Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

The year 3 assessments

with 5 comments

So the school says that the end-of-year assessments in Year 3 are just to give the teachers an idea of what’s stuck in the children’s minds, and what gaps they need to plug next year. They’re not major exams. The kids are only eight years old, after all.

And then the school sends home the “revision packs”. 1kg worth of English and 5kg worth of maths. Or something. Homework is suspended for almost a month in order that the children work their way through the revision packs “as you [the parents] see fit”.

Well, what’s that supposed to mean?

The blurb for DD's "book" - aka creative writing revision

The blurb for DD’s “book” – aka creative writing revision

I know mums who’ve pinned their children down to a three-hour-a-day revision routine. I know others who have come to blows with their children over it.  But we, in our house, haven’t touched it – well, not unless you consider DD writing “too hard” over a few pages of the maths.

Every now and then, I suggest gently to DD that maybe she might like to have a look at some revision with me. And she says, “No thanks!” and I don’t push it.  

My rationale is thus: 1) If the school wants to see where the gaps are, what’s the point in me cramming her at home to plug them? and 2) If DD doesn’t do as well as she hopes, she might learn the value of revising for herself – and apply herself willingly to it next year.

It’s a tough line to take, maybe, but I’m sticking with it, flying in the face of Competitive Mum, who talks incessantly about how many hours revision her Darling Bud has done.

Can I just say again: They’re eight.

Meanwhile DD’s decided to revise for her creative writing assessment this week by typing a story on the computer. It’s not the best, but I like her used of pictures. We’ll turn her into a blogger yet.


Written by mrsdubai

May 21, 2013 at 6:18 pm

5 Responses

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  1. I thought the SATs tests had been stopped or am I wrong? When I had kids at school I hated these tests, which placed unbearable pressure on young kids and their families and only provided data about the teachers and the schools. The kids had no reward for their efforts – no certificate, no elevation to a better school or class, no material gain. They do, however, learn that with some parents love is conditional on academic success and that you get a label that is hard to shrug off in future years. The teachers become conscious that the kids in their class haven’t learnt the whole curriculum and that what they do know isn’t embedded. They panic and send the whole year’s curriculum home for the parents to somehow cram in when the child is supposed to be in their ‘downtime’. And the school what’s to raise the fees next year, by the way. Might as well home educate – the child would be less stressed and the parents could save a packet!


    May 21, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    • Thanks for your comment. These are not SATs, just internal assessments – as they say, “for the teachers to see where the gaps are”.

      To be honest, I don’t know why they stop homework at this point in the year and send home revision packs for kids to do at home – why don’t they just continue with homework as usual and then do the assessments less formally. Sigh.


      May 22, 2013 at 5:34 pm

  2. Really like your attitude, though as I’m sure you are aware, the Competitive Mum exists the world over. The only thing I might worry about would be that you would find they held back your DD next year on the basis of the “gap”.


    May 22, 2013 at 10:18 am

    • I know what you mean, but they remain in the same class next year. The results may be used for streaming but, if she then performs well in class, they’re quite flexible with moving the kids up and down streams mid-term, so I’m not worried.


      May 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm

  3. Mrs D, you know that you and DD don’t need it. It’s purely for the Competitive Mum and her unfortunate offspring. The school is afraid of the likes of CM; they can make life very unpleasant for them! Good luck to your DD with the exams.


    May 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm

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