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Is your child really failing at writing?

(48 Posts)
jennielou75 Fri 18-Mar-16 21:59:47

If your child can't use an exclamation sentence or spell words with the suffixes ment ful ness and ly oh and use them freely in their writing on at least three seperate occasions then your child will not achieve the year 2 standards.

This basically means that a child who would have been a level 3 last year will now only be given working towards year 2. What do other parents know about this and what should be done? It seems rediculous that these children are being used as guinea pigs.

ReallyTired Fri 18-Mar-16 22:07:23

I don't think that year 2 children who might have been level 3 have any problem with the new curriculum. The children who struggle are the Sen children forced to do the really hard reading paper. Academic able thrive with the new curriculum. The new curriculum is shit for any child with Sen.

It really doesn't matter how a child does in their key stage 1 tests. What matters is what that child learns. I would rather my dd got expected on the new curriculum than a level 3 on the easier curriculum.

Save your pity for the year 6s who have been taught the old curriculum and are being tested on the new one.

Backingvocals Fri 18-Mar-16 22:10:38

Yep these are all ludicrous tests. My Ds will still be six when he gets assessed and I don't expect him to reach the standard. But I really don't care because it's stupid. His homework last week was about possessive pronouns. He's six angry

WBDmadness Fri 18-Mar-16 22:14:28

From what I've been told the new tests aren't even equitable to the old tests. So that part isn't true as it isn't graded in levels like the old tests, so the old level 3 is irrelevant - it's only below average, average and exceeding average.

However yes, there is new criteria for the end of KS1 tests and they are being tested at a much more in depth level. No one knows what the raw data from the tests will be as it will need to be input into a government database who will then provide a score.

However if the teacher believes that a child can sufficiently demonstrate use of pronouns/nouns/suffixes then the teacher can send the child's work with the test, which may increase their score.

Most parents are very relaxed as they are new, experimental tests and won't change the progress of the child from year 2 to year 3, it is the year 6's I feel sorry for, like ReallyTired said.

jennielou75 Fri 18-Mar-16 22:22:17

That's interesting to know! I should state I teach year 2 so am coming in with a bit of inside knowledge about this. I do know that my more able children would be level 3s but because they possibly won't get one standard may end up with working towards. I completely agree about year 6 and children with SEN. The new curriculum is challenging but I do wish the writing standards were not so strict and with no leeway for handwriting or spelling issues. I also wish creativity got some credit as I have some very creative writers in my class!

ReallyTired Fri 18-Mar-16 22:22:26

Key stage 1 tests are not used for formal setting. Even if there are ablity tables, most schools allow fluid movement between groups. There is no point about getting flustered about key stage 1 tests. It doesn't help your child.

I am more concerned about the complusory academisation of all schools.

teeththief Fri 18-Mar-16 23:19:15

As a parent of a year 6, I wish they'd been taught what your year 2's were being taught now when they were year 2!

GiddyOnZackHunt Fri 18-Mar-16 23:21:54

What happens if they fail? Does it matter?

ReallyTired Sat 19-Mar-16 01:55:16

Six year olds shouldn't be considered to be failing. Neither should seven year olds. It's the system that has failed them.

Doing badly in a test may mean a child needs extra support. Their writing might be below expectations, but that does not mean that tiny human being is a failure. These tests should not be seen as a pass/ fail thing. (Unless you are assessing the school)

No employer or university cares about key stage 1 results. I am more worried about my son who is in year 9 with the new GCSEs. Even with those exams failure is not the end of the world.

Topsy34 Sat 19-Mar-16 03:34:23

I bloody hate the word failing. Especially with a 6 year olds handwriting. Really? Failing?

ds and I had a chat about SATS and I've told him that all I expect is for him to go and give it a good go, and that he mustn't worry about them.

tomatoIzzy Sat 19-Mar-16 03:51:48

It's not about passing and failing. They are attainment tests, just a guideline for parents, teachers and children to know the child's current abilities within the year group or LEA. I've heard people talk about them like they are GCSE's, honestly! It's silly to get worked up about them. They are used more for testing schools rather than children.

nooka Sat 19-Mar-16 03:53:01

My ds would have failed those standards as at six he struggled to read and his handwriting was almost completely unreadable. He was also highly distractable and struggled with consequences. I can't remember if they had introduced the early SATS tests back then. He certainly got very interesting reports in infant school and knew that he wasn't doing well. Ten years later and things have turned around and he's on track to finish school with excellent grades. So long as getting bad results in the tests leads to extra support is it an issue? Is the worry that lots of children will be discouraged, or that its a push towards teaching them things that most children aren't ready for?

tomatoIzzy Sat 19-Mar-16 04:00:07

You can't fail the tests, a child of 6 might not be working at a year 2 level but that is not failing! Just like working at a year 4 level doesn't mean your child is a genius. It's just a way of knowing their academic ability at 6, rather than assuming that because they are 6 they should be doing X, y and Z. Children develop at different rates and knowing what level a child is on is helpful to know what they need to work on. Changing the criteria for what children can achieve is often based on the results of previous tests, it's not just plucked out of the air as something to add on to make the cirriculum harder and more challenging.

The extra paperwork it gives teachers however, is a problem.

NynaevesSister Sat 19-Mar-16 07:00:23

How about the double whammy of SEN and Y6?! Son has worked so hard at primary. He couldn't even access the national curriculum at Y2. Would love for him to have had that confidence boost of a level 4 - which he would have got. But he is a slow learner and cramming in all the new stuff this year is too much to expect so he will be getting below average instead and that totally sucks.

On the plus side the school have been really great at making sure he knows how far he has come and how well he is doing so confidence wise he has been really happy with his progress. If we had the old level system he would have gone up 4 levels in KS2! Now that's pretty bloody amazing in my book.

IdealWeather Sat 19-Mar-16 07:22:50

I wish there had been mi h less leeway on spelling before. Then my DC (Y7 so have just 'avoided the new curriculum in primary) might have develop the idea that spelling is important even when it doing a spelling test. Or that you need to be careful with duelling when you are writing.
As it stands out, whether in primary or in secondary, no one is ever spending the time to highlight his mistakes and he still can't see why it's an issue ....

IdealWeather Sat 19-Mar-16 07:25:12

Re failing I'm pretty sure that the Y6 test can be failed and I thought that if the child did failed they had to resist the test in Y7??

soimpressed Sat 19-Mar-16 07:37:30

No matter how we try to protect our children from realising that they are not doing as well as other children they are now being made painfully aware of the truth. For example, all children now have to sit the same tests for maths and reading so children who struggle are faced with pages and pages of work they simply can't do. In maths the expectation is that the children will do the test with no equipment and for many children this is extremely hard. Teachers try to make writing interesting so that the children are motivated to try their best but the new expectations for grammar, handwriting and spelling have sucked all the joy out of writing.

jennielou75 Sat 19-Mar-16 10:42:17

This is very interesting for me as a teacher to read. The issue with spelling is partly that due to the obsession with daily phonics we now have children who spell everything phonetically.....kan......woz......shure....but the new assesmsents require the formal spelling for quite technical words. I am doing my best but am playing catch up to unlearn the phonetic spellings and learn the formal.

The fact is that if your child is in a school that is doing well, has strong leadership and has had a recent Ofsted your child may be ok. They may still be making sure that teaching and learning is fun and creative. However if your child is in a school that is struggling, facing Ofsted or is an academy or free school trying to promote themselves it could be a whole different style of ‘learning’. Your child could literally be being taught to the test and to the standards at the expense of enjoyment and creativity.

I wish parents would engage into conversation with year two teachers. Yes the increased paperwork is a living nightmare but my concerns go way beyond that. The children in my class will be judged as failures in writing because they do not meet standards that are beyond the normal ability of 6 year olds. If parents do not get angry about what is being done to the very young it will strengthen the government and further their campaign to reduce education to the absorbtion of facts.

I may take a step back now as I feel very passionately that my children's work should be valued and that at 6 no child should feel a failure. I am pleased though that no-one on here is putting pressure on their child to succeed at this assessments and is valuing them in any way.

I have no issue with challenging children and raising expectations but this should not be at the expense of self esteem and positivity.

NotCitrus Sat 19-Mar-16 10:53:13

Who's telling the Y2 children about tests, though? Ds is in Y2 and there's lots of work on "OK, that's one way to make the sounds in this word. What's another way? How do we usually spell that sound in words like this? Remember, there's almost no words that start ka- "

No unlearning, just learning spelling conventions to go with the phonics.

Parents are being told there are some tests to see how the class compares with others around the country, at the end of the year. No-one is mentioning 'failure', so unless next term is very different from this, I don't think it matters exactly what criteria lead to what marks.

WBDmadness Sat 19-Mar-16 11:24:48

Jennielou how is your school dealing with the new tests though?

Our school had a meeting to discuss the changes with all year 2 parents and explained firstly that the boundaries had changed and secondly that the language used in tests is more complex than what the children are used to, such as asking children for past tense pronouns, and inverse calculations.

The year 2 teachers discussed in length what we are parents could do to help our children adapt to the new tests, and how the children can answer these questions.

The school have been overwhelmingly supportive but even they think the new tests are ridiculous and have told parents to not be concerned about any score, but concentrate on how the teacher thinks your child is progressing.

I know most parents have no idea about the new tests but their schools haven't informed them of the changes.

jennielou75 Sat 19-Mar-16 11:41:40

We have just had Parent's evening where we have explained about what is happening. We are not adding stress to the children or staff. We do know that we will be judged on these results but our focus is still the children and their learning. I think what is stressful is the frequent changes to assessment that we have had to work with and also that if these changes are not opposed we will be stuck with them. I love my job and I am a pretty good teacher with 20 years of experience. I have never felt this frustrated as it would take very little changes to make these assessments challenging but fair.

We are also focussing on what the children are doing well and where they need support to improve.

Clutterbugsmum Sat 19-Mar-16 12:10:09

My yr 2 son struggles with writing as he has (we think) hyper-mobility in his fingers, so the school are using a TA/Teacher to write his long writing or giving him a laptop to use because although he know what to do he struggles with the actual act of writing.

He has a OT appointment in May for a assessment.

Feenie Sat 19-Mar-16 13:35:11

However if the teacher believes that a child can sufficiently demonstrate use of pronouns/nouns/suffixes then the teacher can send the child's work with the test, which may increase their score.

Sorry, that's complete rubbish. There is no writing test as such, only the SPAG. The only let else reported is teacher assessment, using the test and children's writing - which isn't 'sent' anywhere, and will not increase a test score!

OP, your assertions that your children spell phonetically show a worrying lack of subject knowledge. I should bloody we hope they are spelling phonetically - and that you are teaching them alternative graphemes to enable them to choose the correct one!

Feenie Sat 19-Mar-16 13:36:01

Let else = assessment

mrz Sat 19-Mar-16 16:18:58

This is very interesting for me as a teacher to read. The issue with spelling is partly that due to the obsession with daily phonics we now have children who spell everything phonetically.....kan......woz......shure....but the new assesmsents require the formal spelling for quite technical words. I am doing my best but am playing catch up to unlearn the phonetic spellings and learn the formal.

Is this the school where you teach or your child's school or are they the same?

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