you hide it from children when they're obviously test papers, have to sit in silence, and have any helpful displays taken down or covered. Oh yes, and be accompanied to the toilet if they need to go mid test.

iamworkingonit Mon 29-May-17 09:49:47

Thanks MrsKCastle yes I do need to clarify it with the school. I am well aware seven year olds can be absent minded and focused on the moment. I do want to trust the people who teach my child and that is essentially my main reason for clarifying the issue.
My child is at the 'correct' reading level for his age and is happy and improving at school. He is certainly not struggling neither is he breezing through. He was not away at during the time they had SATS.

MrsKCastle Mon 29-May-17 09:53:24

I hope you get some decent answers, iamworkingonit. Please do update once you've spoken to them. I'm intrigued to find out what has gone on, it just sounds bizarre!

EweAreHere Mon 29-May-17 09:55:47

The higher paper in KS1 SATs is usually only given to their highest achieving Year 2s, i.e., children who are ahead of the average level.

If your child is at the 'correct' reading level for his age, then he wouldn't have been given the paper. That is not a slight on your child. He's doing fine, as you say, happy and improving. Let it go.

Feenie Mon 29-May-17 09:59:37

Your information is two years out of date, Ewearehere - a child can't even reach age related expectations without accessing both papers. RTFT!

MrsKCastle Mon 29-May-17 09:59:56

EwewAreHere that is not correct. It used to be the case but since last year all children are expected to attempt all papers. In fact without doing both papers last year you couldn't get the pass mark ( each paper is 20 marks, pass mark for 'expected' was 22). This year's pass mark won't be released until next Monday, but I would be extremely surprised if it's less than 20.

BoraThirch Mon 29-May-17 10:09:38

My DS was also completely oblivious to having been tested - which is how it should be for 6 and 7 year olds. He was aware he'd done some "booklet work" but there has been no stress or pressure from the school and consequently no stress like this from parents!

EmpressoftheMundane Mon 29-May-17 10:11:45

I'd have a chat with your child's teacher. It's the easiest way to get the full facts.

Also, schools have a difficult path to tread between parents who hate SAts and consider withdrawing their children during that week, parents who are hung-ho, parents who worry about the psychological impact of taking a too difficult exam, and parents who worry about the psychological impact of not taking an exam! KS2 SATS will be coming before you know it, and it won't hurt for the school to know your "risk appetite."

mrz Tue 30-May-17 13:40:36

*"*^*Also, schools have a difficult path to tread between parents who hate SAts and consider withdrawing their children during that week, parents who are hung-ho, parents who worry about the psychological impact of taking a too difficult exam, and parents who worry about the psychological impact of not taking an exam!*^*"*
Unfortunately school don't have the luxury of considering which path they must fulfil their legal duty with regards to administering the tests regardless

cavatron Tue 30-May-17 23:45:47

And you work in education?! Christ.

Feenie Wed 31-May-17 13:08:12

What? confused

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