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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:43 pm
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Location: bucks
Can anyone advise how rooms should be laid out for tests? We were surprised to find that our room was not reorganised for tests with tables left at varying angles and children facing each other....and consequently have some issues.
Had expected single desks and all facing in same direction to avoid distractions....

Just wonder what "normal" policy is.....

Any feedback on how your schools do it would be good.

Thanks in advance for any wise words.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7059
From the headteachers manual:
Quote:
1. ACCOMMODATION

Each test should be sat at a convenient time during the day as part of ordinary schoolwork, although under strict examination conditions. Quiet accommodation is essential, but it is left to the headteacher's discretion to make appropriate arrangements.

Refer to the GL Assessment Test Administration Instructions, which say that:

ƒ Children should sit singly in desks wherever this is possible or be so arranged that a child cannot easily overlook a neighbour’s paper, as copying can happen in this type of test.
ƒ The room should be well lit and ventilated and the children should be as comfortable as conditions permit.

Please make every effort to prevent unnecessary disturbances during the tests e.g.
music/PE lessons in nearby rooms: building/maintenance work outside etc.

If an incident does occur, you should report this, in writing, to the Admissions & Transport Team immediately.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:49 am 
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I think it depends on the space available at the school. My DS sat his 11+ in his normal classroom, the desks were laid out so they weren't touching each other but two children sat on each desk, one either side (of the long side) so that they were facing each other (but not directly) but at different edges of the table. I did have a quick chat with the teacher and he said they felt it was less upsetting for the kids to be in their normal classroom.


I am sorry I am not sure if I explained this very well, hope you could get an idea of how the classroom was laid out, it was difficult to explain clearly.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:27 am
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Location: Buckinghamshire
At DS's school the tables were set out in rows in their classroom. The children were arranged alphabetically and 2 children shared a table, both sitting the same side with a divider between them - this was so all the children could see the teacher and the clock (and the teacher could see them!). During the practice tests DS's "partner" tried to look around the screen but there were no problems during the real thing.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:27 pm 
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Dear Tante Mimi - what a wonderful name!

I am fairly sure, but I will check with my GS (gorgeous son!), that both his exams were taken in the school assembly hall on single desks, all facing the front, with a clock visible to all. The start time and finish time were written on a flip chart.

Does your school not have a hall?

I understand that space might be limited in some schools, but your GS's experience doesn't sound ideal.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:40 pm
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Location: Chiltern District, Bucks
11+ test room layout. Sounds like a tempting opportunity for a rant which I'll try and resist.....

Bucks CC should firm up their guidelines on this and indeed change them into rules rather than mere guidelines. Some schools, ahem [resisting rant], don't really take the 11+ awfully seriously and don't see why they should because it 'might make the pupils a bit nervous'. There is far too much scope for such schools to basically make no effort to acknowledge the 11+ can be important for some kids's futures and that it *should* be taken seriously.

My instant suggestion: All pupils in all schools on the test day must sit at a single table (with walkway in between) and must all be faced one way with a clock at the front of the room. Any school that can't do this must submit to Bucks CC annually a written statement with reasons why they can't fulfil these demands. Bucks CC should have the right to reject such reasons.

Now what is so difficult about that ?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:28 pm
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Completely agree with Dad40. Bucks CC should firm up their guidelines on this and indeed change them into rules rather than mere guidelines.

If only life were that simple (ahem)!

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Nif229 :lol: [/quote]


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:35 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
I also agree with Dad40.

Rules should be set and then all children sitting the 11+ will follow the same test format, guidelines means that this does not happen ... the test paper may be the same but the test room arrangement can differ!

If all schools had to follow the same rules/format, everyone would be tested on an even keel!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:43 pm
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Location: bucks
Thank you all!

Starting to feel sane again having read your responses, but totally agree that having rules on layout would be FAR better than allowing for "discretion". I have no idea why our school does not use hall or library or since when they have not - hopefully we are not in a guinea pig year!

A traditional exam layout avoids so many issues of distraction and what each child can see and is fair to all - our layout was not and left us open to problems that we could have done without. I never considered that the layout would be normal classroom or I could have given DS/GS advice based on this.

Onward.....

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