Teachers' union calls for ballot on primary test boycott - BBC Education and Family

Teacher's union calls for ballot on primary test boycott - BBC Education and Family

The National Union of Teachers annual conference held in Brighton on Sunday accused the primary school testing system of being unreliable and extremely confusing, especially with the baseline tests being introduced. These test were created to provide a starting point to measure student's future progress through primary school, however, critics argue that "This is not what the first six weeks of school should be about." Additionally, these test are not providing students with an accurate gauge of their abilities, resulting in students leaving school incapable of performing up to the standard middle school students are supposed to perform at. This is largely as the content tested in tests are too high-leveled for students of 6-12 years of age.

Clearly, the topics being taught and tested in primary schools are unnecessary to the success of students at later parts of their lives. Primary schools should be focusing on teaching the basics of languages and mathematics to students, not giving them Math Olympiad level sums to solve. While some students may be intellectual enough to solve these problems without proper understanding of the basics, moving on to do well in middle school, others fall behind due to their inability to master the basics. This in turn results in them suffering when moving on to high levels of education, possibly causing them to be unable to catch up to their peers in middle and high schools. Middle and High Schools are the time when grades become a significant part of their lives, and may affect their chances of getting into their dream university of even pursuing their passion in their dream job. In addition, primary school should not be concentrated on testing students on their abilities, but instead allowing them to learn at their own pace and discover their passion. Although end-year assessments are encouraged, schools should refrain from conducting frequent tests as at the ages of 6-12, students have a lower level of maturity, hence making tests an inaccurate gauge of their abilities. Moreover, it can also be detrimental to a child's health if he experiences too much stress, caused by tests, at such a young age. Therefore, as we believe that primary school should strictly be for learning, not continuous assessment, primary test should be boycotted.

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