Hearing the acronym ‘SATs’ is enough to send chills down anyone’s spine. And understandably so: with a seemingly endless amount of topics to learn, they can feel intimidating to kids and adults alike!
But luckily, the exams don’t have to be stressful. In this blog, we look at how you can help your child prepare for SATs and ensure that the thought and actual experience of them 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. Or, if they know how to use commas, they will pick up on how to use semicolons and colons much more quickly.
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. And best of all, you can try this for free!
How to prepare for maths SATs
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?
How to prepare for English SATs
The best thing a child can do to prepare for the English tests is to read lots and to read widely. They should try texts they wouldn’t necessarily usually read, including fiction, non-fiction, diaries, newspapers and other formats, and should make sure that they’re reading texts which push them a little bit.
A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to look at a page and immediately identify around three words which your child may not know or understand. They should then make sure they use a dictionary or ask someone to clarify the meaning, and possibly write it down in their own personal dictionary.
For punctuation and grammar, again, reading widely shows them where and when these structures can and should be used. For more explicit practice, try using DoodleEnglish! With detailed content covering vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and comprehension, DoodleEnglish covers all Key Stage 2 content covered in the national curriculum.
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.
How to prepare for SATs with Doodle
Using our award-winning maths and English apps in the run-up to the exams is the perfect way to help your child prepare for SATs.
With thousands of curriculum-aligned questions, it’ll automatically revise the topics they find challenging and consolidate their knowledge, ensuring they know everything they need to ace the exams.
Plus, you can even set extra work in any topic of the curriculum, making it the perfect way to focus on any topics they’d like more practice in. And best of all, you can try it for absolutely free!