Approaching SATs season, there can be many pressures for primary school teachers and many pressures of teaching in general. However, this can be combatted, and turned into a positive – and never be used as a deterrent from being a fantastic primary school teacher.
It’s highly noticeable that in the press there has been a lot of talk about the pressure put on primary teachers (and their students) about achieving good SATs results. Not only does good results paint the school and staff in a good light; but it’s also recognised as a merit of success for the kids taking the exams. But are children being judged too harshly and too much on their SATs results?
We all know every student learns different – and every child has a different way of expressing themselves and their knowledge, so how can sitting an exam confidently confirm the education level and knowledge retention of every child in the UK?
Personalised teaching or KPI driven?
The debate falls down to what matters more to the teacher – and if they’re able to comfortably convince who they need to that this method is best suited going forward. Is it manageable to deliver a personalised teaching experience for each and every student whilst aiming for specific KPIs?
In theory, it is – but it is far easier said than done, requires a lot of work, and also a lot of support. With it being highlighted that there is a lack of funding, this does not make the task at hand any easier; but should not be used as an excuse to not try. Sometimes, it can simply be put down to the environment and the teachers in that school. Never feel like a failure if it’s not a right fit or it doesn’t work out.
Are these teaching pressures healthy?
It can be brought into question whether this KPI targeted environment will provide the best learning conditions. If the learning environment is solely focused on targeting SATs results, it’s obviously not healthy for the children or the staff. Not for their progress, or their future – and it’s not sustainable as the benchmark will always change.
But, it is smart to have a goal – something to aim for. Setting targets for the children is productive and useful to keep them upbeat, engaged and driven. At the end of the day, you need a reason and purpose, so setting targets with the children for their SATs results is not a hindrance if done appropriately.
If the pressure of teaching becomes too much…
Remember this empowering statement: “Amongst the students who will be sitting for the exams, there is an artist, who doesn’t need to understand maths; there is a musician, whose chemistry marks won’t matter; there’s an athlete, whose physical fitness is more important than physics.”
If your child does not get top marks, that does not take away their self-confidence or dignity – it does not mould their dreams or ambition. They will still conquer the world.