‘One size does not fit all for 10 and 11 year-olds’: Fury over ‘disgraceful’ SATs exams which ‘left kids in tears’ as parents and teachers call for tests to be abolished… so could YOU answer these questions?
- Teachers said this year’s reading paper for Year 6s was far harder than in past
- Department for Education argued exams play ‘vital role’ in progress monitoring
- Are you an affected teacher or parent? Email [email protected]
Fury is growing among parents and teachers today after ‘incredibly difficult’ questions in this year’s SATs left ‘even the most able pupils broken and in tears’.
There have been hundreds of complaints over the reading examination questions, which one union said some staff even struggled to answer.
Children aged 10 to 11 are sitting the milestone tests this week, which are statutory assessments taken by youngsters at the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Teachers across the UK are now calling for the abolition of the SATs after witnessing how ‘tears flowed’ and ‘stress levels rose’ as students sat the reading exam.
Vice President of the NAHT Head teachers’ Union Simon Kidwell told Good Morning Britain on Friday that it was ‘very disappointing’ to see the tests were causing ‘such distress’ among pupils.
Fury is growing among parents and teachers today after ‘incredibly difficult’ questions in this year’s SATs left ‘even the most able pupils broken and in tears’
There have been hundreds of complaints from both parents and teachers, with one union claiming that even some staff were left dumbfounded
READ MORE: Could YOU answer these Year 6 SATs questions from last year correctly?
Parents and teachers branded the exams a ‘disgrace’ as they take to social media to vent their frustrations overnight and this morning.
One wrote: ‘SATS testing a disgrace… one size does not fit all for 10 and 11 year olds.’
Another father said: ‘Yesterday, my daughter sat her yr6 reading exam and was shaken by the experience.
‘Fortunately, she is resilient; more resilient than an 11yo should have to be.
‘I can only imagine how this paper will have impacted pupil confidence and attainment in the subsequent maths exams.’
Labour MP for Durham Mary Kelly appeared to join calls for the exams to be scrapped.
She tweeted: ‘SATs get in the way of teaching, but they also put children under extreme pressure.
‘Young people shouldn’t have to go through this.’
It came after staff said that this year’s reading exam was more difficult than previous tests and was ‘not accessible’ to the ‘wide range of experiences and backgrounds’ among pupils.
The SATs have previously come under fire from both parents and teachers, who feel it’s unnecessary to test children at such a young age and not a fair assessment of their overall abilities.
Headteacher Kerry Forrester has written to her MP saying ‘SATs must go’ after watching how her pupils at Tarporley C of E Primary School, Cheshire, reacted to the tests yesterday.
She shared a copy of her letter online for other professionals and families to see and within a couple of hours it had been shared more than 40,000 times.
‘Today was not acceptable. I cannot believe what we put our 10 and 11 year old children through for the government. SATs must go,’ she penned.
Parents and teachers brand the exams a ‘disgrace’ as they take to social media to vent their frustrations
As fury builds over this year’s SATs reading exam, how many from last year’s test can YOU answer? (See correct answers at the bottom)
2. Hood: Child and neighbour, Ship: Champion and member
3. Cover: dis, Large: en, Frost: de
4. Shall we go round the fitness trail in the park
5. Finally, I think I understand what you mean
6. The children should choose to play netball, cricket, hockey or tennis.
7. Add one ounce (around one tablespoon) of yeast to your bread mix.
8. I will walk through the park to get to school.
9. The African elephant, the largest mammal in the world, can weigh up to 6.6 tonnes.
‘Today I have written to my MP and urge you to do the same.’
In the letter, Ms Forrester described how yesterday’s testing was her ‘road to Damascus moment’.
‘My year 6 children, all capable readers who love reading, opened their reading test paper and were broken! Tears flowed from our most capable readers and stress levels rose amongst all others,’ she wrote.
‘For what, I found myself asking, for no other reason than to sit a test for the government DfE accountability measure.’
‘This was the most challenging reading test I have seen in my 29 years as a teacher and my 14 years as a headteacher. Since Covid we have spent time supporting our children to catch up and to believe in themselves as learners. Today saw so much of that work destroyed by a snapshot from an inappropriate test.’
She added that pupils put themselves under ‘immense pressure to perform well in these tests’, which has a negative impact on their self-esteem, confidence and mental health.
Urging her MP Edward Timpson to ‘consider the evidence and take action to address this issue’, she wrote: ‘Primary school should be where we make lifelong learners, not switch children off’.
ARE YOU AN AFFECTED TEACHER OR PARENT? Email [email protected]
Dozens of people responded to her tweet, many of them professionals who said they agree that SATs are unfair and that the paper was particularly difficult.
‘Totally agree with this,’ said one. ‘It was completely unfair. Accessible to read but the questions were ridiculous and no clear answer. There was far too much for the hour time limit and totally unfair for pupils with ASD or slow processing. I will be writing to our MP too.’
‘So pleased teachers are finding their voice now!’ said a parent. ‘SATs totally drained my kids and we put no pressure on them at all, the school were really good too. It’s all very unnecessary and potentially harmful.. My dyslexic son is yr 7 he doesn’t know he failed his SATs. He’s brilliant!’
Headteacher Kerry Forrester (pictured) has written to her MP saying ‘SATs must go’ after her ‘capable reader’ pupils ‘opened their reading test paper and were broken’
Mrs Forrester’ tweet slamming yesterday’s reading exam scored thousands of likes on Twitter and saw many parents open up about the demoralising effect on their children
The Happy Confident Compant, which provides education resources to children, backed Mrs Forrester’s letter and shared the hashtag #SayNoToSats
Teacher Amanda Becker tweeted: ‘The reading paper today was too difficult for most of the children who have worked so hard…’
Sophie Smith-Tong wrote: ‘SATS narrow our teaching, cause unnecessary stress and all for the DfE’
Bethan Southern said her ‘bright and hard working’ son in Year Six shook his head after taking the exam, despite going in feeling prepared
Kerry Tatum tweeted: ‘My daughter, who is a Greater Depth child, sat this test today and came out of school crying saying it was so hard and she thing she did so badly’
‘My daughter is bright and was gutted today as she didn’t finish the paper,’ wrote Judith McLean
Another Twitter user said she left her teaching post after deciding she had ‘lost all faith’ in the education system
‘My daughter said today’s paper was horrible,’ tweeted Rebecca Pain
Adam Watson said: ‘When you can see the stress and anxiety written across your 11-year-old’s face after they’ve sat a SAT you know something is wrong’
Angela Crompt tweeted: ‘My son struggles and my heart breaks thinking of him sitting in these tests. They are inaccessible and age-inappropriate’
Ms Forrester said watching how her pupils at Tarporley C of E Primary School, Cheshire, (pictured) reacted to the tests yesterday was her ‘road to Damascus moment’
Ms Forrester shared a copy of her letter online for other professionals and families to see and within a couple of hours it had been shared more than 40,000 times
Similarly, Year 6 teacher Emma Wood took to Twitter saying how she was left ‘broken’ after seeing ‘so many disheartened children that would normally finish not getting to the last page’
Similarly, Year 6 teacher Emma Wood took to Twitter saying how she was left ‘broken’ after seeing ‘so many disheartened children that would normally finish not getting to the last page’.
She added: ‘Many asked why it was so much harder than any before.’
NAHT union head of policy Sarah Hannafin said the organisation is ‘very concerned’ about the reports it has received from members over the reading paper.
She told TES how many teachers claimed the exam questions were ‘difficult’, ‘not accessible’ and ‘leaving children upset’. Others alleged the exam left teachers ‘trying to rebuild’ pupils’ confidence.
The NAHT will ‘definitely raise these concerns with STA (Standards and Testing Agency) and also the Ofqual national assessments team,’ Ms Hannafin stated.
Union president-elect and headteacher Simon Kidwell added that the education sector has not seen ‘sorts of outcries’ over the difficulty of the SATs in several years.
A Department for Education spokesperson, responding to the furore, said: ‘Key Stage 2 assessments play a vital role in understanding pupils’ progress and identifying those who may have fallen behind, so they can be provided with extra support if needed.
‘It’s important that schools encourage pupils to do their best but preparing for these exams should not be at the expense of their well-being.’
Controversial SATS paper left 11-year-olds ‘broken’ and in tears – so could YOU pass a Year 6 reading exam?
By Stewart Carr
Parents and teachers have been filled with indignation following yesterday’s SATs reading exam – which left some pupils in tears afterwards.
Since their introduction in 1988, the National Curriculum assessments at the end of Key Stage 1 (Year Two) and Key Stage 2 (Year Six) are well known to generations of former pupils,
But critics say the exams have been steadily getting harder over time.
The reading exam paper by Year Six pupils yesterday has prompted a storm of protest among parents and teachers, who say pupils were left demoralised by its severe difficulty.
One headteacher has written to her MP demanding an end to SATs. But is the level of difficulty unfair or just an incentive for children to study harder?
Here, we have published in full the reading test used in last year’s Year Six SATs exams. Can you pass it?
Source: Read Full Article