Let Our Kids Be Kids was launched on 26th March by a small group of Year 2 parents who’ve had enough… enough of endless testing, enough of teachers not being trusted to teach, enough of an Ofsted driven, dull, dry curriculum aimed solely at passing National Curriculum Tests (SATs).
We want our kids to be kids again and enjoy learning for learning’s sake not for Ofsted results or league table figures. Bring back the creativity and the fun – say goodbye to repetition and boredom!
In May children in Year 2 sit numerous tests in exam conditions… sitting still for 40 minutes, not asking for help, in silence. These children are 6 or 7 years old!!! All year their curriculum has been centered around mathematical reasoning, punctuation, grammar and comprehension in order to pass these tests. Outdoor learning has decreased, childhood anxiety has increased, games have been replaced with grammar, playing with punctuation.
In May, Year 6 children – still only 10 or 11 years old – face even more pressure with exam style tests for which they spend weeks and months preparing and are told will affect their secondary school careers. These are pass or fail tests which may result in a resit at the start of Year 7. What a way to begin a secondary school education! What a way to diminish a joy of learning from a very early age!
These tests replace good, old fashioned teacher assessment and add nothing to the individual child’s learning development. The tests are what we describe as HIGH STAKES tests, not for children or for parents who know they tell us nothing more than teachers could, but for schools who are rated, judged and labelled by the DfE according to the achievements of our children. Teacher’s pay may also be linked to the results their classes get! The pressure coming from the DfE, to our LEAs, then to our heads and our teachers reaches it’s end point with our young children… they feel that pressure regardless of how good the teacher is at shielding it from them!
Petitions have been signed, letters have been written but no one is listening… this government seems determined to destroy our children’s childhoods and turn education into another privatised commodity.
On 3rd May 2016 we used our Parent Power and took our kids out of school in protest for a day before the exams took place – we hoped that this would encourage schools to boycott SAT tests for Year 2 and Year 6 pupils.
Our action showed teaching unions that parents would be fully supportive of action against high stakes primary testing. We are watching very carefully to see what action this will be. Senior Teaching Professionals have described the SATs of 2016 as a ‘car crash’… parents will not stand by and let their children be put through another one if things do not change for 2017.
My head has said if I protest on the 3rd their absence will be marked as educational
Thank you so much. From a teacher.
Speaking to my son this afternoon; What did you do at school today?
Not much mummy, they just wanted me to work and work. I don’t like school it is no fun… He’s going to be 6 at the end of May. It is not the teachers fault but imposed government testing. I now have a young child being turned off school before hitting six years of age, I’m a teacher and will be taking my children out of school on 3rd May…
As a y2 teacher, I cried today at stress of pressure I am putting on them as result of pressure government are putting on us. It’s disgraceful!!
All this pressure on children and we question why we have such high rate of young people having to access the Mental health service .
They know. They know they are worth more. That their minds and bodies crave more. We fail them if we do not listen to them and support them in their yearning to learn. Not parrot dogma, but to explore, question, investigate, debate, communicate, listen, enquire, observe: all the stuff that used to be considered learning. That’s why he and his sister are striking on May 3rd. That is why I am taking a day off work to support them.
We don’t need SATS and academies we need to give teachers the freedom to teach in a way that doesn’t cause stress and anxiety and allows them to flourish and achieve the best they are able. Children aren’t machines and it’s about time we stopped treating them like they are.
I teach and, along with my co-workers, I find the current system utterly depressing. The government couldn’t care less what teachers think, just look at how they are treating the doctors. We really need parents to get behind their children and teachers… It doesn’t have to be like this and it shouldn’t be like this. Thank you to all those who are getting involved and fighting for children to have a childhood.
From a teacher to all of the parents out there….you have my full support!