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year two sats: very stressed dd.

(27 Posts)
coco1810 Fri 22-Apr-16 19:35:35

My dd is seven and for the last week I have had tears at bed time because she is so stressed about SATs. My dd has had a real battle to get where she is, she has a speech delay which took two years at primary to get the relevant support put in place. She's doing so well now and has caught up within nine month of her peers with her speech sounds but her vocabulary is at an 11 year old.

However, the impact of the speech is that she fears anything new, or something she perceives she can't do. School says the kids are not aware of sats but I find that very hard to believe.

Currently, her class has been sent home with a book to practice times tables in as preparation for the weekly times table tests. Thus has caused melt downs of epic proportions. She struggles so hard with her maths and almost has a phobia because of it (ie tears, tummy ache etc). I am finding it hard to find a balance for her. Obviously she will benefit from the practise, but she also needs extra time to unwind as she has to work that much harder to communicate in class.

Homework seems to be ridiculous, she had fourteen pages of English sheets over Easter. My ds in Yr 7 had an art project. This weekend she has times table practice, reading, English and Maths homework. On top of this, dd has speech exercises to be done. She buckling under it all. Help!

I am going to see deputy head on Monday as she oversees the maths curriculum in school (also much easier to talk too). But in the mean time, can anyone suggest how I can help her with this anxiety?

Ferguson Fri 22-Apr-16 19:53:51

This is information I give for supporting Maths and understanding number concepts: take from it anything that may seem suitable. The web site links may also be useful:

Practical things are best for grasping number concepts - bricks, Lego, beads, counters, money, shapes, weights, measuring, cooking.

Do adding, taking away, multiplication (repeated addition), division (sharing), using REAL OBJECTS as just 'numbers' can be too abstract for some children.

Number Bonds of Ten forms the basis of much maths, so try to learn them. Using Lego or something similar, use a LOT of bricks (of just TWO colours, if you have enough) lay them out so the pattern can be seen of one colour INCREASING while the other colour DECREASES. Lay them down, or build up like steps.

ten of one colour none of other
nine of one colour one of other
eight of one colour two of other
seven of one colour three of other
then of course, the sides are equal at 5 and 5; after which the colours 'swap over' as to increasing/decreasing.

To learn TABLES, do them in groups that have a relationship, thus:

x2, x4, x8

x3, x6, x12

5 and 10 are easy

7 and 9 are rather harder.

Starting with TWO times TABLE, I always say: "Imagine the class is lining up in pairs; each child will have a partner, if there is an EVEN number in the class. If one child is left without a partner, then the number is ODD, because an odd one is left out."

Use Lego bricks again, lay them out in a column of 2 wide to learn 2x table. Go half way down the column, and move half the bricks up, so that now the column is 4 bricks wide. That gives the start of 4x table.

Then do similar things with 3x and 6x.

With 5x, try and count in 'fives', and notice the relationship with 'ten' - they will alternate, ending in 5 then 10.

It is important to try and UNDERSTAND the relationships between numbers, and not just learn them 'by rote'.

An inexpensive solar powered calculator (no battery to run out!) can help learn tables by 'repeated addition'. So: enter 2+2 and press = to give 4. KEEP PRESSING = and it should add on 2 each time, giving 2 times table.

There are good web sites, which can be fun to use :

G1raffe Fri 22-Apr-16 19:56:28

Ferguson - you really think a 6/7 year old needs to know all their tables?

Mines a bright girl but only knows 2 and 10 and can work out 5 easily. Others she'd have to count. She's so little I don't feel like pushing her. Or the ridiculous spellings for the age.

FluffyBunny1234 Fri 22-Apr-16 19:56:57

I just don't understand this, I think it must be down to the school. When each of mine did them they weren't even aware just doing some extra fun puzzles. Same with dd this yr she's in yr 2 & not batting an eyelid confused

mrz Fri 22-Apr-16 20:14:08

It's definitely down to the school. That amount of homework is ridiculous IMHO.

Seryph Fri 22-Apr-16 20:17:20

Cut the homework down or out if at all possible. There is little to no point in any more than 10 minutes per bit per night at that age (so 10 minutes practising tables, 10 minutes reading, then 10 minutes on a worksheet or whatever and that would be the absolute most I would even bother with).
If school think the kids don't know then where has your DD found out about SATs from? What is it about them that is worrying her?

Are you doing anything about this problem with maths? What exactly has caused such a terrified reaction to it? Again can you address this with school and work on getting her passed it?

MrsKCastle Fri 22-Apr-16 20:28:07

Can I start by saying that I'm a Y2 teacher, so I fully understand the pressure that the school are under.

Here's my advice:
Throw the times tables book and the other homework in the bin.
Tell your DD that she doesn't have to do extra homework because she works really hard at school and you're very proud of her. Tell her that you don't care how she does in the tests. (I know you have almost certainly done this already)
When you see the deputy, explain that you will ONLY be doing regular reading with your DD, at least until she is feeling happier and more confident. Explain that this stress is causing serious problems and is damaging for your DD. Push them to tell you how they intend to repair the damage that they have done to your DD's confidence and self-esteem.

I feel really angry on your DD's behalf.

Sparklycat Fri 22-Apr-16 20:32:07

Can you refuse for your daughter to take the sats?

MrsKCastle Fri 22-Apr-16 20:35:41

No, Sparklycat, a parent does not have the power to 'opt out' for their child unless they actually kept their child off school, but that would have to be for weeks rather than days. Y2 SATs can be anytime in May, and the teacher assessment is on going.

kimlo Fri 22-Apr-16 20:40:32

Dd2 had hers this week. She had no idea, I didnt realise until monday that they were this week. There was no extra work, everything has been kept normal.

They are only little, it makes me so sad that they are being put under any stress.

mrz Fri 22-Apr-16 20:48:06

They weren't this week. Some schools were chosen to trial one of the tests (but not all SIX) so your daughter may have done one test but I'm afraid there are more to follow in May

noblegiraffe Fri 22-Apr-16 20:53:07

My DS is in Y2 and while he has done practice papers at school, he has had no extra homework.
Tell the school you won't be doing it, your DD's mental health and enjoyment of school are more important at this age.

ReedBunting Fri 22-Apr-16 20:56:51

DS1 is in yr2 and presumably will be sitting SATS in May. But his school aren't building it up into something - it wasn't mentioned at parent's evening this week, and TBH I doubt that he even has an inkling about them. It's just going to be another day doing something slightly different. I'm so sorry your DD is finding things stressful and I think if DS knew about them and had that amount of homework he'd be completely stressed out too. So some schools are handling things differently. It remains to be seen how effective each approach is, but I for one am relieved that the children at DS's school are somewhat oblivious to it all.

kimlo Fri 22-Apr-16 21:08:42

My mistake, I assumed that it was the whole lot.

They do still keep it as calm as possible. Even at parents evening, it was me that brought it up and only then because I asked about how the levels would work this year. The teacher did say they dont like the children to know anything about them.

moosemama Fri 22-Apr-16 21:12:49

Totally second MrsKCastle's post.

My dd is aware of the SATs as she heard about them on, I think, Newsround, when her brothers were watching it over the holidays and then read the letter they sent home for parents last week about them. She started to worry about the sats, but also got very upset when she didn't do as well as usual in a maths lesson this week and worried about her spelling test, when she doesn't usually.

We sat down, had a cuddle and a chat and I told her the tests are to test the school to see how well they're doing with their teaching, that we know she already tries her hardest and does her best and how we are very proud of her for that. Then finished up by telling her she doesn't need to give them a second thought. Whenever the subject gets raised, I just reiterate that and she seems much happier about them now.

Our school are deliberately not telling the children or parents when they're taking them and are just spreading them out across May. Homework this term and last has been from what I assume are practise booklets, but only a page at a time, with no pressure at all and no homework across the Easter break.

I'd definitely want them to tell me how they plan to rectify the situation and help dd rebuild her confidence and self-esteem.

AppleAndBlackberry Fri 22-Apr-16 21:13:58

My Y2 DD has no idea about SATS and I don't think they've even done any practice in school. We haven't had extra homework either, they get one very short piece a week and none in the holidays.

G1raffe Fri 22-Apr-16 22:36:54

Ours became an academy and suddenly homework appeared. One comprehension and one maths sheet a weekend
. Regular spelling and times table quizes.

Not as bad as some schools but I don't like how competitive they've turned it abd lots if maths wizards and writing wizard awards each week so they feel failures for not getting them.

CocktailQueen Fri 22-Apr-16 22:41:45

I completely agree with MrsKCastle's post.

Jesus. Insane pressure for your poor dd. hate to think what her school will be like for year 6 SATS if this is how they're approaching year 2 ones. Fucking bonkers.

Sanchar Fri 22-Apr-16 22:43:49

They do SATs on yr2!!?? DS's old school kept that quiet, he's in yr3 and I have no idea when he would have done it or how he did.

Your school sounds way ott!

lougle Fri 22-Apr-16 23:11:36

DD3 is in year 2 and hasn't once mentioned SATS. She certainly isn't being 'taught to test' because when I asked her if she knew a few key grammar terms she shrugged and said 'nope, but I can tie my shoelaces!'

They're 7 years old. It makes no difference if they ace or flunk the test.

coco1810 Mon 25-Apr-16 10:26:13

I thought I would update you all. Super big bro sat down with me and dd yesterday to talk about SATs, it would appear the year 6 kids have been talking about SATs at playtime and because DD plays basketball with them most lunch times she's panicked. DS told her all about them and that once you get to high school, it doesn't matter. Off she trotted with a big smile, DS is a fantastic big bro!

Went in to see Deputy Head today about times table practise. Basically told her that it has to be on our terms as DD has so many more challenges to get through a day at school. I took in her folder of activities that her speech therapist sets for her (unfortunately we can only afford a private session once every two months so she sets activities for us). Her ability to communicate far out weighs the need to be able to multiply. Unfortunately, a communication issue is not seen as a learning difficulty so statementing etc is not an option.

Needless to say, I was a woman on a mission today and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your responses.

kimlo Mon 25-Apr-16 16:55:14

What a lovely big brother she has.

coco1810 Mon 25-Apr-16 18:54:11

He is. He waited five long years to be a big brother and he's worshipped her since day one.

LilaTheTiger Mon 25-Apr-16 19:08:57

Big brother sounds fabulous, well done.

Just thought I'd add my experience. DD has her own issues (in the process of HFA diagnosis). I pretty much refused all homework in primary school, and lost my shit at 15 pages of maths problems in the Christmas holidays.

She's now in y7, and I can't make out that it was any great loss.

Be a Tiger mum

coco1810 Mon 25-Apr-16 19:35:57

Thanks x😊

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