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Difficulty of SATS reading comp?

(16 Posts)
Verbena37 Thu 03-Mar-16 16:53:41

DS gets a piece of reading comprehension every week in practice for his SATS. He is in set 3 English and has newly diagnosed HF ASD and so his processing is slower than it perhaps would be otherwise.

It would take him forever to complete the sheet of five questions without my help and input and every week, he doesn't really understand what is being asked, especially in the more open ended questions.

This week (Cider with Rosie extract), he had to explain about whether he found the narrator's description of the natural world surprising (there were about 16 lines to read that covered that particular question and it specified which lines) and then explain why.

He had no idea and to be honest, neither did I......other than the sheer guess I made which was marked wrong (although looking again at it now, I've just realised what the answer perhaps should have been). I have GSCE English (A) and A levels and good 2:1 degree yet still didn't find it easy to answer! I think it was far more a GCSE question than a year 6 question.

I'll obviously tell the teacher, at parents evening, he isn't doing the reading comp. homework totally on his own but I wondered whether other parents have found this hard and seemingly age ability inappropriate?

stupidgreatgrinonmyface Thu 03-Mar-16 18:29:38

have a look here. This is the official sample paper we have seen, along with the mark scheme. We thought the texts, especially the Lost World extract, along with the questions, very demanding of this age group. I feel very sad for any one having to take it. It sounds as though the teacher is trying to give a fair example of what it could be like when the children see the actual paper in May.

Verbena37 Thu 03-Mar-16 19:05:51

Thanks, I will take a look.

Verbena37 Thu 03-Mar-16 19:10:13

I think he would have a fit if I vent showed him the text boxes on space travel.....he wouldn't know where to begin.

Why on earth don't they base them on books that kids like reading.....something like David Walliams or Harry Potter.
I just don't get why they have to do such formal exams at age 10/11.
It's very sad.

Readysteadyknit Thu 03-Mar-16 19:27:16

Children with ASDs often struggle with comprehension. Is it worth speaking to SENCO about access arrangements - extra time possibly- for the SATs

mrz Thu 03-Mar-16 19:34:32

how about part of the test for 6/7 year olds

mrz Thu 03-Mar-16 19:36:31


Ellle Thu 03-Mar-16 20:04:18

I printed the sample test and tried on DS (7 year old). He was fine with it. But I can see that many other children wouldn't be.

Maybe they should have three types of tests (green, orange and red) that would vary in difficulty, a bit similar to the differentiated work every child can access in the classroom. That way all children would be able to be tested to the best of their ability.

mrz Thu 03-Mar-16 20:08:17

You mean like the ones they've replaced?

Feenie Thu 03-Mar-16 20:14:22



God, it's not v funny really.

Ellle Thu 03-Mar-16 20:18:40

Yes! I never had a experience with those exams (DS has been with the new curriculum since last year and is my first child at school).

But the system with the old SATs sounded better compared to the new KS1 SATs that everybody is complaining about for being too difficult and all children have to take regardless of their ability.

irvine101 Thu 03-Mar-16 20:21:43

My ds had terrible comprehension(reads texts literally), but used this site and got a lot better. I don't know if it would help or not, but you can try? It will adjust to your level, so it starts with easy and gradually gets harder as you progress.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 03-Mar-16 20:55:12

My DD has very poor visual processing and comprehension was awful, tears and tantrums were the norm. Then she was taught to use highlighters one colour for feelings, one for actions etc. This helped her process what she was reading when they question asked how did a character feel she immediately looked at the colour for feelings. This has really helped her.

Verbena37 Thu 03-Mar-16 21:48:49

It's ridiculous giving them such complex texts if they don't match ability.
I don't actually care how he does in SATS. We just explain them to DS as a way of the school showing how good the school is. DS knows not to worry in general but when he is there sitting the tests, I can imagine him having a massive meltdown once he gets home.

kesstrel Fri 04-Mar-16 08:01:50

This week (Cider with Rosie extract), he had to explain about whether he found the narrator's description of the natural world surprising

I agree that that kind of question is ridiculous. It's far too subjective' questions that assume children will have a particular emotion and reaction are unfair. SATS have been like that for a long time, and it has always been outrageous.

But I looked at the answer booklet in Mrz's link, and there aren't any questions that I can see that are really comparable to that. They start with easier factual questions and then towards the end introduce more sophisticated stuff, but presumably that's there to stretch the more advanced readers. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the primarily factual nature of the questions. I think they may have taken on board the criticisms of previous tests for being too much based on interpreting characters' emotions.

Verbena37 Fri 04-Mar-16 19:51:00

Hmm that's interesting. I think that question was the last one but the others were also of the interpretation/opinion nature. The tescher marked it incorrect and said he has to look at it again. He just shrugged and walked off when I spoke to him about it.

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