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Reading SATs Test 2016

Discussion in 'Primary' started by bramallblade, May 9, 2016.

  1. J-Rho

    J-Rho New commenter

    By choosing the reading test against which to benchmark they have selected the test which students generally perform better at. However it is less of an indicator to future performance than the more challenging SPAG papers. This would lead to students expected levels of progress being greater (which some would argue is a good thing that drives up standards). I worry that if it is not realistic then students suffer at the age of 16 when they are struggling to meet these expectations. Adjusting the difficulty of the reading paper would clearly have an impact at secondary. Whether you think that is a good thing depends on your perspective. I care about my teenagers greatly, many of them are staggered that we still have to sit down and discuss levels of progress from when they were in year 6! Most of them have forgotten the tests but the legacy it leaves in terms of targets lives on.
  2. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    That's the point I try to make to my secondary colleagues when we do meet. Some listen, most don't.
  3. marcel1

    marcel1 New commenter

    I'm not sure how this comment came to be made as a first post from someone whose son found it all fine and dandy. At least it can be easily dismissed as there is obviously a complete lack of understanding of the whole topic.
    JessicaRabbit1 likes this.
  4. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    That sounds like because it's not good for you, then it shouldn't be for everyone.

    Don't blame me that the GCSE grade C is so low. Get angry at the powers that be about it!

    It's not because it's so hard - that was point about Y6 children being able to achieve it.

    You may not like to hear some home truths, but there you go. The children move up from primary happy and generally enjoying school. That doesn't last long - is that the fault of primary schools too? Maybe if we had better links, these type of 'debates' wouldn't happen as often. Unfortunately, my experience of most secondary schools is that they aren't interested in those type of meetings. They tend to ignore what primaries have to say (even though I know my pupils better than nearly all secondary teachers ever will) and just do their own thing as they know best.
    Andyc_81 and tedhat like this.
  5. istabraq

    istabraq New commenter

    What are you all thinking the pass mark for expected to be? I'd imagine there was enough marks available in the first two texts for them to reach 20, will it be enough to pass though?
  6. amelia765

    amelia765 New commenter

    We also had the added bonus of a sour faced moderator sitting at the back of the class for the whole duration - worst day of my 23 year teaching career!!
    We had a child crying within 5 mins, 4 crying afterwards all who had been getting 25+ in past papers/ sample paper. They would have been lucky to have picked up. 5!!!
  7. amelia765

    amelia765 New commenter

    Pass mark 18?
  8. J-Rho

    J-Rho New commenter

    To be fair, this really does sound much more condescending than any secondary school teacher's comments towards primary school teachers, which I know and respect. I am very sorry you think we neither know, nor care about our pupils. When students leave at the end of year 13 that I have known since year 7 they have grown up, taken GCSEs, studied A-levels, met their first loves, passed driving tests and some carry on writing to us well into their twenties (I can't say beyond because none of my former students has reached 30 yet ;-)

    With regard to the very difficult tests from yesterday, I would say that perhaps since testing at age 10 or 11 is here to stay for the foreseeable future that primary teachers could share understanding with the excellent practitioners there are in secondary who do have considerable experience in supporting their pupils pastorally through their exams, training them to cope with an unexpectedly hard question or paper without becoming distressed.
  9. amelia765

    amelia765 New commenter

    Is your son tutored? Has he already been through the 11+ process? Or just gifted? It was NOT A SUITABLE PAPER for 10/11 year olds.
  10. J-Rho

    J-Rho New commenter

    I should add, that my son sat the tests yesterday and did not become distressed, nor (I understand) did any of his classmates. I credit his excellent teacher for putting the SATS into perspective before they began and with whom I have enjoyed chatted extensively on the pastoral side of exam and tests (her school feeds into mine) - we mostly share the same views. Her response to the difficulty was very pragmatic too.
  11. J-Rho

    J-Rho New commenter

    This parent did not claim her son had achieved top marks - just that he hadn't been upset or distressed. It was clear that everyone around him had coached him to understand that his best was good enough.
  12. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter


    Funny stuff. Seeing that GCSE pupils are more stressed than ever (and getting worse each year), I think I might question that 'training them to cope' idea.

    I didn't say you didn't care, just don't know them nearly as well as a primary teacher does. It's not your fault. You'll see a student for a limited time as you've got numerous classes to deal with. Just think about it this way - if you had a pupil for every year from 7-13, you would have spent probably just a little longer with them (over 7 years) than a primary teacher does with their class in one single year. Yet a primary teacher's views and knowledge is rarely taken into account. The 'transition' meetings we have (with four different schools) are all very brief and they're mainly interested in what they'll get in SATs.

    You do know that children come back to visit their primary teachers for years after they leave. You wouldn't be pleased with what most have to say about what they're doing in 'Big school'.

    Anyway, we could go back and forth on this. You think you;re right, I think I am. The point all stemmed from a secondary teacher having the cheek to question whether the test was actually much harder than the sample, as if we had no clue what we were going on about.
    tedhat likes this.
  13. Haveblue

    Haveblue New commenter

    I have a lot of respect for secondary teachers - I believe it is a tough job dealing with the social and emotional aspects of the teenage years and trying to teach too. However, the curriculum at ks3 certainly doesn't follow on from the high expectations and standards set and achieved at the end of ks2. (This is not just in relation to the the new curriculum but an ongoing issue.) On the many occasions I have worked alongside ks3 colleagues and observed lessons, I have been shocked to discover year 7 and 8 expectations similar to our year 4 expectations.

    This is just my opinion, however, I feel that as children rapidly become disengaged at secondary school, the government wants to try and cram in as much learning as possible into primary schools education to make up for it. The result is what we have now. Yet still, many secondary schools fail to build on this in terms of GCSE outcomes. This is not a failure of primary schools as we prove time and time again to build on poor outcomes on entry to school and at the end of ks1.
    tedhat likes this.
  14. danbeier

    danbeier New commenter

    Phew, thought I was going mad with all the negativity surrounding the reading paper. I would suggest a lot of the 'upset and crying pupils' may be ones who are not used to ever finding out / being told that they can't do something / have got something wrong. The 'everyone must be a winner - no one's allowed to lose' problem a lot of children (adults?) have. Means that those who are used to competing and winning / losing and whose parents / teachers are likely to have explained where the tests fit in the grand scheme of things should be okay (maybe more the higher end of the socio-economic spectrum) as should those at the opposite end (ours), who are used to giving things a damn good go and trying harder next time if they didn't manage something. More than half of this years Y6 at our school came from the infant school with a Level 1 or 2c so have spent the last 4 years giving things a damn good go just to be able to do anything - maybe that's why most of them are a bit nervous before each test (good) but not 'stressed'.
  15. wire247

    wire247 New commenter

    Where would you put the C grade boundary if you were in charge? Your lack of understanding worries me.

    The higher tier paper is designed to discriminate between A*-C candidates. If I were to do this I would set the lower boundary at about 1/3 of the marks and the upper at about 2/3 of the marks to ensure a normal distribution with a decent standard deviation.

    You need to have a reasonable gap between the boundaries, if the C was set any higher, then this would be unachievable.

    ‘Don’t squash the bell curve’ as someone once said to me.

    On another note, there is nothing wrong with a grade C being awarded for ‘only’ getting 22/60 if the paper was of sufficient difficulty. As a science teacher, my grade Cs who sit the higher paper have to know their stuff, or they fail. Paper does what it should in my opinion.

    BTW. I am a secondary science teacher, and I feel the pain of all the primary teachers that have posted on this thread. You do have a lot of support from the secondary sector, despite some of the rubbish that has been posted on here.
  16. teacup71

    teacup71 Occasional commenter

    This is the whole reason why (I think) the Government will always get it wrong. They see targets not children.
  17. misshughessph

    misshughessph New commenter

    A lot of children have pressure put upon them from their 'ever so uptight' parents. Not always the teachers and school! My class didn't have tears or display any other signs of distress.
  18. bramallblade

    bramallblade New commenter

    This bickering is pathetic. This isn't a primary vs secondary thing. This is about the administration providing virtually ZERO guidance on assessment at both primary AND secondary. This is also much more to do with rushing these new assessments through and (clearly with the reading) setting the bar far too high. The chickens are now coming home to roost.
    JessicaRabbit1 likes this.
  19. jjoseph-81

    jjoseph-81 New commenter

    I completely agree though perhaps some teachers are contributing to this too. Everything was fine with our pupils and in our surrounding schools. From reading some of the reactions here to the Reading paper perhaps the Department of Education is right, in that like the rogue marker, there is a campaign to undermine these tests.

    Here's a bit of wisdom from Professor Robert Coe (an assessment expert) from Durham University on BBC this morning. Here's part of what he said:

    "Key stage 2 tests don’t actually matter to children. They are not high stakes for the children who take them - they are high stake for the teachers. So the anxiety really is coming from the teachers but obviously children know it’s a big deal and they know these tests matter and so they pick up that kind of anxiety but I think the best schools, the best teachers … are actually very skilled at managing that and wanting their children to do as well as possible but knowing that If they [the pupils] are too anxious they won’t do well and it’s not good for them to be anxious anyway. I think good teachers handle that well."
    mrslancaster23 likes this.
  20. RosemaryFlack

    RosemaryFlack New commenter

    Totally agree and would urge every school who has found this to complain directly to the government. Our Governing Body have already agreed to submit a letter of complaint. If all schools do this, the government will have to sit up and take notice.

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