Tuesday, 12 August 2008

I went to Ashburton today and bought...a soapbox! ;-)

I hate, loathe and detest the acronym SATs. I will not have a SATs paper in my teaching room.

I was involved in the first ever lot of SATs for 7 year olds and strongly disagreed with administering them, on the grounds that I knew every child in my class better than any government test would. Not to mention how insulted I felt as an experienced teacher.

And so mention SATs to me and you'll be likely to get an earful ;-)

I think that they are a complete waste of time and money.
Time that could be spent on educating our children properly and money that could be spent on vital and valuable books and materials etc.

And lets face it, for this years SATs marking, read..FIASCO.
Every year brings a smile to my face YET, at the same time, TEARS TO MY EYES.
This year is no exception...

1. Four in ten teenagers are struggling to master the basics after three years at secondary school following a slump in their grasp of core subjects.
2. Falling numbers of 14-year-olds made the grade in English and Science SATs tests this year, despite record investment in secondary education.
3. The performance of boys in reading suffered its biggest ever drop - three percentage points in a single year.
4. It means just 62 per cent met the expected level for their age this year - down from 65 per cent in 2007 and far behind girls' 76 per cent.
5. (THE BEST BIT) More than one in five boys were revealed to have the reading age of a child of just nine.
6. (AN EVER BETTER BIT..WAIT FOR THIS..)The trend prompted Schools Minister Jim Knight to call on parents to curb their sons' computer use and encourage them to read for pleasure instead.

Ah so there you have it! It's as easy as that Jim! Don't you just love it when a govt minister makes a right prat of himself? I do.
Anyway..all is not doom and gloom because..do you know why?

I'll tell you.

By the time that these children take their GCSE'S and maybe A levels, MIRACULOUSLY, record achievements will be announced (as they always are!)
Strange that, isn't it? Work that one out! ;-)
SATs = Standard Assessment Tasks
But if anyone can think of a better acronym, please comment!! ;-)


Simone said...

SATS: Silly Aptitude Tests?!!! It's a good job they didn't have them around when I was small as I am useless at tests and exams! I even felt under pressure just then trying to think of a better acronym!

s. said...

Wow! I thought the U.S. was crazy with their testing! I am a teacher too and we test like crazy over here. I hate it. Our students are really good at filling in bubbles on scan tron sheets, that's for sure! And what are you doing in school already?! I believe it's still summer, right?! I have two more weeks, thank goodness ;)

Katherines Dream said...

They should speak to the real people who are doing the job before they come up with these cazy idea's. It is the same everywhere I look - all professions.
I agree with everything you have said Sal.
Carol x

April said...

Hear hear! Well said Sal. I totally agree and as a Parent Governor at C's school I get to see how much the teachers hate the flippin' things! At C's school we are very low key about the whole thing - especially for the 7 yr olds and most of the kids take them in their stride, but even with the same attitude from the staff the 11yr olds get a bit stressed. I really hope this year's fiasco goes some way to being a nail in the coffin!!

April xx

Donna said...

Oh for more teacher like you!

Debbies-English-Treasures said...


Hen said...

I have a 6 year old so next school year he'll be in year 2 and taking SATs. I think they're completely inappropriate for children of that age. I'm also interested in what you say about reading and boys. Harry loves reading and has a reading ability far above his age - he is currently well above average even for the year above him. I taught him to read myself and his daddy and I love books, are always reading and happy to buy him books (generally from the car boot). What do you think is the reason for the poor reading ability in schools? Just interested to know from a teacher's point of view. Hope you don't mind me asking!

Sal said...

Hi Hen..just a quick answer..I am a huge believer in that young children should be heard to read every day!It's top priority as far as I am concerned. It works!;-)

Suzie Sews said...

Oh how I wish you taught at my sons school... my youngest one is BEHIND!!!I have spent a fortune on books for us to work on together, he sees them then runs a mile and gets upset... yes crying over books, this is the little boy who has books all over the house and he spends hours, yes hours with his head in books, but he struggles to actually read...I am so worried about him for the next school year so I try to help him, my instinct as a Mom says I am actually making the situation worse... but I feel I have to get him to the level that the gouverment now expects my child to be at his age...IT MAKES ME MAD!!!

Country Cottage Chic said...

Well, I have a typical 14 year old boy who has a reading age of 16 & achieved 7a's in his science & maths SATS, but guess what? He loves computer games & computers - surprise, surprise...they didn't make him stupid! Where do these ministers get their "ideas" from?
What the children who are struggling need is good teachers, not more tests.

My daughter just received her A level results today - A,A,B - all due to a good school, good teaching & plain old hard work - it really annoys me when people say that the results are good because of dumbing down - these students work very hard to achieve these results - why don't they give credit where it is due?

When I was at school in South Africa we had exams twice a year, every year & so the emphasis was on exams rather than learning.

Ooops- I jumped on your soapbox there for a minute!

French Knots said...

My daughter is at primary school and just about to start Year 5, I think the problems they face in secondary school start here. She has been shown all kinds of ridiculous ways of doing maths for example, chunking, partioning and goodness knows what. She was struggling and confused till I showed her the old fashioned way of doing sums and told her to tell her teacher to speak to me if there was a problem. Now her confidence has grown and she enjoys maths. Don't even get me strted on spelling! She didn't seem to notice the ludicrous tests at 7, thnak goodness.

silverpebble said...

I'm completely with you on the SATs. Those statistics are so depressing. My heart sunk when I heard them. My little ones are only tiny but I do worry about the nonsense that is currently our education system.

Your more recent post is a lovely antodite to the SAT gloom - such sweet embroidery and crinoline ladies!

Cowboys and Custard said...

Hear Hear Sal...
I have watched my son struggle with exams over the last few years.. the stress and pressure it puts on each child is unforgiveable!
My beloved has a meeting with Ed Balls in September.. I shall pass your thoughts on to him!

Michele xx