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Effect of Y6 not doing Science SATS on attainment in Y7

Discussion in 'Science' started by JD1970, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I'd be interested to know Y7 teachers' opinions on this. My school was not picked for random sampling of Y6 science last year. Because of this we didn't do the usual massive amount of revision. In the summer term I became worried about my class's lack of knowledge of key facts and so we did revise the key things you need to know before going to secondary. Still, my teacher assessment of them was down on previous years.
    So, as the people who take them on at the start of secondary school, what is your impression on the abilities of the current Y7s in relation to those you used to get?
     
  2. ferrisbueller

    ferrisbueller New commenter

    Year 7's have always been wonderful !! - it's by the time they get to Year 8 that the 'dip' begins.
    In terms of Science levels from Primary, I tend to look at them with a pinch of salt, as they so often seem to give wide and varied student attainment levels that seem widely far of the mark.
    For this reason we teach in mixed ability groups, and allow students to 'start again'. the reason being is that some Primary schools are better than others for Science provision - it all depends on resources and background of the Primary teacher if they already have an interest in the subject that they can convey to their young students.
    Science in the early years should be about learning the basics in a fun and motivating way.
    So, to answer your question, abilities seem preety much the same and many secondary science specialists tend to start students as a blank canvas. This isn't saying I'm grateful for all your hard work at Primary - but results aren't everything, particularly at this stage of a pupils education - it's about motivation and enthusiasm for learning ( in my dreams).

     
  3. I prefer them with less science "knowledge" as they try and remember stuff rather than understand. Being able to read, write and be strong in maths is more important IMO!
     
  4. She! You know that blazer!
     
  5. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Ooops!
     
  6. Thanks for the replies, though they weren't exactly what I was expecting!

    It's interesting that you want the basic skills to be focused on more - maths, reading and writing. But what basic science skills and knowledge would you consider essential at the start of Y7?
     
  7. Henriettawasp

    Henriettawasp New commenter

    Skills: Being able to plan and carry out a fair test; recording results using a table - very few seem to be able to draw their own.
    Knowledge: Physics - something about different forms of energy (even if they can't explain what energy is), how to draw and make simple electrical circuits (proper series ones - not weird mutant parallel attempts); Biology - the functions of different organ systems, MRS GREN (or similar), the fact that humans are animals (which would save a fair few arguments); Chemistry - the states of matter; the knowledge that not all 'chemicals' are dangerous and won't necessarily create satisfying explosions if wrongly mixed. [​IMG]
    To be honest the skills (being able to communicate in good written English and mathematical ability) are probably more useful. A lot of the topics started at KS2 are repeated at KS3 - and students have a tendency to say 'we did this at primary school' and don't then maintain the interest to develop concepts in more depth.

     
  8. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I woud b quite happy to have all science removed from KS1 and KS2 and use the time saved to teach Maths and English! I reckon it would take us about a term and a half to make up the knowledge/skills that would have been removed.
     
  9. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    Rather than "we did this in Primary school" maybe better links between the primary and secodary schools would be better. I teach in a middle school so we don;t often get the we have done this before comment. The KS3 teachers also work very closely with the KS2 teachers to avoid repition, while making KS2 science exciting and meaningful.
     
  10. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    In answser to the OP we have lower attainment this year, but a weaker cohort, so too early to say.
     
  11. Henriettawasp

    Henriettawasp New commenter

    We have had very good links with most of our feeder schools. However - a significant proportion of our Year 7 students don't come from the feeders. It also doesn't help when some of the primary teachers 'steal' our fun practicals! [​IMG]
    I am inclined to agree with blazer. I did next to no science in primary school (mostly nature study and the odd space project) and so was introduced to science at secondary school as something new and exciting. It didn't take long to pick up the concepts - starting with atomic theory and moving on from there.
     
  12. Science attainment is much improved in my year 7 pupils without the KS2 SATs. They are much more 'switched on' having done experiments during year 6, rather than getting bored with past papers and other cramming activities. Of course, levels of interest, curiosity and enthusiasm cannot be measured so they are deemed unimportant by the system.
     
  13. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    Ah fair enough, we feed in from 3 main frist schools and have only a small number in, in Year 7 to replace the ones who go to Grammar School.
    I do know what you mean about the stealing of fun practicals, at the recent primary science meeting he was showing them how to make indicators out of groceries and then basically test the pH of Lemon juice and vinegar. I did sit there arms crossed asking what the secondaries would do when teaching acids and alkalis to disinterested Year 7. We actually always teach a Year 7 unit in Year 6 in the Summer term, but this is obviously planned for and is not re-taught in Year 7.
     
  14. I have argued this for years!
     
  15. Thanks everyone for your replies. From a primary teacher's point of view, your opinions on this have been really interesting.
    Couldn't agree more that having a good basis in reading, writing and maths is essential in order to access the curriculum - in any secondary subject I suppose.
     

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