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Another chance to fail.......

(36 Posts)
Mishap Wed 08-Apr-15 11:00:20

........and another reason not to vote Tory.

FFS - some children are not academic - what on earth is the point in making them take their maths SAT again at secondary school?. What they need is the proper support to achieve what is THEIR best.

ninathenana Wed 08-Apr-15 11:36:29

Here, here !

I don't hold much store by SATS anyway. DS and a few of his peers took their yr 5??? SATS (9-10) a year early and did quiet well in them. However his GCSE results were mostly C's.

FlicketyB Wed 08-Apr-15 11:50:00

What about children in main stream schools with statements? Those with dyslexia, or other disabilities that inhibit learning. Will they be expected to sit these tests ad infinitum until they reach school leaving age because they cannot meet the standard.?

GillT57 Wed 08-Apr-15 12:45:11

Flickety there is always allowance made for those with statements or known learning problems, so it won't end with some children being 'stuck' as such. I do think that there should be some measure of standards of reading. maths etc., otherwise there is a possible chance of children in failing schools dropping behind their peers in better performing schools, and thus being disadvantaged when they all meet at senior school. However, having said that, I think the concerns should be why some children are not achieving these standards, frankly, if you do not attain a certain reading age by the time you go to senior school then your chances of coping with multiple subjects are slim. When a child does not reach the expected standard ( not 'fails') then there should be questions as to why this is. Is it an undiagnosed learning difficulty? Undiagnosed dyselxia? Bad exam technique/exams stress? Home problems? No one system is perfect of course, but I do think that we as parents need to know that our children are achieving the expected levels, and if not, why not.

Mishap Wed 08-Apr-15 13:29:10

In an ideal world it would not be seen as pass or fail - but the news bulletins talk in those terms, as does the minister - so that is the message that parents and child will receive.

I agree that we need to know how each child is progressing - but teachers know that and adapt their teaching accordingly. We need to trust teachers and allow them the freedom to use their professional judgement and skills; alongside that there need to be robust rules for weeding out duff teachers.

GillT57 Wed 08-Apr-15 13:44:05

agreed mishap.

Lilygran Wed 08-Apr-15 14:01:07

mishap Good points. All learning has to be assessed, it always was although you'd think the politicians invented it. The problem lies in making the assessment the basis for judging the schools in a very confrontational way.

annodomini Wed 08-Apr-15 14:52:22

The Government is so proficient in maths that they think all children should come up to the average. confused

pompa Wed 08-Apr-15 15:35:07

Having had some experience of employing young people, it appalls me just how bad the basic maths and English is of many. Many are incapable of simple arithmetic or able to write a sensible sentence. These are a basic requirement of almost any job. We need to concentrate on the basics.
I am not talking about a level that could be called academic, just basic.

tiggypiro Wed 08-Apr-15 21:00:32

Of course testing children again who are nervous, worried or upset about tests is really going to do some good isn't it. Perhaps the maths test should be a simple single question eg What is 6 x 7 ? Any child who can answer in less than 10 secs will pass.

absent Wed 08-Apr-15 21:03:51

annodomini grin

Ana Wed 08-Apr-15 21:05:05

tiggypiro grin

Penstemmon Wed 08-Apr-15 22:05:03

pompa I don't know what type of employment you are talking about but the 11 year olds who gain a L4b (current expected level) in English and Maths are way more able than I was expected to be in 1962 when I was 11!

I think that sometimes we look back through rose tinted glasses. In those 'rosy' days there was plenty of employment for the less academic young person in domestic service, factory work, apprenticeships etc. Higher education has been more accessible to the bright kids who previously would have become clerks, service industry employees or have blue collar jobs from the age of 15/16 because they could not afford to go on to higher education though they had the ability.

There have always been illiterate/innumerate school leavers and even more who, in the past, were institutionalised without the chance to learn. Let's stop dissing the much improved education available to kids nowadays and accept that the world has moved on..what was a good education in 1950 is not always appropriate for the 21st century. I am not saying it is all perfect but it is certainly not all bad.

pompa Thu 09-Apr-15 06:58:52

These were youngsters (16 +) that were considering going into caring. In fact what you say is relevant, Their maths knowledge was that I would expect of an 11 year old. I suspect that students are given so many options that the concentration on the basics is diluted. I would point out that I don't think this is the mean ability level, we are producing many excellent minds, but seem to be failing some. Arithmetic and English are the most important subjects for life today. From a good understanding of these further learning can develop.

absent Thu 09-Apr-15 07:20:25

I thought I had just written an intelligent comment in answer to your post pompa. I may have failed to press post or, worryingly, put it on another thread that has nothing to do with the subject. Oh, dear, a pre-dinner glass of wine and looking at Gransnet is clearly not a good combination.

Leticia Thu 09-Apr-15 07:23:04

Every time I think that the government can't get any worse with their ideas they come up with another damaging one like this one. Constantly testing children is damaging and does nothing to help them educationally.

pompa Thu 09-Apr-15 07:32:38

Absent, Your priorities are quite correct wine comes first, sobriety second smile Cheers!

pompa Thu 09-Apr-15 07:34:22

I think the problem is that it is the educational system that needs testing. But how do you do that without testing the product of that system ?

Falconbird Thu 09-Apr-15 08:28:17

I used to teach Essential Skills to adults. Too many of them were struggling with literacy and numeracy not to mention IT skills. Some were mildly dyslexic, others had fallen behind because of illness and all of them suffered from low self esteem.

Sadly the funding was cut for this provision in my area and I was made redundant after many years of teaching.

Hopefully testing will pick up these problems early on but I wait to see if this proves to be the case. Testing is not a bad thing per se - BUT more paperwork for the poor teachers - not a good thing.

At the end of my career I had 8 pieces of paper attached to each learner. I spent far too much time filling them in and not teaching.

sunseeker Thu 09-Apr-15 08:46:39

Like pompa I too used to have to screen school leavers who applied for jobs. The number that couldn't spell, add up or string together a coherent sentence was staggering (this was for clerical work). Whilst I accept that some children do have difficulties this cannot be the majority.

At the risk of being shot down in flames may I suggest that some teachers are just not up to the job!

(puts on tin hat and ducks behind a wall)

FlicketyB Thu 09-Apr-15 15:18:06

No matter when you went to school or what the overall school curriculum was then or now. In all decades the school leaver who cannot read, write (spelling), or is not numerate or unable communicate verbally is going to find it very difficult to get or hold down any form of employment.

I do not have a Gradgrind type attitude to education, nor do i advocate the rigid rote learning uncreative education systems of some Asian countries, but all the world's greatest pianists spend a lot of time practising scales and learning theory to get the technical expertise that produces great music.

It is no point giving children an education that makes school a pleasurable experience, that enhances their creative abilities or widens their understanding of the world if they leave school without the basic underpinning of a good grasp of the three 'r's and communication.

Mishap Thu 09-Apr-15 15:26:03

There is no problem testing what children can do - and this is ongoing in schools in all sorts of ways, both formal and informal. That is how teachers know the best way to help each child.

The problem is that schools are judged now on their data - reams of it each week to be churned out (I am a school governor - trust me, I know!) - and this leads them into working to the tests. Before SATs time, children are just grinding their way through test after test and I have yet to meet a teacher who thinks this enhances their education or love of learning - but if your school might get a crap OfSted on the basis of these tests, schools feel they have no alternative but to concentrate on these rather than on education.

FlicketyB Thu 09-Apr-15 17:33:09

I think the Ofsted tests and the significance put on them is ridiculous. DGC are fortunate to go to one of the most highly rated schools in their town, then, it was suddenly declared to be a failing school because of a problem identified in one year group.

That was sorted and it went back to being outstanding again. Any system where a school can go from outstanding to failing and to outstanding again in a year is by definition not suitable for purpose.

Mishap Thu 09-Apr-15 17:46:53

Oh - hear hear flickety - what a nonsense it is. We have found that parents ignore the OfSted reports now as they have cottoned on to what a farce they are. Again we had a lower assessment because of an accumulation of children with problems in one year and we got the parents together to explain the content of the OfSted and they said they could not care less, their children were happy and learning, and they paid the assessment no heed.

Mishap Thu 09-Apr-15 17:48:21

Add to that the fact that it is such a tiny school that one year group might only contain 3 children, then the data (groan!) become meaningless.