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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:27 pm
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Four-year-old children will have to sit tests when they start primary school under new Government plans.

The compulsory tests, designed to measure each child's level of development at the start of their formal schooling, will come into force by 2016 under the new proposals.

It comes after a Department for Education (DfE) consultation last year which proposed a "baseline assessment" in primary schools in order to measure how children have progressed by age 11.

Is this too early? Will it place children under undue stress?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:21 pm 
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They are already assessed using the Early Years 'Development matters'; schools have to show progress in reception.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:53 am 
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To my knowledge, they are already assessed before that. The Early Years Development matters is used by nurseries and preschools as well. Certainly both of my children who were attended a nursery and a preschool were assessed according to the Early Years criteria and this information was sent to their primary school. The assessment is of course very informal, more about observing what the children are doing.

My children also both had baseline assessments when they started primary school. I was under the impression it was already compulsory...


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:42 am 
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I won't say the same old stuff again...except I will.
I am not sure why our nation accepts any kind of testing of such young children, under whatever guise. This topic has come up on here time and time again (amid jokes about whose baby got the highest APGAR score). Nowhere else in the world do they do this and yet we accept that it is necessary to have a 'baseline' against which we can measure children's progress, like lambs being fattened and weighed until they are ready for slaughter.

What is education for? I am afraid we have rather lost sight of the answers to that one.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:44 am 
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Couldn't agree more Amber, it's all just a polical football now


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:53 am 
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Location: Reading
Amber, I have a friend who 11 years later still goes on about her DDs agpar, even the DD herself mentions it now too.
If it wasn't for the fact she mentions it I would have forgotten what agpar was.

Testing in reception. Hmmm.
As mentioned it happens already, and in my own DDs experience, badly.
When asked questions by the teacher, she just shrugged her shoulders. She had known this teacher for less than 2 weeks and at the time was chronically shy.
The teacher assumed that my DD couldn't answer as opposed to wouldn't answer and as a result, with hindsight, I strongly suspect my DD was seen as 'nice but dim' by that teacher.


Last edited by Tinkers on Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
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Location: Warwickshire
Baseline testing happens here in reception, too. I don't know about nursery, but they do lots of written observations which are kept on file.

I helped in reception (not with baseline testing) but there was a huge difference between the oldest and youngest children - as you would expect at 4 and 5. I don't know whether that will be taken into account.

I think baseline testing in reception has been happening for years here. :(


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:18 pm 
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Please don't be fooled into thinking this is anything at all to do with the needs of individual children. It is just cleverly packaged to make it look as if it is.
This article is about an earlier announcement (the 'secondary-ready' tests announced in summer, when it was silly season so it went under the radar a bit); but the remarks are just as pertinent to this latest non-initiative:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... ircus-rule
Quote:
In Finland, which always comes near the top in international school performance comparisons, children don't even start school until seven and face no externally set tests or exams until 18. Yet to allow them to measure later "progress", Clegg and Laws propose to test five-year-olds. English ministers are addicted to tests, and to setting schools and children ever higher standards.

Quote:
It is hard to believe Clegg and Laws don't know the arguments against "high-stakes testing". Such tests narrow the curriculum and encourage unimaginative teaching. They are not even particularly good at improving English and maths because (as any teacher will tell you) children, having been drilled in the rules of, say, grammar, often forget or ignore those rules once they are doing anything other than a grammar test, such as writing a story.

Read Peter Moss or Robin Alexander for a lot more sense than is being spouted, and to give a balance - eg Peter Moss's 'We Cannot Go on as We Are' article or Robin Alexander's 'The Best that has been Thought or Said?'. This kind of thing never makes the mainstream press but I think anyone who cares about education at least needs to be aware that there are many of us fighting in the dark corridors of academia to try and get someone to listen to the counter-arguments to the constant pressure to test, measure and 'improve'.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:33 pm 
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It is now a requirement that children who start Preschool/nursery now have to have a two year progress check. This is completed by the practitioners when the child is between the age of two and three.
We already have parents who use this 'check' as a comparison exercise.
Its constant assessment and I can assure you it frustrates those of us in early years/foundation stage education as much as it surprises parents that it starts so early.
The progress trackers and observations on each child are lengthy and a legal requirement - children are of course not tested but observed and their progress is recorded.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:15 am 
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Location: Birmingham
Putting 30 four-year olds in a small room all day with one teacher is mad enough imho.

Getting the teacher to spend the majority of her time dealing with assessments, testing, and 'measuring progress' when she should be caring for, reading to, and singing with said 4 year olds is insanity to the extreme :roll: .

Btw has anyone read The Wind Singer by William Nicholson?
I am considering sending a copy to Michael Gove :wink:

ETA I am still impressed that my now 15 year old (doing academically very well by the grace of God at a very competitive grammar) failed his 2-year check miserably :lol:


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