Sats are for the schools benefit not your Child's future.(15 Posts)
I keep seeing this on threads. Really, I had it wrong all along.
If the NC levels are done away with sats really will start having a parental purpose!
Keystage 1 and 2 SATS do not affect your child's future. However having the skills to cope with secondary school education does affect your child's future. If a child does not have the equivalent skills needed to get a level 4 in both maths and english they will flounder at secondary.
Many secondary schools have their own assessment to work out the best way of supporting the learning of every child. CATs, reading and spelling tests are used by many schools for setting. Some children can perform on a SATs paper as they have been taught to the test but cannot perform in the real life enviroment of a secondary school history lesson when they are asked to read.
The sun will rise if a child under performs on a SATs paper. However it may be a single that the child needs extra support with learning. Failing primary school sats does not stop a child from going to university or getting a good job in the future. Consersely getting level 5/6 in key stage 2 sats is not a guarentee of sucess.
Educational results are important, but its not a matter of life or death. The level of pressure that some primary schools put young children under is disportionate to the importance of SATs.
I don't think SATs determine future - they're a snapshot of your child at that moment at KS2 - and a subjective assessment (possibly with pressure from SMT) at KS1.
The results are raw scores which then are related to 'level thresholds' (e.g. https://orderline.education.gov.uk/gempdf/1783150653/STA-13-6932%20-%202012%20Level%20threshold%20tables%20for%20the%203-5%20and%20level%206%20English%20and%20mathematics%20tests.pdf) - which are whole NC Levels (L3/ L4/ L5/ etc...).
Of course parents want to know did their child score a high L3 or a low level 4.
Oddly enough what I find interesting is nobody is asking for the 'raw score'/ thresholds to be reported to parents as well.
So Johnny scored 78 on KS2 Maths L3-L5 SAT paper - just missing NC L5.
That tells us how they're doing within what has been deemed that year to be NC Levels performance bands.
I don't mind tests - what I do mind is that it is all about this one test.
I really think we've lost perspective that this is a snapshot of a child at that point/ on that day and may not necessarily reflect where they're at now or reliably predict where they're going to be.
It's all become very formulaic - which I suspect is that statistically children scored NC L2 at KS1 SATs are highly likely to score NC L4 at KS2 SATs.
And then there's the gaming to show good and/or outstanding progress.
Personally I can't think of another means of the government (DofE/ OFSTED) judging whether schools are 'doing their job' by their students without having some national test (and indeed most countries do). But I think the problem is that those administering the test and also those preparing children for the test - and perhaps those activities should be separated.
Perhaps the simplest thing is to make SATs examinations totally independent. Examiners come to the school (unannounced), invigilate the test & marks are sent to both parent/ school.
Well I've never seen a job advert that asked for at least a Level 4 in KS2 SATS, so yes of course they're not for your child's future. They are though an indication of how they're doing at the end of primary.
Some schools use them to inform initial setting.
They can also be used to set expectations/ targets at secondary.
So a child entering with a 4 will be expected to get a 6 by end y9.
A child entering with a 5 will be expected to get a 7.
Some schools do interventions if a child is not on target to make expected progress. So an inappropriately low or high y6 sats score can make a difference.
But I agree that in the scheme of things they are not important and schools and parents should not be stressing children out about them.
Don't believe it.
Your child's GCSE target grades are based on their KS2 SAT results. Now, your child will get whatever they get, but school will target them for extra support if they're not reaching their predicted grades.
So a child who came up a level 4 and is on track for a C won't get extra support, but a child who came up a 5 and is on track for a C probably will get extra support.
Equally a teacher who thinks they're a level 5 will have diff expectations of them then if they're a level 4. Ie both kids are meant to make x sublevels. So the level 4 kid is expected to finish the year behind the level 5 kid.
But they are now expected to get a b based on a 4 not a c. Everyone is going to need support!
Agree with Wizard and Road Less Travelled.
Even in Juniors,(KS2) pupils have predicted attainment, based on what they got at KS1. Schools need to make 2 levels progress (or more these days) so these KS1 results will both determine expectations to some point, but also influence who gets extra help, in order to make sure they achieve the 2 levels progress.
Schools (especially secondaries) have staff totally dedicated to number crunching, tracking progress and identifying children who are under performing in terms of their expected levels, or who will bring the headline figures of 5 A*toC or Ebacc or whatever they are keen to focus on, down. Interventions are often triggered by these statistical patterns.
So, KS1 and KS2 sats have some kind of influence on both expectations and on how much extra help might be offered. These things in themselves will have some influence on final educational outcomes, but will not be the only or most important factor.
Finally, SATS results are good predictors of later achievement. So whilst everyone can name a child who performed poorly at KS1 or KS2 and is now at Oxbridge, they are few and far between and most children will perform as the statistics suggest.
Of course each child is individual and many factors influence their outcomes, especially parents. Children do not all fit into statistical tracking patterns....but it is daft to say that SATS results have no heari g or influence.
Targets for pupil progress at secondary school are based, albeit not wholly, on KS2 results.
Ironically, those students who often made the poorest progress were those who came from the 'best' primary schools where pupils were pushed and pushed to achieve level 5s.
We used to end up with a tiny but irritating number of 'non-moving 5s' each year - pupils who achieved level 5 at the end of KS2 and KS3. They almost always came up from one of two 'outstanding' feeder schools.
I think the post above from Roadlesstravelled does make a lot of sense - but....
I would add at primary children are facing a prevailing attitude that 'all the school need do is get them to NC L4 standard'.
I've had multiple conversations with teachers at our DDs school about how NC L4 is what they work to (and no higher). Thus DD1's Y6 cohort of 30 pupils is now split into two groups (one with a KS1 teacher who are secure NC L4/L5 and one with the Y6 teacher who are really struggling to get to NC L4 and the school is throwing everything at them in one last ditch effort to get that all important NC L4 on KS2 SATs).
They didn't listen when I said:
Isn't it odd that there has never been maths homework in Y1?
Isn't it odd that so far there's no numbers on maths homework in KS1 (YR/ Y1/ into mid-1st term Y2)?
I think it is a mistake to abandon multiplication table homework?
Why aren't library books coming home?
Why aren't guided reading books coming home any more?
I fear they're now reaping what they sowed.
I suspect our school relies heavily on a significant component of each cohort prepping for the 11+ and garnering them easily earned NC L5s.
But back to the topic...
What is disturbing about KS2 SATs feeding into senior schools is that these pigeon hole children's access to learning/ teaching. However, I am aware of some senior schools almost instantly re-testing children and not taking a huge amount of notice of the KS2 SATs - basically starting from scratch with every child.
Like anything - it totally depends on the individuals (the teachers) involved - and the 'ethos' of the management of a school.
I sincerely hope there are schools out there that accept there can be late bloomers and sudden, swift improvements when finally a child just gets it (or responds well to a great teacher who makes a subject fun to learn). I hope there are schools that recognise improvement early, encourage it and move children up to higher ability forms in KS3. But I also know that there are schools here where you come in, are put into a certain form and there you stay for the duration.
"I would add at primary children are facing a prevailing attitude that 'all the school need do is get them to NC L4 standard'. "
They'll get a nasty shock come OFSTED, then.......!
SATs and league tables were introduced quite simply to scare teachers into pushing primary kids harder. At secondary level, to get them over the C/D boundary.
A school's standing in the league tables matters much more to schools than to kids. Sadly, this has led to most Y6 pupils now spending half their time on English and maths, with lots of past paper practice.
And then we get employers complaining that we don't have enough creative people, capable of thinking for themselves and taking risks.
And Lynne Truss (if i got the name right - education minister) has just gone over to learn from Shanghai where cramming for tests and exams is even worse.
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