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Optional sats long writing task

(14 Posts)
caffeinated Wed 22-May-13 17:16:03

Dd (year 3) tells me they did the long writing task today and they had to write a letter to the head teacher suggesting how they could use some funding to improve the playground. She said she only filled up 19 lines and were told to write 25 and couldn't think if anything else to write. She said some of her friends wrote 60 lines. Isn't that a really limiting task? Dd has always done well at writing tasks and been praised for imagination and vocab. Is it more about quality than quantity as she's now worried she didn't right enough and her teacher will be disappointed.

seeker Wed 22-May-13 17:17:23

Why is it limiting?

caffeinated Wed 22-May-13 17:23:08

I mean limited regarding how much they can write without babbling or repeating themselves. But maybe my idea of long writing is longer than they are expected to produce.

They do need to be able to do both fiction and non fiction writing tasks. One thing my DS1 (now Yr5) has been taught is writing a persuasive letter (I got one asking for a pet). It sounds similar tothe task your DD got. DS1 was given a clear structure to follow and advice on the types of persuasive words to use.

caffeinated Wed 22-May-13 17:40:55

Ah chaz yes that makes sense. Thanks. Hadn't considered the focus on non fiction.

caffeinated Wed 22-May-13 17:49:11

It does appear to be the year 5 long writing task writing a letter. Weird that they have done it in year 3. Dd is not exceptional at writing. Finished yr2 at 3c and hadn't moved from that sub level in march at parents evening.

juniper9 Wed 22-May-13 18:39:22

Writing to the head is the year 3 QCA longer writing task. It's meant to be about the different activities the children could play in the playground, and it's linked to the reading task which is about two boys who make a treasure map.

It's been a QCA paper for years and years. I'm sorry that you don't feel it benefited your daughter, but it is a standardised paper that lots of schools do.

juniper9 Wed 22-May-13 18:43:01

Incidentally, there is no limit on how much the children have to write, but to be a level 4 (in that paper) children need to use paragraphs accurately, which is obviously far more difficult if they haven't produced much.

You can see it here

MiaowTheCat Wed 22-May-13 18:48:21

It's better than that awful Y4 Antarctic one - at least it's got some founding in the kids' everyday experience... I had one child go on for half a side of A4 about who would carry the fruit shoots on a day trip to the Antarctic!

caffeinated Wed 22-May-13 19:14:27

Juniper it's not that I didn't think it benefitted her. That's also not the paper they sat it was a persuasive letter about using funding, one of the suggestions was a swimming pool for the playground. I didn't understand what the paper consisted of, I thought loooong when it was long writing but that clearly isn't the case.

caffeinated Wed 22-May-13 19:23:18

Letter about treasure hunt is year 3 writing on your link.

juniper9 Wed 22-May-13 19:35:59

Yeah, that link is only a sample. There are two writing papers; the long task (write a letter to the head to explain how the playground should be improved) and the shorter task (about treasure hunts). They link to the reading paper, which is meant to be done before hand to give the children some background knowledge.

The QCA tests tend to have a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. Like MiaowCat said, the year 4 one is about Antarctica. The reading paper is about Captain Scott and then the short writing is about what you'd pack for a trip to Antarctica.

simpson Wed 22-May-13 19:42:16

DS had to do something very similar recently.

He is also in yr3 and was a 3c at end of yr2 and I don't think he has progressed since then (as he keeps going off the task, must drive his teacher mad grin).

ReadytoOrderSir Wed 22-May-13 19:50:38

Miaow My class have been doing the Antarctic papers this week! Some of the stuff they want to take (short task) is comical :-)

caffeinated Sounds to me like your DD's teacher was just trying to encourage her to write more to show off her skills.

I've had one who wrote barely three lines for his 'long' task (a diary of a day trip to an Antarctic base). No amount of whispered "Come on. Get on with it." would cajole him into writing more. I could weep.

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