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After school SATS booster groups

(52 Posts)
FrayedHem Mon 28-Nov-16 23:17:33

Is this a standard thing? DS1, Yr6, has an invite for 2 groups, both an hour a week after school (no charge). It doesn't say exactly how many weeks it's for, but it is more than 1. DS1 really doesn't want to go and I'm not inclined to make him.

smellyboot Mon 28-Nov-16 23:26:37

no. sats are just a way of measuring schools IMO. ours wouldnt do this. does not influence anything else

irvineoneohone Mon 28-Nov-16 23:27:22

How is he doing academically? If he is doing great, and the group is to boost his attainment even more, I wouldn't make him go. But if the school is trying to give him extra help to reach pass mark, I would.

FrayedHem Tue 29-Nov-16 00:16:44

I don't really want to send him, but I feel a bit bad on the teachers who are putting this extra work in. I think I am going to say no.

DS1 is academically able but does have ASD and is statemented and producing work is a bit of A Thing, particularly under test conditions. He's either going to be going to an ASD unit or Home Ed so I don't think his SAT result will having any meaningful ramifications.

mintthins Tue 29-Nov-16 00:19:11

DD3 did the sessions at her school. I regret allowing it because it just gave her lots of extra pressure. She was miserable. She is now in Y8, and comfortably top set for maths despite not getting that L6!

I refused to send mine. My argument was that the SATs can't be an accurate reflection on the teaching in the school if the school has to cheat with booster lessons to get a reasonable result. DS2 wanted to go (they got sweets!) so did, DS1 and DD didn't want to, so didn't. It had no relevance to their secondary education whatsoever as their secondary school did its own tests and moved them around based on the work they did for them.

I hate SATs so much. Year 6 is pointless, no actual education just revising for tests and too much pressure - it's the only thing I disliked about our primary school.

Weatherforecaster Tue 29-Nov-16 06:23:56

"SATs can't be an accurate reflection on the teaching in the school if the school has to cheat with booster lessons to get a reasonable result."

Utter garbage. Have you seen how much there is in the curriculum? There's no way to get it covered without thinking of adding time somewhere.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Tue 29-Nov-16 08:26:36

Our school does this. I will not let my dc attend them. If they bribe with sweets then I will simply give him some myself so that he doesn't feel his missed anything.

smellyboot Tue 29-Nov-16 09:01:19

our local secondary also re assesses them so SATS are not used. They only seem to be used to measure the school itself. It makes me sad that so many parents fall into the trap of tutoring their DC in primary to help them pass SATS. We are ot even a grammar area

FrayedHem Tue 29-Nov-16 09:41:33

I do see why they are doing it (the KS2 SATs results were very poor) but thinking purely about DS1, it will cause more issues than it solves. So I've said no. I hadn't realised

I appreciate the replies.

irvineoneohone Tue 29-Nov-16 12:50:54

In op's case I agree, don't do it.

Feenie Tue 29-Nov-16 18:37:43

our local secondary also re assesses them so SATS are not used.

I'm afraid the local secondary can reassess them as much as they like, but the SAT results are used to set targets that they are obliged to reach.

FrayedHem Tue 29-Nov-16 18:44:11

The 2016 results were just over a third of the children meeting the expected level. So I guess that means they are under significant pressure to improve for 2017.

Woodacorn Tue 29-Nov-16 20:42:37

My DS won't meet age related expectations due to his dyslexia. I won't let him to go booster classes (if my school offer them) to artificially inflate his grade as it would mean him missing out getting appropriate support at secondary which he would automatically receive if he doesn't meet age related expectations. Secondary school will initially assume he is fine academically if his SATS are fine. Later when they do their own assessments they would realise but he would already have got off to a bad start.

Coconut0il Tue 29-Nov-16 22:23:12

We run boosters at the school I work at. DS1 was offered booster classes at his primary. I would say we have a 50/50 split of children who attend and children who don't. I didn't send DS1 to his.

BetweenTwoLungs Tue 29-Nov-16 22:27:53

As a year 6 teacher, I do sometimes wonder whether people realise we do have to actually teach them things for them to do well - the argument that year 6 is no education and just test prep is bizarre as education is by definition required to do well in the test. We teach them A LOT. Even if you believe sats are pointless, the skills that they need to do well in them are still skills which are going to benefit them in secondary.

That said, I'm not a fan of booster groups and we don't do them.

Allthebestnamesareused Tue 29-Nov-16 22:42:23

At local state schools these sessions were for the top set kids to "help" them achieve level 6.

bojorojo Wed 30-Nov-16 00:48:10

There is no level 6 now, but a school where only 33% of children got the magic 100 will be a cause for concern. Booster groups in y R upwards is probably needed! This will not be put right by booster groups in Y6 - Unless the previous cohort were very very untypical of the intake! The school is clearly panicking. I might send a child if it helped with exam technique and timing. Some of the maths questions are wordy now. There is plenty taught in Y6 and the curriculum covers some maths that was previously Y7. This is probably why the school has panicked. It knows lots of children have not made good progress and won't get 100. The curriculum is stretching the children more, so they need to progress even more quickly, but it sounds like they are not. I suggest parents look at the Y6 maths curriculum and even ask the school's what is being taught (or even look in your child's book). You will see there is plenty being covered and Y6 does not just revise Y5.

paxillin Wed 30-Nov-16 00:58:34

Do booster groups actually work? Has that been studied or are they just a kneejerk "more hours = more points" reaction?

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 30-Nov-16 14:03:04

Hadn't realised they'd stopped the level 6 papers now (mine all past that stage) but see that there are some higher level questions on the SATS paper itself.

Again is it for the more able to ensure the school gets the results it wants (rather than the child needs!)

FrayedHem Wed 30-Nov-16 18:06:15

It would be fair to say the school is the midst of a crisis as there are major problems across all years. Only 1/4 passed the Yr1 phonics screening, no children in KS1 met the expected standards for reading, writing and maths. There is a lot of the Headteacher going in and telling them off, being kept in at breaks. I totally accept there may be a need for this, but school really isn't a happy place and another hour at the end of the day is an unbearable thought for a lot of the children.

As far as a I am aware, all the children were invited to some booster sessions so they aren't specifically targeting the most able.

Feenie Wed 30-Nov-16 18:18:06

0% in KS1? That can't be right

FrayedHem Wed 30-Nov-16 18:22:18

That was what was said in the latest Ofsted Report. Presumably the school would have challenged that statement if it was incorrect.

irvineoneohone Wed 30-Nov-16 18:23:22

OP, sounds like your school is in mess, but just don't worry, and do what's best for your ds. I would say different if he is going to regular secondary, but you said your ds either goes to asd unit or H Ed. So, forget about sats pressure and let him enjoy learning and last year of primary.

FrayedHem Wed 30-Nov-16 18:28:27

You're right, I do want to support the school in improving as I have 3 younger DC hence the wibbling, but DS1 attending booster sessions won't make any overall difference. And it's probably best the sessions are used by children who will engage with minimal encouragement.

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