A 7-step plan for teachers gearing up for KS2 SATs

Stressed Schoolboy Studying In Classroom With Teacher

With the Easter break over, year 6 primary school teachers up and down the country are gearing up for the KS2 SATs tests fast approaching in May. With just a few weeks to go, revision should be in its final stages and a plan for the primary national tests already in place. It’s all about the preparation if you want to get through SATs week without a hitch. To ensure you and your class are prepared for this year’s SATs, read our 7-step pre-SATs plan.

1 – It’s not too late to recap topics, but keep it simple

There are still a few weeks to go before your children finally sit their SATs tests, so there is still time to recap essential topics. Tes (the former Times Education Supplement) has a number of useful KS2 resources if you need some fresh material.

At this stage, it’s important to keep lesson plans simple and not overwhelm your pupils. Last-minute panic revision will send the wrong message. Revise in short bursts. Target individual support and aim to boost confidence in perceived weaknesses.

2 – Model a positive mental attitude

Keep your SATs preparation simple and maintain a positive outlook. You want to create an air of calm in the lead up to SATs week. How you behave will rub off on your pupils, so being prepared, organised, positive and calm will create the best environment possible.

3 – Don’t panic

It may seem obvious, but don’t panic. There’s no point trying to cram in revision of everything you’ve covered in the year at this late stage.

4 – Dispell scaremongering about SATs

Last year The Guardian reported that more primary school children are suffering stress from SATs than ever before. Fear of failure could be affecting some of your pupils. Keep a close eye on your students to support and encourage them through a potentially difficult time.

Try to keep fun and creativity at the heart of the learning process. Dispell any myths about SATs and reassure children that SATs only test a part of them. Praise your pupils’ ability in subjects not tested in SATs too. Be explicit in positive messages.

5 – Keep parents informed

It’s likely you’ve already held a meeting for parents to explain what is involved in SATs week. Send a reminder letter or email to parents to remind them about what SATs week entails. Simple parenting tips about how to help children relax in the run-up to SATs week can be helpful.

Remind parents about the importance of exercise, such as trips to the park, getting children to bed on time, and to offer nutritious food and snacks, before and during SATs week.

6 – Don’t forget your own well-being

SATs week can be stressful for all involved if you let it. It’s extremely important you look after your own well-being, as well as encouraging parents and children to do the same.

7 – Be organised with the essentials for SATs test days

It’s not just the learning prep that needs to happen for SATs tests to run smoothly. Be clear to your class and helpers who is going where for the actual tests. Some children may have additional time allocated or have a reader assigned to help. Ensure all involved know where they need to be and how it will work.

Make sure you have your school’s DfE number to hand for test papers, and ensure you have all the equipment you need, such as pencils, rulers, protractors etc. Always have spares to hand.

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