There’s no denying that the year 6 SATs are one of the most stressful times of year for students, parents and teachers alike. No matter how the tests are packaged as ‘just part of the curriculum’, we all know they are so much more than that. It feels like the whole of Year 6 has been building to one moment and everyone is ready to explode!!!
So take a breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. There are ways to make this whole scenario a bit more chilled, a bit more doable, perhaps even totally stress free (yeah, maybe not that last one). But there’s certainly no reason why we can’t all find a way to make our preparation time more fun.
So here’s our top 5 tips for making the most of your SATs preparation.
1. Common Errors
If you’re a Year 6 teacher, why not get hold of some old SATs papers and fill them out with common mistakes you have seen your students make. Then put the papers up on screen for everybody to see, and make the class tell you what you have done wrong. Not only will they learn something, but they’ll have fun telling you how silly you have been in making such obvious errors.
2. Start some Art
In between lessons and cramming, begin a project which is easy to pick up and put down like a painting or crafts project. This can be something that students who have some free time can enjoy as a break between revision, and as a creative outlet. The key is that if the project is something which can be abandoned at any point, and then returned to, there is no stress assigned to it. The lack of deadline makes it a freeing experience that students can enjoy when they get the chance.
3. Free Breakfast Club
If your school doesn’t have a breakfast club in the run-up to SATs week, you’re missing out. Many schools run morning events where the students get a good, nutritious breakfast, ensuring they are set for a great day of learning. You can make the event even more fun by having music, singing and things to make your students laugh. Let it set the tone that each day is going to be a good day.
4. Outdoor Learning
Take your classroom outside! Write words in chalk on the playground to help with spelling, run timed laps of the field and use the recorded times to create maths problems, measure distances between spaces or calculate the angle of trees in relation to the ground. It’s still the essential knowledge, just a bit different and something that will prove a truly memorable experience.
When everyone is run off their feet it is easy to forget to relax. But we all need a breather, and so as much as hard work must be encouraged, so should taking time to do something different, and to recharge our batteries. This might mean rewarding hard work with outdoor play, or just taking a few minutes to talk about something other than work. You’ll be amazed what can be achieved when everyone has the chance to let off a little steam.
There’s lots of other things that can be done to ease the stress of SATs, and many of you reading this will have ideas of your own. If so why not share them in the comments below?
And remember, once the SATs are done it’s time to start preparing for a stellar year end musical. We can help with that too. Just click HERE.