Not a teacher was stirring, the curriculum banned.
Past papers pored over, practised just so,
Fingers are crossed that thresholds are low.
The children were fretful, nervous in their beds
While visions of ticking clocks danced in their heads.
Heads in their offices give keyboards a tap
Writing excuses for that OFSTED chap.
When out in the playground arose such a chatter
Of parents and media to see what was the matter.
They could not believe just what they had heard,
And started to panic about things like adverbs.
Would the Reading test reduce children to tears?
This was just the first of their fears.
Revision packs bought, tutors booked up
Parents stressed out, leaving nothing to luck.
A courier arrives, so lively and quick,
The papers are locked in the safe with a click.
Staff arrive early, their visages bleak,
Year 6 teachers wishing for just a quick peek.
"Now, Kirsty! now, Donna! now, Seb and Mina!
On, Holly! On, Dev! On Connor and Tina!
To your new seating plan! Right next to the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As children that before the biggest challenge try
When they're met with a SAT they let out a cry
"Not more past progressive, not more long division
We can take no more of the government's indecision!"
And then, in a twinkling flash of inspiration,
Memories flicker across the nation.
The teacher sits, fidget spinner in hand,
Hoping beyond hope things go just as planned.
They were just about dressed, from their head to their feet,
And their eyelids droopy from the lack of sleep
A bundle of assessments, flung on their back,
In case a standardised score is starting to slack.
His pupils - how they twinkled! (Well they did in year 5)!
Now they were dull, barely alive
Drilled into submission, all out of fear
That somebody's job might be gone next year.
The stumps of pencils found gnawed by teeth,
And clumps of hair torn out in disbelief
Looking over shoulders, "Is that a four or a nine?"
Mentally of course, we don't want a fine.
Once the first one is over, it's onto the next
They're really relentless, they are, these tests.
We jump hoops through SPaG, through every last trick,
Then it's onto the maths, the ol 'rithmetic!
They spoke not a word (they weren't allowed),
But when the time was up, they cheered and they howled,
And laying aside their pencils and pens,
They breathed a sigh of relief, along with their friends.
Teachers sprang to their desks, to their teams gave a whistle,
And outside they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard them exclaim, ‘ere they drove out of sight,
"Oh wait, it's writing moderation next, bugger..."