What are SAT’s?
Next week is SAT’s week. SAT’s or standard assessment tasks are designed to assess wether a child matches the expected National Curriculum Levels. Love them or loathe them if your child is in Y2, the end of KS1 or Y6, the end of key stage two chances are they will be sitting thess formal assessments next week.
SAT’s week starts on Monday 9th of May with children being asessed in English and Maths. I didn’t really think about SAT’s when I planned my family (I doubt most people consider atall!) and so have ended up with both children sitting SAT’s in the same year! However it has meant that as a family we have been working towards this for the past month or so. Both children have had revision sessions at home. Maybe its because we are both teachers, but talking to friends I know its not just us who are focussing as a family on this important milestone.
Will the children know they are doing tests?
Many children in Y2 will not be aware of the SAT’s as they are carried out discreetly. However I am not sure that this approach is the best. I agree with not worrying children about them but I think its important that the child knows and understands the procedure. Imagine doing a test without being told its important and its a test! Imagine learning to drive again and suddenly you get in, turn on the engine, bunny hop down the road and want to give up, then you are told you are being graded. Surely that would panic you more than a gradual build up where you understand what is happening.
Therefore we have gently introduced Dylan (Y2) to the concept, he knows he has to try and answer every question. We have bought and practiced a couple of past papers, alternatively you can download some past papers on sites like Parents in Touch. This helps the child to get familiar with the layout. Y2 SAT’s should just be confirming the teachers expected levels. The children are continually assessed and this should just clarify where the children are.
There is a much bigger emphasis on the SAT’s in Y6, the children will have been prepared by their teachers, they will know what is expected and will have done some practice papers in class. Chloe’s school has been informing us each time they do a practice paper and notifying us of the scores.
What can parents do?
As a teacher I know that a joint partnership between school and home is vital for our children. Therefore as parents this week and next there are lots of things we can do to help.
1. Ensure regular routines are kept. This means sleep times and recreational times. You want to keep the child happy and secure as a happy child can be a successful child.
2. Ensure a big hearty breakfast kick starts the day. We all need the right fuel to function and blood sugar levels have alot to answer for! Also make sure lunch is nutrious to avoid that after lunch slump, remember they will be doing tests in the afternoon too.
3. Make sure children have rest time too, excercise is so important to keep confidence and motivation high. It makes us all feel better as it releases are happy hormones. Therefore their weekly dance lesson or kickboxing is a good distraction and shouldn’t be dropped.
4. Make sure that your child has somewhere to revise or work from. Keep younger siblings out of the way as not to interrupt them.
5. Be positive – always. Full stop on this one here!
6. Make sure they have the practical equipment they need, especially for at home. School will provide the equipment in school, but they may need a protractor or dictionary at home if they are revising. Chloe enjoyed a shopping trip to get new pencils etc last week, it made her feel good to have nice equipment.
7. Put some rewards in place, these don’t have to cost money, the reward can be your time, a trip out somewhere. Although having material goods are often a motivator – Chloe wants an I Pod Touch if she hits her targets!!
8. Remember your child cannot FAIL SAT’s they are measured against levels and will recieve a level.