I recently attended my daughter’s school’s Year 9 ‘help your child at home’ evening. Thinking there might be an agenda other than just homework I kept a tally of keywords. Top of the list over the 75 minutes was ‘GCSE’ (23 times) with ‘exams’ a close second (19 times). The primary school she attended did a very good job of getting on with the SATs without stressing out the kids. At her secondary school the approach is very much one of pressuring the children and – based on that evening’s presentations – the parents. It’s so unnecessarily stressful and counter-productive.
To help us stay on top of our child’s progress or lack of it, it was proudly announced that we’d all have access to the “online dashboard” that gives a score for our daughter’s attainment in each subject. This is presumably adjusted after each of the many tests – which have already started, barely 3 weeks into term!