Year 6 Blues

Teaching Year 6 is never going to be easy. Yes, we know that the whole school contribute to the Sats results but I have yet to meet a Year 6 teacher who doesn’t feel personally responsible for their children’s results. However this year the situation feels impossible.

This time last year, I knew which of my pupils were in trouble and what I had to do to get them to the required level. The govt said that parents didn’t understand Sats levels but teachers did. We knew what Level 4 and 5 looked like and we knew what to do and how much progress each pupil had to make. There were always children who were unlikely to make the grade but we never gave up and the excitement when sometimes one of those actually achieved that magical mark that gave them a Level 4 was fantastic.

However this year, everything is different. I can’t tell my pupils or their parents what they have to do because I don’t know. I have some lists of things that they must be able to do but very little idea of what this actually looks like in practice. Maths exemplification has finally arrived  but over half way through the year and we still have no idea of what Year 6 writing  should look like.

Who on earth thought that it was a good idea to get rid of levels before knowing what to put in their place? Yes, levels were flawed but at least we were all working towards the same objectives.

The current situation is not fair on teachers who are working in the dark and just hoping that they can cram in enough grammar and calculation rules to get the pupils up to the required mark. That is not good teaching and it is not fair on our 10 and 11 year olds who currently being used as a political football.

Please sort this mess out quickly so that pupils and teachers can have some idea of where they are going and how to get there.


7 things that I love

I read this blog today and was inspired to write my own list of the little things that make me smile or just generally feel good. These aren’t in any particular order.

  1. Lying in bed at the weekend and just watching the tree against the sky. I love the movement of the branches in the breeze and seeing the changes through the year. And that feeling of not having to get up is bliss!
  2. A chilled glass of white wine. I think that it is probably all the connections that it has in my mind with relaxation. Drinking it on holiday is even better. IMAG1435
  3. Watching the cat sleep. She takes sleeping so seriously and looks so peaceful that it always makes me feel good just to watch her.IMAG1437
  4. The anticipation of reading a new book. I love to settle down with a book especially one that I have been waiting for or looking forward to for a while.
  5. Sitting and watching the sea. The movement of the tide is so peaceful. I could sit and watch the sea for hours ( and do when on holiday). It’s even better when combined with Number 2. The problem with living in Leicester is that I am just about as far from the sea as it is possible to get in England so don’t get to see it as often as I would love to be able to .
  6.  2015-09-25 16.10.236. Friday nights eating out with my husband. The weekend always arrives with a meal out. No cooking or washing up and time for us to relax and enjoy each other’s company. If we can’t go out, then a take away is a good second best.
  7. Singing in a large group of people. You can’t beat the feeling that you get when you stand and sing together. I love choral singing in all its guises.

There aren’t any about my teaching which doesn’t mean that my job doesn’t make me feel good because it frequently does. However these are about the person who is more than just a teacher. The job tries to take over our lives and can sometimes succeed. These are some of the things in my life that prevent it from taking over completely.

Thank you to Alistair Lane for the inspiration.