SunSAT Boulevard

Sorry, the pun is horrific, I know.
I've missed the last few day's blogs due to practice SATs in my Year 5 class (see it affects the rest of us too, if not half as much as our Year 6 colleagues).

There's been a pall over the whole school this week. SATs week is almost like a collective holding of breath. Younger children only hear of SATs as a dark whisper, floating down from higher up school. Year 4s and 5s feel the tension more palpably, especially my class who sit next door and hear horror stories from their Year 6 friends.

This year I've mirrored our Practice SATs with the Year 6 SATs, to give my class a flavour of what goes on. Sitting a test is a skill, they have found. Some of my more able children have struggled, not because they couldn't access the questions or answer them, but rather because they aren't used to working to time, answering deliberately confusing questions, or working completely without support. Testing is not just about what the children know, but whether they know how to express that knowledge in a test situation.

Most of my class simply haven't got that skill, nor do I have the time to teach them. That will come next year. That said, I'm quietly pleased with the results so far. However I would much rather have spent this week teaching than have my children sit tests only for the results to broadly tell me what I already know.

Now that the SATs are done and dusted, and Year 6 teachers only have Writing to stress over, the whole school can breathe a little easier. As the Sun sets (sorry) on SATs, I hope that this process hasn't been too stressful for the pupils who have sat tests (Year 6 or otherwise), and that teachers across the country can begin to enjoy teaching a little more over the next few weeks.

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