Would you prepare your Yr6 child for the upcoming SATS?

(35 Posts)
Catriona100 Mon 14-Jan-13 15:03:52

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?

Catriona100 Mon 14-Jan-13 15:07:53

Just to explain where DH is coming from... we have friends with children the same age as DS and they have all been sending their children to tutors to prepare for entrance exams. All the children are bright, but if I am honest, DS is probably not as far on as the others now because he hasn't done much essay writing etc this last year as they have.

piggywigwig Mon 14-Jan-13 15:09:10

I'm in pretty much the same situation as you - DD already had 5A's at the beginning of YR6, will be sitting the Level 6 SATS (teacher expects her to get 6's). With luck and a fair wind, looking at the score she got on her 11+, she should be able to gain a place at a superselective GS. So, the quesion is, will I tutor her for the SATS? Nah grin
She does extra work at home - her own choice but it isn't SATS-related

OmgATalkingOnion Mon 14-Jan-13 15:12:34

No I wouldn't. My dd is yr 6 and I'm very low key to the point of uninterested in SATS.

She'll do her best as she always does in school, that's all I expect from her. The senior school she'll go to make their own decisions about what sets the pupils go in to.

Elibean Mon 14-Jan-13 15:14:56

If you know it won't make any difference to which school he gets into, and he's expected to do so well anyway, then no. I wouldn't smile

Ruprekt Mon 14-Jan-13 15:17:37

No I am not doing anything with him.

We are playing it down. Told him he just has to do his best and that is all he can do.

No stress, no pressure. School are cool about it too.

I would not tutor for SATs - if you are worried about handwriting then maybe practise especially if his 0s look like 6s etc in maths as he could lose marks. otherwise, I wouldn't worry as school is likely to be doing enough and he will be fed up with it all.

DottyDot Mon 14-Jan-13 15:37:35

definitely not. I didn't know when they were until someone else asked me about it last week - I think it's May but I could be wrong. Don't want to know. Ds is going to the local very good comp and is doing fine at school so that's enough for me.

Frikadellen Mon 14-Jan-13 15:40:56

No I wont be and I haven't with my older 2 dd's to me SATS are meant to be about what they are able to do from school work. If I tutor them to do more we are not giving a fair picture.

harryhausen Mon 14-Jan-13 16:13:03

If your ds is doing really well anyway and he's hopefully going to the good comp then no I wouldn't.

People get wrapped up in tutoring if they have the option of a grammar school or a scholarship etc for an independent. We don't have any GS near us, so if my dc's carry on doing well I wouldn't tutor. If they were struggling a bit then I would - to get into the better streams at the comp.

I'm not doing anything with my DS, apart from remind him to take his time and read the questions properly.

xmasissodepressing Mon 14-Jan-13 17:32:24

I didnt last year, if his school is anything like my DD's was, then he'll do plenty of preparation there. Saying that though, one parent employed a private tutor to prepare him for the sats. Not sure why as he went to the local comp!

ReallyTired Mon 14-Jan-13 18:02:32

I found that the SATs year has been nothing but practice papers, revision and very little learning. I have sent my son to a tutor so he can do some real learning and I specifically told the tutor NOT to do SATs work. My son is having a ball learning about maths topics which aren't on the national curriculum and doing some creative writing that is fun. Hopefully he is getting some of the breath that some schools miss out by teaching to the test.

Why have I sent my son to a tutor? I am planning on sending my son to a comprehensive that does not use primary SATs for streaming. My son is very stressed and anxious and I can't afford private councelling. My hope is that having someone outside school and the family will help my son's mental welbeing.

xmasissodepressing prehaps the parent at your dd's school had her reasons for using a tutor.

pointythings Mon 14-Jan-13 18:18:02

My DD1 did SATs last year, we have no grammar schools so she is at the local comprehensive, which is very good. No tutoring here, and she did very well, L6 in everything. School notoriously tough on internal assessment too, so there has been no dip in her levels in Yr7, they are continuing to rise.

I can understand tutoring if going for superselective grammars (though I would not put DD through it), but for KS2 SATS? No way.

I'm not doing anything. DS2 is at a Middle school and don't go to High School til Year 8. smile

Tommy Mon 14-Jan-13 18:23:37

if your school is anything like ours, you own't need to. As far as I can gather, DS1 has been "practising for SATS" since September hmm

Actually Tommy DS2 appears to have been doing past SATS maths papers for weeks for homework actually.

Blimey lots of 'actuallys', but you know what I mean Tommy. grin

Arisbottle Mon 14-Jan-13 18:27:12

No.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Mon 14-Jan-13 23:35:28

I told my DS1 and DS2 to try to put a comma sandwich into their long or short writing task, eg Jill, who was very brave/tall/lazy, etc. That's as much tutoring as they got from me! And DS3, who is in Y6, (see what I did there?) will be doing the SPAG test rather than the long and short writing tests, so he's not even getting that much advice. I know they'll be doing lots of assessed writing during lessons, though.

auntpetunia Wed 16-Jan-13 15:07:17

God No, am not going to put any pressure on DD, think school are already doing that. Despite having older DS this is the first time with SAT'S as DSs year they where boycotted So Will be interested to see how this goes.

OldBeanbagz Wed 16-Jan-13 15:18:08

No SATS preperation here as i'd rather do fun things with my DD and my DH agrees with me. In fact he's even less interested in exams than i am.

No worries about them from DD either as she did some of the papers last year (in Y5) and sailed through them.

purpleroses Wed 16-Jan-13 21:20:44

No.

If he's bright, the biggest problem he's likely to be having this year is utter boredom due to excess SAT revision. All the secondaries I'm aware of do their own setting anyway, and don't do it on SATS alone (if at all).

If you want to give him some extra help at home, I'd focus on the handwriting. My DS is bright, and in Y8 now, and poor handwriting is still holding him back sad

Startail Thu 17-Jan-13 09:45:17

And if you make your DS practice hand writing they will hate you and it will still be totally illegible 38 years later grin

Seriously, I'd only tutor for SATs for a DC who just risks missing level 5 if you don't.

DD1 would have had an easier time at senior school if she hasn't had to work her way up from the wrong maths set. I don't think she learnt anything in Y7.

Due to those 'lovely people from OFSTED', who had a go at the school, DD2 was pushed far harder and sailed into set 1.

Stupid thing is, that when it comes to real understanding DD1 is almost certainly the better mathematician.

ReallyTired Thu 17-Jan-13 10:04:00

I think that its too late to sort out poor handwriting by the age of eight. There are things you can do in the early years to drastically improve writing, but they really need to be done in year 1 at the latest. The brain goes through phases of development and the optimium time to develop visual perception is when they are little. I feel that earlier help needs to be given to children who struggle with hand writing in reception.

Startail well done to your dd1 for working her way up from the wrong maths set. It sounds like OFSTED were right to bollock the school for not pushing the children hard enough. My son's school had a similar bolloxing last year. The teaching of maths has been dire and many people at my son's school are sending their children to a tutor for that reason. The tutor is making a difference because there is innate potential.

I think if you are using a tutor you have to clear about what you want to achieve (and realistic). A tutor is not going to be able to take a level 3 child to level 5. However if there is a specific reason why a child is not achieving their potential then a tutor can make a dramatic difference. (Ie. an EAL child or a child who has missed a lot of schooling or experienced glue ear when little.)

I have a friend who paid for her foster child to go to a tutor and he learnt to read in a term at the age of seven. The little boy in question is now achieving in line with his peers and off the special needs register.

Care needs to be taken in selecting a tutor as many failed teachers become tutors. The best way of finding a good tutor is by recommendation.

Thankfully it appears the secondary schools are sensible in using a mixture of indicators in setting the children. Tests like CATS give a level playing field.

Startail Thu 17-Jan-13 22:30:14

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.

Myliferocks Thu 17-Jan-13 22:35:00

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.

TroublesomeEx Fri 18-Jan-13 14:56:46

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.

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 18-Jan-13 19:17:27

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.

lljkk Fri 18-Jan-13 19:39:53

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?

PastSellByDate Sat 19-Jan-13 01:59:54

Hello Catriona100:

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).

HTH

BackforGood Sun 20-Jan-13 18:06:31

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.

Feenie Sun 20-Jan-13 18:17:44

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.

mrz Sun 20-Jan-13 18:38:21

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.

CarlingBlackMabel Mon 21-Jan-13 14:05:09

NO!
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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