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Am I wrong about SATs?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by julia511, Feb 5, 2011.

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    My daughter is in Y6 at a private school. After Christmas holiday her maths
    teacher said that the class would be doing 2 SAT past papers a week until the
    exam in the summer.


    After doing 4 papers my daughter complained that the papers are easy and
    boring. She finished each paper in 30 min and then has to do nothing for the
    rest of the lesson (30 min). She told me that most girls in the class are like
    her - bored and uninspired by SAT papers.


    I understand that exam results are important for the school but I do not see
    the benefit of doing 20 papers. So I spoke to the teacher and she decided to
    give the class 1 paper a week.


    I still do not agree that they need to do a paper every week until June and
    I do not like this emphasis on the exam. My daughter’s results are 95-98% and I
    feel that she does not need more practice and she is not being challenged in
    maths lessons.


    Do you think Y6 children need so much practice and I am wrong?


    If you agree with me can you help me to argue my point of view with the
    maths teacher, please.
     
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    My daughter is in Y6 at a private school. After Christmas holiday her maths
    teacher said that the class would be doing 2 SAT past papers a week until the
    exam in the summer.


    After doing 4 papers my daughter complained that the papers are easy and
    boring. She finished each paper in 30 min and then has to do nothing for the
    rest of the lesson (30 min). She told me that most girls in the class are like
    her - bored and uninspired by SAT papers.


    I understand that exam results are important for the school but I do not see
    the benefit of doing 20 papers. So I spoke to the teacher and she decided to
    give the class 1 paper a week.


    I still do not agree that they need to do a paper every week until June and
    I do not like this emphasis on the exam. My daughter’s results are 95-98% and I
    feel that she does not need more practice and she is not being challenged in
    maths lessons.


    Do you think Y6 children need so much practice and I am wrong?


    If you agree with me can you help me to argue my point of view with the
    maths teacher, please.
     
  3. DM

    DM New commenter

    There is little you can apart from threaten to remove your daughter from the school. You are paying for her education after all.
    I am a little surprised that this sort of National Tests mania has spread to an independent school. It is, of course, ridiculous and unnecessary and goes against the spirit of the Tests which is to provide a snapsnot of where the child is at rather than being something that should be prepared for.
     
  4. DM

    DM New commenter

    l meant to say "little you can do".
     
  5. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    It's a ridiculous amount of practise. I've never worked in a state school which started practising so early.
     
  6. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    I would suggest that you have a discussion with the teacher about your concerns. If your daughter is put of mathematics at this age, it really will have a massively detrimental effect on her learning the subject in years to come. It is important to allow the teacher to know that this exam drilling is building up negative associations with mathematics in your child's mind. I am sure that they are a dedicated, well meaning teacher who just wants the children to be successful - and will no doubt be under pressure to drill the students like this - and every good teacher will want the children to develop a love for the subject.
     
  7. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    I can vouch for the fact that junior schools round here spend ridiculous quantities of time on this stuff. There is so much pressure on heads to pull in the results, what else can they do? My son's experience in one local junior isn't dissimilar to the OP's, and my the school where my wife teaches spends year 6 time on little else other than these things. Why, oh why can't politicians see that you don't improve things by measuring all the time...??
     
  8. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I took over a school in a mess,raise online data all blue for the previous 3 years before I got there. I needed achood set of results the first year I was there to prove that things were on the up, otherwise it was goodnight Vienna for me. We didn't do any Sats practise until April. There was a lot of focussed teaching to make up for previous underperformance but we did not teach to the test.
    Results went from bottom 5% nationally to top 2% in numeracy and top 10% in literacy.
    It's possible to do it without boring kids to death.
     
  9. i thought one of the main reasons for paying for private education was to avoid sats?
     
  10. Thanks everyone for your comments. I have decided to speak to the maths teacher again. What also concerns me is the lack of differentiation and lack of challenge.
     
  11. Good luck Julia,
    It may be worth suggesting things like NRich or the text book DM always recommends. Which one is it again DM?
    What a shame. Good luck with it - do let us know how you get on?
     
  12. DM

    DM New commenter

    The series was written by your mate <u><strike>Martin Gardner</strike></u> Tony Gardiner. Amazon will find it.
     
  13. Personally, when my school was closing, we still had a cupboard full of the old white SMP booklets. I put together packs of one of each of the level 2+ booklets with the answer books and so on for all our feeder primary schools.
    These were always designed for individual study so are perfect for able, motivated year 6s. You just pick a topic, work though the books until you get stuck and then change topic. There are lots of topics which are outside our current core syllabus (like vectors and so on) which is nice.
    I had a sense that these packs will be replaced by online interactive resources (which may be externally monitored/supported) for gifted primary school students soon but that doesn't seem to have happened yet.
    So if there are any HOD sitting on the SMP booklets (and of course the DIME booklets which don't need manipulatives as well), don't chuck them out, there's still a really good use for them.
     

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