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Feb half term Maths test

(7 Posts)
bicyclebell Thu 11-Feb-16 21:30:59

Is this now across all schools?

My son (Year 4) came home today very subdued as they'd had to sit in silence (unheard of in his school). "No talking at all" he said - outraged.

It was for a test. All maths. Around 30 questions. Much harder than anything they've learned before and he feels he's got most of them wrong.

He's sure there's going to be another one tomorrow with more maths and some grammar too ...

Is this part of the new curriculum?

spanieleyes Thu 11-Feb-16 21:42:27

We have assessment weeks three times a year across all classes, generally maths, reading and grammar. We use these as part of our assessment process, together with ongoing teacher assessment, to gain an understanding of the skills and knowledge the children have managed to retain! My year 5/6's love assessment week as they like to show off all they know-our philosophy is one of personal improvement rather than competing against each other!

bicyclebell Thu 11-Feb-16 21:45:41

Oh. This is new for our school, I think. My son's never mentioned it before and definitely seemed phased by it today.

He's refusing to go in for more tomorrow ...

I'll try and make it sound/seem fun. Thank you.

mrz Fri 12-Feb-16 06:31:38

No it's not across all schools's the choice of your child's school.
All schools will do termly assessment but this doesn't have to be a test

bicyclebell Sat 13-Feb-16 00:02:16

Thank you mrz,

I spoke to our school today and they told me that they'd chosen to buy tests in from outside. They'll be doing them half termly. It is to help raise levels to the requirements of the new curriculum.

They said the reason DS and his friend had felt they'd got it all wrong and that they hadn't learned any of it in school was because the test asks them questions in different ways from how they've learned it in class.

The test is there for teachers to find out what gaps there are in their teaching and how different pupils will need to work on different skills to get stronger.

They think that once pupils get used to doing the tests they'll get better at them and find them less daunting.

I'm not sure what to make of all this.

spanieleyes Sat 13-Feb-16 08:42:48

Schools do things in different ways! We have always had tests three times a year, previously we used the Optional SATS papers that were available for each year group, now we use tests that more closely match the way the questions are set in the new curriculum tests. It DOES mean that the children become accustomed to the language of tests, how questions are set out etc ( although there is no reason why schools can't simply use the question style without the testing situation!)
Although most teachers are very comfortable assessing what children do and don't know, many Heads/SLT like numerical evidence! It might be simpler to track progress when ( as an example) a child scored 45 on a test in November and 65 on a similar test in February, they have proof of progress in black and white! Some schools like to ensure tests are treated just as part of the school day, some have ( as we do) assessment week when all the children in the school-from Year 1 up-are assessed in this way. Some schools don't "test" at all but use professional judgement/objective coverage as a method of tracking and some schools-like mine-do both!!
What is true however is that in Year 6 it is testing all the way. Apart from writing, all subjects at the end of year 6 are assessed through tests. Perhaps the school feels that, if children become accustomed to having to sit tests then SATS won't be seen as anything different, just one in a series of tests they have completed over the years. Whatever the philosophy behind the decision to introduce formal tests, the teacher should be skilled enough to ensure that the children approach them with confidence. As mentioned earlier, my class LOVE tests and often ask if we can do more of them confused

spanieleyes Sat 13-Feb-16 08:45:15

Oh, and having just analysed the results of recent maths tests, it is clear that there are some areas a few children have struggled with and these will need revisiting, some areas they are very strong in and we can just keep topping up and some areas they clearly don't remember covering at all sad

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