Year 6 SATS - can someone explain something to me please!

(76 Posts)
Notcontent Mon 04-Jul-16 22:36:05

As a parent of a child in year 5, I am trying to understand SATS properly.

So - my understanding is that in the past, all children did papers at level 4, and then the more "able" ones also did level 5 or even level 6. But now all children do the same paper, which is at quite a high level, be it English or Maths. Is that correct?

What I am confused about is this: given that most English schools put children into ability groups for maths, and those groups don't do the same level of maths, how are they supposed to do the same test paper? Particularly given that, based on anecdotal evidence, it is often quite difficult for children to move between such ability groups...

Ashers40 Mon 04-Jul-16 23:39:19

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but all children sat one set of papers and were expected to achieve a level 4, higher achieving children could be awarded a level 5 on the same paper by scoring higher. Selected higher ability children sat a seperate level 6 paper. Now there is only one paper for all levels of ability. So the questions will cover a range of difficulty. They are meant to contain some level 6 standard questions to allow the higher ability children to be challenged. Clearly if you're of what was level 4 ability, you would be v unlikely to be able to answer them. Make of that what you will!

ineedaholidaynow Mon 04-Jul-16 23:47:34

DS is in Y6 and we were told that the questions in the paper should get progressively harder. Children were also told that not everyone would complete the papers. The marks are also meant to be skewed in favour of the easier questions.

In the SATS DS took the layout of the papers were not necessarily as expected and some of the easier questions were nearer the end of the papers which meant that some children might not have attempted them as had given up on the earlier harder questions.

Will be interesting to see the results which are meant to come out tomorrow.

mrz Tue 05-Jul-16 05:55:01

In the past there was a single paper which covered level 3-5 depending on the score. In the last few years the level 6 paper was reintroduced for those pupils assessed as working at this level - nationally few achieved level 6 (expected level for 14 year olds).
This year all pupils take the same tests which are more difficult than the old levels.

mrz Tue 05-Jul-16 05:59:23

Most English schools don't set in primary (considered poor /ineffective practice at this age) and doesn't fit with a mastery curriculum.

TeenAndTween Tue 05-Jul-16 07:20:55

The Maths SATs papers got harder as they went, but depending on the DCs strengths and weaknesses they might not have been able to go q12, but fine on q20.

I do think test taking technique, resilience, and setting expectations are important.

There was lots of fussing over the SATs this year, but DD2, who is less able, was not fazed. It had taken some time, but we had taught her not to expect to be able to answer everything, to miss out ones she couldn't do and come back to them later etc. At the start of y6 she panicked when faced with questions she couldn't do, but was OK by May.

The resilience is important I think. Last year DD1 did GCSEs. She had the infamous 'Hannah's sweets' maths question which apparently threw many children. Some 'more able' kids couldn't cope with a question they couldn't do mid way through the paper. DD1 looked at it, was clueless, and moved on.

(No comment on whether it is wise to set papers that swathes of children can't access. We just worked with what DD2 was going to have to face).

Notcontent Tue 05-Jul-16 07:43:38

Mrz - all schools in my area set for maths.

bojorojo Tue 05-Jul-16 08:45:55

Although the children sit in the same classroom, they do work of differing levels of difficulty. For y6 we do have a booster group for our lesser achieving children as we have found that helps all the children. As that group is relatively small they get more intensive revision. Parents are very happy with this. We have also formed a group of girls who felt they were useless at maths and had lower confidence in their abilities . It just helps to do what is necessary .

mrz Tue 05-Jul-16 19:09:12

Never mind OP

slummyrunner Tue 05-Jul-16 19:22:15

The tests got a lot harder this year so what was a Level 5 before is now considered "expected standard" which explains why 47% of kids failed it this year, in comparison to 20% who fell below the expected standard of 4b last year. The whole thing has been a fiasco. I'm boycotting them for my DS - I think I'll have to take him out of school for the whole week, which may mean a fine, but hey ho.

spanieleyes Tue 05-Jul-16 19:25:33

You will have to take him out for 2 weeks and he will then have to sit them in year 7 instead!

slummyrunner Tue 05-Jul-16 19:29:09

No he won't. The Education Act is clear that parents can refuse to let their children sit the tests. Though confusingly, it also says primary heads should do everything within their power to ensure they sit them. I imagined him being pulled in two. Two weeks it is then. We'll home school him and take him on lots of educational trips. Yr 7 resits are for those who failed to meet expected standard, not those with no score, though it's unlikely they'll actually go ahead now with the pass rate so low and teachers in secondary so against them. Not to mention an impending reshuffle! Cross that bridge when we come to it, but there's no way he's doing them. Having seen how the results skew the targets and expectations as his brothers went through school, I'm not making the same mistake again.

mrz Tue 05-Jul-16 19:50:18

"*Some parents may ask a headteacher not to enter their child for the tests. Parents may also ask a headteacher to enter their child for a test when the school has decided this is not appropriate.* _*In all instances the headteacher’s decision regarding participation is final._ Headteachers should explain the school’s decision to parents.*"

slummyrunner Tue 05-Jul-16 20:04:48

Like I say, he's not doing them.

slummyrunner Tue 05-Jul-16 20:11:35

Like I say, he's not doing them. He won't be there for a start. Believe me, I've looked into it. I have to prove he is getting adequately educated during his absence. At the moment, home schooling rules dictate that the child receives formal tuition for at least an hour per day. He'll be getting more than that and it will all be meticulously evidenced. The organisation Let Kids Be Kids has a template for parents to use to write to headteachers declaring their intent to remove children from the tests. In the end though, it might be made a whole lot easier if the teaching unions go ahead with their proposed boycott.

NewStartNewName Tue 05-Jul-16 20:19:02

Let kids be kids DID NOT recommend or suggest children were kept off school for their SATs - it was a 1 day protest - please don't spread wrong information.

Anything you are told Re SATs for next year please take with a pinch of salt as its all (hopefully) going to change - let kids be kids have out a lot of work in, as have parents up and down the country to try and make this fairer

slummyrunner Tue 05-Jul-16 20:21:13

I didn't say they did. I said they had provided parents who wished to boycott the SATs with a template. I have one.

slummyrunner Tue 05-Jul-16 20:52:17

Mrz - I think you got that quote from gov guidelines. They are just that, guidelines. The actual law is much more ambiguous. But as you advised a previous parent who asked this question, the only way to be sure is to take them out of school.

mrz Tue 05-Jul-16 21:12:36

You missed a word ...statutory ie the legal requirements

mrz Tue 05-Jul-16 21:13:30

And I've never advices a parent to take them out of school

slummyrunner Tue 05-Jul-16 21:28:09

On Sunday 22nd April 2012 at 20:53:28 hours you said "the only thing you could do is keep your child home for a week while the tests are administered and risk a fine".

TeenAndTween Tue 05-Jul-16 21:31:10

slummy I think you are being a bit daft planning to take them out for SATs week.

SATs week isn't too bad - at our school they get a special breakfast, treats in the afternoon etc. It is a real bonding experience and they get a great sense of pride and achievement at the end. My less able, less confident DD felt very proud of herself at the end of SATs week.

If you were going to miss anything it would be Jan-May in some schools, where there can be lots of pressure and practicing of tests. But to do this you would need to home school all year.

Very special circumstances aside, I genuinely believe there is nothing to be gained from doing all the prep, and then pulling them out for the tests. In fact I think it could be isolating for them from their peers, or give them the impression you don't think they are capable.

I haven't had DD results yet. I would not be surprised if she scores <100 for all of them. But the test week was a positive experience for her. I will be proud of her whatever her results and she will know that. If she does score <100 and is sad I will point out the large % nationally that have done that too. After all, she knows she struggles compared with many others so it won't be a surprise to her anyway.

slummyrunner Tue 05-Jul-16 21:31:27

And Mrz, my solicitor disagrees with you. What exactly are your legal qualifications? I think a lot of schools are scaremongering parents about this because they are worried about their data. Are you a teacher by any chance?

MachiKoro Tue 05-Jul-16 21:32:57

Oh dear. Are you going to get him a pass for his GCSEs too? Because they're going to be harder now too, and the pass is no longer scraping a C, but a level 5 which is effectively a C+.

spanieleyes Tue 05-Jul-16 21:34:50

I don't think mrz's comment implies that you "should" take them out of school, only that you could!

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