Why are we returning to a culture of testing?
Last year I had a limited experience of the new literacy and numeracy tests which take place in May for every year group in Wales. I was required as a trainee teacher to entertain half the class while the other half completed the test and then swap.
This year and in reality this week I have had the full testing experience with the initial worry being whether the learners have covered the curriculum in sufficient detail within my lessons. Thankfully after completing a number of practice sessions this week I feel the learners I teach (currently year 3 - year 6!) are almost prepared for the assessments next week and will be fully prepared before the first papers are given out on Wednesday.
The question is whether this testing culture (which seems to have returned along with the addition of the numeracy reasoning paper this year) is healthy for primary school children and children in general?
Is it in the best interest of learners to complete a standardised assessment which better displays their ability to complete exams than their ability in literacy and numeracy?
There are a number of learners in my care who will struggle to even complete the assessments. Am I doing my duty as their teacher by giving them material that is far too difficult for them?
The Past Week
After a brief feeling that I would forget how to stand at the front of the class and teach was necessarily dispelled in minutes on Tuesday, the week has focussed on completing questions that focus learners on their reading and numeracy skills.
Star: - Completing photocopying of last years past papers with only a minute to spare before the learners came into class to start the new half term!
Wish: - Ensure that the disengaged learners in Year 4 are given work which requires them to engage kinaesthetically with it to try and stimulate their learning.
The Week Ahead
Test week begins on Wednesday after last minute preparation on Tuesday.