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Home ed joining Y6 mid-year... missing SATs work

(66 Posts)
buddhamama Fri 14-Feb-20 12:46:51

My son has been home ed for a year and is going back to school after half term. The head has put the heavies on about SATs - said he really needs to catch-up, will have to do loads of extra work etc. I'm particularly worried about what she said about the writing portfolio. She said they will expect him to submit a full portfolio, even though he hasn't been in the school for that time. So he will miss other lessons to catch up with extra writing. This seems really unfair - can they do that?!

He is a bright kid, and probably will be fine in his SATs - he's been doing KS3 Science ever since we started home ed, and really stretching himself - but I worry about the pressure they're going to put on. I wonder what legally they can require from him... and what I can say no to.

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zelbazinnamon Fri 14-Feb-20 12:49:45

Hey we did this last year - my daughter went back to school a week before the Easter holidays so had maybe 3 weeks of school before the SATs. I think it’s a bit rubbish of your head to put the pressure on but I do understand it - our head briefly implied that maybe we could hold off sending our daughter till after the SATs so she didn’t pull down their figures, then clearly realized what she was saying and backtracked! In the event DD was the best performer in the year (very small year group). I’m afraid I don’t know about the writing portfolio, that wasn’t mentioned to us.

BlueChampagne Fri 14-Feb-20 12:51:50

I can't answer your questions, but from the school's point of view, they are taking on a child for whose SATs results they will be responsible, although they will only have been educating him about a term. One child's results may not seem like much, but they may have admitted several children into Y6 already this year.

buddhamama Fri 14-Feb-20 13:07:34

I do understand that it will have an impact, of course. But that's the nature of education - they are a service provider!

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10FrozenFingers Fri 14-Feb-20 13:17:20

I'm not sure you can say no to anything. Your child is enrolled in the school and has to do the same as the others.

zelbazinnamon Fri 14-Feb-20 19:37:45

I don’t think that you can say no to him participating - if he is on the school roll he has to take the tests the same as the other students.

cabbageking Fri 14-Feb-20 19:41:40

They should be trying to get each child to the required standard.
If he is capable they will push him more.
I suggest the Head will say you are free to home school him if you don't like it?

Raspberry123 Fri 14-Feb-20 21:12:56

I do understand that it will have an impact, of course. But that's the nature of education - they are a service provider!
I'm not sure the school will share this point of view.
Try seeing it from the school's point of view - for whatever reason you chose to homeschool, then with only 1 term to go before the exams which will be used for league tables etc you pop up with your child?? Either you need to work with the school and do the writing portfolio (perhaps do some on the weekends?) or let your son join after the SATS?

Feenie Fri 14-Feb-20 22:42:07

Why would you want your child to join in the dullest point in KS2? Let them go in the last half term - much more fun.

buddhamama Fri 14-Feb-20 22:50:42

There's a complex set of conditions that mean this is what we need to do right now

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buddhamama Fri 14-Feb-20 22:55:02

Raspberry123 it's not that straightforward - there are reasons why we have chosen to go back at this point, that are to do with our family circumstances etc.
And I don't really need the school to share my opinion.
League tables aren't my concern, my kid's wellbeing is. It's supposed to be an aptitude test, testing where they are at. Instead it's become this crazy cramming, working on the weekends and over holidays kind of torture which isn't good for pupils or teachers.

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buddhamama Fri 14-Feb-20 22:56:06

You can actually. I've just been on a very helpful facebook group where lots of parents chose not to send their kids into school in SATs week.

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buddhamama Fri 14-Feb-20 23:00:29

cabbageking it's such a shame that children are 'pushed'. What I've noticed with our home ed experience is how much more my kid rises to a challenge if he's engaged, self-motivated and relaxed.

'I suggest the Head will say you are free to home school him if you don't like it?' A little facetious maybe...

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Fluandseptember Fri 14-Feb-20 23:00:47

i dunno. When my son did SATS, I thought it was all crazy cramming, but now he's in secondary I can really see that primaries have a huge responsibility to make sure kids really have learned what they needed to learn at primary. It's rubbish if they shove lots of learning that should have happened over years into yr6, but even worse if kids don't learn the stuff at all.

RainbowMum11 Fri 14-Feb-20 23:05:53

I'm sure a lot of people learn and respond better without deadlines and when not pushed alert, however that generally isn't relevant to adult life for the majority of people.
If you need to enrol your DC before SATS then you need to follow the school's requirements.
If you don't want to follow them, continue to home school your child 🤷‍♀️

buddhamama Fri 14-Feb-20 23:08:34

Just in case anyone in a similar situation is looking for guidance, I've found out the following:

There are two codes which schools can use:

Pupils working at the standard of the tests but who are unable to
access them (code ‘U’)

Some examples of pupils who may fit this category are:
• pupils who have a disability
• pupils with specific medical needs or who have spent time in hospital towards the
end of the key stage
• pupils who have been educated at home or excluded from school and need time to adjust to regular school life
• pupils who are experiencing, or have recently experienced, severe emotional problems

and then also
Pupils whose performance cannot be established because they have
just arrived in school (code ‘J’)

Examples of pupils who may fit this category include:
• pupils who have arrived in school during the weeks immediately before the tests
• pupils who have recently come from a different education system

From this guidance document
assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/838961/2020_KS2_assessment_and_reporting_arrangements.pdf

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Soontobe60 Fri 14-Feb-20 23:09:13

So you chose to HE your child when it suited you, but then when it wasn't convenient anymore you have sent them to the nearest 'service provider' at probably the worst time in Year 6. Then you're going to add insult to injury and remove him during SATs week?
The pressure you're putting your child under by doing this can't be ignored. But hey, what would us service providers know about this?

BobbyBlueCat Fri 14-Feb-20 23:10:47

"......they are a service provider"

Yes OP. A service that you opted out of up until now and the school are within their rights to worry that a kid they haven't taught up until now could fuck up their results at the last hurdle when they've not been given enough time to work with him in the run up.
It's shit, but bad results do reflect badly on the teacher / head / funding / new prospective pupils etc etc.

And yes, you may think it's bad that kids are 'pushed'.
But it's better they get used to that now rather than GCSEs be such a shock that they can't cope with them.
And then A Levels.
And then university.
And then a career.
They need to be pushed. It's a life skill many are sorely lacking in these days.

bookmum08 Fri 14-Feb-20 23:13:22

My daughter did sats last year and I don't remember anything about a writing portfolio. I have never heard of such a thing. It was something like 5 test papers taken over 4 days. If he has been following the general Year 6 curriculum then it shouldn't be a problem. The school could choose not to enter him though and it shouldn't affect their league table results.

buddhamama Fri 14-Feb-20 23:18:43

RainbowMum11 I didn't say anything about having a problem with deadlines, I just mean the approach needs to be relaxed. There are so many articles about the negative impact of SATs on children's mental health, so I for one am not really willing to just shrug and accept the status quo. Only by standing up for what we believe in - that children should be children for a while longer - does positive change occur.

I can see there's a lot of acceptance of the status quo and black and white thinking on this thread. I've never really been on mumsnet before and I'm not sure I'll return.
I was hoping for some nuance and thoughtfulness and some help.
As you can see from what I found in my research in the government guidance, there are actually things in place for people in my circumstance i.e. recently arrived to school from home education

I was wise to trust my instinct and think about what's best for my child, and I'll continue to do that. I won't be bullied by a Head teacher into cramming my son for two months straight and on weekends and holidays he will play, like kids are supposed to.

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TW2013 Fri 14-Feb-20 23:22:07

It's not an aptitude test, it is a test of how much they have learnt and progress made. An aptitude test is something like the 11 plus which looks at reasoning, as well as maybe English and Maths.

I don't particularly like them but some secondaries use them for streaming because they will be judged on the progress made from ks2 to GCSEs. Again not fair because some students are late developers but secondary schools have more incentive to keep children who did well at primary in top sets with high targets. Worth looking at how the secondary you plan for him to go to assess sets/ streams. In some schools it can be hard to move unless really struggling/ space in higher set. Not all secondaries set like this but it is not always explicitly discussed, even when questioned.

TW2013 Fri 14-Feb-20 23:27:49

Oh and one of mine the whole class were missing e.g. art and science because they hadn't done enough Maths and English English already that day. So frustrating for those who could do it, but the students did get good results. Not sure there is much you can do about how they organise his school day, I wouldn't send my child in early/ after school unless I was certain it was for their benefit, likewise Easter cramming sessions.

Tinty Fri 14-Feb-20 23:33:58

“I never really been on mumsnet before and I'm not sure I'll return. I was hoping for some nuance and thoughtfulness and some help.”

I’m not sure you were really though, what you seem to actually be hoping was that everyone would agree with you that DS shouldn’t have to do Sats and that the headmaster is wrong and that it is perfectly fine to send a child back to school iat this point in year 6 after homeschooling because it doesn’t suit you anymore.

Have you even considered how hard it will be for your son to join a school at this late stage?

TalaxuArmiuna Fri 14-Feb-20 23:35:46

you should certainly decline permission for your DC to do any extra work at weekends or evenings that is over and above what all other y6 pupils are doing. and mosey certainly decline permission for him to miss out on other aspects of his education to boost their sats outcomes. if he is missing our on sports, break times, creative activities etc then that is unfair and bad for his health and you need to complain that they are not acting in your child's interests but selfishly damaging his wellbeing for the sake of their statistics.

buddhamama Fri 14-Feb-20 23:37:10

Soontobe60 to be clear, I didn't say I wanted to remove him during SATs week. I just said people do do that, because people here were saying there's no choice. That's not what I am suggesting for us. I'm just saying it seems unfair to add additional work to the already heavy load at this time, to catch up on time when he wasn't in that particular education system. And then also to be pulled out of non-SATs lessons to do extra SATs work.

It's the additional pressure I'm concerned about, and I am not putting this on my child. I am ok with him doing the homework, but they said he would have to do double the homework and then also miss other less

And it's perfectly legal and acceptable for me to choose what is ok for my child at different times in their educational life.

I don't doubt that if you're in education you know a fair about and are profesional and skilled. My whole family were teachers, and I have a doctorate, so I'm very familiar with the education system. But it' also encourages narrow mindedness. The Head was aghast when I said we were using a US maths curriculum - 'what? not the national curriculum?'. It made me smile. There are other ways of learning the universal language of maths! There are other ways of approaching education.

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