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Primary schools shun SATs
Primary school teachers are trying to abolish key stage 2 tests for fear that they cause too much stress for the students.
Ed Balls yesterday announced that KS3 SATS would now be scrapped and replaced with more teacher assessments. Also, Report Cards will be introduced with grades given from A-F. Balls didn’t agree with the idea, saying it would be a let down to parents and children. Balls said today that KS3 tests indicated how individual children and schools were performing and KS1 tests were more of a “teacher assessment” and enabled teachers to help children that were falling behind. He also said that with the SATS, we can know what’s happening.
Mrs Hurden, a mother of a primary school child in a local primary school, and also a teacher gave her opinion on the SATS, “I think that they have helped to improve the standards and it helps children when they want to move from school to school. I would rather see the SATS staying in place because as a parent I think it also give you guidance in a very direct way.”
Ed Balls also commented that the results would enable children who were falling behind in English and Maths to get the help that they need to improve their understanding in these subjects.
Rhiannon, a student at St. Bernard’s School, also gave us her view on how the SATs affected her: “I enjoy exams, if that makes any sense. It’s weird how you perform when you know there’s something expected of you. I think the Year 9 SATs were abolished for a good reason; it gives us a chance to focus more on our GCSE’s. But with the Year 6 ones, it comes so soon after the 11+ and I think they’re completely different.”
We conducted a phone interview with Miss Underwood – a teacher at St. Bernard’s Prep School.
|What do you think of the SATs?
-I think it is too young for children to be put through exams; they are only seven after all. I think that it is a better system to assess the children over what they’ve done in the year.
Do you think it is a good move to abolish SATs for primary school children?
Do you think the children should have a say?
Do you think SATs put too much pressure on children?
Is the government making a good move forward?
We also interviewed BBC radio reporter Gordon Farquhar, and he told us about how his son,10, has already done his exams and his daughter,7, may or may not have to face exams in her primary school future depending on how the boycott progresses. Also, the stress of exams may not be a problem if handled right by teachers and other school staff. He also stated that stress from tests rests with the individual child or if the teachers make a big deal leading up to the exam, “The exams shouldn’t be given to children so young and the school shouldn’t make it all about league table positions.” Gordon said that some schools are good with dealing with the children leading up to exams but “some place too much pressure on the children.” His final statement was the government should listen to parents and see if it is really worth the hassle.