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Has the level of competence among children improved since the new SAT's tests?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by oldsomeman, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Just asking an honest question?
    Have childrens levels of writing and maths improved with the introduction of the newer SAT's.
    I know year 6 teachers work hard to raise the levels, and almost a whole year is spent in readying them in year 6 ( a bitter complaint of my 11 year old grandchild who just turned off the learning, as it was Maths and English all morning in her school, and then catch up lessons in dinner time if needed.
    Do we still teach children other areas of learning?
    I am interested to know if secondary teachers have noticed improvement?
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    It's been a while since I was involved in SATs /NCTs but certainly having taught at Middle School , we found with children being 'trained' to pass the tests, that in Year 7 we had to 'undo' some of the artificiality of the children's writing and they often didn't apparently 'make progress' for th first 6 months in year 7, or even dropped back, as the criteria changed. :(
    oldsomeman likes this.
  3. Lalad

    Lalad Lead commenter

    An honest answer: I can't speak for the maths but until this year I have been closely involved with the Year 6 writing and GPS in our school since the new NCTs were brought in. I would say that the level of competence in the technicalities of writing demonstrated by the children has definitely improved, but that there is definitely an artificiality about their writing as a result.
    oldsomeman and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Certainly agree with you there. Competence and 'grammar knowledge' were better than they used to be when I started teaching, when 'grammar' was 'out of fashion', but doesn't produce 'better writers' and I found our yr 7s found it quite frustrating to be asked to 'change' their approach to a more natural writing style.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  5. nomad

    nomad Star commenter


    (Written as a SATs Marker)
    chelsea2 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  6. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    As with GCSEs where the pass rate has gone up hugely but there has been no actual rise in standards - as evidenced by performance in international tests - I'd seriously doubt it.
    oldsomeman likes this.
  7. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Thank you so far.I am just wondering.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  8. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    nope, they are just coached to pass a different test, same as happens eveytime the exams change and more pressure fall on the said results to spiral ever upwards.
    chelsea2 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  9. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    No. The attempt by Primaries to cram six years of teaching into Year 6 does not lead to long term gains.
  10. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    One of my wife's friends, who works in primary, has remarked on the 'artificiality' and 'sameness' in English' that others have mentioned. She likened the effect to being taught old-fashioned business English. "Thank you for your esteemed letter of the 12th ult.'
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I recall being taught how to structure letters using various forms of valediction &c when I was at Primary school. I see no harm in it. As far as I am concerned almost anything which gets a pen into a child's hand is a good thing.
  12. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    My experience as a parent is that my daughter didn't really learn anything new in year 6 as she changed schools in year 5. Her previous school tool a sensible and measured approach and she'd already learnt most of the grammar, etc., before we moved. Her new school preferred a "cramming for the test" in year 6 approach, and they did little else - i.e. no Science - for months.

    Cognitive studies tell us that spaced learning is better than last-minute cramming for long-term retention. I think that schools' current approach to exam preparation is prioritising exam results over learning. You can see this if you speak to young adults; they seem to have very little knowledge. On the other hand, I haven't student any Biology for 33 years, yet when I invigilated Monday's GCSE paper there were only two one-mark questions that I wasn't sure about, and I probably could have guessed the answer, because I can still remember most of what I learnt at school.
    oldsomeman and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  13. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    I have no problem with year 6 students doing a test but I doubt very much it tells anyone anything they didn’t know before. I bet all year 6 teachers could put their students into a ranking order, and tell you which will do well at grammar or private schools and which should be sent to the local sink school to learn about sex, drugs, gangs, thieving, pawn etc from their peers.
  14. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Yep - I used to call it 'writing by numbers'.
  15. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    This is such an offensive, poisonous slur on the children and teachers working in the thousands of good comprehensive schools to which most children go and do well.

    ETA: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...kely-new-research-money-fake-id-a7766951.html
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  16. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Occasional commenter

    As a TA in a state secondary in an area with two single sex grammar schools, I agree with you regarding the lack of retention. Year 7s seem to have forgotten most of the grammar crammed for SATS and, as before, times tables recollection is as bad as ever as is spelling. If kids cannot retain these basics just one year after having taken SATS, what hope is there for GCSEs when they need to retain a heck of a lot more information?
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  17. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    "SATS"? "SAT's"? "SATs"? "Sats"? Keep trying...

    Which spelling do you teach children?

    Correct is "NCTs".
    Lara mfl 05 and oldsomeman like this.
  18. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  19. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Still rubbish I think. I'm old enough and experienced enough that i do not need exams to level them.....Just let them write and the content and layout will soon give the game away.
    However ,I am asking because want to see if most teachers think there are any benifits to such exam as it stands?
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  20. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    the KS2 curricula and testing comes and goes but Year 7 are the same year-in/year-out...our current Y7 are no different to any other.

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