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Assessment in first two days of term...

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Shoesontheglasslamp, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. Shoesontheglasslamp

    Shoesontheglasslamp New commenter

    I need some perspective here...

    There is an expectation that in the first two days of the new school year we administer long reading, spelling (200+ words), maths, mental maths and SPAG assessments with our new junior classes. I have year 5, and am to use year 5 tests....

    I’m an early career teacher, but this sounds like exactly the thing I shouldn’t be doing with my new class - I barely know their names.... I don’t feel this fosters positive relationships or helps the children with settling in to a new year group, room, group of staff etc....
    Can the data I get from these assessments tell me anything of value? I feel I’m just going to demoralise them, and I’d do better giving them these assessments at least mid way through the first full week...?
  2. Sally006

    Sally006 Occasional commenter

    I couldn’t agree more. Much more useful to allow relationship building activities and just crack on with teaching this over burdened curriculum. There is enough to do without this nonsense. Surely, with a robust assessment system it should be apparent where your class are up to. Of course, there will be some summer holiday slippage but this is totally unnecessary. I’m afraid this is the sort of thing being born out of paranoia. I know of one teacher giving the class a full set of SAT papers in week 1 with the intention of showing that if they do the same paper again in April it will show progress! But then of course it will unless you don’t teach them for the rest of the year. Utterly pointless. Sad reflection of the culture of accountability.
    bonxie and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    I did SOME assessments, for the others I used their end of Summer 2 data. That’s a long list of assessments for you to do at a time when you should be building those relationships.
  4. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    We have been given assessments to do next week. I already have data from assessments they did in the last month of the summer term. Not sure what new information is to be gained from these new assessments - apart from that they've forgotten some things over the summer. I think getting on with teaching would be of greater benefit to everyone, but I'm just a teacher, what do I know?!
    ViolaClef likes this.
  5. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Absolutely right, @Kartoshka. Some schools are spending so much time assessing and testing children there’s hardly any time left actually to teach them! And of course the most important thing at the start of the year is establishing positive relationships and routines with a class and getting to know the children. In fact, the more you get to know the children and spend time with them, teaching them, the more you, as a professional, know what they are able to do.
  6. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    It’s not really efficient to be ‘testing’ pupils in the first couple of days after returning from a long summer break- the results from these tests may not necessarily reflect the child’s actual ability due to the lack of ‘recent lessons’- if testing is done to determine sets and classes, then why can’t these be completed towards the end of the academic year in June or July?
  7. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    This is just a historical point. maybe of interest. (Probably not!)

    Back in the day, as they say (in my days as a teacher) "assessment" meant something that teachers could not help doing - every single day, maybe every single lesson. All the children's reactions were assessment material, whether spoken, written, or even in body language. They all added something to the teacher's knowledge of attainment and progress.

    At some point "assessment" changed in meaning. Nowadays, it just means work on paper in test conditions.

    And, just saying, it didn't always mean that!
    ViolaClef likes this.
  8. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Yes, @markuss - some people in education today think a professional teacher can’t possibly tell you anything about a child’s ability unless they have tested the child and input results on spreadsheets and tracking grids.

    Actually, we know a great deal about our pupils - because we spend time with them, we help them and we teach them.

    At least, that’s what we used to do...
    sbkrobson likes this.
  9. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    OP, you are absolutely right. They will have been assessed at the end of Year 4 and will have dropped a bit over the summer. There's no point at all in assessing again until a week or so before half term. The first week in a new school year needs to be spent settling back in, establishing class routines, and getting to know each other - building relationships. You need to begin your topic or theme and excite them about the learning ahead.
    But I know you can't change your school's ethos so you're probably spending this weekend marking tests ….!!!

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