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Testing in year 3?

(31 Posts)
hels71 Fri 11-Mar-16 19:03:54

May I ask what your schools are doing with regards to testing children.

My DD is in year 3 and has been coming home in tears about tests.

Investigations (confirmed by the head) tell me that 6 times a year (minimum) each child, (from year 1-6) is having a written test (As in sit in silence, work on your own...timed pressure) in Comprehension, spellings, grammar, maths and mental maths, as well as doing some assessed writing. This is in addition to weekly spelling tests and mental maths tests. The head assures me this is now very normal.

Friends in real life with children in other schools do not seem to think this is what their schools are doing, and it is certainly not what the school I work in is doing, so I wondered if it was becoming more of a thing in general?

irvine101 Fri 11-Mar-16 19:19:35

My ds in YR3 seems to have had an assessment week. I think his school is doing lots of tests as well, but he doesn't seems to care if he did well or not. Can't you tell your dd that it doesn't really matter as long as she does her best?

sunnydayinmay Fri 11-Mar-16 19:22:14

Nope, not what's happening in our school. DS (year 4) has mental maths tests, but nothing else he would identify as a test.

I know that another local school has tests termky for all years.

mrz Fri 11-Mar-16 19:29:56

Since levels have been scrapped some schools have chosen to use tests to track progress. They are usually quite low key.

GraciesMansion Fri 11-Mar-16 19:39:01

Lots of schools have regular assessment weeks but they're usually quite informal.

lljkk Fri 11-Mar-16 19:45:57

DC's primary has done tests like OP describes, for yr3+, for at least 8 yrs. Roughly near end of each half term. Not a big deal, just a week with several 45 minute assessments in it and done. It make the format of yr6 SATs week quite familiar. None of my kids talked about it, I only know because I was a parent helper with DC1 was in yr3.

irvine101 Fri 11-Mar-16 19:51:41

I think getting used to test environment is a good thing for future. You just have to make sure children don't get stressed about it.

nonicknameseemsavailable Fri 11-Mar-16 21:31:40

not here. mental maths tests pretty much once a week and I think there has been a small test at the end of last term so no doubt something at the end of this term and next term.

I do know others though where the schools seem to be following some sort of SATS tests in every year and they seem to spend most of the year working on tests, practice tests, doing tests etc.

mrz Sat 12-Mar-16 06:00:14

Many schools used the optional national curriculum tests in years 3,4 & 5 but since changes to the curriculum none of these correlate to new expectations so hopefully schools aren't still using these 😱

irvine101 Sat 12-Mar-16 06:19:04

No, I don't think my ds's school is using old test, since prepositions and modal verbs etc. came up. And I don't even know what modal verb is.blush

mrz Sat 12-Mar-16 06:43:20

Modal verbs

irvine101 Sat 12-Mar-16 06:48:44

Thank you mrz, as always.

hels71 Sat 12-Mar-16 09:18:48

Thanks for replying. I have to say I just can not see how having a year 3 child in tears due to testing (And she is quite bright and generally likes tests and puzzles) can be a good thing for anyone?? Does not help that she changed teacher after Xmas and the new one is very testing focused anyway...she even makes them do them again if they are not done well enough (So how does that assess anything, unless child was ill on the day?)
Home Ed is starting to look very appealing...

spanieleyes Sat 12-Mar-16 09:58:05

I would try to find out WHY she is in tears first. We have assessment tests three times a year, for all children from Year 1 upwards and I have never seen ANY child in tears about them ( and my class positively LOVE them!)

lljkk Sat 12-Mar-16 10:05:54

Having observed how the tests were done in our school, yes there was a time limit & the children had to be quiet (must not discuss answers), but it was soon over & done with. In yr3 I think the test was really more like 20 minutes, even. For math tests we adults could read the question out loud to them if they didn't have great reading skills.

Learning to deal with timed independent tests is a useful skill, less stressful if built up to it slowly. My home-edding friends spend a lot of time teaching exam technique, too.

hels71 Sat 12-Mar-16 16:32:10

I have asked her what is upsetting her so much. She says all they do these days is tests tests and more tests, they never do anything fun. The teacher makes them think each test is very important and they must get everything right or they will have to re do them, but they never get told how they did on any of the tests (Unless they are told to do them again)

Now I expect she is exaggerating about only doing tests!!!!...but I feel it's rather sad that that is how my 8 year old is being made to feel.

6 times a year minimum with 6 official written tests each times seems rather a lot to me.... Anyway, it's certainly not improving her education as she no longer wants to go to school...

mrz Sat 12-Mar-16 16:45:42

Rising Stars?

paxillin Sat 12-Mar-16 17:06:05

Ours do these tests, I wasn't even aware until the teacher told me at parents evening. I would talk to the teachers about how she can be reassured no ill will befall her if she doesn't do well. The tests are quite normal, you dd's reaction is not.

hels71 Sat 12-Mar-16 17:32:07

I suspect that it is the teacher/school that needs to change their approach. Have today had two of her friend's mums asking how DD is as their children have been stressed and complaining too..

lljkk Sat 12-Mar-16 17:35:12

If they are testing all day, when do teachers get a chance to teach what they are being tested on?
Or PE, lunch, playtime, art, music...

paxillin Sat 12-Mar-16 17:43:05

Go to the teacher and tell your friends to do the same. There has to be a stress-free way to do this. Ours just roll their eyes if you mention the tests and are really not stressed. Teacher seems to create an atmosphere, she might be unaware. If the teacher cannot be reasoned with, tell your dd not to worry. Assure nothing bad will happen if she does badly and the tests are not going to change her life.

hels71 Sat 12-Mar-16 17:46:48

I expect her description of testing all the time is exaggerated!!!. But I know that everything except English, Maths and PE is being squashed into a very short space. They do English and maths all morning and for 30 mins of every afternoon. There is collective worship for 20 mins every afternoon as well. Add those together along with registration and suddenly the afternoons are very short. Especially as they do PE for an hour on two afternoons. Her class was meant to be doing a production this term as they did not do one at Christmas, but we have been told there is not enough time for it. I may have to look at changing schools I think!!!

irvine101 Sat 12-Mar-16 18:20:00

Testing 6 times a year(once every half term) must be standard at many school?

spanieleyes Sat 12-Mar-16 18:29:37

Ours are three times a year, November, February and June ( although the Year 6 don't do the June ones!) Generally we do three, one maths, one grammar and one reading. The younger children do their tests in small groups and the tests for the older children take a maximum of 45 minutes each. No-one appears stressed, no-one retakes them ( what would be the point!) and no-one cries!

irvine101 Sat 12-Mar-16 18:35:24

I don't even know how tests are done at my ds's school. He sometimes tells me when I asked him what he has done that day, like " Oh yeah, we had a test today." No stress at all.

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