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In year 6 your child will be taking their SATs (Standard Attainment Tests). This blog should provide you with all the information you need to know for the 2024 exams.

 

When are the SATs?

 

In May 2024 children who are in Year 6 will be taking their SATs. Year 6 children complete the exams between Monday 13th May – Thursday 16th May. The tests are taken each morning.

 

What are they assessing?

 

Firstly, the tests are set to assess your child’s knowledge of the curriculum thus far. They assess your child’s knowledge based on the National Curriculum, set by the Government. The Government uses the exam results to monitor the schools teaching and progress between Key Stages (EYFS, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two). This is not an indication of if your child is passing or failing; however, it does give an indication of how your child compares to other children within the country.

Schools assess Reading, SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) and Maths through a test, although Science and Writing are still assessed via teacher’s judgement.

 

Year 2 SATs?

 

In 2024 Year 2 or Key Stage One SATs have been replaced by Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA). The government hasn’t told schools how they will use the two measures RBA and Year 6 SATs to track child’s progress through primary school but it is widely expected that something will be put in place.

Schools now can opt out from taking the Year 2 SATs with those choosing to take the assessment using it as ‘in house’ measure rather than reporting any scores or data. For those schools still choosing to use the Year 2 SATs material, The Department for Education (DfE) is recommending that they take the exams in May; however, they are welcome to use them any time.

 

How can you help your child?

 

Reading

If your child is due to have their SATs this year there are a number of ways in which you can help them. Firstly, you can ensure that they are reading regularly and discussing the book with you. Discussing the book and asking questions is really important. Children are often good readers but lack the understanding of why events happen in a text or the subtle changes to characters feelings or actions. This can then hinder your child’s overall understanding of life events and actions. As well as future books that they read. Not sure on what questions to ask? Take a look at our blog on questions to ask children when they are reading. 

Reading not only helps with comprehension skills, it can also develop word understanding and the child’s writing ability. It also sets good habits for adulthood and further education. Another great tip is to read a range of material. This could be newspapers, blogs, game instructions, maths questions or fictional and non-fictional books.

 

Writing

Encourage your child to start a diary or write a newspaper report/recount of a trip they have undertaken during the holidays, or enter a writing competition. They could also improve their spellings by undertaking crosswords or by playing Scrabble or boggle as a family. Focus on handwriting and use play dough or lego or cutting activities to build finger strength and coordination.

 

Maths

It is important that you encourage your child to undertake mathematical questions in everyday life. This can be achieved by adding up some items in a shop, working out the difference between two numbers, reading and using recipes and scales. Try playing Sudko and encourage family challenges to build up mental calculations. Help them make connections in maths by breaking down larger calculations into facts they know e.g. 40 x 5 is the same as 4 x 5 x 10.

 

Additional work

When studying we do not always learn everything in school. As a parent you must ensure that your child completes any homework tasks as independently as possible. Often it is better for them to make errors, which the teacher will see, than it is for you to over aid them. Over supporting your child does not help the teacher assess their understanding. In addition, it does not teach your child independence or the importance of their own work.

 

Focus

Everyone gets distracted at school and at work. However, instilling the importance of focus during learning times is vital. Encouraging them to be inquisitive and interested in learning rather than what their friend is doing or what is on TV later is important. This is not something that children will necessarily know how to do so modelling this behaviour is essential. Share your own enthusiasm for new knowledge and learn things together.  We need to help them to understand that they can ask if they need help but also that they may need to learn to be patient as it is not always possible for them to get attention straight away.

 

In conclusion,

Lastly and most importantly keep calm about SATs… if you keep focusing on them then your child will become stressed. These tests are important for both the school and pupils and it is a good way, especially for older children, to introduce good exam technique of staying calm and focused. In addition to this an understanding that we all face tests, even as adults, but it is how we prepare alongside doing our best which is key.

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