Sats: Children left in tears after their final maths test

The last test after four days of exams proves too much for some pupils, while teachers argue that it was difficult but fair

Helen Ward

News article image

Children have been left in tears by the final paper of Sats week, teachers said today.

But the maths paper, which was taken by more than 500,000 10- and 11-year-olds this morning, has split opinion among teachers, with some saying that it was what they expected.

This week, Year 6 children have been taking tests in reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar (Spag) and maths. The reading test was thought to be "kinder" than last year’s exam, but the questions on today’s maths paper shocked some teachers, who gave their views on the Tes Forums.

“For the first time in the 100 years I have been teaching Year 6, I had a little girl cry at the end of this paper,” said one teacher. “I am not a happy bunny.”


Another added: “I had 3 crying and at the end when I had collected them in they didn’t cheer like the other times, they sat in silence…speaks volumes. I cried after too, totally heart-wrenching.”

“I had tears today…first time this week,” said another teacher. “I was actually pleasantly surprised by the content as it was what I expected (and revised yesterday for a little while). They just found it really tricky!”

The reports come amid growing concern about the effect of high-stakes testing on young children, with MPs warning last week that Sats were harming pupils' wellbeing.

But others said that while today’s paper was difficult, it was not beyond the most able pupils.

“Some questions too difficult for my middle ability to tackle, but higher ability seemed to be OK,” wrote one teacher in the Tes Forums.

“Thought today was very fair,” said another. “Did a full breakdown of curriculum content yesterday lunchtime and produced a revision list of all areas yet to be covered. 12 of the areas came up!!”

And on Twitter, while there was some debate over the maths test ...


@MrACDPresent Thought it was easier!

— That Boy Can Teach (@thatboycanteach) May 11, 2017


... there was also joy and relief that the Sats are finally over for another year.


Well, that's it Year 6's. You did it. You got through the SATs and that can mean only one thing...#PrimaryRocks #Year6 #SATS2017

— Stage Invaders (@StageInvadersUK) May 11, 2017

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow Tes on Twitter and like Tes on Facebook

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Helen Ward

Helen Ward

Helen Ward is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @teshelen

Latest stories