SATS and Information
Key Stage 1 & Key Stage 2 SATS will soon be upon us. As we look forward we emphasise to all the children, as we do in all lessons, 100% effort but not to worry about the tests. It's all about balance and encouragement.
We have, this week, a guest blog from sats-papers.co.uk not only with great advice but up-to-date information and resources. We hope you find this interesting as we approach the SATS. If you would like any information at all about SATS for Year 2 children see Mrs Angrave and for Year 6 children see Mrs Rogers. They will be more than happy to have a chat.
10 Top Tips for SATs Success
1. Avoid the taboo.
Avoid any temptation to pretend they don’t exist and instead talk to your child about their SATs tests. Understand what they’re going to be doing and understand any concerns they have. Listen, be sympathetic and reassure them that they should not worry. Their teachers will also be doing this but it means so much more when it’s coming from their parents.
2. Be positive, stay positive! Motivate, stay motivated!
The SATs tests are an opportunity for your child to shine independent of their classroom, teacher or indeed their parents – these tests are a good thing! Children love being told that they have got the right answer, crafted a wonderful story, explained something really well or simply done a great job…so tell them and reward them when you can!
3. Identify areas of hidden concern.
To face a formal test entirely unprepared is truly a thing of nightmares. As the tests get closer, so too will their natural feelings of stress and worry. As parents it’s our job to teach our children that the way to solve these anxieties is to address the root cause head-on.
Have they harboured a times-tables problem all this time? Do they not really know how to handle division, fractions or decimals? Are prepositions a complete mystery or do they just get lost with reading comprehension? If these concerns sound familiar then reassure them and take control to fix it with the help of Exam Ninja.
4. Bring maths out of the classroom.
You’ve probably already been doing it for years but it’s important to bring their maths outside of the classroom and ‘gamify’ it. Here are some easy suggestions…
Ask them to estimate how long it will take to walk or drive to school and time it to calculate the difference. Then, record the distance using your car’s dashboard or smartphone and ask them to tell you the average speed.
When next in the supermarket, ask them to estimate the bill and reward them if they get it right. Follow it up by asking them how much change you can expect to receive.
Maths can easily be shoe-horned into DIY projects of any size. For example – How much carpet do we need? How much paint do we need? How many nails will we need to hang those pictures?
Weights and measures are a natural fit for cooking and a many past Maths questions revolve around adjusting a recipe for more or fewer biscuits! So, why not do it yourselves at home?
It might sound odd but it’s surprising how excited children can get when you turn maths into a game!
5. Bring English out of the classroom.
Many children (particularly boys) can think of anything they would rather do than read a book. The trouble is, children that enjoy reading will find the reading comprehension test far simpler than those who rarely pick up a book. So, here’s our suggestion…
Pick a book and read it, chapter by chapter, at the same pace as your child. They may be hard to convince and you may have difficulty squeezing reading into a busy day but parents that have tried it swear by it. As both of you progress, ask them questions like…
How they feel about certain characters, their motivations and see if your child can put themselves in a character’s place.
What they want to happen next and what they think could happen next.
Ask them how they think it could all end.
All too often, children aren’t interested or simply “don’t care” about reading but it’s important to realise that not only can reading be extremely satisfying but it’s also never too late to discover this.
6. Prepare for SATs papers using…SATs practice papers!
As already mentioned, neglecting to prepare for tests can easily lead to stress and anxiety, especially when time is short and children feel that their friends are more prepared than they are.
The simplest and best way to avoid this is to buy practice papers that exactly simulate what they can expect to receive. Exam Ninja has a healthy stock of superb SATs Practice Papers at very reasonable prices. If you don’t feel comfortable buying them then don’t hesitate to call us and we’ll happily recommend a set that suits your needs over the telephone. Delivery is almost always the very next day.
It’s important to note that you should not force your child to take these tests in the evening or at the weekends if they don’t want to. With a bit of encouragement, plenty of children love taking them, getting the right answers and finish feeling genuinely accomplished. However, if they’re not comfortable with a number of topics or indeed an entire test then it can easily lead to frustration and tears. If this is the case then stop, reassure them that they can work through it and re-read point 3 above.
7. Don’t burn them out.
Kids can be surprisingly busy little things. As well as a full school timetable, fun in the playground at break times, after school clubs and homework, they still need to fit in time to relax! Squeezing in even more SATs practice can be a real struggle and so it’s important to strike a decent all-round balance. We can’t tell you the best balance for your child, that’s best left to you.
8. Eat well.
Start their day with a healthy breakfast, it makes an enormous difference. A nutritious diet needn’t be dull or expensive but can give such an amazing lift to their day.
Once home, avoid their pleas to stuff themselves with sugary snacks and stick to fruit or nutritious alternatives. Lastly, an early, healthy dinner is a tough job for busy parents but it will help your child get the deep sleep they need.
9. Sleep well.
At the end of the day, do what you can to encourage them to get to sleep early. We know it’s easier said than done but we all know it makes such a difference.
10. Keep it real.
Lastly, keep everything in proportion. They’re only primary-school tests. Even if they completely mess things up, it will not blight their life forever.
Here is some more fantastic information and resources from sats-papers.co.uk