We all expect to see a little stress involved in the preparation for certain exams; GCSEs, A levels, dissertations for degrees... even driving tests. These are momentous events that take preparation, hours of revision and, more often than not, external help of some kind.
It's difficult to imagine that students would feel any kind of pre-exam stress for a 'simple' thing like the year 6 SATs. We consider these students to be too young to care, we imagine that they realise that it doesn't really mean much in the grand scheme of things and we hope that they can put these tests into perspective.
For the majority of year 6 students, this is most certainly not the case.
They hear all about the importance of these tests from their teachers each day. They realise that Mum and Dad are trying to gear them up to spend more time on revision and exam preparation. They see that their friends and peers have started to take things more seriously. They even hear talk in the playground of the elite group that might be taking the level 6 papers!
Even if you don't put extra pressure on at home, there is plenty more that you can do to relieve this stress and to help them to realise that these tests are not designed to catch them out.
Here are a few suggestions to help your child through their SATS
- Talk to them about how they feel. This sounds obvious but kids know when they need help and they also tend to know the specific areas in which they need help!
- Look at their most recent report from school and chat to your child about their target grades. Do they seem realistic to them? Do they feel that they need help to achieve this?
- As well as the maths and English knowledge that they'll need, they need to be familiar with the layout of the tests and it would help if they've attempted a few past papers in the expected time frame. This should put their minds at rest.
- If they feel that they would benefit from extra help, you have options. The school may be running additional, after-school maths sessions, there might be a revision guide that explains a particular topic very well or, if you are able to deliver this without friction, it might be that you can help them a little yourself.
Lots of INICIO students are preparing for their SATs at the moment and, as a result, a lot of this stress is already being kept out of the home; there's no need for extra revision guides, interference/ help from Mum or head scratching over what will be included!
As well as knowing the layout of the tests inside out (sometimes without even realising), our students have revision pathways that are appropriate to their own level, and that build up the subject knowledge without the child even noticing that they're climbing up the levels. It's as close to stress-free as humanly possible!
If you have any other tips to add to the list above, or if you feel that your child would benefit from joining us at INICIO, please feel free to get in touch.