I don’t remember much about my SATs; only the joy that emanated through my year when they Key Stage Three exams were cancelled the year I was due to take them, followed by the crushing disappointment when my maths teacher told us we still had to take them despite them having no actual weight.
The insults had been rife towards the woman, whom many of my class would have described as a ‘crusty old bat’ following the news.
But it’s unsurprising that it’d happen. Nobody likes taking exams, and following the recent protests it seems as if many parents don’t like their children taking them either.
This came just a couple of weeks after the Key Stage One exam was scrapped after the actual exam was included in practice material, and just one week before the Key Stage Two exam was leaked today.
It’s funny that the Department of Education are trying to toughen up the exams, given that they don’t even seem to have intelligence to keep the exams confidential.
Let our kids be kids
I might not be a parent, but not even I can particularly agree with the exams being as hard as they are on children.
Their slogan, ‘let our kids be kids’, strikes a particular chord in this. All too often do we hear complaints about how kids spend too much time inside on computers and smart phones, that children should spend more time outdoors than they currently do.
So why are we forcing them to stay inside and revise?
The exams might not hold the same gravity as GCSEs or A-Levels, but that doesn’t mean the stress isn’t relative. Moreover, in a country where exams have been criticised for being nothing more that a regurgitation of information, why culture that from a young age?
Granted, children should be tested occasionally. It’s a relatively simple way to gauge their academic ability on a large scale. But the SATs sometimes take priority over actual learning sometimes, watering down the diversity and breadth of skills that kids might need to or want to know.
It isn’t just parents that are worried. Some teachers are equally as passionate about more creative learning methods. And who can blame them? It must be equally as tedious on teachers to educate their students on such a mass of information for, as the school leaders’ union put it, is “little more than a box ticking exercise for bureaucrats”.