Year 6, SATS and the 1982 World Cup
This is not a polemic against the evils of modern primary education (yet). This is a note from a man looking for solace from his virtual shed whilst trying to wind up a reluctant Didsbury Son for the misery of year 6 SATS. This all still seems very new to me and Didsbury Son has the demeanour of someone who has just found out that the Easter Bunny is diabetic and the Tooth Fairy makes necklaces of children’s teeth to sell to vacationing crocodiles.
I never worried about exams. This is not necessarily a good thing. I wasn’t very good at them, but between worrying about football, Scooby Doo getting run over and whether everything was big enough, small enough and the correct shape I was too busy to care about exams in any great detail. My History O’Level that mixed up the Spanish Armada with the 1982 Spain World Cup X1 was a denouement; although I still feel that if the Spanish had played Arconada at the back of the Armada Galleys and Juanito, Joaquin and the wonderfully named Roberto Lopez Ufarte upfront they would not have lost to Northern Ireland in 1982 or Francis Drake’s Plymouth Argyle in 1588. I digress.
After the competitive parenting nightmare that engulfs Year 6 children in autumn and winter as Didsbury parents try to gee up/ threaten/ cajole/beg indifferent ten-year olds to care about their parents’ aspirations whilst trying to sound nonchalant in the playground – this is a step too far.
The electronic rewards given for hard work or success over New Year are a dim memory. Their equivalent parental guilt-inducing disappointment is long gone. These are now the year 6 establishment, the top of the tree, cock of the school, wind in the sails of primary education.
Reception minis look to them with adoration. Year 4 wannabees crave their friendship, attention and worldly-wise life-experience. Most have seen a 12A for crying out loud. They have passed the big 1 0 and they are in no mood to spend the long nights of summer’s childhood wasting time on education that could be spent more usefully staring at screens and watching hamsters dressed as pirates fall over.
There is no answer. By September they will be back to the bottom of the pecking order in their too big blazers, desperately trying to drop those Ts and flatten vowels so lovingly cultivated on the banks of Wilmslow Road. Short of pretending there is a power cut every night for the next three weeks so that we cannot do anything but read and write I am left with the only true option of a strategic Didsbury Dad; leave it to Didsbury Wife to talk him round, dream of a bigger virtual shed and feign understanding.