We strongly believe that pupils should only sit tests that are appropriate and necessary, and we don’t believe this to be the case with SATs.
SAT testing is focused on a narrow curriculum and is conducted to establish whether schools are teaching effectively. Pupils are subjected to a full year of revision, with no personal benefit, as they are trained to pass the specifics of the exam.
SATs data can also be inaccurate as so many factors can affect a child’s performance on one given day. We prefer a robust and consistent process of teacher assessment, in which a truly holistic and accurate picture of a child’s academic performance can be established. This allows us to be clear about exactly what we need to teach next and how to ensure the best possible progress. Teachers assess each strand of the curriculum, as professionals. This data forms a comparative base which matches the levels from SATs testing without the stress and anxiety, as well as the inaccuracies of the one-day test.
Pupils complete a simple INCAS computer test at the end of the year, with no revision and no stress. We use this to cross-check our data and triangulate its accuracy, conducting moderation more widely. Throughout the year small informal progress tests assess end-of unit knowledge – this is always focused on ensuring continuous improvement, rather than testing for its own sake.
The true magic is that Year 6 is regained as a teaching year, whilst it is almost entirely lost in other schools to revision. We can deliver a wide subject offering with deliver units on Shakespeare, coastal development and more; our pupils undertake public speaking awards; and at the end of the year we take great pleasure in departing on a residential trip. The pupils finish as confident, resilient, determined, inquisitive and adventurous individuals who are truly ready to embark on their senior schooling.