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Assessment
What SATS are taken, and at what ages?

SATS are taken at the end of Key Stage two and all KS2 youngsters sit papers in English and Maths that are set nationally. Key Stage 1 assessments are required also - these are “teacher assessments”, so PLACE aims to assist parents throughout this stage with assisting them to identify their own children’s levels as accurately as possible. KS1 assessments are in Maths and English only. Year 1 children take Phonics assessments and PLACE is also required to help parents with EYFS assessments at the appropriate point in their children’s development. .

What do the Partner School and Local Authority need from PLACE parents?

Parents registered with the PLACE Programme continue to be legally responsible for their children's education. However, it is part of the parental agreement that children registered with PLACE will engage regularly with the sessions provided as agreed with their parents. One of the main reasons for this is to allow PLACE to support parents in developing a programme of education that creates enthusiastic, motivated students who will make optimal progress with their learning.  Children do not need to be in the top 2% (98% of school children are not, by definition!), but our partner school is itself accountable for progress within the capabilities of the child.  As our children’s main educators, we ourselves would want to see our children progress, of course - and it is our responsibility as home educators to make sure that our children are progressing in their learning.  As a means of establishing this, PLACE parents need to:-

  • Write a 1000-word EHE progress report around set headings each term for each child (PLACE provides a simple format and guidance notes)
  • Ensure that registered children take appropriate Key Stage assessments and/or CATs. (There is absolutely no need for assessments to be a competitive exercise, or even a stressful one for most children, if they are presented in the right way.  As partners in their own learning, it could be very useful in showing children which areas need more work.) KS1 assessments at age seven will be carried out in tandem with parent-teachers under the guidance of PLACE.
  • Keep a register of attendances daily to indicate that each child is "present for learning" in its broadest sense morning and afternoon. (“Learning” can include socialising, drawing, educational TV, computer use, cooking/baking, hygiene, etc.)
  • From Year Eight, children are required to attend a number of preparatory sessions prior to commencing GCSEs with specialist PLACE support. All PLACE students are required to take a minimum of five GCSEs by year eleven (these must include English, English Literature and Maths at foundation or higher level).
If my child does not do well in the SATs assessments will there be a penalty?

No, any more than there is when a child at school does not do well! Youngsters registered with PLACE are a representative cross-section of community children. As with any group of children, they have varying abilities and levels of achievement. Parents may choose to seek advice from other PLACE parents and from the Biddenham Upper School SENCo on how to support the child's future learning if they are concerned - and there are numerous study resources that can be borrowed from the PLACE library and/or accessed on-line.

What if my child is below average educationally for his age?

PLACE is made up of a normal cross-section of the community and this is reflected in the make-up of the group, which has children with a wide range of abilities. All children have different strengths and weaknesses and PLACE works in partnership with parents to help each individual child to progress and reach his or her potential.

As members of PLACE, will we have direct contact with the LA?

Some home local authorities do request a copy of the EHE monitoring report prepared each term by PLACE parents about their home education and their children’s progress.

We home educate autonomously. Can we join PLACE and continue to do so?

Parents are free to choose their own curriculum and resources during the primary phase of their children’s education; however, children registered with PLACE are required to take formal KS2 SATs tests at the end of key stage two. PLACE also carries out Year 1 Phonics assessments and assists PLACE parents (who fundamentally are their own children’s teachers) with assessment and reporting of KS1 levels and with EYFS assessment. Once children reach secondary level, the focus is very much on the acquisition of GCSE qualifications. Clearly, this has demands in terms of attendance and focus. From Year eight, children are required to attend a number of preparatory sessions prior to commencing GCSEs. All PLACE students are required to take a minimum of five GCSEs by the time they complete Year eleven (these GCSEs must include English, English Literature and Maths).

How do we write a “Progress Report”?

There is a simple template with guidance notes which is issued to all parents. The requirement is that they complete a 1000-word progress report using this format once a term. Guidance is available from any Committee member or from other experienced home educators in the group. The progress report is obligatory and is also a valuable opportunity to demonstrate the progress children are making and to document home education and general learning with scheme support.

My child will take SATS so we can join PLACE, but we don’t want to know the results.

You don’t have to get the results for your child’s SATS if you don’t want to, although they will be available to you on request. They will however show the overall level of progress of the PLACE children.

Do PLACE children with Special Educational Needs have to take SATS?

Children with special needs will be assessed to establish the level of assistance they need.  They will then be provided with the necessary support.  Depending on the child’s needs, there are a variety of options:

  • s/he may be allowed a longer time to complete the paper
  • s/he may take their SATS on a laptop
  • s/he may have an amanuensis (a person who reads her/him the questions and writes down her/his answers exactly as s/he says them)
  •  s/he may be excused certain components of the SATS
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