Year 6 SATs Preparation Guide
In the months before SATs…
Ideally, your SATs preparation will begin some time before your child sits their Year 6 SATs papers.
Firstly, make sure you tell your child that whilst the papers are important, they don’t define them. After all, SATs only provide a snapshot of how your child is performing in English and Maths. SATs are not the ‘be all and end all’, so explain this to your child, ensuring that they understand the importance of the exams but do not feel overwhelmed by them.
Do your own homework on the skills and knowledge that a child needs for SATs in the UK (make sure you do not muddle this up with SAT, which are tests taken in the USA). If you focus on the concepts the papers are testing rather than the papers themselves, you’ll be able to help your child prepare better. So, throughout the year, focus on improving your child’s reading fluency and teaching them Maths concepts that will prepare them for life, rather than for specific questions. Preparing them for specific question formats can then follow as SATs gets closer.
In addition, make sure you help your child with their homework throughout the year. Not only will this help them improve their knowledge, but it will help teach you more about what they need to learn and where gaps are in their knowledge.
In the weeks before SATs…
If you help your child with their homework throughout the school year, then in the run up to their SATs you will be able to focus on any areas they’re finding tricky.
At this point, you can establish a targeted revision schedule that helps them prepare for the tests they’re about to take. This could include carrying out SATs revision online and using resources such as SATs Boot Camp to actively engage them. The repeated practise will get your child familiar with the style of the SATs questions and will also build their confidence.
We recommend mixing up the learning and keeping it fresh so you can keep their attention. So, if you do a practice paper on one evening, play a learning-based game on another and remember to keep everything as light and fun as possible.
When helping your child prepare for their SATs, we recommend the little and often approach where you do a small chunk of revision each night. This will stop your child from feeling overwhelmed, and will keep the sessions focused.
During SATs week…
During SATs week, we recommend focusing on supporting your child emotionally through SATs week, making sure they get an early night and leaving the revision behind.
Before their first exam, remember to acknowledge the progress they’ve made and remind them of all the things they can do now that they couldn’t do previously. This will help them to feel more confident.
During SATs week, keeping your child in their usual routine is really important. This involves keeping their bedtime the same as usual and allowing them to continue with any extra-curricular activities. You want your child to feel at their best, so try to minimise any disruption if you can.
After their last test, it’s time to go out and celebrate and to tell your child how proud you are of them! Reward the efforts they put in and ensure they don’t dwell on the tests – they are now behind them!