I heard a beautiful song with this title today and it really made me think. It is by Lonestar, give it a listen!
Last week there has been a great controversy over the SATs tests in England. Year 2 and 6 pupils have been sitting the exams and many parents and teachers have complained that they are harder than ever and are upsetting children. Many feel as if they should not even exist and children's progress should be left up to teachers to assess.
I was wondering what all of the fuss was about. After all we have all had to do exams and tests throughout our education haven't we? Then I saw an example of 12 questions asked over the two year groups and my poor math skills were exposed as they were throughout school! I scored 10/12. I consider myself an intelligent person, after all I have achieved a bachelors degree and two masters degrees in different subjects. However, I suddenly felt pangs of not performing well enough and it took me right back to school. I was not the kind of pupil that had such natural ability to do well in exams and I had to revise hard to do well (although by no means brilliant!). However, I always remember putting an enormous amount of pressure on myself to perform above my ability. I didn't want to let my family or my teachers (whom I loved) down. Exam time made me extremely anxious and not good enough and I hate the thought of so many young children feeling similarly.
In my area we had the 11 plus test to group us into our secondary schools. Depending on our results we either went to Grammar or a comprehensive school. I actually failed the test but was in the appeal bracket . My primary school teachers knew I would do well in the Grammar setting and campaigned for me to attend this school. I cannot imagine how I would have felt if I did not pass this test and didn't get into the school everyone told me I should be in.
The point I am trying to make is that there are certainly more important things in life than exam results. Children need to enjoy their childhood, especially these days, as they are ever increasingly encouraged to grow up faster than ever before. I see a place for testing in some form but it should be done in secret, so children are totally unaware it is occurring and believe the results should only be disclosed between schools and parents. Children who are oblivious to the whole process will surely be much happier.
As parents we need to support our children and not put undue pressure on them. Yes I would like my daughter to work hard in school but whether or not she gets A*'s it will not matter one bit. Teachers can also play their part and I saw a fantastic example of a teacher who wrote messages of support to her pupils on their exam desks.
Adulthood is so difficult and we have so much to worry about that we often forget how difficult growing up can be too. It would be nice to stop and remember every once in a while and let children be children for longer.
See if you can answer this question correctly as an example of these tests...
Which part of the sentence here is a relative clause? - The table, which is made of oak, is now black with age.
1 - the table
2 - which is made of oak
3 - is now black
4 - with age
The correct answer is 2 but not as easy as you imagined right?!