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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:48 am 
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Hi,
My son will be starting at one of the grammar schools in Sep.

His primary school has gone SAT's crazy the past few weeks...the kids brought a stack of practise test papers home over Easter and were yesterday pretty much told the next few weeks will all be revision for SAT's.

I have dished out the obvious lecture..."You can't just relax just because you got your grammar place...you owe it to your school anyway to try your best at your SAT's...you still need to keep up to date with your learning.."...blah blah blah...you get the idea.

He is still a little boy though...i.e. can't be bothered now his grammar place is secured and sunny weather looms!

Question is - my understanding that the SAT scores are used for streaming in the non grammar schools. Is this true for the grammar schools too? I.e. can I threaten him with the possibility of ending up in the bottom sets if he doesn't buck up and make a bit of effort? Or should I just let him enjoy his final primary term and not worry about the SAT's?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:55 am 
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The KS2 test results matter to the Primary school; they have to show progress or Ofsted will 'red flag' them. The test results also feed into the Secomdary target setting system and will be used to measure progress at Secondary.

He really doesn't want to be labelled 'not Secondary ready' but they aren't used for setting at any GS I know.

It does annoy me when people say they 'don't matter' or only matter to the school; this is just not true. What is a concern is when students totally switch off from now until September; GS is then a huge shock.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:20 am 
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Unusual for me to disagree with G55 and I do respect that opinion but here SATs were entirely irrelevant for all 3 of my children. My youngest was made to sit level 6 papers and became hugely stressed by all the practice - I went into school to ask that he be allowed his lunch breaks rather than doing extra 'gifted and talented' Maths as he was begging not to go to school. He got his level 6 but of course once he got to secondary school he was back to level 5 as it was a different test. If it was indeed used for setting or tracking or whatever it did not hold him back or move him on or anything else. I know he had to do it because of OFSTED but as I fundamentally disagree with that link then I would prefer my children don't pay that price. Conversely my eldest got level 4 in 2 out of 3 papers as I refused to allow any practice at home. She got top grades in all her GCSEs and A levels so that made no difference at all. I oppose high stakes testing of young children and feel it is damaging to education when assessment starts to take the place of learning. England has this all wrong and young children pay the price unless parents are prepared to be strong. That doesn't mean making a huge fuss about it, but you can keep it in its place if you are sensible.

I don't think it is relevant that he has a grammar place or doesn't have a grammar place. Keep it low key, tell him he has to do them in the same way he has to go to school and do spelling tests or learn his tables. No need to make any more or less of them. And let him run free when the nice weather finally comes. I refused to allow any revision at home - the school can't force you - and it has had not one iota of impact on any of them.

(Edited to make the point which G55 made below!)


Last edited by Amber on Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:23 am 
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I do agree with not making a big fuss about them; just treat them as a normal school day. I did not agree with 'level 6' papers [they weren't level 6] but they have gone now.

100+ = old level 4b and is 'Secondary ready' in new terminology.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:31 am 
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Guest55 wrote:
100+ = old level 4b and is 'Secondary ready' in new terminology.
Sounds like oven ready chickens. What will happen if they are 'not ready'? Awful terminology.


I have always thought it would be much more sensible for secondary schools to conduct their own assessments on arrival and leave Y6 for preparing children for secondary school in other ways - encouraging independence and taking responsibility for their own learning, making sure they can all read, and then enjoying themselves for those last days when they can still be called children. When I taught Y7 a few years ago the disparity between children who had supposedly got the same level in their SATs was enormous, varying between functionally illiterate on the one hand and reading Jane Austen on the other.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:44 am 
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Thanks for the views.

Apologies if I gave the impression that I don't care about them. It is more that my son doesn't really care about them and I am looking for a card to play to nudge him into making a bit more effort!

Even if the only point of them is to measure the school, I do feel he owes it to his school to do his best. The school has utterly amazing teachers who give wayyyyy above and beyond their obligations. I want to balance this against making him wade through lots of practise papers though.

Similarly, I only made the differentiation between going to grammar/non grammar because I already know that the non grammars do use the scores to help place children in appropriate groupings, whereas I wasn't sure whether the grammars do this too. I didn't mean to imply that you don't need to care/bother if they have qualified for a grammar place.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:15 pm 
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Based on my experience (2 boys at Uni, one in upper sixth form), the SATS are not that important. The schools tend do their own tests. Our youngest will start at the same (grammar) school in Sep and we are intending to spend a couple of hours per week (from this week) for 5-6 weeks on the SATS prep. We don't want him to think that he can get away with showing no respect for authority - his primary school head and his teacher have told that class that they ARE very important!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:19 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
greengekho wrote:
He is still a little boy though...i.e. can't be bothered now his grammar place is secured...

This statement would concern me more than the argument about the merits of SATs and I think you're right to be concerned about it. I had first-hand experience of thinking "I've made it" after qualifying in what was the 12+ in my day. What a shock I got when I started at my grammar school and wasn't able to coast at the upper end of my class as I'd been able to do at primary school. Boys with much better attitudes than mine hit the ground running, my confidence took a hit, theirs was boosted and it took a lot of growing up before I worked out that my attitude had not served me well.

I would approach it from the angle that maintaining good study habits will serve him well from September. It's important that he sees grammar school as the next stage of his education that he has to work at, not a prized destination that will automatically confer academic greatness upon him. Don't make implied threats about bottom sets because what if, despite hard work, he is correctly streamed into what is perceived as a bottom set? Some children will have to occupy it! He will see that as failure which won't do his confidence any good at 11.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:03 pm 
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My dd started grammar school last year. Head of year told them that they don't really bother about /look at their SAT results. She had to do a midysis test about three weeks after she started the school. I think they looked at the SAT results combined with the midysis tests results , and they then gave us what target grades they should be expected to get at GCSE at the end of year 11. However, they are only set in Maths for the first year, with a higher and lower set. The rest of the lessons are taught in tutor groups for the first year. Throughout this year, they constantly have had tests for all lessons every term , and along with homework, attitude in class, and the results of the end of year exams, they take account of all of these things, and then put them in sets from Year 8. I think the top sets in year 8 in Maths do further maths gcse, and the top sets in science do 3 x gcses.

We have had one school report so far, and a parents evening, and another report is due in June. These reports show what their target grade is, what grade they are working at, equivalent to GCSE etc. Do not worry about what Sat results your child gets, as the school will be able to judge how your child is doing throughout the year. My dd was predicted a couple of A*, A grades and mainly B grades. She is performing above her target grades in at least 5 subjects already, and predicted more A and A* grades already, with her targets going to be adjusted at the end of the year, ready for year 8.

Predicted target grades in year 7 just show what they expect them to be able to achieve minimum. Do not worry about sets at the moment, if your child works hard, it shows their true potential, and what they are capable of. All kids have strengths and weakness. And in grammar schools, their isn't really much difference in sets, the top sets tend to just work a bit faster. At the end of the day, the GCSE predictions don't really count until at least Year 9 anyway. I believe they do another test called Yellis then, which gives a better idea of how they are doing later on. The only thing I would say, is if they are interested in any career to do with Science, it would be better to be in the top set, so they can sit the three separate exams, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

This is roughly how it works in the school my dd attends, which is in Lincolnshire.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:16 pm 
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Minniemooface wrote:
My dd was predicted a couple of A*, A grades and mainly B grades. She is performing above her target grades in at least 5 subjects already, and predicted more A and A* grades already, with her targets going to be adjusted at the end of the year, ready for year 8.

There are no A*s any more ... I'm confused.

I am looking at it for a teacher/school assessment perspective - KS2 results are the basis of FFT and all school assessment systems whatever you are told. They are also scrutinised FAR more than 11+ scores ... as they are more reliable for target setting. Targets are not predictions though; these will be refined as the student moves through the school.


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