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Can I ask for my son in Y2 primary to opt out of SATS tests?

(26 Posts)
fleetwoodmac Sun 20-Sep-09 21:21:23

I haven't decided on this, but wondered, legally, what i could ask my son's primary school?

A neighbour had a lot of problems with her child at this school, alot of stress about "learning" and "doing well" and "exam stress" in these tests at age 7 (ridiculous surely!). I was wondering, if my son's school started going down this route, I could ask if he be omitted from taking the test, and that way circumvent this.

Any thoughts on this? As I said, I haven't decided about it, and have mixed views on this subject.

Lilyloo Sun 20-Sep-09 21:23:16

My son did his SATS last year didn't even know he was doing them , i think most schools don't really discuss it with them , although don't doubt they are 'prepared' for them!
Maybe raise your concerns with school and see what they say rather than the neighbour ?

fleetwoodmac Sun 20-Sep-09 21:26:35

Good if they don't know (thats the way it should be). I shall keep my ear to the ground. Is that usually the way its done i am wondering though.

Feenie Sun 20-Sep-09 21:27:36

No. Y2 assessment changed 5 years ago - your child will be teacher assessed, and evidence will be gathered throughout the year from lots of different sources; a small part of this evidence will be the test, but such a small part that they are played down so much in the majority schools that the children don't have a clue they are doing them. They should be no different from their normal everyday classroom activities.

fleetwoodmac Sun 20-Sep-09 21:29:11

great! (its nice to have these things explained ....)

merrymonsters Sun 20-Sep-09 21:32:23

My son is in Year 2 (state primary) and the teacher told us that they don't do exams for the SATS in Yr2 anymore. She said that they do the normal assessments on the children which are done every year, but in yr2 the results are sent to the Council.

Hassled Sun 20-Sep-09 21:34:52

What Feenie said. It really is very laid back these days - the most DS3 (7) spotted last May was that he had special work books to look at.

Plus, bear in mind that it's a lot harder to spot where a school might be going wrong if there are no "formal" assessments at all. The SATs should be more of a check that the right things are being taught in the right way than a check on the child's skills. Governors and the HT etc look at the SATs to see, eg, if boys' writing is worse than girls or if girls are underperforming in reading or whatever, and then monitor ways to improve those things. These initiatives would be much harder with incomplete data.

surreylady Sun 20-Sep-09 22:34:39

My DD did Sats last term and there were exams - they did know they are doing them as they were in booklets and said what they were in the front - doesn't mean the school will make it stressful though - depends on the school more than the test IMO

carocaro Sun 20-Sep-09 22:40:29

Do them, he won't even notice and you get a much better idea of your child's progress with regular updates/meetings with your teacher and you taking an interest.

My DS was in year 2 last year and did not do the literacy one's as he has dyslexia, he was fine with it.

I like to think of them as rather like your driving test taken at age 17, it really has no bearing at all on how most people drive today does it? And the same with SATS at 7.

Feenie Mon 21-Sep-09 16:16:37

That's disgraceful, surreylady - the changes have been in place for years now, and children shouldn't know what they are doing. The booklets don't say what they are on the front, btw.

DillyTantay Mon 21-Sep-09 16:17:11

i tried to and pressure was put on me
flattery etc

it was ok though

surreylady Mon 21-Sep-09 21:33:19

It wasn't stressful for DD or her class _ I suppose it depends on how it is handled in school but it was fine for her and I don't think of it as disgraceful - she did read the booklet though - don't think that she imagined this.

Smithagain Mon 21-Sep-09 22:38:34

DD1's experience was like Surreylady's (and we are also in Surrey, so now wondering if I know her!)

They had a week where they did lots of "that special work we sometimes do, that comes in little booklets" - DD1's words. No stress involved. Although they all got rather annoyed when one of their teachers laid it on thick that they should make sure they had an early night and a good breakfast because they were doing something "special" then next day. Children not impressed to discover that the special thing was work !

For the OP - if you are concerned about the pressure, ask the teacher now how they handle it. They may be able to reassure you. Or you may get a feel for whether they do lay the pressure on, in which case you can start putting a strategy together to make sure your son stays as relaxed as possible.

Heidispider Mon 21-Sep-09 22:45:31

In my experience, most children LOVE the SATs tests! Especially if you have a child who enjoys working and particularly enjoys a quiet classroom - it's a chance to really concentrate without the usual distractions. Most teachers make it stress-free also.

You can help too by explaining that really the tests are designed to see whether the teacher has been doing his/her job properly and all your child needs to do is their best.

Feenie Tue 22-Sep-09 12:40:20

Nooooo! Please don't mention the 't' word at all - some of them are only 6!

Smithagain Tue 22-Sep-09 13:03:24

"Special work" seems to be the buzz word around here. DD loves doing "special work" because the classroom is quiet, for once. Each to their own!

They also did some "special work" at the beginning of term - she said it was reading, maths and puzzles and was quite fun. "And it said PIPS on the front cover of the booklet, Mummy. What are PIPS?"

From which I deduce the school is using these and managing to do so without stressing anyone whatsoever. So it can be done.

Elk Tue 22-Sep-09 13:30:46

DD's school has said that they don't tell the children they are doing anything different and that they don't want the parents to mention it either. Knowing dd's class as I do I wonder if the teacher will have got them to work in silence by then as they haven't managed it yet.

sarah293 Tue 22-Sep-09 13:32:13

Message withdrawn

Feenie Tue 22-Sep-09 18:27:10

Is your dd's school a private or non-mainstream school, Riven?

I taught Y2 for 5 years, and only one child knew she was doing tests - because her mother told her.

As for keeping children off 'that week', in Y2 teachers can complete the tests any they like, but they have to be done. They are such a tiny part of the teacher assessment evidence that is gathered that they are usually a non-issue. They can be done now, actually, if teachers like, as long as they are done at some time during the year.
Most teachers like to do them around May, just before the teacher assessments have to be reported, in order to confirm their already sound judgement.
If children are 'kept off', the tests are usually completed when they come back.

daisy5678 Tue 22-Sep-09 22:24:30

J didn't know. At all. Genuinely.

seeker Tue 22-Sep-09 22:30:09

It is seriously not a big deal - unless the parents make it a bit deal! Generally speaking, children like this sort of thing - it's tha parents that make an issue out of it.

Heidispider Tue 22-Sep-09 22:32:53

Totally agree with you Seeker.

Smithagain Wed 23-Sep-09 07:57:43

Riven - DD didn't know it was "Sats Week". She knew they were doing some tests, just like they do from time to time throughout the year. No big deal. She quite enjoys it.

And actually I think I'm happier with her doing tests and being happy about it, than taking her out so that she doesn't get this gentle introduction to being assessed.

Squiz Thu 24-Sep-09 09:12:51

I was pleased to find the holiday we booked a year earlier coincided with SATS week at my sons school last year. He has aspergers syndrome and I thought he might find it stressful and not be able to complete work in the given timeframe, but .. he got to do the SATS when he came back and he didn't even notice! He doesn't know what a test is! Plus he did welll, so I wouldn't worry about it, I think most schools are fairly sensible about it all.

Somewhereovertherainbow Thu 24-Sep-09 20:42:03

Just posted a question on SATS on the Primary Education board.

DD has SEN, is working at P Levels, not yet on the National Curriculum level, and I have been told that she will be disapplied from SATS.

They make a big thing of it at DD's school. I am hoping to book SATS week off for a holiday.

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