It is the teachers that are tested

23rd May 2003 at 01:00
I AGREE wholeheartedly with Susan Taylor that parents and teachers are to blame for the stress problems surrounding national tests, but it is also the media (TES, May 9).

In our school we also do not tell our Year 2 or 6 children about Sats - because we don't do them in our school; we have key stage tests.

We do not tell the children when the tests are going to be. Of course we let them practise old question papers beforehand, - but it is not a big deal so when they do the "real" tests they don't realise it: "Oh it's another one of those!"

Parents are told that the tests are not important to their children - the results won't make any difference to their lives. If parents become anxious we tell them that their children aren't being tested, it is the school and teachers: when we received a letter from David Milliband informing us we have been awarded a School Achievement Award, he congratulated the staff, not the children.

Marion Barker

Singleton CE primary school Chichester West Sussex

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