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Year 6 SATs ruining my son's mental health

(43 Posts)
ReallyTired Thu 18-Oct-12 21:05:57

We have just had parents evening and it wasn't get. Ds is doing sweet FA in class and is being threatened with being demoted from the top table. At the moment ds is suffering from anxiety and I believe that this is the reason that he is under performing in the classroom. We are waiting for a referal to see a pychologist as ds is too young to be prescribed medication. Ds' teacher knows this.

The stupid cow launched into him that key stage 2 SATs have a serious affect on his future, which is utter bollux. Ds finished year 5 with 4a for maths, 5c for reading and 4b for writing. At the moment he is not performing to these levels as he is frankly ill. It does not help him to tell him that he is not top table standard at the moment.

I feel that the stupid bitch of a teacher needs to take a step back and stop stressing him. The poor child is feeling suicidal at the age of ten.

If if ds does crash out in his key stage 2 SATs I don't believe it will change the course of his life. No exam is that important.

Doodlez Thu 18-Oct-12 21:11:27

Well, the way I understand it - the SAT's are supposed to go up with them to high school and the high school use them as a start point for streaming etc. However, the high schools, typically, don't rate the SATS, don't much give a toss what the results are and perform their own base line assessments once the child starts with them.

In essence, SAT's are a load of old cobblers!

cansu Thu 18-Oct-12 21:57:19

Ok I agree that sats are not important compared to your ds health. However I think calling your ds teacher a stupid bitch etc for caring about his academic progress is unpleasant and unnecessary. She may not be fully aware of your ds mental health problems. Maybe you would have done better to not take your ds to parents evening so you could share your worries about him and let her know that you are aware he is slipping academically but you need to focus on lessening his anxiety at the moment. Taking your ds with you and then asking how he is doing is probably not the best idea in the circumstances.

BlueSkySinking Thu 18-Oct-12 22:15:27

I would talk to the teacher privately and explain how serious the situation is with your son as she clearly has no understanding.

BlueSkySinking Thu 18-Oct-12 22:18:05

By the way you must tell your son that although they use primary SATS to stream the kids initially, all the kids soon sit a CATS test on arriving at secondary school and they are later set properly according to this.

ReallyTired Thu 18-Oct-12 22:31:27

She does know. The GP, school, school nurse, SENCO know the full picture. She is a primary school teacher has no excuse, not as if she has hundreds of children to teach each week. The school is completely aware that we are waiting a referal.

The school insists that the child attends parents' evening. It is nasty for a teacher to tell a child that they do not belong on top table when he is feeling ill. There are better ways of having that conversation.

All the school cares about is SATs.

TheBuskersDog Thu 18-Oct-12 23:15:48

I don't think a teacher should discuss with a child what table they are on at all. The teacher should regularly reassess and move children as necessary, no negotiating with or threatening children with moving- just do it if she feels he is in the wrong place.

maree1 Fri 19-Oct-12 16:29:49

Anxiety is not good. If you can find the time go over the work your son is doing in class with him it will help. Just reassure him and yourself that he is capable. Prepare for tests, too. Get some practice papers at WH Smiths for Maths and English. You might also try googling ‘schoolboy's creative writing cards’ for English. But sit with him and revise over his current class work. Being able to successfully practice some current class work in front of you should help build up confidence.

colditz Fri 19-Oct-12 16:32:36

I honestly would tell the teacher I was planning to deregister him from school in April, to start at highschool in September, effectively removing him from the sats entirely.

peeriebear Fri 19-Oct-12 16:33:41

I didn't even know when DD1 did her SATs confused
I asked her whether she had homework and she said "No, we've had SATs"
Sounds like school's a bit of a high pressure environment.

colditz Fri 19-Oct-12 16:33:55

Screw the practice tests, he's ten years old with such bad anxiety it's making him ill! De reg him in April, the sats really do not matter in the long run and it is sickening how some schools devote a whole year of potential education to teaching to the test.

colditz Fri 19-Oct-12 16:34:51

I didn't even know the kids had sats in year six until the teacher mentioned them, the kids in our school are not made stressed by them.

lljkk Fri 19-Oct-12 16:43:50

That's awful, OP sad. A large % of secondary schools do not use SATs for setting, or only in borderline cases. But you probably know all that. And it's only initial setting, anyway, good practice is for secondaries to review every half term & shuffle around if they think it will benefit that child.

I can't believe teacher talked about demotion from top table. No reason to make such a fuss about it. Many kids work best in their comfort zone (with tablemates who are average lower standard).

The problem with April De-reg is he would miss out on induction days to the secondaries, and any End-Of-Year fuss (parties, award ceremonies, trips, etc.) made of the Yr6s. So not so great.

I don't know if it would be good idea but I'd be tempted to write a curt letter to the HT about how unhelpful you found the teacher's comments, and possibly with a few sharp comments about how you will generally ignore them & tell your son to do same.

ReallyTired Fri 19-Oct-12 17:07:16

We have an entire academic year which I feel is being wasted. I have considered changing ds' school, but its not practical because I would also have to change where dd goes to school. I suspect that many state schools are SATs factories.

Its depressing. Science is now only taught once a fortnight because its not formally assessed anymore. PHSCE is not being taught at all at the moment which I feel must be illegal.

Our first choice of secondary school does not use SATs information for setting at all. They have a series of tests in september to set children intially because so many schools hot house. Our second choice of secondary do use SATs though, but only as set of many indicators. All the schools on our list shuffle the sets round every half term for the first two years of secondary.

I don't want to home educate as ds would miss his friends. I am thinking about going on holiday during SATs week.

lljkk Fri 19-Oct-12 18:43:50

You could get seriously fined for going on hols then, RT. And it would be pointless since your son would be going thru all this stress in the meantime for nothing.

I think maybe it would be better if you saw the whole thing as a challenge for you guys to tackle together, how to block out the parts he doesn't like about school & find things he can still enjoy.

ReallyTired Fri 19-Oct-12 19:46:16

"You could get seriously fined for going on hols then, RT. "

No I wouldn't get fined. I am sure that I could persaude our GP to write a sick note.

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Fri 19-Oct-12 19:52:12

I agree it's not necessarily the exam week that's the problem.

I think the issue is that his teacher is basically labelling his anxiety as behavioural. Are there any other Year 6 classes - could he move class? Otherwise I think Colditz has a good plan. Our dcs mental health is far too precious to mess around. I would look to move both your dcs tbh.

Saracen Sat 20-Oct-12 04:56:58

"I don't want to home educate as ds would miss his friends."

He might, but if school is making him so anxious then perhaps that is a price he would be willing to pay. What about giving him the choice of carrying on at school or taking the rest of the year out? He's the person who is best placed to know whether the positive things happening at school outweigh the negatives for him.

socharlotte Mon 22-Oct-12 16:16:11

are you saying his anxiety is because of his SATS, or is it unrelated?

IslaValargeone Mon 22-Oct-12 16:23:47

Can you withdraw from SATS? I'd be very tempted to go with Colditz plan if not.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 22-Oct-12 16:27:18

One of the kids in dd's class was sick for SATS - properly sick, vomiting and everything.

School rang his mum up and said he had to come in so he did. He sat his SATS in a seperate room with a bucket to throw up in.

No way in hell would I have let dd do that. I doubt he'd have got his best mark anyway.

Just shows how bloody obsessed some schools can be with it all.

I think all you can do is reassure him its not that important. Tell him the teachers stress about it as it assesses how well they're teaching and thats why they take it so seriously.

mummytime Mon 22-Oct-12 17:09:41

In your circumstances I would seriously consider HE. The school is doing him untold damage and the secondary will not thank them for delivering to them a pupil who could do fine but has become school phobic. Your son could still see his friends out of school.

In your circumstances I would make a written complaint to the school and the governors, mentioning the damage that is being done to your son's mental health through such pressure.

cece Mon 22-Oct-12 17:38:31

My DCs school insist that the children attend parents evening. I just leave mine at home. No one has told me off yet. smile

TantrumsAndBalloons Mon 22-Oct-12 17:50:46

Is the anxiety stemming from SATS or is it unrelated?

WRT the teacher discussing this in front of your son, that was IMO pretty awful.
I don't think anyone can tell you that you have to bring in your child for parents evening, but that's irelevant now I suppose.

Have you raised the subject of your sons mental health and how the class is impacting on this with the head?

WRT to going on holiday for SATS, I agree they are generally disregarding in high school and some schools place far too much importance to this tests but here's my thought.
If he doesnt do them, all of the stress and anxiety will have been for nothing. Nothing in the class will change as they will still be focusing on SATS, as they will not know you will not allow your son to take part.

I would be in touch with the head, and also the governors, detailing how this hot housing is impacting your DS.

IslaValargeone Mon 22-Oct-12 18:04:36

Viva that is terrible, I can't believe the child's mum agreed to it.
They'd have got a big f* the f* off from me had they even suggested it.

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