5 tips for surviving SATs exams

April 6, 2016 Published by

Are you stressing over SATs? On the edge over exams? We’re here to help!

child-studying-at-homeThe first thing you need to know is that SATs do not need to be stressful! SATs are used to assess how your child is progressing within the National Curriculum - they will be given a level to show this, and cannot fail these exams. Results are also used to indicate how well the school is teaching.

As SATs are more about seeing how pupils are getting on, your child doesn’t need to do a lot of revision beforehand. Some might show an interest in doing more practice papers at home, which is fine, but you don’t need to pressure them into this; they will get all of the revision they need at school.

So what is a parent’s role in all of this?

At this stage, the best way to support your child is to give them a positive exam experience.

Here are our five tips for doing so:

1. Promote good eating and sleeping habits during exams

Give your child healthy meals and try to keep a good bedtime. Allow them time to relax too, as they will be working hard at school. Also, avoid taking your child out of school during the weeks leading up to exams, as they may miss out on important preparation.

2. Help them deal with stress

Every child is different - some will be totally calm about their exams, while others might really feel the pressure. Make sure they know they can talk to you about any problems, exam related or otherwise. Avoid adding pressure, because this will not help your child achieve their best; be positive about their accomplishments and their confidence will grow.

3. Keep your child enthusiastic about learning

Children are naturally curious and love learning new things, and showing off their new knowledge as well. Asking them questions about what they’re learning can really get your child thinking, while reading together is always time very well spent. Not only will this encourage a love of reading, it will help build a relationship between you and your child and gives them something fun to look forward to.

4. Make exam time enjoyable

One of our local schools really makes a fuss of their pupils while doing their SATs, and it helps to make them feel special and valued. Planning something at the end of the week for your child, such as a bowling trip, or a sleep over with friends, can give them something to look forward to; making exam week feel like a treat, instead of a punishment!

5. Remember, exams are not the be-all and end-all!

“I think we have far too narrow a definition of success”, says Dr Amanda Gummer. “Gardner identified seven different types of intelligence, SATs measure two at a max really. So I think being able to celebrate children’s development across the whole personality and whole skill set is really important.”

While SATs may be important for academic achievement, try not to undervalue the rest of your child’s abilities. Their personal, social and emotional skills - from resilience to being able to make friends - is so important for a child’s development, and will help them grow into a confident, capable adult.

"I think we have far too narrow a definition of success...I think being able to celebrate children’s development across the whole personality and whole skill set is really important." - Dr Amanda Gummer[/pullquote]

Photo Credit

Homework taken by Joseph O. Holme licensed under BY-NC-ND 2.0

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This post was written by Anna Taylor

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