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Just how essential are the Year 6 SATs? Would it be the end of the world if DD missed some?

(58 Posts)
MadreInglese Mon 12-Jan-09 09:41:12

DP's brother & girlfriend have just announced their wedding date this May, which happens to be on the Friday of SATs week.

They live at least an 8 hour drive away so we need to leave at the latest as school finishes on the Thursday, but that means DD will miss the Friday's tests. On any other week we would probably have left on the Weds night and just taken her out of school for 2 days.

Obviously we don't want to miss a family wedding (DP will go on his own if needs be), but I was considering asking school if DD is able to re-take the Friday's tests the following week instead - am I going to get laughed out of the door?

IIRC these are the ones that count towards school league tables, but how essential are they for DD personally? She will be going to a state comp secondary school (haven't found out which one yet) and I'm wondering if it will affect which set she is put in (do they do sets still in Year 7?) she is bright and gets good results each year and I would hate for this to affect her confidence if her results are lower than usual (tbh my instinct is that at 11 yo they are too young to be taking 'exams' anyway)

Your thoughts and comments will be much appreciated.

cory Mon 12-Jan-09 09:44:43

Not essential for your dd personally, but expect a big rumpus from the school, particularly if she is bright and would have helped their statistics.

Dd and two of her friends (all fairly good performers) were off during SATS week with suspected glandular fever (though tbh I don't think it was); the school sent round a TA to invigilate them at home. Dd's exam was taken down to dictation.

OrmIrian Mon 12-Jan-09 09:50:09

The secondary school will almost certainly retest her anyway, either during the end of yr 6 or in yr 7 to determine her abilities. It might be seen as a bit tough on the primary school though - SATs are vile but the schools need to jump through the hoops whether they like it or not. Her absence may make a difference.

MillyR Mon 12-Jan-09 09:50:11

I think the school will be very, very annoyed if she doesn't turn up for the SATS as this does have an impact on their league table position. Having said that, some parents I know are intending to say their child is off sick that week because they don't want them to go through the stress of the SATS.

In terms of sets, some secondary schools set in some subjects based on the SATs results, and other set based on a test they give to kids in the first term of secondary. You need to find out off the secondary school when you know which one your dd is going to. But either way, I think it is very unlikely that she will be put in the bottom set just because she missed the SATS.

MadreInglese Mon 12-Jan-09 09:52:39

So will resits not be a possibility then? Just to miss them completely?

Oh gawd it's such a hard choice! I think DD likes doing well and getting good results is such a boost for her, but also she will be gutted if she can't come to the wedding.

Arrrghhhh

MillyR Mon 12-Jan-09 09:52:47

She will not be able to retake on the following Friday; they have to be done on the correct day.

MadreInglese Mon 12-Jan-09 09:53:22

She wouldn't be missing them all, just probably one day's worth.

GrapefruitMoon Mon 12-Jan-09 09:53:44

Secondary schools do generally look at Sats results but will probably set their own tests, etc once they have started and "sets" tend to be reviewed regularly and children moved around if necessary.

The primary school will, however, take a dim view of her absence and I doubt if they will "authorise" an absence for that week - you would have to take her out of school without permission. Ours insists that even moderately ill children are brought in for the exam and we have had children turning up with broken limbs, etc.

It's obviously up to you what you decide but once the results are out the children will talk amongst themselves about what level they got, etc so be prepared for some upset there if your dd has missed one.

You could ask the school if they know the timetable for the exams yet - they may just have one that morning so you could head off as soon as the exam finishes and catch the latter part of the wedding?

MadreInglese Mon 12-Jan-09 09:55:48

It's an 8 hour drive away Grapefruit, so Thurs after school would be the very latest we could leave to be there on time, DP has to be there to see his brother get married (he is also an usher).

psychomum5 Mon 12-Jan-09 09:56:47

well, going on the news the last week or so on how wapred the testing is with regards to the SAT's, and that they are scrapping the yr9 ones anyway (and debating the yr6 ones no IIRC), I really don;t think I would worry too much.

yes, the school will be cross, but my view now (after having 2 go thru the stress of SAT's, and still waiting for DD1's results from last mayangry), is simply <<shrug>>, and not care anymore.

of course, it is your choice entirely, but no school that I have heard of take any notice of the SAT's for streaming purposes for the children, just for their own league tables.......which IMHO, makes a complete mockery of the entire thing. why test the children when they only go for the school resultshmm??

obviously it may be different in other LEA's, but the schools my DD's go to don;t set them until they take CAT's in yr7........the SAT results are ignored completely!

GrapefruitMoon Mon 12-Jan-09 09:57:10

Couldn't your dh go on the Thursday and you and dd go on the Friday?

MadreInglese Mon 12-Jan-09 09:58:32

They were originally marrying on the Sat which would not have been a problem, but have moved it to the Fri as that was cheaper at the venue.

There are other family children invited who will have the same dilemma, although none of them are year 6.

Over something smaller I'd usually let DD decide what she wanted to do, but on this occasion I think that will put too much pressure on her.

compo Mon 12-Jan-09 10:01:00

I hate weddings on Friday
so inconvenient
I'd apologise to the couple and explain that dh will be going on his own

MadreInglese Mon 12-Jan-09 10:01:25

That's what I wondered psychomum, is it more for the kids or for the school.

Grapefruit the wedding is on the Friday, even if DP went before us then DD & I would miss the wedding as it's an 8 hour drive away (and it means taking two cars) - just not feasible I'm afraid.

GrapefruitMoon Mon 12-Jan-09 10:03:19

But wouldn't you just miss the boring bit ceremony - surely the meal/dance/disco will be later in the evening?

MadreInglese Mon 12-Jan-09 10:04:00

compo many relatives are already saying they might not make it as it means more time off work with it being on a Friday

compo Mon 12-Jan-09 10:04:55

what, drive 8 hours after a school day?!!! the meal would be over and there might be an hour of dancing!!

GrapefruitMoon Mon 12-Jan-09 10:05:50

Compo, I meant leaving at lunch time to drive there - iirc dd's sats were all done by Friday lunchtime

MillyR Mon 12-Jan-09 10:06:02

It is more for the school than the child, but if you take unauthorised absence during SATS week, I think it is very likely that the school will report you to the LEA. I don't know if that report would remain on your child's records at secondary school though.

compo Mon 12-Jan-09 10:06:03

I think it's selfish
yes it's cheaper for the couple but everyone else has to take leave, take kids out of school etc
my dh was a best man on a friday and we had to take leave on the Thursday and the Friday
luckily kids were pre school at the time

compo Mon 12-Jan-09 10:06:40

but there were loads of kids who had to be taken out of school - the bride's brother and sister for example and loads of neices and nephews

MadreInglese Mon 12-Jan-09 10:10:38

Arrghhh

<chews nails>

I might have a word with the teacher and see where the land lies but I do expect a response similar to what you've all said on here!

(compo BIL's girlfriend is lovely lovely but very young with limited common sense or money and zero budget ability and has planned her wedding since she was 5 years old - but that's a WHOLE other thread <sigh>)

psychomum5 Mon 12-Jan-09 10:11:58

well, like I say, IMHO, they are more for the school. teachers are not stupid, they know if children are not keeping up with their peers, they don;t need SAT's to tell them if children are doing as they should..............so, SAT's are for the league tables, to show the LEA how well the school is doing and prospective parents too.

plus, I actually think that the amount of coaching the children get for the SAT's actaully mean that the results are skewed anyway. and I pity the teachers too.......all they do for one term pretty much is stress about how their children are going to do in the SAT's.

they only thing I would say is that it is kind of a shame for your DD, and the other children in the class, if all the 'training' is wasted for one to have time off for a wedding. and I am not sure that the school would 'let' you anyway (I know for DD1 she still had to go in dispite being very ill with tonsilitis - in fact she had them out shortly after as she kept getting it so bad!).

with my DD2, I tried to pull her out as she was awaiting a dyslexia test and I felt it very unfair to have to sit something she would struggle with. SHE opted however to take them....she didn;t want to miss out when her friends were sitting them anyway.

GrapefruitMoon Mon 12-Jan-09 10:13:45

Oh and the other thing I've just thought of is that at our school the children often get together and have parties/sleepovers to celebrate the end of SATs...

MadreInglese Mon 12-Jan-09 10:17:29

Thanks for all your advice, I think I'll speak to DD's teacher then scratch my head for a while before we make a decision.

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