This week, the big brother has taken his SATS. These are the tests that British school children sit at the end of Year 2, and are supposed to be a measure of a school’s teaching abilities, rather than the capability of its students. Allegedly.
I’ll be honest and say both twinsdaddy and I are rather glad it’s the weekend. Every morning I’ve dropped big brother off and tried to give a little pep talk of key facts to remember. Capital letters at the beginning of sentences. Read the question carefully. If you’re stuck on a question, move on and come back to it later.
The classroom has been set out in exam room configuration. All the desks have been separated and are ominously facing the whiteboard.
Apparently Miss M, his lovely class teacher, has been plying her students with ‘brain biscuits’ before the start of each test, and writing things like “you’re fabulously clever”, on the board as encouragement.
I don’t remember any of my teachers being anywhere near as lovely.
Anyway, the point is, the big brother has completely taken the week in his stride, whilst twinsdaddy and I have been nervous wrecks. I have no idea why. The big brother is completely capable and gives us no cause for concern. His reports are glowing and we normally look at each other in utter confusion at parent’s evening as the child his teacher refers to (bordering on the angelic), seems only distantly related to the one that lives with us.
And it’s not as if these first assessments will have a huge bearing on his future. I know they’re trying to make it tougher to get into Oxbridge, but it’s doubtful they’ll start introducing a minimum grade attainment at aged 6 into the selection process.
We need to get used to the pressure though. By my calculations, we’ll have the twins doing their first SATS at right about the same time that the big brother is taking entrance exams for secondary school.