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Grafton Primary School pupils go on strike

PUBLISHED: 17:10 03 May 2016 | UPDATED: 17:10 03 May 2016

Grafton Primary School went on strike at Freightliners Farm, Holloway, as part of the national campaign against SATs in Key Stage 1. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Grafton Primary School went on strike at Freightliners Farm, Holloway, as part of the national campaign against SATs in Key Stage 1. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Archant

It’s 10am and the placards are out. The faces are youthful, but determined. They are on strike against government policy. But these are no junior doctors.

Hanna McCathy, seven, was one pupil who took part in the strike action. Instead of going to school, parents organised a day of practical learning at Freightliners Farm, Holloway, to demonstrate their oppostion to SATs exams. Picture: Ellie HoskinsHanna McCathy, seven, was one pupil who took part in the strike action. Instead of going to school, parents organised a day of practical learning at Freightliners Farm, Holloway, to demonstrate their oppostion to SATs exams. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Today, Key Stage 1 pupils from Grafton Primary School in Holloway joined their parents in a protest against the year 2 SATs exams.

It was part of the nationwide “Let Our Kids Be Kids” campaign. Parents are unhappy with curriculum changes, enforced in September, which are said to place too much focus on passing the papers.

To make their point, some parents from the Eburne Road school arranged a day of practical learning at Freightliner’s Farm in Sheringham Road, Holloway, rather than go to school.

Lauryn Cabey, 30, of Newington Green, is a teaching assistant at the school. Her daughter, Teagan, is in Key Stage 1.

Ella Ben-Amar, eight, and Juno Chatwin, four, inside the Freightliners Farm greenhouse as part of the practical learning strike protest against Key Stage 1 SATs. Picture: Ellie HoskinsElla Ben-Amar, eight, and Juno Chatwin, four, inside the Freightliners Farm greenhouse as part of the practical learning strike protest against Key Stage 1 SATs. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

As the children enjoyed meeting the farm’s goats and sheep, she said: “Everything is too fast-paced and geared towards exam papers. We are not against hard work but it squeezes out creativity and fun.

“What has happened now is parents are seeing the effects. The children are less happy to be at school because they are under too much stress. They are being taught to pass a test rather than actually learning. It’s disheartening.”

She added: “It’s nice for staff to know their concerns are being supported by parents.

“What the children have been doing today is exploring the farm and meeting its animals, which ties in with the curriculum work on habitats. They are learning as children should do.”


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