Swinney will be concerned even if a tiny handful of confused teachers are misusing the assessments and stressing P1 pupils

I’m against formal testing in Primary schools and especially in the early stages. The ‘assessments‘ can be built into everyday learning and used as diagnostic evidence by the teacher to improve the pupil’s ability to learn.

Teachers have done this kind of thing on a daily basis for decades now but mostly using their own assessments or perhaps something standardised in the school or by education authority advisers or in a published scheme. These Scottish Government centrally issued assessment materials are no different other than that they enable schools across the country to standardise with the best tools in the interests of pupil learning and in providing more reliable feedback to colleagues and to parents.

Note, the decisions on using and how to use the materials have been devolved to teachers in collaboration with head teachers. The word ‘test’ need not, should not, be used with pupils or parents. Try ‘formative assessment’ because that’s what it is.

It’s easy. I used to do it so it must be:

Tuesday morning, 09:27 at my desk after explaining something one-to-one, I say:

Tommy, that’s great. I think you’re getting it. Try these examples for me. See if you can get them done before playtime.

What does the Herald and its source think is happening? This?

Thomas, pay attention! Join the ‘D Group’ in the corner here. I have a very important TEST for you. The Depute First Minister wants to know if you can do these. You have 30 minutes precisely. No cheating!

What, ‘One primary head teacher told the Herald they were of great concern?

Career change called for?

5 thoughts on “Swinney will be concerned even if a tiny handful of confused teachers are misusing the assessments and stressing P1 pupils

  1. This story which features on the front page of today’s Herald is essentially a rehash of a similar front page story on the same topic in the Herald in 2018.

    Back then the story was built around a snap survey of parents carried out by the parent group Connect. Today’s story recycles some of the quotes from the previous one. Interestingly then and now the paper did not highlight one of the points uncovered by ythe, very small, self-selecting survey, namely that the majority of children were not bothered by the tests and did not tell their parents about them.

    Here is a link to the survey results

    Liked by 5 people

  2. There are different views on the desirability of the P1 standardised assessment process. It seems to me that some objections have been motivated by an opportunity to gain political advantage’ whilst others have been raised by those who are in principle – and for legitimate educational reasons – in favour of a play-based experience for children up to c. 7 years. For the latter group, NO test or assessment would be acceptable.

    Back in 2018, Professor Lindsay Paterson of the University of Edinburgh – a frequent critic of current educational policy in Scotland – assessed the evidence around the standardised P1 assessments for Reform Scotland. I would have thought Professor Paterson would have been the media’s ‘go to’ expert on P1 assessments as he is on so many other occasions!

    Source: https://reformscotland.com/2018/11/scottish-national-standardised-assessments-professor-lindsay-paterson/

    From Paterson’s Reform Scotland article: “There are plenty of anecdotes told by people with a political point to make about the first year of testing in 2017-18, notably when, on 19 September 2018, the Scottish parliament voted for the tests in Primary 1 to be halted.

    “There has been the evidence put forward by the teachers’ trade union, the EIS, to the Scottish Government’s routine review of the first year of the tests. This evidence appeared to show widespread concern by teachers and anxiety among children, but it was not based on a scientifically conducted survey, rather on a consultation within the EIS that attracted replies from (in the Scottish Government’s estimate) around 460 responses out of over 54,000 union members.”

    Paterson concludes: “The tests are valid, in that they have been based on the Scottish curriculum.

    “The tests are acceptably reliable, though not outstandingly so, and there is a planned programme of refinement that should lead to improvement.

    “The tests offer the potential of informative reporting to parents and to Scottish society. That potential is much better than anything which Scotland has ever had, but more thought has to go into how to do it effectively.”

    And he adds: “The politicisation of this issue is regrettable”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The pupils do not even know they are being tested. It is just to make sure the stage at which the pupils are placed. In order to help the pupils. It is just learning through play the first year. Any tests are used to establish if pupils have additional needs. Dyslexic or autistic, ADHD etc. So it can be picked up early and pupils receive the support they need.

    Some academic educationalist are part of the problem. They protest too much. They are supposed to ensure courses include modules to educate teachers on how to deal with additional needs. There should be a full module. Not a few days as at present.

    Without a specialist teacher fully trained available. They can travel between schools giving help. Teachers have to undertake specialist training themselves. It should be included in all training and update courses. Children with additional needs can do extremely well. They have special talents, often above the norm, in relative areas. They can excel given relevant help.

    The tests are part of the stimulus through play. The pupils are not even aware of being tested, Teacher often struggle to help because parents do not recognise a diagnose. More ignorance from MSM.


    1. It took a specialist teacher two years to work out my son was dyslexic, back in the 90’s, and as for other serious learning difficulties, nope, it was the parents who were failing their kids, not the one size fits all system where the Labour council and Labour branch office at Holyrood could not give a damn about kids’ abilities. The modus operandi was to ignore any problems the kids were having so that the statutory support the kids should have received was ignored, hence, saving the council money. A lot of money.

      I am sure that has changed now, the SNP have a very different approach to education, much more positive and pro active. They will spend money where required I am sure, not shaft children and families and wreck lives, to save a few thousands of pounds.

      By the way, anyone know what Labour office branch at Holyrood did with the ‘block grant’ because they certainly did not do anything positive in their TEN years at Holyrood, for Scotland or Scotland’s children, unforgiveable.


  4. Westminster uses the newspapers and BBC STV SKY to issue their propaganda , lies are reported every day as fact even during election time , they get away with it because they make the rules they decide what is right and what is wrong and if you are on their side you will always be supported even if what you say is a lie.
    Thats the strong shoulders of British propaganda working against you.


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