Wednesday, 15 October 2008
More on the SATs...
I'm still in a very good mood. The Head of Science was positively jubilant this morning. Every single Science teacher said the same thing: now that we don't have to spend the best part of a year desperately cramming information into them (to make sure we cover all possible topics) and practicing exam questions, we actually have the luxury of time in which to teach them some proper science. One teacher wryly remarked that they might actually cover more science than the first year GCSE students (the course is really ghastly: I have mentioned it before!)
My tutor group are in Year 9, which means that they would have been doing the SATs tests in May next year for Science, English and Maths. They were, naturally enough, very keen to discuss the latest rumours about the abolition of the tests, and I was happy to spend a good part of our PSHE lesson this morning discussing the implications for them personally. One thing that struck me was how savvy they seem to be: they all wanted to know why the tests had been scrapped, given the emphasis which had been placed on them previously, and what, exactly, was going to replace them. I explained that at the moment, it looked like some form of teacher assessment, and that there would be tests at the end of the year, to help with GCSE setting, but that it would be similar to the tests they already do to monitor progress.
The relief expressed by those children made me want to cry: it demonstrated how much pressure they must have felt at the thought of these tests.