Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Key Stage 3 Tests scrapped.... at last. Hooray!

The announcement yesterday confirming the scrapping of the Key Stage 3 tests or SATS as they are lovingly known (??) is just simply very good news for students and teachers alike. It will, at last, allow teachers to concentrate on increasing the focus on teaching that is relevant and challenging for students. rather than spending a huge amount of time working towards the test.

There can now be far more personalisation of the curriculum, the new national curriculum allows this with more integrated work and an increase in the variety of assessment styles that can be undertaken. SATS did not prevent these, but certainly did inhibit teacher and school focus and willingness to think outside the box because of the paranoia of league tables, targets and tests. They also became a good excuse, frankly, for those teachers nervous about exploring new learning styles, even it would engage their students more.

There are a variety of reasons being put forward about this news, not least connecting it to the marking shambles that occurred this year. The 'spin' is that it is not related to this event, but a growing realisation that the time is right for students to move towards a more personalised curriculum. Whilst politicians have been saying this for years, it is the same politicians who inhibited the progress due to their obsession with testing.

Whatever the political reasons, this really is good news for students and teachers. Lets now really move into the 21st century and bring on personalised learning in our schools for the sake of our students.

To read the full BBC story click here

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