Teaching Year 6 is never going to be easy. Yes, we know that the whole school contribute to the Sats results but I have yet to meet a Year 6 teacher who doesn’t feel personally responsible for their children’s results. However this year the situation feels impossible.
This time last year, I knew which of my pupils were in trouble and what I had to do to get them to the required level. The govt said that parents didn’t understand Sats levels but teachers did. We knew what Level 4 and 5 looked like and we knew what to do and how much progress each pupil had to make. There were always children who were unlikely to make the grade but we never gave up and the excitement when sometimes one of those actually achieved that magical mark that gave them a Level 4 was fantastic.
However this year, everything is different. I can’t tell my pupils or their parents what they have to do because I don’t know. I have some lists of things that they must be able to do but very little idea of what this actually looks like in practice. Maths exemplification has finally arrived but over half way through the year and we still have no idea of what Year 6 writing should look like.
Who on earth thought that it was a good idea to get rid of levels before knowing what to put in their place? Yes, levels were flawed but at least we were all working towards the same objectives.
The current situation is not fair on teachers who are working in the dark and just hoping that they can cram in enough grammar and calculation rules to get the pupils up to the required mark. That is not good teaching and it is not fair on our 10 and 11 year olds who currently being used as a political football.
Please sort this mess out quickly so that pupils and teachers can have some idea of where they are going and how to get there.