SATs Day 2 #letourkidsbekids

He went to school quietly. Not necessarily confidently, but knowing he had to do what needed to be done for these tests.

I sent him with a whisper in his ear to not worry, just do his best, and remember Babaji (God) before starting the paper. We always ‘ask’ Babaji to be with us when we do things, so whatever the outcome, we know it was meant to be.

I didn’t see him at school all day.

In the evening when I came home I asked how it went. “Fine.” Stock answer for everything from a 10 year old boy.

Slowly though he began to talk about it. “Mummy, it was so hard, there was lots to,rad but the questions were really difficult. I didn’t even finish it. Lots of people didn’t finish it. Some children were even crying…”

I wasn’t sure how to take the end bit, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that he had found it hard.

Coming home, looking at news sites and Facebook, it became apparent that he wasn’t the only one.

Parents posted about how upset or stressed their children had been.

Teachers had stated that in Classrooms across the country, the children classed as ‘more able’ were bursting into tears within minutes of starting the paper, not able to understand the vocabulary used in questions. What hope did our average or ‘nearly there’ students have?

This morning I wake to the news that today’s paper was leaked for a short while, on the suppliers website.

This happened with the younger children’s Key Stage 1 paper three weeks ago, and that has now been withdrawn.

Our kids had got pretty good at the practice Spelling Punctuation and Grammar or SPaG tests. If they say these marks will be discounted, it will dishearten the kids further.

I am even more concerned now of the mental health of these children. 

Not just my own, but a whole nation of 10-11 year olds. 

I came into teaching to make learning fun, to show children how much fun you can have learning about all manner of things… Thanks to the Education Ministers of the last few years, the fun of teaching and learning has been sucked out of education, instead replaced with unrealistic standards and tests.

Kids will no longer have a thirst for learning, instead they will gag at the thought of being force fed another fronted adverbial or subordinate clause…

Sort it out Government and Nicky Morgan!!


28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jacquelineobyikocha
    May 11, 2016 @ 15:19:28

    This is stressful and annoying. I can imagine how frustrating it will be for the children as well as their parents. I hope some reasonable sense of reasoning penetrates the skulls of those responsible. Learning is meant to be an interesting for a growing child!

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Fourth Generation Farmgirl
    May 10, 2016 @ 22:36:58

    Well said, Ritu. We’ve been coping with the stress of these testing measures here for a while–SOL’s is what they’re called in my state or Standards of Learning. What they don’t test is a child’s determination or creativity–among other things. Many parents and children are tired of the stress as well. Thinking of you as well as the other parents and students coping with this now. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person


  3. elementhealing
    May 10, 2016 @ 19:37:17

    I vote for the opt out option. If the word spread that parents were not going to put their children through this type of stress and refused to send their kids to school on testing days. What would happen? They are children! You can’t thrust the weight of the world on them and not expect them to break!

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Annika Perry
    May 10, 2016 @ 17:18:11

    It is a crazy world when the only option to assess children’s ability according to the powers-that-be is to cause young children such stress as this. When my son was doing Sats aged 7, eight years ago they said that would be the last group, no more! Ha! I see that didn’t last long. I feel so for the children going through this – where is the fun and joy of education. I could rant on and on about the upheaval in exam systems, etc… I hope your little boy is okay. I am sure your love and reassurance will help a lot but it is plainly ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Charles Yallowitz
    May 10, 2016 @ 11:31:27

    I’ve heard of the crying stories when it comes to the tests. Some kids were even reported as vomiting every morning before school because they were stressed. These are kids as young as 6 and 7. A friend’s daughter who is my son’s age comes home with nearly 3 hours of homework every night. So I’m so with you on worrying about the mental health of the kids. Beginning to think that we have to parent against the system on some level in order to give our kids a shot of being a functional adult.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Ritu
      May 10, 2016 @ 11:46:48

      I think it may need to happen Charles…



      • Charles Yallowitz
        May 10, 2016 @ 11:55:00

        Starting to over here. There’s a big ‘opt out’ movement around the tests in my area. Since the option is there and the tests have no bearing on student grades, parents are simply keeping them home. It’s getting a bit messy too with state (and federal) government threatening to reduce funding, revoking education awards, and reducing school ratings if too many students opt out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritu
        May 10, 2016 @ 12:40:41

        I think it may happen here slowly. …


  6. neelwritesblog
    May 10, 2016 @ 09:05:35

    This is so discouraging and indeed the story elsewhere as well, especially here in India. I empathise with you, sis.

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Erika Kind
    May 10, 2016 @ 08:59:34

    This is so sad and I can imagine how you feel about this all and how discouraged and frustrated the kids must be…. to say the least. As you say, school should be encouraging and motivating, bringing the best out of the kids… but this only makes them doubting themselves and takes their self-esteem.

    Liked by 1 person


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