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What do they mean by this?

(37 Posts)
UserX Wed 21-Feb-18 18:53:04

Have just had a message from the school’s automated system:

*Polite Request:
Please can youand/or tutorsnot use past SATs papers with your children as the school uses them for assessments.*

Have just about had it now. DD is having tutoring but for 11+ not SATS. Loads of kids at the school are being tutored as school tends to teach toward the middle and is vocally anti 11+. Their SATS prep is fairly useless for anyone in the top set as well.

Surely if parents want to give their DC a bit of extra help the school should welcome it or at least stay out of it? I have older DC so have witnessed the useless and stressful SATS prep first hand, am really not surprised parents are supplementing especially as most secondaries here use the scores for setting.

OP’s posts: |
Gileswithachainsaw Wed 21-Feb-18 18:57:13

Well I would say to be honest that they don't get to dictate what you teach/do at home.

They should have an idea of each child's levels and capabilities so whether or not they memorize a paper shouldn't make a difference surely?

UserX Wed 21-Feb-18 18:59:29

Well that’s what I think Giles. I wasn’t planning on doing any SATS prep with DD but if I did it’s not their problem.

OP’s posts: |
eurochick Wed 21-Feb-18 18:59:56

It's a request. Accept it or ignore it based on what you think is best for your child.

Finola1step Wed 21-Feb-18 19:00:06

It is a request. Up to you if you want to pay any attention to it.

PerspicaciaTick Wed 21-Feb-18 19:14:34

Just quietly ignore them.

user789653241 Wed 21-Feb-18 19:23:33

The request is asking not to use the past paper because they want to use it at school, aren't they? If they use them to assess and check children's weakness to help them, it will be pointless if they have already done it at home. That's all, isn't it?

lougle Wed 21-Feb-18 19:27:33

It's fairly clear, I think. Schools use past SATs papers to assess where pupils are at for preparation. If parents or tutors are using them for tutoring/practice, then they will get the questions correct simply because they have seen and practiced that question, rather than because they have mastered that area of the curriculum, and the teacher will have no idea what needs to be worked on.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 21-Feb-18 19:29:51

They should know though surely?

I mean they surely don't ignore all the work in their work books and assume a past test provides the answers do they?

user789653241 Wed 21-Feb-18 19:43:47

School is not asking "not to do any work" or " do not tutor" , "not use workbooks", etc.
Simply requesting not to use one specific resource. I think it's totally reasonable.

Feenie Wed 21-Feb-18 20:01:30

Especially since the curriculum has changed so that there are only two suitable past papers to use.

admission Wed 21-Feb-18 21:12:48

It does beg a question of the school as why they do not know what are the areas of weakness are in the pupils taking the SAT test in May. It is pointless carrying out assessments of capability now, less than 3 months before the test, they need to be concentrating on known areas of weakness. Which they clearly do not know and the tutoring is actually propping up their own inadequate progress of pupils.

sirfredfredgeorge Wed 21-Feb-18 21:36:24

they could be year 5 admission, but yes...

user789653241 Wed 21-Feb-18 22:10:52

I assume it's more of experiencing exam conditions using real test
rather than assessment of capability or knowledge.

Witchend Wed 21-Feb-18 22:43:22

Fairly clear. Similar to year 11s being told not to use the previous years GCSE paper as they use it for mocks.
It hinders the teachers in working out strengths and weaknesses of their pupils so they can't help them as much.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 21-Feb-18 22:47:06

So do they seriously not know then?

Isn't it a bit late to discover weaknesses a few weeks before hand via old papers?

junebirthdaygirl Thu 22-Feb-18 00:46:58

Not familiar with UK system but l presume teachers use past papers to practice time management and just getting dc used to sitting a paper right through. So don't use old papers at home as dc will have already seen them. Makes perfect sense and doesn't mean your dc can't be tutored. Tutors can compile their own work.

Julraj Thu 22-Feb-18 10:11:49

They just don't want you to use past SATs papers because it's all they have at their child's school. If your child knows all the answers already then it makes life harder for their teacher.

Having said that, I'd still quietly use them.

user789653241 Thu 22-Feb-18 10:32:19

No, it won't make life harder for teacher, it will negate a chance for a child to practice exam situation. Most of children haven't experienced timed formal exam before. If you already know the answer, the mock sats test would be totally useless as an experience. If you want your child to have no practice run before actual sats, it's up to the parents.

Julraj Thu 22-Feb-18 11:41:45

By the way, apart from the SATs papers that are available on sites like this, there are others that schools use...some are better at using them than others.

Loads of companies publish practice papers that are arguably better than the past papers, so you could always invest in those if you didn't want to annoy your child's teacher too much. See here, here or here.

I've used most of the papers before and the CGP ones are good (and cheap), the Exam Ninja ones are more challenging and have more question types but are a bit more expensive. I've not had a chance to use the Letts ones because they've only recently been published. They seem suspiciously cheap!

Gloucester council used to publish some and they're available on their website. Likewise there used to be a collaboration called White Rose that published useful Maths practice papers.

BrendansDanceShoes Thu 22-Feb-18 16:31:49

My experience of seeing past SATS papers used in practice was that it was done in the autumn term. I'd actually be far more concerned about OP comments that school teaches towards the middle when lots of pupils are then getting outside tutoring and that school is vocally anti 11+ (is it in a 11plus area,?) if so, i would think that any school would want a reputation of getting their pupils into academically selective destinations. Did the SATS results last year meet national targets?

reluctantbrit Thu 22-Feb-18 16:46:04

Our school used the previous years papers for a mock exam last autumn. I think it is only fair as it means the child does not know the questions and the teacher then works on gaps. It is also about the style of the paper, time restrictions and they way some answers have to be given.

There are tons of other work sheets and books around if you want to practice at home or work on weaknesses.

raptorclaw Thu 22-Feb-18 18:52:47

It's really not that hard to understand. Teachers need to check if children are using the correct methods under exam conditions and don't want the children to have completed the same paper already.

You'd be surprised how differently children perform under test conditions compared to their class work. Sometimes they do worse, lots do better. The teacher needs to check to work out their next steps.

soapboxqueen Thu 22-Feb-18 19:01:53

They are only asking you not to use one specific resource eg actual past papers. Using them for tutoring purposes will make them useless for assessment in the classroom. Using actual test papers throws up issues for children that need to be addressed. A different format, vocabulary choice etc can make a world of difference to whether a child will understand what needs to happen or indeed highlight a misconception.

Do what you want but the school aren't being unreasonable.

Norestformrz Thu 22-Feb-18 19:14:19

If you're not tutoring your child for SATs what's the problem?

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