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How to avoid SATs exam stress

Almost immediately, you break out into a sweat and fervently start planning revision sessions, making guide books, timetabling drop-in sessions, looking at data and analysing who’s going to make expected level and who isn’t, while praying for an influx of greater depth results.

The next thing you know, you’re still browsing the internet at 2:00am and your coffee is stone cold again. We’re here to tell you to stop. Close the laptop and put the planning down. 

SATs stress

We know that as teachers, you have devoted pretty much your entire life since September to this class and have provided your pupils with the most creative and exciting lessons you can to make sure they know what a fronted adverbial is and how to use it.

We know that you have drilled them in the importance of showing their working so they might still get marks even if they get the answer wrong. We know that you’re looking after your children’s education, their mental health, their physical well-being and picking up the pieces if they crumble, but who’s looking after you?

Who’s checking you’re ok, that you’re eating properly and getting enough sleep? A stressed and panicked teacher creates stressed and panicked children and that’s not going to get the results you or your SLT want to see.

To avoid the SATs stress, Emma, one of our school Account Managers and ex-primary teacher has compiled a few tips to take a step back and relax from SATs.

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Top tips for teacher SAT self-care

  1. Do as little work as possible during the Easter holidays. You’ll probably have some work to do, but get it over and done with as soon as possible and enjoy the break – you want to be well-rested, not burned out before you get back to school.
  2. Try not to stuff in as many revision sessions as possible: they’ll exhaust you and exhaust the children. Encourage children to practice little and often – why not get them to use DoodleMaths daily! This will target the areas that each individual needs to revise.
  3. Set yourself a time to leave school and stick to it. Be out of that door by 5.30 and leave those books behind!
  4. Do some exercise every day – a ten minute walk, a Cross Fit class or whatever takes your fancy. It will reduce stress, take your mind off it and leave you feeling good.
  5. Try to eat healthy meals that you really enjoy, but…
  6. …have a secret stash of mini-size chocolate bars for a little pick-me-up in the afternoon.
  7. Try and do something every day that’s just for you, whether it’s picking up a book for 15 minutes and reading for pleasure, or calling a friend for a catch up. Take some time to be you, not a teacher.
  8. Book something enjoyable for the weekend before and the weekend after SATs, maybe a weekend away, dinner out or a spa day – you definitely deserve it!
  9. Make sure you stay well-rested. Get to bed a little bit earlier during the week if you can.
  10. Don’t panic! You have provided high-quality teaching all year and you’ve done the hard work already. You and your class are ready for this and are here to show off all the effort that’s gone into their learning.

Don’t forget!

SATs are a reflection of the teaching the children have had throughout the whole of their education so far. Encourage your children to look at the tests as a way of showing off how much they know and you can start looking forward to the post-SATs activities!

Interested in DoodleMaths for your school? Find out more

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