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!!!