In another world, SATs for Year 2 and 6 students would have started this week. It seems strange to think now but those annual tests are always held in May and are used as a way to gage how well students are absorbing information and to identify if there’s anything they may need extra help with.
SATs haven’t been around all that long and are another kind of standardised check to make sure everyone has equal access to opportunities across the country and the curriculum. Or at least, that’s what they should be used for!
At their worst, SATs can unfortunately place an undue amount of pressure on students and become another hoop through which they have to jump. This should absolutely not be the case! Particularly for Year 2 students; they should hardly be aware that they’re happening. SATs, or exams more broadly, should never become an undue stress on student’s academic journey.
At their best, they’re a check in point to make sure that everyone is on track to understand core skills. Year 2 may seem ridiculously early to start testing but SATs are actually a shockingly good predictor of future GCSE, and even A-level, grades. That is absolutely not about accepting some children will do well and others won’t. Quite the opposite! It’s about working out who may need a little extra guidance or support to achieve their potential. We shouldn’t ignore those signs but do everything we can to offer students the support they need.
So, what are the core skills?
The core skills all children need to succeed centre around English and maths. In English it’s skills such as comprehension and, at a higher level, making inferences from the texts. It also includes core skills such as spelling, grammar and creative writing. In maths, the core skills include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, telling the time and working with worded problems. At a higher level this also includes challenges from times tables fluency through to confidence working with fractions, decimals and percentages.
What are we doing to help?
It doesn’t look as if SATs will be running this year, at least not in a traditional format – so families can breathe a sigh of relief there! It’s not the test that matters though, but the core skills students learn along the way. Now we know that some children will be returning to primary school we’ve designed courses to make that transition as seamless as possible for them.
We’re offering a six week course for students who would have been taking KS1 and KS2 SATs this May. There will be an hours online class each week, alternating between maths and English, to cover the core content and make sure students are ready to go back to school. Get in touch with Jo Boon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07899891356 for all the details.