Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

It Hurts That Numbers Are the Only Measure

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

It Hurts That Numbers Are the Only Measure

Article excerpt

Some 25 little faces are staring at me. A few are smiling, brimming with enthusiasm. Others are wide-eyed. Some look worried, even a bit tearful. One or two seem apprehensive. A lad at the back appears tired and yawns periodically. Was the Xbox on late or am I sending him to sleep?

These 25 faces represent the next five years. In the cycle of secondary school, it's induction time for the 11-year-olds of Year 7. Although it doesn't seem five minutes since we waved goodbye to the departing Year 11s, their replacements are already here. And I will be their form tutor.

I attempt to go through the complexities of life at big school with my students, deciding to deviate from the official, obligatory PowerPoint. Instead I ask them to complete an activity on hopes, dreams and ambitions for the future.

"I would like to get a level 6 in science." "I want to improve my reading age." As I read the responses, it hits me. These children are the product of endless assessment, testing and measuring of progress. …

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