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Would you prepare your Yr6 child for the upcoming SATS?(35 Posts)
I had no intention of it but DH strongly suggested it at the weekend (meaning he wants me to tutor DS for them, rather than do it himself).
I can't see the point because:-
DS is due to get either level 5s and 6s anyway. His handwriting could do with improvment, but that's all really.
We hope/ expect that he'll get into the excellent local comprehensive and the SATS results are only one factor in how they decide to stream the children. Plus if the secondary school make mistakes when streaming the children, they'll try to fix them by the half-term anyway.
He is already getting lots of SATS practice at school (too much IMO) and he's coping well.
So what would you do?
Yes, DD1 has worked hard.
The school only partly deserved to be in trouble. It's a small school, a small number of borderline DCs going the wrong way made a huge difference to the results.
DD1 is dyslexic, tables, telling the time and rapid metal maths are not her thing, algebra she likes.
DD2's cohort were pushed far harder, but the top group was probably the best one in many years. I think they could have had more fun and still got their marks.
Didn't do anything extra with my 2 DD's who have already done the year 6 sats and won't be doing anything with DD3 who's doing them this year.
The school doesn't put any pressure on the children either.
SATs are only important for the school.
Most secondary schools recognise that different primaries approach SATs in different ways and don't really put much stock in KS2 SATs levels. They tend to do their own assessments in the first few weeks of term anyway.
I wouldn't do anything tbh. And I'm a teacher.
No, I am not tutoring DD, who is at the same stage and similar attainment.
I am being supportive about homework (i.e. making sure she does it) and explaining bits and pieces about why they are doing what they are doing (i.e. that the reason she has lots of
dull grammar worksheets at the moment is because Mr Gove thinks everyone should have a 1950s education. (No, I didn't put it quite like that!)
I do like the idea of having a tutor to do some interesting work that has nothing to do with SATs. Very creative thinking!
What I am doing is looking ahead to year 7 a bit. Her keyboard skills are rubbish, so I'm trying to help her speed up on the computer, in anticipation of lots of internet-based homework from her secondary school. And we have been having a go at some VR and NVR type puzzles, because I know that her most likely secondary school uses these types of tests to identify the most able children in Yr7. She got very stressed about this when the head of the secondary explained it at open day, so we got some practice books which she is happily dipping into.
Catriona, what are your DH's reasons for why he thinks it's a good idea to tutor?
Are you in an affluent area where very high achievement seems the norm, maybe?
I may be an old cynic but SATs (Standard Achievement Tests) are really a test of the school's ability to get a whole cohort of children to a certain standard (NC Level 4 in English and Maths). So the school is under pressure to get all pupils to NC Level 4c or better and the government imposition of SATs is about ensuring for the tax payer (who's footing the bill for primary education in the state sector) that schools are doing a decent job. This matters to the school because the KS2 scores are the main means new parents have to judge whether the school is any good or not. This matters to you simply because the outcome for your DS will be one of the factors his new school uses to stream him (but most likely only one or several factors from what you've said in your OP).
So tutoring your child for the SATs is simply making up for any shortcomings of the school. As a parent, you may feel you have no choice - you may personally want your child to be reading better, able to divide, whatever and can't bear to wait any longer for that to occur at your school or simply have lost faith so badly, that you'd rather do it yourself to ensure it happens. Howver as you say your DS is working to Level 5/6 - I can't see that there's a lot you need to do. Maybe keep encouraging reading, when there isn't much homework.
Now it seems to me your DH is conflating children preparing for the 11+ exam (which fundamentally expects children to be performing at NC Level 5 or higher - for more info on NC Levels see Mumsnet Learning pages: www.mumsnet.com/learning/assessment/national-curriculum-levels) with preparing a child for SATs.
So the question to ask yourself is will your DS be sitting the 11+ for any reason? - if the answer is yes, then some preparation simply to familiarise him with the style of tests would be an idea. But SATs will be to a much lower standard, unless your DS is asked to sit a NC Level 6 paper.
However, as has been posted elsewhere, this year the government is rolling out an English Grammar test (info here: https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/english%20grammar%20punctuation%20and%20spelling%20test%20-%20parents%20leaflet.pdf) and this may be news to your school (certainly our school seems blithely unaware - or at least has not made any sort of announcement about it yet. So you may want to review the kinds of things they're testing for in this new test and determine for yourself if a bit of time on this might be in order (maybe the purchase of an English grammar workbook to review concepts/ terminologoy).
No. I'm not going to do anything with her. No, I didn't do anything with my older two either. SATs are there to measure schools... they are to do with %s of children that reach certain levels, and the amount of 'value added' that a school can demonstrate.
I encourage my dcs to work hard in school, and to enjoy life and learn lots of other skills outside of school. OK, in secondary, they have to do homework too, but in Primary school is the time for studying school work.
However, as has been posted elsewhere, this year the government is rolling out an English Grammar test and this may be news to your school (certainly our school seems blithely unaware - or at least has not made any sort of announcement about it yet.
I won't be making any special announcement to parents about this test, particularly not while the DFE are still making their minds up about how to score any of it. I don't want to lend it a status that it does not have, and I wouldn't want parents to start cramming grammar terms. Our Y6 teacher will mention it at parents' evening, and that's all that is needed, I think.
We haven't mentioned it to parents and I can't see any reason why we would to be honest. It's just a matter of business as usual.
They do so much focussing on SATS prep at school, I would just keep offereing as many out of school sources of general knowlegde and interest.
Too much SATS prep (like anything else) will make them bored stiff and turn them off from learning.
The tutoring for the super-selectives is largely different, anyway, VR and NVR which isn't covered in primary schools.
Keep your DS's confidence, energy and spirits high, and watch out for any areas of struggle during homework, and give targetted encouragement if they occur. That's all you need to do.
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