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Sorry to be starting this thread but ... Year 6 DD already stressed about SATS

(21 Posts)
golfbuggy Mon 09-Jan-17 12:37:21

Her school do not make a big deal; older DS was so laid back about them that I scarcely noticed they were going on.

But last week DD was told that they would be bringing home SATS revision books and has totally freaked out.

She is worried about

- freaking out because it's a test (she's never had issues with tests before)
- being distracted by other people's breathing (!!)
- being distracted by the teachers talking too loudly (!!)
- having to sit next to the boy who needs a scribe (I said I'm sure he will be in a separate room so as not to distract ...)
- doing really badly and the world coming crashing down about her (I've told her that SATS REALLY don't matter)
- being picked to do the "advanced maths" revision (despite being one of the top children in her year at maths she is convinced that she can't do ... anything)
- needing a drink and not being allowed a water bottle
- having a music lesson scheduled in the middle (I've told her if this happens, she just won't go)

... well basically you get the picture, if it's possible to be worried about something, she is worried ...

So yes, I've been calm and reassuring, I've told her SATS really don't matter. Her older brother has (actually helpfully) told her about the really great stuff they do in SATS week when they are not actually sitting papers.

And we're only in January!!!

ParadiseCity Mon 09-Jan-17 12:42:21

Oh bless her. I wonder if the kids have been winding themselves up at school over it.

My suggestion would be, during a normal conversation (ie not when she is upset) to tell her about someone asking on mumsnet for advice because their son is worried (ie change the details a bit but repeat her worries back to her) and because she is sensible and level headed you wondered what does she think they should do?

Normally for things you worry about, a good solution is to treat yourself like you would do a friend, iyswim.

Plifner Mon 09-Jan-17 12:45:43

Mine's worried too, which surprises me as she's normally very matter of fact about everything.

I've told her not to worry, but we'll do some extra revision and I bet she'll do brilliantly. I've also said its a great way to get used to doing exams when you are older. I've said that the year 6s get a special treat day when they've finished them (they do!) and that I will take her to a cafe that she likes every night to have a quick hot chocolate. It'll be great.

I hate SATS btw and wish they didn't have to do them, but dd doesnt have to know that.

Autumnsky Mon 09-Jan-17 12:46:11

I feel it's not the problem of SATS. You should help her to learn to deal with pressure. There would be more and more tests like GCSE, A Level coming once she is in secondary,and end of term test in secondary school if her school does it. And then lots of test in University. And other things which will creat pressure.

Plifner Mon 09-Jan-17 12:46:52

I've also said she'll be the most important person in the house for that week which she loves as she's the youngest of four so often overlooked!!

ParadiseCity Mon 09-Jan-17 12:52:05

Pressure aged 16+ is a bit easier than pressure aged 10 or 11 though. I don't think 10 year olds should have the pressure of SATs. So it is hard teaching our children to cope with something they are too young for really.

mogloveseggs Mon 09-Jan-17 12:53:43

Oh bless her. Dd was very much like this, came home with advanced revision books which didn't help with the pressure. I just tried not to make it a big deal at home, 30-60 mins revision at home and not every night. She didn't get through half the revision books and did fine. The one thing I said was to make sure that she knew she had done her best, for herself.

pepperrabbit Mon 09-Jan-17 12:58:34

Do your school do mock SATS?
My DS1 did all his freaking out during the mocks and then the exams themselves were much easier. (He actually wet himself on the first morning of mocks sad which was just awful for him but the school were brilliant.)
So maybe she can get all her stressing out now, well before the event?
DS2 has his mocks this week and seems blissfully unaware.

MagicMarkers Mon 09-Jan-17 16:18:09

Perhaps you could talk to the teacher about how worried your DD is. Maybe the teacher could talk to her.

It does sound like an excessive amount of worrying. Is she normally anxious about things?

bojorojo Mon 09-Jan-17 16:39:03

I feel this happens when some children get wound up by some parents, and then it runs like wildfire through everyone else. I tend to think that it is worse when schools do not set many tests, so the whole thing seems new, untried and fearful. The children do not really know how they will feel when it comes down to SATS week, so they stress over it. By this age my DD1 had done lots of music exams and DD2 had done loads of dancing exams. SATS? No problem.

When my DDs were younger and doing SATS, we did: No Revision, No Making Them Feel Special, No Special Teas, Just Nothing Different!!! It should be a Normal Week apart from a few exams. There really should not be pressure. It should just be children trying their best. No-one cares much where we live - 11 plus is the big exam - in the September of Y6. That is when the parents get really stressed!

The teachers do get anxious as they want the children to do the best they possibly can. They do not want stressed children though, so I would speak to them, urgently. What you are describing is over the top as, of course, you know!

Plifner Mon 09-Jan-17 16:56:58

Everyone gets Special Teas here when doing exams,even a levels. It's nice.

Bonkerz Mon 09-Jan-17 17:06:08

Did is also sitting SATS soon. She came home today with new 'targets'. She has always been ahead in her classes and even now has extra maths and English lessons at higher level BUT her new targets say she is below average! She said it's because the curriculum has changed but it's really upset her.

bojorojo Mon 09-Jan-17 17:14:01

Mine didn't - boarding school.

The new curriculum started in September 2015. So from Y5 she will have been taught the new curriculum - or should have been! If they have only just woken up to that, heaven help the school. What have they been teaching all this time? The SATS have changed too and reflect the new curriculum. Ask the school for an overview of what the Y6 curriculum looks like. I am not surprised she is upset if they have not covered the new curriculum adequately (so far) - also, they won't have covered everything for Y6 yet! It is only January.

She should be doing a range of topics and be assessed regarding her progress and attainment in each one. I would ask the school how she has done so far in what they have covered. This will give you a better indicator as what she might achieve in the summer. Do not rely totally on what your DD says.

ParadiseCity Mon 09-Jan-17 17:16:29

OP I came back to add something that you probably already know but last year they changed the SATs dramatically and it was a different ball game to previous years. I think this year is even 'worse' due to the talk of resits in Y7.

So I found a lot of parents of older children telling me what worked for them, didn't work for my DC last year, because it really has changed a lot. The goalposts have been moved and it's not like it was a few years back.

Feenie Mon 09-Jan-17 17:28:43

The new curriculum started in September 2015

For the current Y6 it started in September 2014, actually.

Feenie Mon 09-Jan-17 17:29:38

I think this year is even 'worse' due to the talk of resits in Y7.

Re-sits in Y7 have been shelved (thank goodness, really stupid idea).

ParadiseCity Mon 09-Jan-17 17:31:28

Phew thanks Feenie. The whole thing is so stupid you never know what dumb idea will really happen!

SecondsLeft Mon 09-Jan-17 17:35:44

Instead of telling her they don't matter, tell her to see hem as good practice for tests and exams later in secondary school - including managing test conditions. Remind her she's probably not the best or the worst, and say that you would like to take her for a treat once SATS are done to show how proud you are of her getting through them (reward for effort, not result). Then every time she gets stressed you can remind her of the nice plan.

bojorojo Mon 09-Jan-17 17:36:16

It did - gosh time flies.

AnnieMated1 Mon 09-Jan-17 17:41:53

Surely SATS measure the ability of the school, not the individual pupils? 11+ far more important if you're in an area with grammars! My DS is in Yr6 and SATS have scarcely been mentioned in our house, year 6 seems like a total breeze in comparison to last year!

bojorojo Mon 09-Jan-17 23:38:36

I am in a grammar county and parents consider Sats far less important than 11 plus. However now the scores are so nuanced with 100 being the benchmark, this could change. Schools work really hard to get good SAts scores for the children. They do not coach for the 11 plus. Schools do see the Sats results as important and Ofsted look at the progress the children make and the Sats attainment. You could argue that children may well want to show their school in a good light. I Personally find this slightly more appealing than the angst of personal glory - or otherwise! If you know and respect your child's teacher I think you would want them to be rewarded by good Sats results. There is nothing much wrong with that.

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