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Y7 day 1: I'm already cross.

(92 Posts)
PiqueABoo Tue 02-Sep-14 17:23:31

The [bleeps] threw two lots of CATs at them.

If you wanted to depress the results and also make them a bit unreliable, then I can't think of a better time i.e. when lots of the children are a teensy bit anxious to say the very least.

Can anyone talk me out of that view?

overmydeadbody Tue 02-Sep-14 17:24:49

What are CATs?

Worried now, DS starts yr 7 tomorrow.

PiqueABoo Tue 02-Sep-14 18:18:39

Cognitive ability tests. They're essentially 11+ test stuff, qualitative, verbal, non verbal reasoning etc.

My child was assured by some new authority figures you can't practise and get better at them which everyone+dog knows is stuff and nonsense, especially parents living in grammar school areas.

Apart from my reliability angle above I just I think it was very mean to give them tests on the very first day.

Beetlemilk Tue 02-Sep-14 18:21:32

You are being precious.
It makes perfect sense to give CATS on the first day.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 02-Sep-14 18:23:57

It's quite normal.

Schools don't trust SATS anymore so need an indication if the children's ability.

Chances are you will never even be given the results unless (like my dd) you get them as part of an sen diagnosis process.

PiqueABoo Tue 02-Sep-14 18:25:36

PS: I'm not being very calming.

I don't know, but I although many schools do these, it's the first time I've heard of it happening on the first day. Decent schools justuse them to gather a bit more information as opposed to relying on them for serious decisions. They might help them do things like find someone who is theoretically quite brainy but has middling/low SATs i.e. a mystery worth investigating.

The correlation between cognitive ability and real exam passing e.g. GCSEs is around 0.5, so not overwhelming. That's because exam passing depends on many other characteristics besides raw intelligence.

PiqueABoo Tue 02-Sep-14 18:26:26

@Beetlemilk: That is an assertion, not an argument. Please explain why.

PiqueABoo Tue 02-Sep-14 18:31:29

@Picturesinthefirelight: According to a letter to parents brought home tonight the child will be given the results, however the same letter claims the tests that have already happened will happen in the future, so $deity knows.

SATs are better predictors than CATS. A clever combination of the two is a better predictor than SATs (or CATs) alone.

Beetlemilk Tue 02-Sep-14 18:32:46

It is usual to assess children at the start of any learning programme in order to monitor progress effectively.

Beetlemilk Tue 02-Sep-14 18:34:36

Were you waiting in the foyer to collect your child after school by any chance?

shinysparklythings Tue 02-Sep-14 18:34:43

The problem is primary school data seems very unreliable these days! year 7's are having maths tests in their second maths lesson, we need to do it this early so that we can set them properly! It's much better to test and set straight away than have kids in groups that are much too hard/easy.

tiggytape Tue 02-Sep-14 18:35:33

Were these MidYIS tests? If so, it is pretty common for them to be set in the first week of Year 7.
They are computer generated tests where the questions adapt according to the child's responses so in that sense it is true that they cannot really be practiced and also no two would necessarily be the same even in the same group of children.

They are just one tool used in conjunction with SATS, primary school reports and teacher observations. They feed into baseline and Value Added stats.

Not everything is a competition and of course all children take them under the same conditions (first week, nervous, maybe having slipped back a bit from their optimum Year 6 performance over the holidays). It is fine - there will be other assessments and constant adjustments made for example in terms of setting based on teacher observation far more than these initial assessments.

amyhamster Tue 02-Sep-14 18:36:17

& presumably they need to put them into sets going on the results?
We had loads of tests back in the day , didn't do us any harm

WaffleWiffle Tue 02-Sep-14 18:36:37

You are being precious. Is this your first born?

Most schools do CATS tests
They do them first week, if not first day
You cannot revise for CATs
Different thing to 11+

Used alongside many other things - including SATS and teacher assessments - to assess a child's start point upon starting KS3. So that when the end of KS3 arrives, progress can be judged.

Sparklingbrook Tue 02-Sep-14 18:36:53

I think day 2 at least would have been preferable Pique. I would be a bit hmm too if I am honest.
Not sure why the first day back was deemed as a good idea.

OhMyActualDays Tue 02-Sep-14 18:37:00

It is very usual to test immediately, whatever the form. Ours did a reading test during transition week in July! They don't seem scarred by it!

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 02-Sep-14 18:37:45

I would dispute the fact that SATS are better than cats (ds didn't do SATS at her primary school anyway)

PiqueABoo Tue 02-Sep-14 18:38:34

@ Beetlemilk, no they walked 20 mins to and from. I now understand apparently have nothing useful to say, so you don't need to add any more catty stuff to convince me.

Sparklingbrook Tue 02-Sep-14 18:38:50

No idea what will happen with DS2 tomorrow. They start High School in Year 8 here. SATS are a distant memory.....

noblegiraffe Tue 02-Sep-14 18:40:51

Our Y7s spent their first day getting to know their tutor, exploring the school and finding out where everything is, having an assembly on expectations etc, and then one normal timetabled lesson. We couldn't have fitted two tests in!

Unexpected Tue 02-Sep-14 19:25:14

Very normal around here. If not on the first day, they do some testing in the first week. Actually, I think DSs both did some on their induction day for secondary in June. Surely it is better to do the tests without forewarning the children? As you said, they are already a bit anxious (although not all of them will be for sure!) so how would pre-warning them about tests help?

I suspect these tests will have been a much bigger deal in your mind than in the children's.

mychildrenarebarmy Tue 02-Sep-14 19:26:09

Ours were told that they will sit some tests on their first day. They also did a reading test on their induction day in July like OhMyActualDays mentioned.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. If they end up being badly set because of nerves etc. affecting the test then I would hope the school would pick up on it after a short while and move them as necessary.

sassytheFIRST Tue 02-Sep-14 19:28:56

Sparkers - can pretty much guarantee that 1st English lesson will be reading/spelling text bonanza. Terrible way to start IMO, but does give us baseline data we need plus it's the only time of year when getting them marked quickly is easy.

Hope he has a good day!

Sparklingbrook Tue 02-Sep-14 19:33:40

Ooh right Sassy. grin I will let him find that out when it happens in that case.

First task is to find his tutor room . grin

BackforGood Tue 02-Sep-14 19:43:24

Beetle was referring to another thread running alongside this tonight grin

She's right though - you are sounding very pfb about this.
Of course it's normal to do (whatever) assessments (you want to use) at the start of school.
SATS are useless as a measure of what a child can do, secondary schools need to have solid evidence for all the 'value added' measuring that goes on, as well as knowing what the baseline is, to start teaching.

Some schools do assessments on their induction day in the Summer Term - would you have preferred that?

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