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DROP SATs 2021 – GRANGE HEADTEACHER STATEMENT

9th September 2020

Dear Grange Community

DROP SATs 2021 – GRANGE HEADTEACHER STATEMENT

Welcome back to school. We are so happy to welcome our children and families back so that once again we thrive in our great Grange learning community school. We are doing everything we can to ensure safety in these difficult times but at the same time we are doing everything we can to reconnect with our children and reignite their passion for learning so that they grow up in the Grange CC way: That each of our children is given Confidence for themselves and is educated to have Consideration for others.
Along with Heads, Teachers, Educators, School staff and Parents and Carers throughout the country, I do not believe the Primary National Assessments of SATs, phonics or the times tables check should go ahead in 2020/2021.

These formal standardised tests are not the way to assess the effects of Covid-19 on young children and schools, as they do not take account of individual pupil progress as evaluated by the Teacher and Educator who knows the child. They will actually diminish precious teaching and learning time which we need now more than ever. They will also result in narrowing of the curriculum as more focus will realistically be given to the subjects which are tested as opposed to those that are not.

Instead, we will be carrying out low-pressure, teacher-led assessments at appropriate timing and these will provide all the information we need to see where learning gaps are, how to bridge them and how to ensure smooth transition to secondary school. This will allow us to spend more quality time focussing on Teaching and Learning to the benefit of our children. These Teacher-led tests will crucially enable us to prioritise the safety, mental health and well-being of our pupils, some of whom will have experienced trauma and even bereavement. We want our children to thrive and flourish in school after such a long period away, and start to love learning again.

Our aim at Grange Primary is to reconnect with our children and reignite their passion for learning. We want to teach a rich, broad and stimulating curriculum, NOT spend our time cramming children for tests in phonics, English and maths.

Schools should be held accountable and respected for their professionalism and dedication. However, basing our performance on one-size-fits-all standardised National tests taken by young children in the year following a pandemic would only produce meaningless data and put unnecessary pressure on children who have already been through enough. It would be wholly ineffective and morally wrong.

For the sake of our children, I’m respectfully calling on the government to cancel SATs, Phonics and other Primary government tests in the 2020/21 school year.

#DropPhonics2020 #DropSATs2020.

Please do our quick parent survey so that we are able to gain insight into parent and carer feeling and perspective to influence our school leadership.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/L2YRXHN?schoolref=23
(this survey link is unique to our school).

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Kerbel
Headteacher

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