SATs: Pupils in tears after sitting ‘incredibly difficult’ reading test

Pupils have been left in tears by the first of this year’s Sats according to teachers who have branded the reading test as “incredibly difficult”, “ridiculous” and “bloody tough”.

The paper was taken by almost 600,000 pupils this morning. Teachers on the TES forums have reported that even able children were unable to finish the test.

“The texts weren’t so bad but the questions and the wording of them (vocabulary etc) was like something I have never seen before. I’m staggered,” said one teacher.

“The questions were ridiculously hard from the start and I had a child in tears within 5 minutes, because in her words ‘I don’t understand the questions’. This wasn’t even a less able child,” another teacher commented.

The new deliberately tougher Sats were introduced this year, to reflect the new national curriculum which was introduced in 2014. The government said that the new standard would be set at around the old level 4b, which 80 per cent of pupils achieved in reading last year. But there has been growing concern over the spring term that the standard the children are expected to meet is higher than this.

“That was, without doubt, the hardest reading test I’ve ever seen. Unbelievable. I’m so angry right now,” said a teacher. “That has completely demoralised a number of children in my class. It wasn’t even like the sample paper they released. Much harder.”

Some said the test being sat by 10 and 11-year-olds was really suitable for 15 year-olds.

“Dreadful!” one teacher wrote. “Children who had succeeded previously in the ‘sample’ test were sobbing! More able not finishing.
“If ever a test was setup to prepare children to fail this was it.”

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