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SATs results today. I hate Gove!

(100 Posts)
auntiezzzzz Tue 09-Jul-13 23:39:57

OK this is going to sound like a stealth boast so I'll get it out of the way early - my DD is good at maths. I'm very proud of her but just so pissed off at how children are put through these ridiculous tests at such a young age.

DD came home today and told me she'd "failed" the maths paper. Of course I said she can't have failed. It's not that sort of test. Anyway turns out she got 30/50 on the L6 paper. The top mark in the school. Obviously a fantastic achievement and I am so proud of her.

But no - she thinks she failed because she didn't get the L6.

My issue is why the fucking fuck is my 11 yr old daughter getting upset about "failing" when it's the last two weeks of primary and she should be practising her sack race skills.

If these tests are for the schools, government etc then why do they have to even tell the kids and parents. And if they're for the kids / parents, shouldn't there be some sort of sliding scale for achievement. Not just a cliff-edge pass / fail mark.

Anyone else's DCs just miss out on the next threshold up? Are they upset by it, or are most kids not bothered?

FormaLurka Thu 11-Jul-13 23:10:08

To summarise, your DD took the L6 paper, scored the highest mark on the school but didn't get the L6 and feels a failure. And it's Gove's fault.

This is the best anti Gove rant I read in s long time.

curlew Thu 11-Jul-13 23:13:43

As I said, if 30/50 was the highest mark on the level 6 paper, the school shouldn't have been putting any of them in for the test.

busymummy3 Fri 12-Jul-13 00:13:06

My youngest DC will be sitting SATS next year. Just got report yesterday has achieved 5 in both moderated teacher assessments and QCA papers so hopefully will maintain this level for next year .
What I would like to know is do they have to sit these level 6 papers because I would rather DC didn't, there is enough pressure on them in secondary school without giving them a higher target to achieve by end of their first year.

FormaLurka Fri 12-Jul-13 08:54:52

At our primary L5 papers was the highest we went. If your schools put your DCs in for L6 then why is that Gove's fault?

And it's a bit silly picking a pushy school and then complain that it's too pushy.

Sorry, but a lot of kids struggle just to reach the national expected L4. I just can't get worked up over a couple of kids that feel a failure because they didn't get L6.

rabbitstew Fri 12-Jul-13 09:30:53

What politicians often appear incapable of comprehending is that setting high targets does not improve teaching, or patient care, or whatever else it is they've plucked a silly target out of the air for (a bit like the candidate on The Apprentice who picked the figure £5million out of the air...).

The next mistake they make is that in an attempt to respond to the above point, they seem constantly to be looking for some kind of formula that if followed to the letter will result in exceptional results at very little expense, regardless of the dimwit following it. The result is, they alienate genuinely talented people by treating them like dimwits who need to be told what to do, and encourage dimwits to think if they tick the right boxes, they are doing the right thing, regardless of the miserable kids' faces in front of them/neglected patients lying in their own filth. The more they interfere, therefore, the worse they make the overall situation.

That's what's so bl**dy stupid about the whole thing - lots of schools putting pressure on children and cramming them and hoping they have exceptionally engaged parents pushing them too, to make it look like they've been taught well, when the same children could have got to that point without all that if they'd been taught effectively and consistently in the years before the test, rather than crammed at the last minute. Higher targets and new curricula result in lots of energy being expended on making things LOOK good on paper and nobody having time to sit down and ask themselves whether it's all genuinely working, or just winding people up unnecessarily and punishing them for no good reason.

FormaLurka Fri 12-Jul-13 09:50:44

It sounds like of lot of you either have kids at primaries where they coasted for years and then had to cram OR you are at pushy primaries where kids are pushed into taking L6 papers. Either way, why is it Gove's fault?

BreconBeBuggered Fri 12-Jul-13 10:46:27

busymummy no, they don't have to sit the L6 papers. They all have to sit the 3-5 ones and they can leave it at that.

Feenie Fri 12-Jul-13 10:54:42

That's not true - no consent is needed to enter children. They need to sit the test that's appropriate to the level they are working at.

Of course, you can't force a child to take any test, whatever level. But none of the tests are optional.

auntiezzzzz Fri 12-Jul-13 11:12:59

I deliberately picked my DD's school because it wasn't pushy. There was lots of focus on music and drama, I had it recommended to me by a neighbour because they were the only school in our small town that did a nativity every year. It's also our local school and the only one that didn't involve a drive every morning.

The local "pushy" school where some of my neighbours take their kids was rated outstanding when we were applying for primary places, and I think DD's was "Needs improvement" or whatever the term was in those days.

This is clearly no longer the case. The school is now top of the league tables in the town and as a result is actually full with a waiting list for this year's intake for the first time. It's not the same school DD started. This year the school have cancelled the Y6 leavers' play, because it disrupts the Y5s. This is despite having the same headteacher throughout.

My point is blaming parents for picking a pushy school when their child was 3 is fairly redundant. Schools change beyond recognition in 7 years. I've seen it happen both ways.

FormaLurka Fri 12-Jul-13 11:25:02

Actually I think that your DD feeling a failure is a good thing in the long term. Your DD is obviously very bright. Judging from your comments, you aren't a particularly pushy mum so your DD will need to push her herself and to motivate herself.

rabbitstew Fri 12-Jul-13 11:33:37

You're not a failure if you work hard and do your best. I strongly disagree with FormaLurka that feeling a failure is a good thing - it can be a colossally demotivating thing, if you think you have worked hard and done your best and still "failed."

curlew Fri 12-Jul-13 11:37:23

"Actually I think that your DD feeling a failure is a good thing in the long term. Your DD is obviously very bright. Judging from your comments, you aren't a particularly pushy mum so your DD will need to push her herself and to motivate herself."


auntiezzzzz Fri 12-Jul-13 11:42:27

Yes I expect you're right, and I hope so. I'd much rather she did it for her own sake than because I nag her.

It's hard to say whether I'm pushy or not. I'm the product of a very pushy dad, who now has pushy granddad tendencies! His reaction to her getting 98% in her L3-5 paper was "What did you get wrong?"

I don't need to push her in maths. She loves it, and sets herself very high standards. She does it for fun at bedtime instead of reading some nights. I do sometimes push her a bit in literacy. She enjoys reading but hates writing and I do actively encourage her to do a bit more out of school to improve her skills, so I couldn't claim to be a completely non-pushy mum. I am deliberately trying to encourage her to be self-motivated in that area though, as I think the earlier they realise they are learning for their own sake, the better.

Anyway despite my rant and her upset on Tuesday she is now really proud of her results and totally over it all, and I'm relieved that she won't be set unrealistic targets for secondary, so I think it was a bit of an overreaction by both of us.

auntiezzzzz Fri 12-Jul-13 11:46:35

Sorry rabbit and curlew - xpost.

It was the "failure" bit that upset me on Tuesday. Nobody likes to see their kids upset at failure, particularly when it's not a failure to get a L5 by anyone's standards. It's a great result. I still maintain that the SATs are designed for schools and government, and the impact on the kids hasn't been thought through properly.

FormaLurka Fri 12-Jul-13 11:53:37

curlew - Why "wow"?

Isn't it better than having a bright DC and doesn't give a feck whether they pass or fail something?

rabbitstew Fri 12-Jul-13 12:09:51

I wonder who's more likely to suffer mental health problems in later life: the bright person who is robust enough to think that if they failed something, they can deal with it and sort that out if they want, because they aren't a failure, just someone who didn't put in enough work; or the person who crumbles because they think they're a failure who's made a mess of things and will never be good enough?

hadboiled Fri 12-Jul-13 12:19:58

Anyone else's DCs just miss out on the next threshold up? Are they upset by it, or are most kids not bothered?

DS got L6 maths but did not get L6 reading because of a change in threshold - one or two points below it I think. His score would've been a L6 last year, but not this one. So he is fine, feels he did the best he could, but feels a bit disconcerted by the change in threshold. Children need certainties, and what was a L6 in the practice papers is suddenly not enough in the actual exam.

And I believe the same happened with L5. I think children should be assessed on their work, not on where they stand in their cohort? It would be easier for them to understand.

To everyone who rants against Sats, assessments are part of life and they will have plenty of those in secondary school! I think it's good training and we have to let our little ones grow. [takes cover]

SoupDragon Fri 12-Jul-13 12:22:49

I think children need to learn the difference between failing an assessment and being a failure.

SoupDragon Fri 12-Jul-13 12:24:10

I think children should be assessed on their work, not on where they stand in their cohort? It would be easier for them to understand.

But I think all exams are based on where they stand in their cohort. Thresholds change.

NoComet Fri 12-Jul-13 12:32:10

The OPs comment about cancelling the school play says it all

This mess is Gove's fault because he doesn't believe our children deserve a childhood angry

We are having a similar fight at the DDs' senior school to maintain extracurricular and enrichment activities.

Gove and Ofsted keep piling the pressure on schools and therefore children to achieve more and more younger and younger.

This may lead to a few DCs getting better GCSEs I suppose, but at what cost?

Squeezing the fun out of school and spreading the stress into children's home life does not create well rounded future citizens.

It especially angers me that cutting lunch time sport and subsidised outward-bound trips, impacts most on our senior schools more disadvantaged pupils. Those who depend on the bus and can't afford the expensive trips ski trips etc that happen in the holidays.

hardboiled Fri 12-Jul-13 13:03:39

But I think all exams are based on where they stand in their cohort. Thresholds change.

Thanks Soupdragon. I didn't know. I thought marks are marks. I am used to a different education system. If you get 80% is a grade, if you get 90% a different grade, etc. It does not depend on what everyone else got that year.

SoupDragon Fri 12-Jul-13 16:28:02

I may be wrong.

I know all DSs school exams are graded depending on the cohort - they are marked and then the grade boundaries are decided. I also thought they did this for GCSEs

Also, wasn't there a big argument last year when they shifted the boundaries for GCSE English?

hardboiled Fri 12-Jul-13 22:33:15

Yes it was a big thing but I'm not sure it was determined by results...or just a change in the score needed. Anyone knows?

BabiesAreLikeBuses Fri 12-Jul-13 23:02:47

Exact scores change each paper - they are similar year on year but not identical. Fwiw although ks2 reading threshhold higher this year we all felt it was a slightly easier paper, our predicted levels are accurate.

As for the rest of you we need to start a new political party to put the care back in hospitals and joy back into learning. None of us remember our best memory at primary being the day we passed a level 6 paper! Then we can fire all the people assessing the performance of others and save billions. grin

hardboiled Sat 13-Jul-13 10:08:56

But to be honest, DS best memory from primary will not be passing L6! IME, if that is the case, if the children are slaving for Sats, if plays and trips are cancelled, it is not so much the fault of Sats but of the school in question. DS' school has combined both in a masterful way, with over 65% of children achieving L5 whilst having a good time and a rich curriculum, going on several trips including a residential week, putting on a fantastic play... It can be done!!

Like I said, assessments are assessments. It is the sign of a good and well oiled school to handle them in a way that, whilst preparing for them and caring for the result, they do not let them take over school life.

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