SATs ‘Standardised Assessments Tests’ are used for multiple reasons; what they are NOT however, is something that you may recall from when you did your exams at the end of secondary school!
Here’s the low-down on SATs – hopefully all you need to know, but do come and ask us questions!
SATs are tests that cover aspects of the curriculum that the children have learned; we help children to understand the way questions would be framed so that they’re accessible and easy to understand, we also read questions to children when they ask for help; and we do not, at any point, make it sound like the tests are stressful, tough or massively important – we also don’t recall memories of our own exam nightmares as this just provides an unfair, and incorrect, expectation for our children.
There are excellent video clips at the bottom of this post that I thoroughly recommend watching, plus our page on Assessment that’s worth a read.
Regarding the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) our Reception children are frequently assessed in the Prime and Specific areas of learning in the EYFS curriculum as well as the area called the Characteristics of Effective Learning. As opposed to other year groups in school where we produce a mid-year report, Reception children have theirs written at the end of the year alongside the completion of the Early Years Profile. Children don’t sit tests of any sort at this age and everything is completed by the teaching staff through observations of the activities provided – of course, we may push a little to see what they can achieve?!
Year 2 children are coming to the end of their time in Key Stage 1 and this is the first time they’ll “sit the SATs”. However, we play these tests down quite a lot in class and most children won’t know they’ve even taken place as it’s not too dissimilar to a normal school day. There’s a Reading paper, Arithmetic and Reasoning Maths papers and also a Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) paper. There isn’t a set date to do these tests apart from ‘within May’ but we need to send data to the DfE by the end of June, therefore it’s important to have attendance, and punctuality, high on your priorities full stop, but more so over the next 1/2 term. There isn’t anything specific you need to do as parents to prepare your child for the tests, as it’s the day-to-day work that the children have done throughout the year that’s being assessed not the specific score from the test papers. However, the following links have things that could be of help to you.
Year 6 children are coming to the end of Key Stage 2 and the tests therefore assess all the work over the previous 4 years. Children are more aware of these tests, and we find that we have to play them down quite a lot, although we often find that children have actually enjoyed them and want to do more! You’ve possibly read letters from teachers on social media about how great the kids are in other areas and aspects of life (well, they are) and I believe these messages have become more common through schools trying to play down the stress and pressure that ironically, social media may have placed on the tests. Children and parents don’t need to worry about the tests (leave that for our school staff and Governors) as the specific work you could do to support your child for them has been spread over the previous 4 years of Key Stage 2 in their day-to-day school work. You could of course familiarise yourself with the year 5 and 6 areas within the links above.
The week beginning the 8th May is when children in Year 6 will have their tests…
Monday – Reading
Tuesday – SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) question paper and spelling paper
Wednesday – Maths – Arithmatic, paper 1 and Reasoning, paper 2
Thursday – Maths – Reasoning, paper 3,
With the afternoons praying for Rounders weather!
We use the opportunity of Year 6 needing a quiet school and classroom for the other year groups to sit tests, for the experience of it but also to support our own teacher assessment. Year 5 do tests in the school hall, Class 3 are spread around their room (they’re also on residential Monday and Tuesday) and some children have support with ‘readers’ in the library, staffroom, Mr Thomas’s office or also the music room in the School House.
Hopefully this gives you some insight into how we approach SATs and assessments here at Georgeham, and a little about the help you can provide at home too.
We found Michael Tidd’s video blogs hugely useful so here are the updated versions for this year, plus two others from the DfE… all below.
Please do come and ask your child’s teacher any questions you have!