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Yr 6 SATS Support the Teachers?

(106 Posts)
lupino Sun 27-Mar-16 23:13:24

I`m just wondering, now that the teachers are going to ballot on boycotting the SATS, whether and how we can support them? There seem to be rational arguments both for and against SATS but, in my view, the teachers are best placed to judge what is best for our children - when they are not being pressurised by the powers that be to produce quantifiable results. So - let`s give the people best placed to judge some real clout by backing them up. The question then becomes how best do we do this?

defunctedusername Sun 27-Mar-16 23:22:22

But sats are quite a good measurement why would teachers boycott them?

Fanjango Sun 27-Mar-16 23:27:15

They've got much harder. Many high profile writers state they couldn't pass the SPaG test. Look up Michael Rosen, former children's laureate. The test is forcing children to learn things that even academics aren't sure are true or needed. Teachers are having to try and teach 11 year olds things that most adults don't know. They are stressed and know it's pointless. Why not support them?

tiggytape Sun 27-Mar-16 23:32:49

It has happened before under Labour in 2010 when Heads voted overwhelmingly in favour of a boycott.
Around 25% of schools actually boycotted SATS that year.
The current ballot related to SATS in summer 2017.

However it may be more complicated in 2017 because a system of retakes will be in place that mean SATS aren't just a one-off event in Year 6. If children don't take SATS in Year 6, they won't have met the expected standard so will be eligible to do resits almost as soon as they start secondary schools (which is arguably worse than getting them over and done with in the summer of Year 6).

There are calls to cancel this year's tests too - but only as a request. Not as a ballot for action.

Redlocks28 Sun 27-Mar-16 23:35:06

SATs have changed ridiculously this year. They have been made much harder and levels removed. Cynically, one might say that the results will be used to show that standards have fallen so state schools must be abolished.

As a parent, I will 100% be behind the teachers.

defunctedusername Sun 27-Mar-16 23:44:30

Why dont we support the pupils to pass these sats, why undermine children's education?

Fanjango Mon 28-Mar-16 00:44:11

Jeremy you are not helping, nor are you any fan of your namesake. Stop trying to cause an argument. The tests are set way too high, they are causing 11 year old kids stress and the loss of the love of learning forever, that's not good. My kids d not need to know what a fronted adverbial is at 11. It's a false test, not a true representation of the standard of teaching nor the children's abilities.

PrettyBrightFireflies Mon 28-Mar-16 01:22:48

The NUT have muddied the water by including their objections to the reception assessments as part of the same issue.

The arguments against the changes to KS1 & KS2 SATS cannot be applied to the baseline testing - because that's not testing what the DCs have learnt or how good the teaching is - it's setting the baseline at the very beginning of their school life so their progress can be monitored throughout their education.

Whether that is right or wrong is a very different argument - it has nothing to do with the standards set in SATS.

forkhandles4candles Mon 28-Mar-16 09:59:35

Michael Rosen's arguments are utterly compelling, check his blog. What a mess.

Itisbetternow Mon 28-Mar-16 10:12:12

When my now 13 year year old sat his SATs in year 6 he didn't really notice - it was another day at school but with some tests.

My now 11 year old in year 6 has bought home from school a folder with 4 SATs papers to practice over the Easter holidays. I have to do a spelling test other him. He is 100% aware regarding the tests and what he needs to get. I feel for him and the teachers. He has asked me to help! Some of the Enflish questions I have no idea! Levels have changed and the pressure on these children and teachers is too much.

And yes agree with comment above it is to justify the Governments non democratic decision to turn all schools into academies. Not all academies recognise unions so double whammy for Govt - take education away from local control and reduce the political power of the teachers unions. I didn't vote for all of this!!

Itisbetternow Mon 28-Mar-16 10:13:10

Sorry brought not bought!!

eyebrowse Mon 28-Mar-16 10:14:25

I strongly suspect all the ex grammar school people complaining about lack of grammar in the young don't know what an adverbial clause is either. What they may be right to complain about is young people finishing education unable to write sentences e.g. capital letters, full stops, spellings. This should be handled by new rules that young people stay in education or training until 18 and those with a low level of English and maths have to keep doing these until this age. Thus all the new grammar can be removed from year 6 SATS.

Are SATS in year 6 worth doing? Some children (particularly in London) do a whole range of tests for private schools and 11plus tests at age 11 which suggests that SATS are rather mild in comparison. I think if SATS are kept there should be one common test for 11plus, private selective schools so that children don't have to be so stressed and the tests might identify bright children whose parents are not pushy or interested or it hadn't occurred to them that their child could be bright. These children could be then set higher in comprehensive schools. However 10 or 11 year olds might have a bad day so they should not be used to set in stone. The main other problem is that they make year 6 a very boring year where little learning is done - they are often just taught to the test. I'm sure I learnt better without them. The problem with teacher assessments are that your child might not get on with the teacher or the teacher might be blinded by a pushy middle class family whenthe child is actually not very clever. The other issue is they just test english and maths when a child might be stronger in other areas. I think it might be better to replace SATS with a portfolio: here is my best story I have written in primary school (which would illustrate good use of grammar (or not)), here is my best piece of art work, a maths test, time taken in a running sprint (best of 3 attempts on different days), my responsibilities in year 6 are...

Tests at the beginning of school to measure progress sound like an excellent idea but in practice they don't work because little children are put under pressure when the emphasis should be settling them in to start learning. Perhaps they should be filled in by the preschool but should not be about academic learning - instead this child can hold a pencil, this child can concentrate for five minutes, this child can take turns. Children who do really badly could perhaps be held back

tiggytape Mon 28-Mar-16 10:50:36

A mixed purpose test is unlikely to satisfy anyone. To be stringent enough to pick out the top 5% or 8% of all candidates in a wide geographical area (as many grammars schools require), it would meed to include elements at and above the (old money) level 6 standard. This is not going to be a pleasant experience for those hovering around the (old money) level 4 standard when faced with GCSE texts for the comprehension (in the style of some 11+ papers).
If anything that is one criticism of the new SATS for 2016 - one paper for all regardless of how accessible they will find it instead of a separate paper for the higher ability children to reduce stress for the others.

And with more riding on the outcome, the stresses could be considerably greater (not to mention the admission problems with the right to appeal when the test is an external one that the individual schools cannot easily check and remark for school appeals).

LooseAtTheSeams Mon 28-Mar-16 11:23:57

I'm ex-grammar, and for what it's worth I have a PhD in English, but I think these SPAG tests won't help standards at all. I remember when I did the old O level English language and there was a section on parsing sentences. I was good at it but I never had to do it again! If you asked me to do those exercises now, I would have to relearn them. My point is, while practical spelling, grammar and punctuation are essential skills for further study and work, this level of grammatical jargon isn't and it doesn't mean you write better English. Drilling Year 6 children in this way is pointless because they will forget all these terms as they won't use them again. It's futile.
The main point of assessment at age 11 should be to show a child is ready for secondary school and to provide them with appropriate support if they are not quite there. It should never be about making political points against schools and teachers. Nor should it be creating this level of stress for pupils and parents.

LooseAtTheSeams Mon 28-Mar-16 11:38:42

Just saw Tiggytape's post - yes, I think the one size fits all is part of the problem as well. The levels used before gave secondary schools some idea of whether children were ready, more than ready or in need of support. However, our local comprehensives use a combination of SATS, CATS and observation to put children into sets because they found that SATS alone weren't too reliable. I don't think this is going to change but now they are going to have to factor in resits as well.

thatcoldfeeling Mon 28-Mar-16 11:42:59

The changes make a joke of teachers, parents, and children (other than those who pick up rote learning well). I support a ballot to boycott 100% and same goes for any potential boycott.

thatcoldfeeling Mon 28-Mar-16 11:45:06

Oh, and in terms of support, have this am emailed my DC's head teacher giving support. Have also written to my MP on the issue a few weeks ago, we all must do this.

MumTryingHerBest Mon 28-Mar-16 11:49:25

JeremyCorbyn Sun 27-Mar-16 23:22:22 But sats are quite a good measurement why would teachers boycott them?

Good measurement of what exactly?

Perhaps you can provide links to the underlying data/facts that supports your claim that they are "a good measurement".

JeremyCorbyn Sun 27-Mar-16 23:44:30 Why dont we support the pupils to pass these sats, why undermine children's education?

Perhaps you can explain your position on this in more detail. Some supporting facts/data would also be useful.

Redlocks28 Mon 28-Mar-16 11:49:36

Why is it they aren't boycotting this year's SATs?

Letseatgrandma Mon 28-Mar-16 11:55:03

But sats are quite a good measurement why would teachers boycott them?

Maybe it could be argued that they were before. In previous years perhaps? When children got a level that people understood.

Now, the tests are at a much higher level and are a pass/fail test. Who does that help? Who does it inform? Has anyone considered the impact it might have on children that young to 'fail'?

Does it bother people that the tests are much harder? Do people see that as a good thing? Have they fallen into the trap of believing increased rigour improved results? Why can you just make tests harder and that's ok? Where does it stop?

Why not just get them all to sit GCSEs if it doesn't matter.

Thethingswedoforlove Mon 28-Mar-16 11:59:05

Anyone know why secondary schools all so cat tests as well at the start of yr7? Suggests to me they don't put too much weight on the results of sats. Yet another reason not to do them. Although even if you argue the new harder ones are the right level for this year's yr 6 to have to do them when they had been aiming for another whole different standard for at east half their ks2 years is just not fair. Aim of for the current yr 4s who have been on new curriculum since start of ks2. I have one in yr6 and one on yr4 so am not showing bias here. Also for the brightest yr6 there is nothing to really delmonstrate how bright they are or to stretch them now level 6s have gone. no incentive for teachers to focus on stretching them further when so many kids struggling to even reach expected yr6 levels now. Total shambles:

LooseAtTheSeams Mon 28-Mar-16 12:15:35

You can't cram for CATS as there are no practise papers, so head teachers see them as a better reflection of ability/potential. However, even then, they also admit performance on one day isn't always a true reflection of ability, which is why sets should be fluid. I know one child who went from set 3 to set 1 in maths by the end of year 7 through determination (no extra tutoring!) and a supportive maths teacher.

tiggytape Mon 28-Mar-16 12:19:36

Why is it they aren't boycotting this year's SATs?
It is only the NUT so far who are discussing this not the Head Teachers' unions.
When the last (partial) boycott happened, it was set in motion the year before as well (2009 voting for 2010 boycott) and went ahead in some schools due to Head Teacher union support.
I am guessing therefore that this could follow a similar timescale if the Heads' unions also choose to get involved as they did last time.

LilacSpunkMonkey Mon 28-Mar-16 12:30:25

When my now 13 year year old sat his SATs in year 6 he didn't really notice - it was another day at school but with some tests.

Sorry but that's completely untrue. I have a 14 year old and an 11 year old about to take them. And I work in a primary school.

They don't do all the papers on one day. They're spread over the week. They sit them in the hall, at separate desks, incomplete silence. It's proper exam conditions. For 11 year olds. They spend months doing old papers and working up their levels. Literacy and Numeracy are tailored to the SAT papers.

Y6 children and 100% aware of what's coming. They understand and feel the pressure.

It is not 'just another day at school'. It's ridiculous pressure on children who should be enjoying their final year of primary school and, more importantly, preparing for secondary school.

defunctedusername Mon 28-Mar-16 12:37:48

Testing a range of abilities, from top to bottom is a good idea! I accept that not Every child will be able to do all the higher level material but that doesn't mean you should cut it out. Surely part of parents concerns is that their Darling Children wont get the highest level possible, therefore no one should, isn't that childish?

The argument about what the terms are called is a straw-man. I learnt lots of skills as a child that I cant remember the names for but that doesn't mean I lost the skill of using them.

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