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School holiday revision classes for KS2 SATS

(33 Posts)
bristolbabe Sun 30-Mar-14 19:37:36

Our school has invited all the Y6 students to come into class every morning for a week of their Easter holiday for SATS revision. Do other schools do this? I'm reluctant to have my daughter's holiday eaten away like this, given that the secondary school she is going to next year normally reassesses kids on entry and streams accordingly. (Although, that said, she is happy to do it as most of her friends will be going in). Does this mean our school is really diligent and cares about the education of the children? Or are they just becoming SATS obsessed? Previous KS2 SATS in school a bit disappointing so I can see they had to do something, but this feels like overkill.

OddBoots Sun 30-Mar-14 19:40:09

Wow, that does seem very unreasonable, it's not diligence, it seems more like panic to me. My dd is Y6 and there is no way she would be going to school over the holiday.

bearleftmonkeyright Sun 30-Mar-14 19:43:28

I personally think its overkill. The pressure on those kids is just too much. My dd is in year 7 and when she did her primary Sats she didn't do very well and got a 3a in numeracy. She has had great support in her new school and is now aiming for a 5b at end of year 7. I think its wrong to pressure children like this in primary school.

HolidayCriminal Sun 30-Mar-14 19:44:45

Doesn't happen at our school, either. No boosters that I ever heard of at any time.

RufusTheReindeer Sun 30-Mar-14 19:44:45

Sats obsessed, my ds3 school offers an after school class on a Friday it's the first time they have done it

FreeLikeABird Sun 30-Mar-14 19:46:55

Ours doesn't offer this and my child wouldn't be going in whilst on holiday.
However they have asked us to keep revising all through the holidays to keep things "fresh" in there mind.

Nocomet Sun 30-Mar-14 19:50:34

No way, DD2 did a few L6 lessons after school (not enough to get it), but not in the holidays.

I think her response to that would not be permitted on net mums.

Chigley1 Sun 30-Mar-14 19:51:30

As a teacher, I find this total overkill,and I certainly wouldn't be sending my child in the holidays. Sounds like panic to me, if they haven't taught kids sufficiently well during term time, that's their look out.

exexpat Sun 30-Mar-14 19:54:09

Sounds seriously OTT to me. The Sats results matter to the school much more than to the children, so I don't see why the children should give up part of their Easter holiday to cram for them.

That is also really not what Sats are meant to be about - they are meant to give a picture of how well children at a school are progressing in general, not how much cramming they have been subjected to. I would refuse to send my DCs in on principle, even if they didn't mind.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 30-Mar-14 19:56:49

No way would I have allowed my dc to attend school out of hours let alone during holidays. They must be dire teachers and panicking or being pushed by a HT, either way SATS are not for the benefit of your children.

pointythings Sun 30-Mar-14 20:11:37

DD2's school is doing it and yes, they are worried about SATs given that they had an OFSTED RI last year. It's only 3 days though, and only mornings - afternoons are art, craft and sport.

DD2 is going because her friends are going, I have told her it is on condition that she then does no work at all besides reading for pleasure for the rest of the holiday.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 30-Mar-14 20:16:03

What!!!!!

We always go away at Easter with not a schoolbook in sight

Dd is yr 7 & ds year 5.

TheOriginalNutcracker Sun 30-Mar-14 20:30:37

Never in a million years would I send ds to this.

I hate SATS as it is, and would be removing ds if I had a choice.

bristolbabe Sun 30-Mar-14 20:32:42

The school is trying to improve, although it's last OFSTED was OK. My concern is that it sees improvement in terms of SATS results. I'd be interested to know what you think this says about the school? It doesn't matter for my daughter, but it matters for my niece who is in Y1 (she doesn't seem to be getting any extra work, apart from homework, but Y2 kids are now getting booster classes in literacy and maths if they are borderline L3 or a struggling low L2).
There's a new head and he has a reputation for being a hardliner.

pointythings Sun 30-Mar-14 20:33:26

It's actually not as bad as DD1's school - they handed out a pile of worksheets with instructions that the children were to do half an hour of maths, half an hour of reading comprehension and spelling or writing every day - recommended time an hour a day.

But they weren't going to bother marking it, oh no. We recycled it. At least here it's time limited, voluntary and there is teacher involvement as well as some fun. If DD2 hadn't wanted to go, I'd have said no like a shot, though.

What chance do any of our children have? Now we have Michael Wilshaw talking about how nurseries need to up their game to prepare children for 'the academic rigours of school'. In YrR. sad

Endymion Sun 30-Mar-14 20:35:26

Dd is going to one.

3 mornings. 9-12. Spot of revision, also sports coaches there for breaks.

She's keen to see friends that she wouldn't normally see in hols. We're going away the day after.

It's optional. But I think historically there's been a good uptake.

coppertop Sun 30-Mar-14 20:35:41

That doesn't happen at ds' school. Surely a decent break from it all would do the children far more good than an extra week of school?

Endymion Sun 30-Mar-14 20:37:51

Improvement in terms of SATS results? Totally!

Because that's what ofsted are interested in, along with progress from ks1 to ks2 (again, demonstrated through...SATS results). Also what prospective parents tend to be swayed by when looking at league tables etc.

I doubt agree with it. But these are difficult times for schools.

Endymion Sun 30-Mar-14 20:38:31

I don't agree with the ofsted focus! I mean.

breatheslowly Sun 30-Mar-14 20:41:45

Is there really an educational benefit for the pupils? It just sounds like cramming, so I doubt the long term benefit of it.

sunshinysummer Sun 30-Mar-14 20:46:39

Y6 teacher here. It sounds like panic to me too (though I do understand the pressure if they had a poor set of results last year).

I have set some reading comprehension homework and a past SATs maths paper. This will probably total about 2hours over the 17 days off.
We have just under 3weeks when we go back until the SAts and I feel that teaching a balanced curriculum until now with three weeks revision when we return is more than sufficient preparation.

I am lucky that we have superb yr3-5 teachers at our school so I only have to do a normal amount of teaching in y6. I would hate to teach in y6 in a school where little progress has been made between y2-5 and all the pressure was on the poor y6 teacher. I understand why they run booster classes etc in those cases.

ContentedSidewinder Sun 30-Mar-14 20:48:09

My two are at outstanding school ofsted wise, some children have been offered booster classes after school one day a week if the child is teetering on being able to get the next level.

The other 5 children are going to a exam intake school (already accepted) and are going to be sitting the level 6 paper. This started after Feb half term.

But is certainly isn't blanket. We have 3 class intake so 90 children. We have been given some books to help with revision but we were given them in February! So if we want to do any extra work we had loads of time to do it.

I think it may be too little too late if they are trying to cram in revision. My son has been told he is to sit no more test SATs papers as they are confident in his level.

Endymion Sun 30-Mar-14 20:51:48

It's tricky.

I'm not convinced about educational benefit in general.

However. Dd has really enjoyed some of the more complicated maths she has been learning recently. While you could argue (I would) that this should be done anyway, part of the issue for dd with SATS is that she knows her levels and what her target is, so for her the benefit is the confidence that she will gain by achieving her particular target.

Ideally, this should not be moderated by an externally marked exam, a snapshot, but by teacher assessment IMO. The problem is though, that without the external marking element, if schools are essentially going to be ranked on their SATS performance there is always room for over-levelling and sharp practice.

So personally I think that the league tables should be done away with, which would reduce the pressure on schools to cram, but that there should be tests that are externally marked with the information being shared between the schools and inspectorate. Which should be like the olden days HMI rather than ofsted, where the process of inspection wasn't knife-edge-politically-motivated-no-warning-criticism but was much more a dialogue between inspectors and schools - with the inspectorate being critical friends rather than potential executioners.

knittedslippersx3 Sun 30-Mar-14 20:52:32

Surely this is for the schools benefit only. Once my dd reached high school I was told by her teachers that her sats results were irrelevant and they would make their own assessment and opinion of her ability.

Slackgardener Sun 30-Mar-14 21:39:06

This school are failing to teach on a daily basis when they are cramming at the last minute for an exam that is supposed to assess their ability to teach on a daily basis, I think its an appalling approach. I have told my dc's teachers that I will not have them doing booster classes over break, lunch or after school...I hadn't even contemplated the madness of holiday classes.
Ofsted need a good kick up the arse if they think this is a good approach to education, I'm so angry about the pressure put on my dcs for the Sats, something has to change!

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