Pressure, what pressure?

LAST week my Year 2 class did the key stage 1 test. Due to a minor accident I spent most of the first day in casualty, worrying about how they would cope without me.

The following day the children told me they'd "had fun, doing spellings and dictation". They happily completed the remaining tests and tasks throughout the week, performing as well, if not better, than I'd anticipated. Apart from a couple of parents, no one has enquired about results; the children know they've done well because I have told them so.

In between the tests we carried on with work as usual. We cleaned outthe rabbit hutch and held the rabbit; we played Tables on Tables, a game that involves standing on the furniture and shouting; we played with our new parachute. As part of our term's topic, we even fitted in a trip to Gatwick Airport.

There has been much made of the way we are asking too much of our young children. Parents and professionals have expressed concerns about the stress these tests induce. Anyone observing these children last week would have had to agree - these were NOT children under pressure.

Nicola Lack

7 Sydney Road

Haywards Heath, West Sussex

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