Primary assessment Contents
Annex 1: Discussion with year six pupils
On 2 February 2017 we held an informal engagement event with year six pupils from West Denton Primary School and their teachers. The pupils were visiting Parliament, as arranged by Parliament’s Education Service, and as part of their trip spoke to us about primary assessment in their school.
The aim of the session was to understand how primary assessment affects pupils and how they felt about their upcoming SATs tests. There were several themes that were discussed during the session, which helped with our inquiry:
- In general, the pupils were positive about taking SATs. They felt that SATs were a good opportunity to demonstrate what you knew and getting good SATs results would help you later in life.
- Some pupils told us they could get nervous or anxious about taking the tests, and that feeling nervous during the test might affect how well they did.
- Some pupils pointed out that focusing on tests meant that they didn’t have as much time to do other things, like art or PE. Some suggested that there should be more tests in these subjects to make things fairer.
- The children suggested some improvements to the SATs. Many pupils thought they should be given more time for each test, and that it was time pressure that made them most nervous. Others thought that the writing assessment was unfair. In particular, they felt that pupils who struggled with spelling or handwriting were unfairly penalised in the writing assessment, even if their creativity or composition was of a high standard.