My feed

to access all these features

Join our Primary Education forum to discuss starting school and helping your child get the most out of it.

Primary education

How exactly are SATs a reliable way of finding out what the children have learned and absorbed (ie how well the teacher is teaching) when they revise like lunatics for three months beforehand??

22 replies

MadreInglese · 01/05/2009 12:56

I don't get it

OP posts:
juuule · 01/05/2009 12:59

Neither do I.

ramonaquimby · 01/05/2009 13:01

isn't that the case for GCSEs and A levels as well - massive amounts of studying before the exams are written?

I don't agree with them either tho in the current set up

MadreInglese · 01/05/2009 13:06

Yes but aren't GCSE's and A levels more for the children's own achievement, and they know they are ultimately working towards a final exam/grade?

SATs are just for the school to be rated, there will be no real benefit to DD, but there seems to be so much bloody pressure on them.

It's bonkers IMO

OP posts:
ramonaquimby · 01/05/2009 13:10

I see where you're coming from in that Year 2 or 6 students don't really get anything out of it but the GSCE/A level students DO - but of course schools are rated on the results of these exams, just as much as SATS results

bruffin · 01/05/2009 13:14

Sats are not just for schools to be rated,they are used to chart the child's progress. Most schools do optional Sats every year between KS1 and KS2. I didn't even realise they were doing them until DS got to YR5.

MadreInglese · 01/05/2009 13:20

yes you're right ramona

bruffin SATs can't really show an accurate measure of a child's progress if they have revised like mad beforehand though, can they? (not in primary school anyway)

it's not what they've learnt and how they've progressed over the years, it's what they've crammed into their brains like mad over the last couple of months

grumble grumble

OP posts:
MadreInglese · 01/05/2009 13:21

actually to be fair they haven't put this much pressure on in previous years, but DD is year 6 now and they're push-push-pushing....

OP posts:
bruffin · 01/05/2009 13:30

That is a silly statement Madre, of course if shows progress, if they can produce it for an exam situation then they have learnt it and you have made progress, just like any other exam.

My DD is yr 6 and thoroughly enjoying school at the moment.There is a bit of pressure at the moment, but if they take pressure at 11 then how are they going to cope with secondary school.

corblimeymadam · 01/05/2009 13:36

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

stleger · 01/05/2009 13:48

Ds did well in his SATS - is level 4 what you get if you are OK? He had been in school 4 days when he did them, we were only in England for a few months and he had been through the Irish school system. What SATS mean,I don't know!

MadreInglese · 01/05/2009 13:51

bruffin how is it s silly statement? I'm not sure if you understand what I'm trying to say

if children did SATs exams with no revision then I think yes it would show what they had learned and how they had progressed, I don't think the same thing is achieved if they revise heavily for it

OP posts:
bruffin · 01/05/2009 14:02

Very few exams are taken without any form of revision, although I do agree 3 months worth is excessive. Revision is relearning what has not sunken in in the first place and reinforcing what you do know.

Also all maths exams need reading skills, not just KS2 Sats.

mrz · 01/05/2009 18:13

Madre you could argue that any test that is revised for isn't a true measure of what a child knows/has been taught not just SATS but it is silly that so much emphasis is put on SAT results.

IME 3 months is quite a short revision period I know lots of schools who start revising in September so in effect children aren't taught anything new in Y6!

mumeeee · 02/05/2009 19:28

They are not. That is why there aren't any SATS in Wales anymore.

lunamoon2 · 02/05/2009 20:54

Madre, that is why at dds secondary school she had to resit all her exams, as they do not take the sats results on face value but feel students are just taught to pass the test.
My dd felt the pressure too and so did I.
Because she is bright, the primary school put a lot of pressure on her to "achieve" the top grade.
Don't know what the alrenative is though as teacher assessment can be subjective depending on the teacher/pupil relationship.

thirtysomething · 02/05/2009 21:00

I agree with the OP> Big waste of time. DS has been revising at school for over 3 months and is thoroughly sick of it. He can't wait to leave primary now, as he's so bored. The way they do the science SAT is a joke - talk about teaching to the test - no experiments, it's just learning stuff parrot fashion from a book. What's the point? All DS has learnt this year is that exams/tests are to be feared and are very important and cause lots of stress, plus they mean utter boredom for the whole school year. So he's really been sent all the right signals about education hasn't he!!!!?!??!

edam · 02/05/2009 21:00

Good point well made. I think SATS were originally brought in as a measure of the school's performance but they seem to have drifted and become a test for the child. Ridiculous.

I may be an old gimmer, but in my day, I don't remember doing any exams before secondary school.

rachels103 · 02/05/2009 21:13

at belgianbun...I am a year 6 teacher too and we've been far too busy trying to make learning interesting to revise solidly for 3 months / the whole year etc...but it seems we are in the minority.

I visited another school last week and the poor year 6s could rattle off every feature they should be trying to include in their writing for a level 4/5 - it didn't make their writing any good though since they were just trying to cram in finite verbs (I kid ye not) and connectives galore at the expense of it actually making sense.

It seems that general opinion is becoming increasingly anti-SATs (or is that just on mumsnet!? ) so fingers crossed that their days are numbered.

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks · 02/05/2009 22:16

Apparantly 80% of secondary school teachers thik that SATS are not a valid way of measuring a child's ability. I read that primary schools can/do "teach to the test", so with enough coaching a good SATS score can be achieved but it may not be a true reflection of the child or the school.

I've just taken my DD out of a school that I wasn't happy with. Even though it came in the top 8% of primary schools in the county for SATS it got a terrible OFSTED (notice to improve). After a lot of research I've decided that Ofsted and my own instinct are the better judges. Every teacher I've spoken to agrees. She's moving to a school that seems great, other parents rave about, has a great Ofsted and doesn't publish its SATS scores so I have no idea what they are and don't care.

mrz · 04/05/2009 13:05

SATs were originally brought in to assess children at the end of the key stage not to measure the school's performance and as such they were a good thing (no stress or pressure just what teachers do anyway) but once league tables were introduced they became something totally different. Schools want children to reach their full potential but comparisons between schools puts pressure on schools to "prepare" children for tests and they become something of an ordeal for some children. What league tables don't take into consideration is that all children are different and start school at different levels yet are expected to reach the "standard" level at the same point (SATs). I don't have a problem with SATs as a teaching tool to show what children know and where they need more input.

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks · 04/05/2009 13:16

From reading the paper today it sesms like this year may be the last for SATS, teachers are planning a boycott for next year.

mrz · 04/05/2009 13:26

The government are telling heads and teachers that if they boycott SATs they will be breaking the law. I'm not sure how many will take that route. Also only one teaching union has supported a boycott which wouldn't affect my school as few teachers are in that particular union.

union disagreement

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.