I was recently made aware that next year, our children, who are in year two of primary school will be doing their SATs or National Tests as they’re now know.
I’m not sure how I feel about this.
Our girls will be seven when they take their SATs, and although many people have said not to worry about them or the results, I can’t help but worry.
Some argue that testing children at such a young age is good because it’s preparing them for tests they’ll take when they’re older, whilst others argue that the tests are purely for the schools advantage in terms of meeting targets.
What I do know though is that when our children do sit these tests, I’ll be telling them to try their best, as that’s all they can do, but not to worry about the results.
I was curious to see how other parents feel about these tests, so I asked some blogging friends for their opinions. Here’s what they had to say:
Emma who blogs at Even Angels Fall says: My son did them last school year and he didn’t even know he had done a test. They are so relaxed about them and I felt the whole thing had been vastly blown out of proportion, although I understand that perhaps different schools handle it differently. For us it was absolutely fine and I have no issue with my daughter doing them next year either.
Kate who blogs at Counting to Ten says: My eldest daughter is doing them this year and the school has spoken to us already about them. They referred to them as “Special Agent Tests” and say that they try and keep it all as light as possible. When they are not in the actual test the rest of the class works on making things for the social enterprise project so that tends to be their lasting memory of the time.
Given there is such a long road of tests in front of them I think it’s a good idea to introduce them to the concept in a gentle way as possible so they are less scared when they get to the Year 6 tests.
Stacy who blogs at Mom of Two says: I can only go off when I had to do them myself as my children aren’t old enough yet. When I did them, you definitely knew you were being tested and was made to feel like you had to do well or else. However, saying that, I believe they are so important to 1) teach children the exam setting and 2) help the teachers see where they need extra help.
Mandi who blogs at Big Family Organised Chaos says: I think it depends on how the school approaches it, and the individual child, our school was quite relaxed about it, but it did make some of the children extremely anxious, our sixth child was exempt from the tests as he is not at the required level, but our other children who have taken them didn’t seem fazed by them and it is a good practice run for the year 6 tests plus the exams going forward.
Becky who blogs at A Beautiful Space says: My kids took them in their stride as the school didn’t make a fuss and neither did we – they were pretty used to tests for spelling etc so these did not seem a big deal to them.
Kirsty who blogs at The Money Saving Mum says: Mine did them last year too and although I hated the fact they were doing ‘tests’ at such a young age for no ones benefit that the school I cannot fault the way our school handled it. They didn’t know they were doing tests as they called it Secret Agent Tasks (SATs) and the kids loved it! The teachers were very relaxed about it when we spoke to them about it too.
Georgina who blogs at Gee Gardner says: I home educate my eldest and I think these tests are completely unnecessary. School at that age should be about making things fun not worrying about percentages and ticking boxes. As Albert Einstein said “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Sinead who blogs at Sinead Latham says: I find our whole Early Years quite antiquated. While I won’t stop my son taking the tests, if I feel the school are pressuring him (and his classmates) I will step in. If we could look towards the Scandinavian nations and adopt some of their practices (no formal learning until 7 being the biggest), I think we would be setting up our children for success in a more positive way, both at school and in the big wide world.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.