Children are More Than A Score

More Than A Score is here to change the way children are assessed and schools are judged.

Primary school children in England are among the most tested in the world. They’re used as data points in a system which damages their education and benefits no-one. We believe they deserve better.

We want pupils to enjoy a rich and varied curriculum and leave primary school with a love of learning, instead of spending months preparing for tests in English and maths.

We support teachers who want to spend their time stimulating young minds and expanding pupils’ knowledge and creative problem-solving skills, not ‘teaching to the test’.

We believe schools should be judged on the overall quality of education they provide, not the results of a narrow set of standardised tests.

If you agree that children and schools deserve better, add your voice to our campaign. Together, we can change the system for the better.

Testing four-year-olds makes no sense

This Autumn, four-year-olds across England have taken a major step forward as they start school; an exciting time for both children and parents. But future Reception classes won’t be so lucky.

This term, the government has begun trials of its new assessment programme for reception classes. Children will be tested in maths and English and the results will be used to judge schools against each other. All this, despite there being no evidence that four-year-olds can be reliably tested.

The Scottish Parliament has voted against plans to test four-year-olds. Let’s make sure that they are opposed in England too.

If you agree that it’s absurd to make four-year-olds who have just started schools take tests, please sign our petition.

Learn more about the plans to test four-year-olds here.

SATS don't work

The current system of standardised tests (SATs) for year 6 pupils makes no sense. Designed to measure schools’ performance, it’s not working out that way. Children feel under pressure to do well and teachers waste months of valuable learning time ‘teaching to the test’.

Year 6 is a time for children to be expanding their knowledge, and discovering their love of learning. Instead, pupils spend many months cramming English and maths SATs papers, as schools strive to improve their position in the league tables.

We think the pressure this places on schools and pupils is unfair and does nothing to benefit children’s learning. There are better ways to assess schools and ensure our children receive the education they deserve.

If you agree that children are More Than A Score, take action.  Click here for our Action Toolkit which is packed with resources to make your voice heard.

Learn more about why SATs don’t work

The phonics check is nonsense

At the age of five, reading should be opening up a whole new world of discovery. Instead, Year 1 pupils spend their time learning ‘nonsense’ words in preparation for the phonics check.

Described by the government as a ‘light-touch’ assessment, recent research has revealed that the test causes children stress and confuses good young readers.

Most teachers now use ‘synthetic phonics’ to teach children to read. This means children learn letters or groups of letters as sounds and then blend these sounds together to make a word. During the phonics check they are then tested on real and nonsense words to demonstrate their understanding. If they don’t achieve the pass mark imposed by the government, they must re-take the test in Year 2. The results of the tests are also used to judge schools who are expected to achieve a higher pass mark each year.

We believe learning to read is too important to put this pressure on five and six-year-olds and their teachers. If you agree, make your voice heard by joining our campaign.

Learn more about the nonsense phonics check

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