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Thousands of parents to take children out of school in protest over 'stressful' exams

Discussion in 'Education news' started by FrankWolley, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Fixed the gramophone, then? You've still no rocking tunes, though.
  2. Benbamboo

    Benbamboo Occasional commenter

    You underestimate the culture of 'aspirational' targets and the pressure put on staff to achieve them. You can teach all the content in the curriculum but some students, for a variety or reasons, won't have a solid understanding of it all by the end of year 6.

    Let's say 10% of your class will struggle with the content (SEN, EAL, behavioural problem etc)
    Your SLT set you a target that 95% of your class should meet a certain standard. You can't argue against this or you are told that you're setting the pupils up to fail/glass ceiling/not aspirational etc etc. Any of these means you are a bad teacher!

    Despite the reality of your situation, as a class teacher you are ignored. You aren't allowed to say that certain children will struggle to hit the high target they have been set. You will try and get them there but you're then chasing a number rather than teaching for understanding. As you've pointed out earlier, this is the problem with levels. It may not be excusable, but that is the reality which many teacher face working under heads who haven't a clue and want pretty graphs to show off data.

    This has a knock on effect throughout school - one teacher who inflates grades to meet unrealistic expectations then causes problems all the way through. Hopefully, this problem will be one consigned to history with the new assessment systems in schools, although my head is determined to insist that children all make 3 points progress a year with our new system, essentially keeping the same system with a different names. I can imagine that several heads so used to the same data chasing game, will find it hard to let go of that approach.

    This year there is a different, unique problem, which hopefully won't be repeated. The children are being tested on 4 years of a curriculum having only been taught it for 2 years. The frantic nature of year 6 teachers is one caused by the need to fill gaps in knowledge because the year 3 and 4 curriculum was covered in year 5 leaving year 6 to try and teach year 5 and 6 curriculum. The curriculum spans 4 years for a reason, squashing it in to 2 years was always going to cause problems.
  3. helensunter01

    helensunter01 New commenter

    SportyK likes this.
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

  5. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Are you genuinely unable to think of any reasons why cheating might occur - as it already does in many schools, both secondary and primary?
  6. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I'm unable to think of any that would matter were the content taught satisfactorily with all that implies. Feel free to chime in but blame-shifting is just that, we both know that cheating is wrong.
  7. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Of course we know that cheating is wrong. You don't need to say it. But it happens. And it will distort the results. And some teachers and children will suffer because of that..Schools that are small - like the one my daughter attends - may even close.
    guinnesspuss likes this.
  8. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I do not dispute that it happens.
  9. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    And if the SATs test does not agree with the teacher assessment, which one is considered correct, and will the other method of assessment be discontinued as it is not reliable or accurate? How should the "grade" be adjusted either way?

    Or will there be the usual horrific car crash of a fudge.
    emerald52 and guinnesspuss like this.
  10. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Is the content satisfactory and suitable for all children? Where does teaching content stop and cheating start? If I forget to take down the display with the grammar terms glossary on it, is that cheating? If I explain what a confusing question actually means, is that cheating? If I point out the question asks for two answers to a child who has only ticked one box, is that cheating?
  11. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Yes, unless the exam gidelines says otherwise.

    One arguement that i have heard too often is that you have to do it because everyone else does it.
  12. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

  13. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    This place is getting to be one very long Parents' Evening.
  14. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    I know I wasn't going to comment further, but I think the whole of our misunderstanding each other is because we are each focusing on something different

    For me, the focus is on your assertion that teachers don't teach the NC, not on whether or not that is why some teachers cheat in the SATs. In fact, at no point in this thread have I claimed that there is no cheating by teachers in the SATs test, but that wasn't the point I was making.

    I repeat, teachers do teach the NC - and I am still wondering why you think they don't, and where your evidence is for this. Pupils may not understand or retain what is taught - but teachers teach it. They don't leave it until just before the tests and then cram it in - they teach it every day, presumably 'in a competent and timely manner' else I'm sure most primary schools & the teachers working there wouldn't be graded good or outstanding. The reason it is worse this year (and therefore why it is more high-profile) is because the expected standards have been raised, and the Y6 children have not been taught the new NC for 4 full years, so there is more to teach from a lower starting point in less time....not to mention government incompetence in failing to provide exemplification materials in good time, and not yet knowing what marks will correspond with what judgments

    With reference to PBL & EBL - have clicked on the links, and yes, they passed me by. As for the Literacy & Numeracy Strategies, I doubt there was a primary school in the land that didn't try and implement them, before rapidly adjusting them to suit their school. It was a brave school which ignored them totally (and they weren't all bad).

    Vince, I do wonder where your ideas about what you think happens in primary schools come from. Maybe you could spend a couple of days in one, watching what goes on?

    Over and out!
  15. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I understand your misunderstanding perfectly. Despite repeated and laborious corrections, you continue to insist falsely that I'm asserting blankly that '[Primary] teachers don't teach the NC':

    My argument is clear, I've outlined it numerous times, I've pointed to evidence, given reasonable inferences and you're still disputing some imaginary argument that I haven't made. I suspect you're not reading my posts. This being so, all of my points stand. There are some incompetent Primary teachers for a range of reasons and the rubbish they broadcast about SATs to their students is the cause of any apparent SATs stress in those students. There are also Primary teachers and schools who systematically cheat. as news stories and local testimony show. Despite your effective refusal to admit that there are people who are not cut out for the job, Primary teachers are not some special order of human, universally skilled at everything to which they turn their hands and ethical saints with gleaming haloes.

    By and large, like any college, Primary teachers are great and do their best but because of chancers the entire college needs tighter oversight. Pretending that these chancers don't exist does not help good and decent Primary teachers, children or their parents.

    Just as well.
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  16. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    How will SATS tests, and the results thereof, prevent either of these rather than encouraging them
  17. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    In the same way that hammers will prevent people hitting other people with hammers.
  18. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Like guns prevent people shooting other people with guns?
  19. Geoff Thomas

    Geoff Thomas Star commenter

    And that is yet another reason the whole thing is so stupid.

    In small schools, cohorts are small; so year-on-year comparisons are nonsense.
  20. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Sure thing, Homer, If guns are sold in the tool section of B&Q.

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