Today I had a meeting at our secondary school to discuss how we can all work together to ensure that progress made in primary schools can be effectively built on in secondary.
Having just attended the ASE Professional learning conference, my head was still spinning with the wealth of ideas and questions that it raised.
Imagine my disappointment to be told that baseline testing for science might be reintroduced as the children come up with, "... hugely inflated levels..."
I totally get the accountability thing- it happens across all phases, every teacher is accountable for the progress made by the children, so accurate assessments are essential- over inflated levels are a headache for the next teacher. I'm really glad that levels have been abolished as this SHOULD get over that. (85% end of KS2 to reach expectations whatever they turn out to be might not be quite such a great thing; time will tell !)
BUT (excuse the irony) assessment is not and never will be an exact science. It is a professional judgement. Made on the basis of the experience and professionalism of the teacher.
How are we ever going to get over this? A through system from 3 to 18 perhaps?
There are some schools now with this age range; perhaps the "Y7 dip" doesn't happen in these schools? Perhaps there is better understanding between the phases, and perhaps expectations are more consistent? Perhaps...perhaps...perhaps...
I don't have a solution, but what do have is the determination to break down barriers and misconceptions between primary and secondary. We are all in this for the benefit of the children .
I have volunteered myself to be observed by as many of the secondary teachers as they like, not to show "model lessons" but to see exactly what goes on, our expectations, the high standards achievable. It's not "them and us" .
Bring it on. I have the bit firmly between my teeth, and like Rikki-Tikki-Tavi I am not prepared to let this one go.