Changes to KS2 SATs in 2017: useful information for parents with children in primary school.

This article has useful information about SATs, maths, reading and writing, the dates scheduled for SAT’s this year and SAT’s past papers both new and old. I would recommend using the old ones at home as there aren’t many created in the new format and your child’s school is most likely to want to use the most recent one as a mock paper to give a good indication as to how well they will do in the real thing.

‘The tests [SATs] have been made tougher and the curriculum has changed’…

The new SATs tests were first taken earlier this year and it is clear the tests have become much tougher and far more is expected of children despite their young age. According to reports 53% of children managed to meet the ‘expected’ standard compared to 80% the previous year and some might say that the tests have become far too challenging. Rather than worry about these tests as parents all we can do is ask our children to try their very best. It’s our job not to put them off maths by reminding them of how maths is applied in everyday life. Everyone develops at different speeds and not all children are fantastic at maths by eleven years of age. I’ve seen remarkable changes in pupils once they start in Year 7 and the pressure is reduced.

English knowledge is so important in maths.

I’ve heard many people say they did endless amount of sums when they went to school. The word sum actually means to add and catches many children out when it comes to a test. E.g. Find the sum of eight and four = 8 + 4

The other commonly used word, which causes confusion, is product. The means to multiply and marks are often lost when a child can’t recall what the word means. E.g. Find the product of six and seven = 6 x 7

I find the best way to help this is to keep using the words in a sentence so a child gets used to these ‘alien’ words. Try to do this at home, it really will help.

Everyone at some point has had trouble with times tables….

Why not get someone who lives with you to test you on the times tables you find difficult whilst dinner is cooking or you are journeying in the car. The person who is testing you doesn’t even need to know the answers themselves, they can check your answer on a calculator. The key to learning times tables is repetition and without them it makes learning maths just that little bit harder.