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What do you think of a parental boycott of KS2 Sats?
I approve of the Sats tests and would not boycott. 44%  44%  [ 17 ]
I disapprove of the Sats tests but would not boycott. 31%  31%  [ 12 ]
I disapprove of the Sats tests and would support a boycott. 26%  26%  [ 10 ]
Total votes : 39
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:46 am 
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It's very clear that SATS are not a great measure of a school. They limit the education of our children during their last year of primary school and importantly, deflect focus from the crucial secondary entry process at the end of year 5. (Why put the best teachers in Year 6?) The system is so counter productive and meaningless, that it needs to go, and go quickly.

I am a parent of Y5 and Y4 children and also work in a number of schools in Herts. The negative impact is not limited to our school, it is common to all of them.

Having seem little impact from union boycotts and little or no political will to address this issue, it seems it is time for parents to stop being part of this crazy system and act to bring it down as soon as possible.

The only practical way I can see to do this is to encourage our children to distort their results on the tests, so that the SATS process loses any credibility is might still have.

Not a great lesson in itself, but presented as part of a bigger picture, a very good learning exercise for these soon-to-be young adults.

Any thoughts on this?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:00 am 
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I have heard from different sources, that this may well be the last year for KS2 Sats.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:34 am 
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I'm not sure that asking children to 'distort' the results is the right way to go about things.

Myself I'm not sure where I stand.

I can understand everyone's points of view on Sats and why they don't like them.

But on the other hand I think they are a good way to introduce children to exams IF done in the right way and I can't stress IF done in the right way enough!!!

My dd took the 11+ and two indie exams with no stress at all - she was so laid back it was a pleasure to see her confidence bloom. She isn't at all fazed about the Sats either. I hope she can continue in this way and that it gives her confidence for future exams.

I do know for a lot of people's nerves cannot be helped. I suffer dreadfully with nerves myself. But because of that, I KNOW that if I'd been given the confidence when taking exams, interviews or anything else (eg: school plays) then perhaps I wouldn't be such a quivering wreck myself.

I also think Sats in themselves can prove useful to the child. Take the child who, for whatever reason, isn't as ''sound' in one area of the curriculum as they could be. You would hope this had been picked up by the class teacher by now - but we are not in a perfect world. So, by revising for Sats, going over the ground where the child was shakey, this child's ability is then strengthened.


But then, what do I know, I know nothing really about statistics, tests, interpreting scores and outcomes - I just get on and try to help my kids do what they need to do as best they can.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:42 am 
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What about teacher based assessments (with random sampling to ensure results are valid)?

I never really thought about KS2 SATs until now and we're pretty fed up - my year 6 son is bored to tears with school and has even faked illness to get some respite from all that repetitive practice work. He does not mind exams and coped well with the 11+, its the constant practice and obssession with SATs that he can't stand :?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:48 am 
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So the argument really is not so much about the Sats, as the repetitive revision SOME schools do for it - is that right??

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:51 am 
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I firmly believe in some sort of standardised assessment at key stages, otherwise how can schools and teachers be held accountable? I'm not sure SATS are the right way to do it but I'm not an expert and have no views on what would be appropriate instead.

I wouldn't support encouraging children to try and distort their results, for one thing it sets them a bad example and for another it will potentially damage the remainder of their education. It would be just plain irresponsible.

Mike


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:08 am 
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Yes, it is the repetitive approach and narrowing of the curriculum in Yr 6 that I dislike.

I agree we need some kind of assessing/monitoring system to ensure children are making progress - which is why I asked about teacher based assessments as an alternative.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:39 am 
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In Wales they do not have the league tables and published results. However at the end of key stage 1 I was given SAT levels for my boys.

Yes I am glad they did the tests because I agree that we do need a standard approach to testing across the country especially as many children like mine move schools.

Yes I do trust the results because the school was not forced to artifically enhance them for the sake of its reputation.

No my children were not stressed because the teachers weren't. They were purely honest assessments that I as a parent could relate to.

...and I agree with Snowdrops testing is something that children need to get used to and the earlier they do the less of a deal it will hopefully become.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:45 am 
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Location: Finchley - Barnet
SATS are complently irrelevant as they measure school ability as opposed to pupils ability. Therefore I would leave it to teachers to decide what to do with them or how to revamp them. However I would strongly support tests that specifically measure a pupil's progress both in breadth and in depth, every six months in all years of the primary school. All should be school administered and blindly marked and then moderated. More importantly what matters in not the test but what you do with them. They are supposed to provide the basis for providing feedback, support and remedial (if needed) action by the teacher to the pupil on the basis of the weaknesses as identified in the test. If this does not happen then any test is completely and totally meaningless. They can just take their GCSEs and A levels and be done with.

This is precisely what the frequent tests in the grammar school of my son do. He had one "blip" in a test in history and another in english. Follow up action which ensured coursework and classwork were properly redone and completed was immediate and he had to attend 2 clinic sessions to ensure that any gap in the particular topic have been dealt with. Similar action was taken following the test in English. The history topic that caused the trouble was on Blo-ody Mary! It is nice (?) to know he no longer has any gaps in it :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:18 pm 
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Sorry a good school can make the KS2 tests a minor focus and get great results!! They ARE useful to a secondary school - I rely on them to tell me lots about my new Y7s!!


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