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the QTS skills tests......why so hard ?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by philpatjj, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. I don't agree with your argument about cover lessons, I'm afraid. Perhaps things have changed but when I was at secondary in the 90s, we expected all our teachers to be able to answer any questions we threw at them whether it was a cover lesson or not! That's my point, I would expect all teachers to be able to turn their hands to other subjects. If they can't, then there's we might as well just use cover supervisors and TAs who have much lower qualifications than teachers to cover all lessons IMO because if you don't expect the cover teacher to be able to do some teaching, then it's just crowd control.
    There is absolutely no shame in brushing up skills prior to a test, but the skills tests are about the level of the KS2 SATs so I just don't see why anyone should find them so hard. If we want to raise the profile of our profession and gain respect, then we need to demonstrate high standards across the board. Half the problems in secondary stem from the fact that subjects are usually taught completely separately from each other and there's a lot of blinkered teachers out there. Not all by any means, but the movement is towards the skills based, cross curricular approach so these basic skills are going to become increasingly important.
  2. Also, to address the point made by those suggesting that it doesn't matter if you can't do maths so long as you're teaching something like Art or Drama, does that mean that those qualifications should be like an driving licence passed in an automatic car? Should people be able to opt out of the tests if they teach Art etc. and then only be able to teach those subjects? Surely that would result in parents and children seeing those teachers as less qualified than the rest of us?
  3. "That's my point, I would expect all teachers to be able to turn their hands to other subjects."
    So you'd expect (for example) a maths (secondary) teacher to 'turn their hands' to art, PE, English, Food tech, drama, ICT, graphics, RE, etc etc?! How is it possible for one teacher to be skilled enough to do that?! Surely it's better to get a teacher qualified / knowledgeable in whatever subject is being covered to cover? (Where possible, obviously it isn't always). And sometimes it is surely just crowd control when a teacher is off sick and there's problems with staffing? Not saying that's a good thing, just saying you can't expect one teacher to be able to teach everything at secondary.


  4. I wasn't suggesting that. But to answer your point - why? Why would a parent be concerned that an art teacher isn't an expert in maths?! That's what a maths teacher is for.
  5. Whether they're pointless or not they are a pre-requisite for teachers, you knew that when you signed on the course so stop whining now.
    Sorry, but don't look for too much sympathy, the tests just aren't hard at all - certainly not GCSE standard or anywhere near there, if a candidate can't pass them then they really need to ask whether they are ready to stand in front of a class of children and teach.
    My own guess is that you'll be surprised at yourself when you sit the tests and pass them without breaking sweat - you'll genuinely be confused as to why you were so bothered in the first place.

  6. They're called primary teachers[​IMG]
  7. As said, the tests don't require you to be an expert - just as able as an average KS2/KS3 child.
  8. Hehe, good point!!
  9. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    I don't want to sound really rude, but I found the skills tests really easy and passed them all first time, and didn't do any of the practise ones. I can understand if maybe you're a bit older, or foreign, that you might find them a little more difficult.
    Judging by the rather random use of apostrophes by some posters on this thread, it is no wonder they had problems with the skills tests [​IMG]
  10. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    As someone who did his O levels in 1973 and his PGCE in 1989 (before the QTS tests) I would like to have a go at these. Is there anywhere online where I can try them out? I'm hopeful I can ace the maths and probably the English. The ICT may be interesting given that in my 20 years as a teacher I have had no CPD whatsoever in ICT and only have what I have picked up as I went along (no computers in schools in my day)!

    I tend to agree with some of the posters on here that either the Gov shoud accept that GCSE is a sufficiantly robust qualification to get on and complete an ITT course or that GCSE isn't and insist on either a higher qualification (A level)? or a test taken and passed before the ITT course starts.

    Am I right in thnking that even Maths graduates are expected to take and pass the numeracy test, likewise with English and ICT graduates? If so how bizarre!
  11. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I don't expect a colleague covering for me to understand my subject (Science/Chemistry). Likewise I would not expect to understand the work set when I cover another subject. Yes, as a reasonably well eductated person I can read a textbook and make a reasonable stab at it. However much of the syllabus of modern subjects differ so much from those that were taught to me that the only thing they have in common is the name (History being a case in point)! As for a Drama cover, this is the worst thing ever.
  12. The TDA has practice tests on its website - follow the link: http://www.tda.gov.uk/skillstests.aspx
    That is correct. Although remember that very few Mathematics degrees won't test numeracy and English degrees won't test literacy, although both would rely on them respectively!

  13. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    But the idea that someone with a Maths degree should have to pass a KS2 or KS3 numeracy test is ridiculous! Presumably if they are capable of getting through to graduate in maths without being numerate then they have proven that they do not need to be numerate!
  14. taj


    Couldn't agree more Middlemarch. There are already enough teachers in the classroom who can't write and spell properly and as for those teachers who don't want to teach upper KS2 because they can't cope with the maths - words fail me!

  15. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Well I tried the practise tests in Maths. No wonder you can't pass them. The site refused to post the questions but then asked for the answers! Did that 3 times running.
  16. To pass QTS Numeracy test please work hard

    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font> I used all the books and managed to pass. I did my GCSE in different country so some of the topics were not covered. I did learn all topics and managed to pass first time.
    Those who are still struggling, please use all the books. Please take the test only you are confident.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font> If you struggle with Mental Maths, try working hard on the rest. You just need to get some answers correct to pass(not all questions). So focus more on the areas you are comfortable with.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font>
  17. im sure others have said this alread- if you are struggling to pass these simple tests, should you really be educating others?

    - just a thought
  18. Sorry, but the skills tests are in no way difficult. I'm an MFL specialist and was worried about the Maths & IT tests beforehand (my rusty O level was taken a fair few years ago), but passed them all first time, without any practice. In my opinion they are just another hoop - much like the essays I wrote which have no impact on my ability to teach a language!
    Anyw#one taking multiple attempts to pass these tests is probably looking to enter the wrong profession IMHO.
  19. TED-I-OUS!!!!!!!
  20. Surely the fact that many people are saying the same thing means there are many people who agree with each other?? This thread is very long now and I can understand why many people can't be bothered to read close to ten pages about grown-ups who are finding KS2/3 Maths and English difficult...

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