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Yr 6 sats revision guides used in class

(15 Posts)
18yearstooold Sun 15-Feb-15 08:37:49

We were given the opportunity to buy sats revision guides at the start of January

I didn't because a) sats don't benefit the children and b) I can't afford them even if I wanted to buy them

Dd is currently emptying the bookshelf at home

I asked her why and she's finding things to read because after half term they will be given 20 minutes of class time to work through revision guides and if they don't have them they will be reading

Now I have no problem with reading but this is on top of 20 minutes reading they do anyway

I'm feeling this isn't particularly fair?

ragged Sun 15-Feb-15 09:06:18

Unfair on the kids who have boring workbook & don't get to read a nice book instead do you mean?

18yearstooold Sun 15-Feb-15 09:46:28

Both I think

Dd is lucky, she has lots of books to choose from, some of the children don't

But she also feels guilty for not having the workbooks and that she won't do as well -I've reassured her that this isn't the case and that the tests are for school not her but they have been hearing about sats since yr4 so it's hard to balance that

Surely if lesson time is being planned around these books, they should be available to everyone?

PastSellByDate Sun 15-Feb-15 09:47:25

18years:

Your issue raises several points.

First off see this: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/365929/charging_for_school_activities_-_October_2014.pdf - which quite clearly states on page 2:

School charging Education

School governing bodies and local authorities, cannot charge for:

•education provided during school hours (including the supply of any materials, books, instruments or other equipment)

First and foremost I think you need to clarify vis a vis the Head Teacher whether revision for KS2 SATs using a revision book is part of Y6's daily tuition or not? The HT can't respond that this is purely optional - and children can read alternatively during this time - either the whole class is revising or not. Although a school can take a sub-set of a cohort out for separate activities, they must provide tuition/ activitites for the other pupils during that time as well.

Second point to raise is under copyright law - sections of any educational material can be photocopied for educational purposes - so the school could handle this by simply photocopying appropriate page(s) for pupils without the book. Call it old fashioned - but has the school considered 'sharing books'. I know it's a radical solution - but then everybody may be able to join in.

Third - the school most likely owns some of these books - so these could be provided to pupils without books.

Fourth - School funds/ PTA funds could be used to buy books for pupils - if in fact the school desires that all Year 6 pupils revise for KS2 SATs. FSM student subsidy should be used in this case and in particular the school should be providing all FSM pupils with KS2 revision books - excluding them from this is quite simply not allowed.

Fifth - the school cannot oblige you to provide books. All materials for education MUST be provided by the school. So whatever else the school should be assisting your child in supply of reading material.

Ladymuck Sun 15-Feb-15 09:51:02

If your dd is entitled to free school meals then the school may consider buying the books for her. How does your dd feel?

TeenAndTween Sun 15-Feb-15 09:54:37

I disagree with you regarding the value of SATs.

But I agree if they are using the books in class time they should provide them. If you can't afford them the school should have a fund to help out (especially if your child gets free school meals). Worth asking.

The levels she gets at the end of y6 go towards targets for secondary school. If she 'underperforms' in y6 SATs the secondary school will not be required to make as much progress with her. Thus, even if capable of more they may not notice if she is coasting a bit. An underperforming child may get interventions that your child may not.

Also, encouraging a 'do your best' attitude for tests is a good thing in my opinion. Yes you have to balance with not stressing out, but you are running the risk of stressing your daughter more by making her feel underprepared compared with everyone else.

18yearstooold Sun 15-Feb-15 10:03:58

I'm not stressing her, school is
She's expected to get level 5 in English and maths -is it going to make a difference if she gets a 5b instead of a 5a?

Yes she is on FSM along with several other children in the class

School have a selection of books available for reading during the daily reading time but dd demolishes books so has been through most of them and therefore chooses to take books from home

PastSellByDate Sun 15-Feb-15 10:13:04

18years:

TeenandTween does make a valid point. The target for progress across Key stage 3 is roughly 1.5 Nc Levels (using old money - as this system of assessment is going to change) - in theory if your child achieves NC L4 at KS2 SATs the school is expected to bring them to Nc L5/6 end of KS3 (although there is no national testing end of KS3).

So the higher your child performs at KS2 SATs the more his/her secondary school is expected to do with them.

At present in the UK roughly 50% of pupils achieve L5 in English and 40% achieving L5 in Maths: data source: www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/sep/19/sats-results-key-stage-two - table at bottom of this article.

If your child achieves NC L5 - suddenly the school will be expected to get them to at least NC L6, if not Level 7. That pressure means that a school cannot just let your child's progress stall during KS3 but needs to keep that pace of learning ticking along (because the school is inspected in terms of tracked progress of pupils vis a vis KS2 SATs results). And that is your child's benefit.

This table may help to show you the 'game': www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/archive/schools_10/s11.shtml - all a secondary school is required to do is get your child to the first green box and they will be assessed as doing their job - making expected progress with your child. Now a good school will aim to get them slightly higher - maybe the second green box along - but they aren't hugely rewarded in league tables for doing it and most parents don't really get the VA score system.

In blunt terms NC L4 - means it is likely to achieve a C at GCSE (in fact it's more complicated than that and half of pupils scraping a 4c fail to achieve a C at GCSE - source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/raising-ambitions-and-standards-for-primary-schools.

achieving NC L5 means your child is highly likely to achieve B or better at GCSE. So I suppose the quesiton to ask yourself is ultimately what do you want for your child - do you want them to have that option of going to University or not?

That's why KS2 SATs matter and the government is endlessly tinckering with primary reform. This data trend has been going on for decades - and is very stable and widely viewed as a reliable predictor of performance come GCSEs.

PastSellByDate Sun 15-Feb-15 10:18:23

18years:

She's expected to get level 5 in English and maths -is it going to make a difference if she gets a 5b instead of a 5a?

I take your point - I agree what sub-level isn't going to matter a lot - but....

I would argue that revising such that it is pretty well guaranteed she achieves NC L5 - not just narrowly missign it - is jolly well important. Remember her secondary school will see precisely how she did - we parents just get 'general' ball park figures.

Are you that confident that the school's assessment of your child is accurate - Check out the teacher assessment statistics vs. actual KS2 SATs results for your school. Our school is steadily 20% out on predictions most years - frequently over-estimating pupil achievement. Parents are endlessly told 'it's the pressure of the test' - but I begin to wonder if it isn't a case of school policy to tell parents what they want to hear (child doing fine/ on track for NC L4).

insanityscratching Sun 15-Feb-15 10:25:11

Are the books the same as last year does anyone know? If they are and I haven't already thrown them away I'll send you dd's that she never so much as opened much less did any work from them.

18yearstooold Sun 15-Feb-15 10:27:40

Historically the school is pretty much spot on with predictions

She's done 2 sample papers since the start of yr 6 and got a mix of 5a&b so for her i'm not worried she won't do well

If she was closer to the 4/5 boarder I would be more concerned

But I still wouldn't have been able to afford the revision guides!

18yearstooold Sun 15-Feb-15 10:34:22

Insanity that's really kind but I don't even know what the books are, just that one is black, one is white and they look like the GCSE study guides

There are 4 altogether at £8 each

PastSellByDate Sun 15-Feb-15 10:37:36

18years:

I'd raise this with the school HT - they should be providing FSM pupils with such resources.

I'd also ring the LEA (if this is a state school). Just raise this as a theoretical issue - what is the LEA's guidance to schools in terms of purchasing KS2 revision guides for in school use when FSM?

Having done something similar in the past (and not FSM) I can assure you that when a school is way out of line (and I think this is) there tends to be a quiet little telephone call and things are resolved in your child's favour.

HTH & best of luck to your DD on KS2 SATs & beyond!

insanityscratching Sun 15-Feb-15 10:38:54

Not sure if dd had any white ones although they looked like gcse revision books I'll go and look soon as dd is still in bed.

noblegiraffe Sun 15-Feb-15 10:43:12

If you are FSM and can't afford the books then you should definitely ask the school to use pupil premium money to buy them for you. This is exactly the sort of thing that money is for.

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