SATs at 10

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Bryan_sop, May 15, 2010.

  1. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    Just wondered what people thought of putting 10 year olds through exams? One of my Junior schools did is whilst, I understand, some Junior schools boycotted them?

    In my opinion, the teachers should be able to recognise and comment in their reports, on theprogress of the children they teach (like they did when I was a kid) rather than putting these kids through the stress of an exam at such as young age?
  2. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    I've never done SATs but from year 5 onwards I have taken 'end of year' exams in every subject in the summer term. I've found them good because as a pupil you develop your exam technique and see what exams are like, and as a teacher you can see 1 how well we revised and 2 how well we understood the topics we learnt that year.

    as we got older the exams got longer until they became the same length as our actual gcse exams and the same style so come year 11 (and 10 now so many exams are becoming modular) you feel a lot less stressed about exams and revison because you've been taking them every year.
  3. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I think that we test children too much and we teach them too little. Modern teaching seems to revolve around giving children skills without actually teaching them any knowledge (or wisdom) with which to apply those skills in a meaningful way.

    Thanks to league tables and SATs, Cats, MATs, BATs, RATs and ... some teachers spend all their useful energy testing instead of actually teaching.

    There's an old Chinese saying that says something like "No matter how many times you weigh a pig it will not get any fatter."

    Let's feed our children for a change.
  4. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    I was at a guinea pig primary school for these exams in their first year and I remember at the time wondering whether they were important or not (as a ten year old, I of course had a good understanding of what was going on :p).

    Throughout most of my schooling I was lucky enough to enjoy talented and enthusiastic teachers who worked hard to get us to 'discover' things rather than just mandatorially absorb them from proximity to textbooks. That all changed in 6th form, as my teachers admitted, they were under such pressure to produce results that they didn't dare do anything beyond mock tests and exercies in memorising curriculum approved facts.

    I would much rather my child was taught skills, how to reason, how to research instead of how to parrot-back facts and dates with little appreciation for their importance or relevance.

    However, that is much harder to measure on a fixed scale and far more difficult for politicians to be able to spin in to vote winning stories and statistics.
  5. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I disagree Mike. I think we spend too much time teaching and testing content knowledge and don't teach skills.

    If we can teach students to problem-solve, to find relationships between different topics and events and how to read/study, I think we do a great deal more good that random content facts that can be googled.

    My only experience in UK education where skills were tested were the A-Level Lab Exams in science, and even those were more about memorizing algorithms than actual problem-solving.
  6. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    The problem for teachers, as I keep reiterating, is to get the balance right. In maths, English and Science, where there are SATs, many schools do less well than in other subjects because too much time is spent teaching to the exam. In my experience, some teachers teach skills without giving the understanding of how those skills can be applied. They teach facts without the contextual background that gives those facts meaning and relevance and they do not keep reinforcing the transferability of skills to other areas.

    I have just finished teaching some 6th formers who could write you a passable essay in English but could barely string two words together in Music. They didn't think it was the same! GCSE students who can't write formally at all - because they don't have to. They can't spell, they can't punctuate and they have no idea of what a preposition is. Participle? Is that when you join in?
  7. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    neither could I at 6 in the morning.....:biggrin:
  8. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Well spotted, Chris! I love doing that to other people, but hate it when they do it to me! :) I'll have my revenge... MWahahahahahah....
  9. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    They make 6/7 year olds take SATs aswell. Not to be confused with the SATs that they do in the USA of course... It think they're fairly pointless but I was never stressed by them, just a bit (or very) annoyed.

    A levels on the other hand :eek:
  10. Rambo

    Rambo Member

    Sats were removed in Wales several years ago. In my opinion they do nothing to improve childrens learning. In fact if you listen to teachers in many English Primary schools Year 6 pupils are taught for one term at the most. The Spring term is spent doing endless 'Sats practice'. In the years I taught Year 6 , SAT's tests never surprised me! I knew what level the children in my class were. Unfortunately of course the politicians would not believe my professional opinion and hence the invention of SAT's.
    Children's progress should be monitored closely, some testing needs to take place to ensure progress but much assessment takes place on a daily basis with evidence in the childrens work. Filling an 11 year old child with the skills necessary to get a 'level 5' in his SAT's is pretty narrow minded in my opinion. Having just come back from France where amongst other things 22 Year 6 pupils spent an hour in the British War Graves in Bayeaux paying their respects and soaking in the atmosphere and the sheer horror of war. SAT's or France? no competition. We are educating the whole child not teaching them how to take tests.
  11. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Supporting Member

    I believe that testing should be done via Teacher Assessment, as it is at KS3 (at least in Wales).
  12. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    Perhaps the government should introduce something like 'end of year exams'. I did them at my school since year 5 and I found them helpful. You spent 1 week off timetable doing exams in every subject which gave pupils a taste of exams and helped to find effective ways to revise and showed the teachers how well they'd learnt (or revised) the topics. as we got older the exams became more like gcse exams and so prepared us for them. Now as a year 11 I feel a lot more relaxed about exams than I did used to thanks to end of year exams (and revison!) :)

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