Hearing the acronym ‘SATs’ is enough to send chills down anyone’s spine. With six months to go before these tests, we’ve produced a mini-series of SATs support for parents.
In this second instalment, we look at how you can make sure the thought of these tests and the actual experience isn’t too stressful for your child (or for you)!
How do I know what they need to practise?
Use parent teacher conferences to identify areas of development and strong points. Knowing what children find easy means you can implement some exercises in that topic to ensure they experience success, and also means you can build on it. If your child knows their tables really well, they will find division much easier; making the link between units is really helpful.
You can also use Gap Analysis on the Parent Dashboard to find out where children need more practice. Provide opportunities for them to do so, whether that’s through revision sessions at home with a family member or using it in real life. You can also add Extras from the Parent Dashboard, which provides a 15 question targeted lesson.
How should we practise?
Children should not be encouraged to cram in extended revision sessions right before the tests in May. Instead, practising little and often throughout the year is a much more manageable and effective strategy.
Even though the Multiplication Tables Check is in Year 4, make sure your child has a solid understanding of their tables and can answer them quickly. This will help to make sure that avoidable mistakes aren’t made, and your child isn’t spending a long time working out calculations which can be done rapidly.
Make maths visible in your household: why not ask your child to calculate the total as you’re going around and doing the shopping? Give them real life context, such as looking at the cost of milk. If it’s 56p for one pint, 81p for two pints and £1.50 for four pints, what’s the cheapest way of buying five or six pints of milk? For more explicit practice, try adding an Extra in DoodleMaths from the Parent Dashboard, or asking your child to teach you different calculation strategies.
How do I make sure my child isn’t stressed?
SATs are used to determine how well schools have taught their children and to gauge how much progress a child has made from the end of Key Stage 1 to the end of Key Stage 2. While we all want children to do well, this is because we want them to feel that they have done their best and achieved what they are capable of.
The results from these tests are unlikely to impact your child’s secondary education. Results may be used to put children into ability groups, but secondary schools are equally likely to retest students at the beginning of term.
Teachers will have an in-depth plan to prepare their classes for the assessments in May. They will discuss anything you can be doing at home, if necessary, but will also be happy to explain anything further if you have any questions. SATs are a great opportunity for children to demonstrate and show off how much they have learnt in primary school! By practising little and often, SATs will help children to feel confident and well prepared for secondary school.
To find out when SATs will be taking place and what will be covered in each exam, take a look at our previous blog.