A higher proportion of primary school pupils in England have reached the expected standards in the national curriculum tests, often known as Sats. In English, 75% reached the expected standard, compared with 71% in 2017. In Mathematics, 76% reached the expected standard, an increase from 75% last year.
The results are a reflection of rising standards in primary school. School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said that “a good primary education lays the foundation for success at secondary school and beyond” which is why a more rigorous, knowledge-rich primary school curriculum was introduced to help every child reach his or her potential from the moment they start school.
While the continuing improvement showed the hard work of pupils and schools, there are also concerns of reported “stress and anxiety” for pupils taking the tests. A group of parents and teachers have campaigned against too much testing in school which they see as sacrificing the children’s natural mental stimulation for a system that is highly competitive.
There is truth to the campaign by concerned parents and teachers. We are held in thrall to results and good grades, sometimes at the expense of actual learning. As educators, we have to remember that our role is to educate, not only teach and impart academic knowledge to our students. We have to remove our own blinkers and remind students not to be blinded in the pursuit of high scores.
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