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SATS results depressing me!

(43 Posts)
tortoiseSHELL Fri 11-Jul-08 20:42:00

Ds1 is KS1, Y2, will get his SATS results on Monday. And I'm dreading the whole 'how did he do?'. It's starting on MN - take a look down the education threads - and I can't bear it - the whole idea of 'grading' 6 and 7 year olds is crazy. How can you compare, for example, a girl born on September 1st with a boy on August 31st? And those scores go on their records, and stay with them throughout their school career.

It is so wrong. And I don't think a number should influence my opinion of how well ds1 is doing. I know he's doing fine. And I really don't care if he gets a 2b or a 2a or a 3 or whatever in anything.

Rant over.

flack Fri 11-Jul-08 21:55:36

Would you feel better if you just binned the SAT part of his report without looking at it?

ingles2 Fri 11-Jul-08 21:58:17

try and ignore tortoiseshell.
everyone will be antsy and competitive now but I promise you it'll never be thought of again after July 31st.

MaryAnnSingleton Fri 11-Jul-08 21:59:27

SATs are shite aren't they - forget them,they aren't for the children's benefit.

SNoraWotzThat Fri 11-Jul-08 22:21:35

I have been looking through and wondering if I am a missing the point, or a bad mother. I hate SATs and the test and year 6 is a complete waste of time as far as I can see.

I know why they exist, but as long as your child is happy and progressing and the teachers comments are encouraging, don't get at all bothered about the levels.

tortoiseSHELL Fri 11-Jul-08 23:28:00

Thanks, I thought about binning it, but I think I do want to know, it would annoy me that there was data I didn't know iyswim.

But the whole thing is ill conceived imo - it's just designed for the whole 'competitive mum' thing. Drives me nuts. What does an assessment at the end of Y2 tell you anyway? Probably not a lot more than the ages of the children (with a few exceptions).

flack Sat 12-Jul-08 11:37:16

What would a better system be then, in terms of communicating & recording whether a child is achieving their potential?

ButterflyMcQueen Sat 12-Jul-08 11:38:32

tortoise- 3 of my kids are secondary age and ime no one asks 'how did he do?'

would you ask? no

no one mentions it

singersgirl Sat 12-Jul-08 11:44:42

Of course they have no bearing on anything, but I remember feeling desperately upset (pushy mum alert) that DS1 had only got a 2a for maths in Y2. But whaddya know? By the start of Y5 he was one of a small group of children taken out of the classroom for maths extension and it is now his strongest subject (on paper, at least.)

I think the teacher comment is all that you are really interested in. Whether a child who may not yet be 7 is able to tick a number of boxes for certain skills is just not very important.

My fave comment on DS2's Y2 report this year is: "DS2 is a lively, intelligent child who thrives on learning more about almost anything." What more do I need to know?

tortoiseSHELL Sat 12-Jul-08 11:52:51

flack - the problem is that in Y2, a bare number doesn't tell you anything about whether a child is achieving their potential. It is far more to do with age.

Ds1 for example is very bright - fantastic reader, very articulate, uses amazing language in English, (to my ears anyway), but his writing skills aren't so great - largely because he is a summer boy, and his fine motor skills have taken a little bit longer to develop than some of the other children (and most notably the September girls). So I wouldn't be surprised if his writing number was lower than his reading. But I would be upset if that meant that in Y3 he was in a lower group than he should be, because his 'grade' said he should be.

ButterflyMcQueen - no, obviously contemporaries won't ask. But there is such a degree of recording and marking now, it will be there on his school record. And when it comes to KS2, they will be judged to a greater or lesser extent on their KS1 SATS results. Which is not fair - it is not a level playing field at age 6/7. And therefore there is no point in having a set 'result'.

I don't know what a better system would be - a basic reading test maybe? I fundamentally disagree with the concept of league tables as well, as there is SO much more to a school than its position in a league table. And positions can be altered arbitrarily - if a child comes to your school at Easter in Y6, they would take the KS2 SAT exam, and their result would affect your position in the league table, despite that child's attainment level being NOTHING to do with the school, good or bad.

tortoiseSHELL Sat 12-Jul-08 11:53:51

singersgirl - yes, the teacher's comments are far more important. My favourite bit of ds1's Y1 report was 'his peers describe him as the kindest person in the class'. That made me cry!

flack Sat 12-Jul-08 11:58:13

Govt. doesn't publish league tables.
Govt. publishes averages, and the MEDIA sorts the results into league tables.

In theory sounds like Tortoise would be happy with a target-based statistic (like 2c, 1a, etc.) as long as it was more finely age-adjusted.

I hate to say this, but some autumn-born girls are terrible at school even by end of Y2, and some summer-born boys are pretty good at reading & numbers. It isn't all age/gender dependent at this age.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 12-Jul-08 12:06:19

Message withdrawn

tortoiseSHELL Sat 12-Jul-08 12:07:36

No I know flack, but statistically it tends towards being that way.

The Govt publishes averages in order that parents can compare schools. We actually chose a school that is far below another school in the league tables, because of non-academic reasons - they were both great schools, but one had more emphasis on extra curricular stuff, and we liked the head more.

I really don't know what a better system would be, but I don't really see why we have to test at Y2 at all - in other countries they don't even START school until age 7. I think in my ideal world, the kids would have more structured 'playgroup' until age 6/7, with lots of walks, learning about nature, music, dance, languages etc. Because then the differences at school wouldn't be so obvious, and particularly for boys, they wouldn't have as negative a start to school (am thinking about some of the boys at ds1's school, where they really haven't taken to school because they would like to be climbing trees - and why not!). And in countries where they start later (eg Canada) at age 11 they are ahead of our kids on average.

Fortunately our school is very casual about SATS - ds1 doesn't even know he's done them, and I won't tell him what he got, but some kids get SO stressed about 'revising' etc - it's so sad.

tortoiseSHELL Sat 12-Jul-08 12:10:44

Starlight - I'm August too, dd is August, she is fine, top of the class etc. I know that the SATS are about the school not the child, but the results are still attached to the child.

Ds1's weren't a 'sit down and do them' - it was continuous assessment - would have had to keep him off the whole term!

I do understand about the monitoring progress, but it bothers me that already they have some grade attached to them. There was a study done where pupils were assessed, and then the teachers were given the wrong assessment results (on purpose) to see how much bearing teacher expectation had on their achievement. The answer was - LOTS. High achieving children who had been allocated a low score underachieved, and low achieving children who the teacher thought had done well really came on. Which means that like it or not, the assessments at KS1, at age 6 or 7 will affect their progress later on.

Gobbledigook Sat 12-Jul-08 12:25:48

There was serious competitiveness from a couple of mums at school last week and it drove me mad. One of them offered her ds an X-Box for doing well, another was offering something else (can't remember what). I said to ds1 in the car 'I got your results through from your SATS' to which he replied 'my what?'. That's my boy!

Actually he got top scores for everything but I didn't tell him that - these other 2 boys were going round telling others what they got and I thought that was wrong so all I told ds1 was that he had worked really hard, done brilliantly and that the marks showed that his teacher was teaching him the right things grin

My children are not arrogant anyway but I didn't want kids of 7 comparing scores - it's just wrong, wrong, wrong.

Both the mothers asked me how he did - as if it was hugely important - and I just said 'he did really well, exactly as I expected' and left it at that.

southeastastra Sat 12-Jul-08 12:27:23

mine will probably be bottom on alot of things, though i have a 14 year old so have faith that things can improve.

tortoiseSHELL Sat 12-Jul-08 12:48:22

I'm just going to say 'he did fine' no matter what the numbers say. I know he's doing well, making progress

The whole comparison thing drives me mad - what reading level, what page in the violin book, what group they're in for maths.

Gobbledigook Sat 12-Jul-08 12:54:23

I agree Tortoise, and I have a child that is in top set for everything and extremely bright so I'm not concerned about anything I just dislike the open competitiveness among parents and, even worse, the children of those parents who are shaping up to be very arrogant young people sad

I had a good old chat with ds1 the other night about how I'm really proud of him - I listed tons of reasons with his results being just one. I told him I was proud because he was well mannered, well behaved, kind to other children etc etc - these are just as important, if not more so, than what results he gets in any tests and I want him to be clear on that. Nobody likes a show off!

SNoraWotzThat Sat 12-Jul-08 12:54:33

If anyone asks, I always say, "they are doing well thank you", and leave it at that.

I was most disappointed when someone I hardly new came up at the end of year 2 and knew dd2;s results, to comment how well she'd done. I don't know how they knew as i didn't tell anyone and I told her so. She went bright pink!

ingles2 Sat 12-Jul-08 21:25:02

but these aren't really the first assessments/ scores on record for our dc's you know. Ok, so the 1st scores that the LEA are interested in, but if you have a look at your childs school record you will see them assessed by the teacher as w / 1c/2b etc etc from the minute they start school. Really, forget all of this in primary until yr6 / ks2 when their score will have an influence on their choice of secondary education.
If your school is good they will move your dc to the appropriate level group as and when he needs it.

nooonit Sun 13-Jul-08 09:25:02

Really try to avoid posting on SATs threads but get sucked in!

Hopefully it sometimes helps parents to see things from a teacher's point of view!

I'm going back in September after maternity leave to teach a Y3 class in a junior school.

We are always interested in Y2 SATs results as they give you a rough idea of where your class are working at. We do also do testing at the start of Y3 to establish more exact levels after the 6 week break and using KS2 tests which are very different to KS2.

The whole reason we do all of this as teachers is to find out where your children are academically so we can help them to make the next developmental steps.

tortoiseSHELL - the things you describe about your DS are hopefully the exact things teacher's will be assessing for - his language skills and ideas are good but needs some input on fine motor skills. Let's put him on a fine motor skills programme to bring them up to match his other skills etc.

We all hate the media side of SATs and the how did your DC do sides of it BUT even if SATs did stop we would still be assessing your child and telling you at parents' evening the levels they are working at and what they need to work on now to make good progress.

nooonit Sun 13-Jul-08 09:27:58

Eeech - you can tell I've been up early with DD1 and her cough!

KS2 tests different to KS1 obviously!

The things teachers not teacher's will be assessing for!

sarah293 Sun 13-Jul-08 09:32:39

Message withdrawn

tortoiseSHELL Sun 13-Jul-08 09:34:45

noonit - that does make sense. And I don't think assessing children as such is wrong - I think the thing I really object to is having ONE assessment that is then attached to them as a label. So fine for a teacher to say 'he is working at level 2b, and by the end of next term I'd like to see him more of a 2a'. But setting an arbitrary date, at which the children being assessed will be over the spread of 12 months in age, and then that being the MOST IMPORTANT one, that you get sent home seems wrong. Wouldn't it make more sense to be told every term what sort of level, or even just what sort of progress they were making? Rather than having one 'THIS IS YOUR MARK'. Which some parents inevitably treat as being the measure of intelligence.

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