Friday, 16 May 2008

Pick Up A Penguin...

The TES writes about the Science SATs papers. There were some awkward contexts for some of the questions, including cleaning fish tanks with magnets and getting babies to sleep. But the question that has appeared to cause most confusion in the TES forums is a question about the features of penguins.

Many children answered, "fur". The SATs discussion on the forum began to buzz with complaints about 'the infamous penguin question'. On teacher wrote: "I am beginning to regret showing my class the April 1 BBC prank video about the flying penguins."

Another question that irritated teachers asked what scientists could measure or observe to find out how well babies slept. One pupil proposed looking to see whether the baby was snoring. Another answered: "Mummy says my brother never sleeps and she is losing it." Donna Thomas, a Year Six teacher in Chichester, West Sussex supervisied her class, despite having had a baby girl seven weeks ago. She said, "It was not the best question on the science paper because it was about using a bit of common sense rather than testing curriculum knowledge. But it said babies sleep better if they have more daylight, so I'm now taking mine outside to play!"

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