Rasen Head hits out at ‘stressful’ primary school exams

Andrew Smith EMN-161219-084757001
Andrew Smith EMN-161219-084757001
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Market Rasen Primary School’s executive headteacher has expressed concerns about the current government testing regime, saying exams are ‘harder than ever’ and he does not want pupils to get ‘stressed or worried’.

Andrew Smith’s comments come as the government released the latest primary league tables, based on the most recent National Curriculum Key Stage 2 test results.

The statistics show 76 per cent of Market Rasen pupils achieved the expected standard in reading, 78 per cent in writing and 76 per cent in maths. A total of 66 per cent of pupils achieved the standard in all three subjects.

Mr Smith said: “As a school we’re concerned about the current primary testing regime.

“We don’t want them [the pupils] getting worried or stressed about these tests.

“It’s always nice to do well in tests, but we measure success in other ways as well - sporting competitions, some children are talented riders or sports people, some are good at painting or singing.

“There were a lot of changes to the testing regime last year – some of them were sprung on us quite late.

“Key Stage 2 tests are harder than ever and it could be argued schools didn’t have adequate time to prepare.

“We’re really pleased, however.”

And Mr Smith praised his ‘talented’ staff and pupils.

He said: “Like all schools we work really hard to ensure our children succeed in academic areas - and in the arts and sport as well.

“We’d attribute our success to our talented, committed staff, wonderful children and supportive parents.”

At nearby Middle Rasen Primary school, 64 per cent of pupils achieved the expected standard in reading, 79 per cent in writing and 79 per cent in maths.

At Caistor Primary School, 83 per cent of pupils achieved the expected standard in reading, 83 per cent in writing and 70 per cent in maths.

Primary schools in and around Market Rasen, Horncastle and Louth have been praised by Lincolnshire County Council for their latest results.

LCC executive member for children’s services Coun Patricia Bradwell said: “The schools in and around Market Rasen, Horncastle and Louth have performed really well this year.

“The area’s results are slightly above the Lincolnshire average and broadly in line with the national expectations.

“I think both pupils and teachers can be proud of their achievements and should be congratulated.”

At the time of going to press the Department for Education had not responded to the Rasen Mail’s request for a comment.