Learning curve;Voices

22nd May 1998 at 01:00
Three pupils talk to Children's Express about tests

Helen Mulgan, 7, is in Year 3 at Meltham Church of England school in West Yorkshire

Mr Connolly normally says, "We're going to have a test." He doesn't warn us. They're a surprise. I like the tests when we are given sheets and you have to colour in the boxes where there are missing words. But we usually just get given pieces of paper to write down the answers.

Science tests are best because we have to work together in groups. We have to look things up in books and find out about them. We haven't done any chemistry yet so we don't do many experiments.

Some people in my class don't do regular tests - just spelling. The teacher holds up words and they have to say what they are. I'd like to do more tests because we hardly have any, only one everythree weeks.

Michael Thompson, 10, is in Year 6 at Coleridge primary school in Crouch End, north London

Tests are about ten minutes long - I do handwriting, English, maths and science. In a normal test, the teacher tells some people to give out the paper and pencils, and not to talk. In maths, the teacher usually asks us a question and then we've got five seconds to answer it. English tests are the most important because they help me with my punctuation.

We had tests every day in the run-up to national tests. I think I was quite well prepared for them. I didn't feel very scared because I'd had a lot of practice.

My dad is getting me a tutor when I'm in Year 7. If I don't think about getting a tutor until Year 9, I may not have a good chance of passing my GCSEs.

Hopefully, I'll be good and pass them. If you get a certain level it makes you go to a better college. I don't want to go to a brainy college, just a middle one.

Emma Sager, 9, is in Year 5 at Montagu primary school in Newcastle

My teacher puts sums on the board and then we have 15 minutes to do them. The sums are fractions, adding, times and take away.

On Thursdays we get asked ten-times tables and spellings before we go to the swimming baths. If you get ten out of ten you get a sticker. I think it says "very good" but I'm not sure - I haven't been given one yet.

Sometimes I take my spellings home to practise, but not always. You have to shout out what mark you get in front of the class. I get embarrassed if I've only got one out of ten. Everyone goes "eegh" if you get a bad mark. It makes me feel sad when they do it to me, so I don't do it to them.

*Children's Express is a programme of learning through journalism for children aged 8 to 18. If your children would like to be interviewed by Children's Express, call Jo Bird on 0171-833 2577. Interviews conducted by reporters Sinead Kirwan, 12, and Nirupama De Silva, 10.

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