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Monday, 16 May 2016

SATS, sleepless nights and writing for a purpose

Well it's another late night and I thought I'd write a blog post to catch up. I feel I have been a little lazy on updating my blog and that's just rude. I do apologise...

So what's been going on. Well to put it bluntly May is here and SATs have been my life.  I have marked them, collated them, analysed them and even dreamed about them. Though I can't help but feel a certain degree of disappointment about them. I dont believe in testing 7 years but no its not that.... it's that they don't really tell me anything! Scaling scores come out at the end of May and even the scores I do have matter very little until then...

For all their importance in the school year I still have to go to moderation and prove against key indicator statements. So I now find myself scrambling to make sure each child has the evidence I need to support my judgements. I really wonder why I had worried myself at all. But a couple thoughts popped into my head about SATs through administering them this year.

Firstly, timing. I think I probably took the leap early compared to everyone else. I know my children and I know that they are about as useful as a rubber duck in a snow storm when it comes to the last two weeks of a half term. I am seeing it today. The inevitable social problems and behavioural issues cassading through the class. They are tired. I really do wonder if schools who have left it to the last minute have done themselves a disservice.

Secondly,  I was fairly surprised about the reading paper 1 (ks1). Three really annoying little parts where you had to stop the children mid flow. I think next year I will space these three sections out...

Lastly, I don't like to be a tail teller but it seems schools have been seriously misabusing the test conditions this year. Children revising whilst in the same rooms, carouseling testing and alsorts of nafarious practices. So what stock do I take in outcomes can I take any?

Now I find myself on the long road to moderation...  It's paved with:   Have I got it? How am I going to get it? Where the hell is it? Particularly writing... I've been finding it a largely torturous endeavour. That was until I started giving writing a serious going over in my mind. What makes a good writer? What is going to get the children writing to their maximum ability? The answer seems clear to me... write for a purpose! Currently I have set up two opportunities for the children to communicate internationally writing letters. The children are passionate and the writing is really progressing!

I'll let you know how it goes...