Comments for en-gb 30 Mon 29 Dec 2014 03:47:49 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at virtualsub "friendlynewslistener" is wrong but so is "wearrambler", who misses the point - the issue is how many get English AND maths, not either/or. The answer is 73% did so in 2008. "mittfh" does not underdtand how value added is calculated: it is not about predicted grades but compares a child's actual results with the actual results of all the other pupils who had the same previous results. Flawed, but rather neat. Wed 08 Apr 2009 15:02:10 GMT+1 Redpantsman You do realise that these Single Level Tests are being piloted by the same team responsible for the SATs fiasco. Wed 11 Feb 2009 21:32:21 GMT+1 Jon Sibbald In days of old, the mid 50's, I attended a village Primary school in Yorkshire. At the end of every term we did tests in all subjects, set and marked by the teacher. The results of these tests went on our school reports with a mark for each subject, an overall mark and a position in class. In one class, the lucky people who finished first and second, were each presented with a bar of chocolate by the class teacher. That was, of course, in the days before obesity. Wed 06 Aug 2008 12:06:18 GMT+1 Sid Some years ago a wise friend reminded me that you cannot make a pig heavier by weighing it. But in education we have been required to carry out ever more frequent weighings of the children we teach, to record these weights and to compare them with previous data.The figures we record, of course, do nothing in themselves to improve the education we provide. The government gives these data spurious value by using them to compare schools. Teachers have been compelled, against their better judgement, to focus on test results, and to implement a test-train-retest regime. Children have become better at passing tests (though they have still not hit govt targets). This does not mean that their education has improved.The bizarre obsession with SATs has taken hold in the pursuit of parental choice. But as in health and other areas, if you ask people what they want, they don't say they want to be able to choose from a range of schools. They just want the school they send their kids to to be a good school.The sooner the government drops its obsession with weighing kids and starts looking at what makes a good education, we'll be on the route back to sanity. Wed 06 Aug 2008 08:54:12 GMT+1 Macadrienne I too took the 11 plus. I thought that this was eneded to make life fairer for all young people and to stop that feeling of failure at such a young age.. Now there are more tests to create more worry for children and to make them fail a failure at an even younger are. Surely a step mbackwards and even more of a turn off from school. Children need to taste success at school in order to porogress further. Wed 06 Aug 2008 08:30:32 GMT+1 Sazmond In our blame culture would the parents not be tempted to put little Jonny's academic failures down to a vindictive teacher should he not perform to their expectations? Perhaps the only service offered by external marking is impartiality. However I do agree that the childs teacher is the best person to review academic progress. Wed 06 Aug 2008 07:41:22 GMT+1 mittfh Having briefly worked in the secondary sector, teaching one of the new mandatory subjects (ICT), I'm concerned at the way the education system increasingly regards pupils as learning machines.Take "Value added" scores for example. Pupils previous SATs results are fed to an organisation which works out their expected result at the next level, based on their performance to date. If the pupil achieves higher than their expected result, the school/teacher is said to have "added value". So far, so good. But then in a project-based course like EdExcel's AiDA/CiDA/DiDA, the pupils progress is continually monitored. If they're falling behind or at risk of missing their target grade, they're expected to attend lunchtime catch-up sessions. Of course, the pupils will typically attend for 1/2 hr so they have time to eat their lunch, but teacher has to have it on the go, whilst supervising them. And if a holiday falls fairly close to the submission deadline, the teachers can kiss goodbye to a week's worth of holiday.Oh yes, evenings / weekends / holidays. Particularly in the secondary sector, if you think teachers are sitting back enjoying themselves, think again. A typical class has 25 pupils. Teachers will typically teach 4-5 classes a day. So that's up to 125 hours worth of work to mark, plus writing / adapting future lessons. In the secondary sector, the second and third Thursdays of August are taken up with results days. And a fair proportion of the remaining holiday is dealt with planning for the year ahead - especially since it's likely at least one course taught will have acquired a new syllabus, or been withdrawn and replaced with a new course... Tue 05 Aug 2008 20:17:14 GMT+1 foldingoldmanjack Sixty years ago this September I trained for two years as a teacher. We were at that time shown the Scottish Primary Schools report of the early 30s. It said 'We do little testing to allow time for teaching, and little teaching to allow time for learning'.I have used the idea ever since and learning is by doing. Tue 05 Aug 2008 19:08:10 GMT+1 wearrambler 2008 KEY STAGE 2 RESULTS LEVEL 4 English: 81% (80% last year)Maths: 78% (77%)Science: 88% (88%)LEVEL 5English: 29% (34%)Maths: 31% (32%)Science: 44% (47%)Level four is the expected grade so how does 'friendlynewslistener' work it out that 40% of children are leaving primary school without basic literacy and numeracy skills? Perhaps she/he was not liistening too well and rather too keen to get a dig in at teachers. Could, on the other hand I suppose, be not very good at maths. Tue 05 Aug 2008 17:20:38 GMT+1 friendlynewslistener With 40% of children leaving primary school without basic literacy and numeracy skills SATS are the only way parents have of knowing how their child is progressing. Teachers need to stop blaming testing, the Govt, parents and even the children and admit their own professional failings then educational achievement may start to improve. It is not children or parents who object to or get stressed about SATs but the teaching profession. I wonder why. Tue 05 Aug 2008 16:44:19 GMT+1 snowianc I was schooled to take the 11plus in the 1960s and failed miserably when I passed and went to Grammar school so this is nothing new regarding SATs. I was ranked in the class and came out quite well, however this wasn't the case when I moved to secondary school. I was good at the 11plus, but not much else. Parents do have a right to know how their children are performing against national criteria, rather than just a ranking against other members of the class. SATs are not perfect, but neither is subjective teacher assessment. Tue 05 Aug 2008 16:43:45 GMT+1 caropet I was one of the first of a generation in Scotland not to sit the 11+. I went to a brand new comprehensive school where like most pupils at that age I didn't care about learning. But the teachers had some aspirations for all pupils. By age 15 I matured and was able to take advantage of the education on offer to Higher and six year level going on to uni, graduating and having many more opportunities than my brother a couple of years older than me. He failed his 11+ although he had a high IQ. He went to a secondary modern with no opportunity at a later date to sit exams above O level. Left school at 15 He spent 20 years of working life in supermarkets and in cleaning jobs before taking an access course aged 35, he graduated from uni with joint honours and has been a teacher for the last 10 years. Tue 05 Aug 2008 16:38:46 GMT+1 mygloriousleader We did tests. Nobody got bent out of shape over it. Seems like a logical way to see if you were LISTENING! Tue 05 Aug 2008 16:38:02 GMT+1 scsfoxrabbit As a parent whose two sons have gone through the independent sector I would like to say that at Prep. School where they did take 'SATS' they end of term exams. complete with form positions gave useful information while the totally incomprehensible meaning of 'Key Stage' results meant pretty well nothing to me.Also I would like to mention that my younger son's (just finished Year 12) school, while obviously having to submit results to the Department for whatever it is called now (shall we call it 'Education'?) has decided against submitting results for the press league tables as the Government not inly do not recognise the fact that iGCSEs are more testing than the regular variety but they REFUSE to recognise the results at all.Hmm - says it all really. Competence does not spring to mind!ss Tue 05 Aug 2008 16:35:29 GMT+1 valiantblogman I agreed with much of what the headteacher from Essex had to say about SATS. However, she was wrong to be dismissive of telling parents the position that children achieve in tests relative to the rest of the class. I know many teachers who set easy exams so that they can have the pleasure of telling the child and it's parents that Johnny scored 85% (for example). They fail to mention that most pupils scored higher. As a parent I always want to know how my child is doing relative to other pupils. I am also a teacher of 26 years experience. Tue 05 Aug 2008 16:32:33 GMT+1 phoebeprit the headteacher who suggests returning to tests marked by the class teacher has an excellent idea. Teachers have six weeks summer holiday, when everyone else has two, in which to do the work. and then when they stop working five years earlier than everyone else, they can help out then, too, Tue 05 Aug 2008 16:27:15 GMT+1 archCountrygirl Couldn't agree more with headteacher Sue Shenton. We are examining our children to death, and taking the enjoyment out of lifelong learning. Tue 05 Aug 2008 16:26:16 GMT+1 Lewesgilmore Why did your sensible head teacher think that giving people their position in class was a bad one? It was a great measure of how you were doing compared to your peers in the same group with the same teacher. A pretty good measure one woudl think. Tue 05 Aug 2008 16:24:02 GMT+1