"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Key Stage 2 SATS results

The maths SATS results arrived this morning. These are the results of the tests the top juniors sat in May. The score for an average 11 year old is level 4. Here, there is concern that 9 of the 50 children achieved a level 3 instead. When the names of the pupils concerned were read out to me, I wasn't at all surprised, in fact I felt that some of them had done well to achieve the level they did. I had had most of them in Year 3, so I knew their capabilities.
But there is concern. We never do as well in maths as we do in English, was the comment, so we will not be setting for maths next year. It demotiviates those children in the lower sets and we don't set for English.
No! There will be no setting in maths next year because the pupil numbers and school budget dictate that the part time teacher, who taught one of the sets, has to be made redundant. (It's not just me!)
I put forward my view that in maths particularly, it is vital to establish an understanding of basic concepts and, in sets, this is easier to do with the lower ability pupils.
But concern continues to be expressed about these 9 children. They're not really classed as special needs pupils - they would have to be shown to be working a full year behind their age group for that. Then there might be some excuse! So what, I enquired, does that say about the Special Educational Needs system? No answer.
But, wait a minute, does all this doom and gloom mean that we didn't get any level 5's?
Oh yes, 19!
Well, that's excellent.....isn't it?
Yes but 'they' will be wanting to know why we have had 'so many' level 3's.
So, no credit to those children who achieved their potential even though their potential doesn't run to a level 4 then?
Also, why is it that 'they' apparently find it impossible to understand that 'average' by definition means that there will be some children above and some below - yer actual curve of distribution, mate!!!


gemmak said...

As you know I'm not very familiar with the rudiments of our education system but it seems very sad that those gaining a '3' do not get recogition for achieving their own potential. Sadder still, that as you say the very fact that 4 is an average means by definition there will be children below and above that score and 'they' seem not to understand that. :o((

Alan Saunders said...

Say, perhaps SATS are a total waste of time ...

Railwayman39 said...

I definitely think that Sats are a waste of time and effort and are designed to keep endless numbers of civil servants in the Dept of Education pushing piles of paper about and keeping teachers from teaching.

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