Updated: Sep 17, 2019
It's the start of a new academic year! Those of you, who have children in year 6, will have attended school meetings about the SATS exams, which all students of that year group across the country, will be completing in May 2020.
I have had many parents approaching me, feeling absolutely overwhelmed by the masses of information that they have been given - coupled with the stress of wanting their child to perform and achieve their absolute best – they are left frazzled by it all!
The question that I am commonly asked is: How? How can I help my child study and prepare for the SATS exams at home?
Some opt for extra tuition lessons, which are definitely helpful; as it allows a teacher to devote their time on your child’s needs alone. This encourages your child to feel more confident, ask ANY questions they may feel reluctant to ask in a class full of their peers; it allows the teacher to recognise what your child needs to focus on most and tailor each lesson to enable a high level of development and progress.
Whilst private tutoring can be effective, it may not always be an option. But all is not lost, as there are many books and materials on the market that can support you in supporting your child with their preparation. You just have to know which books to choose and how to execute them.
CGP are by far one of my favourite publishers, when it comes to breaking down topics into neat, easy to read and digestible sections. These books pinpoint and separate each section and subject that your child needs to study and prepare themselves for the exams. These particular books cover both the reading section and SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar).
The execution of this is very simple: the revision guides need to be used as a lesson book; so you can sit with your child and read the section together, answering any questions which your child may have along the way.
Once you feel that your child is comfortable with the section, it’s time to put it into practice. Using the question book, you need to find the corresponding chapter (the question book is usually set out in the same order as the revision book) and put all of the newly reviewed information into practice!
It is likely that your child is already familiar with most of the subjects and chapters, as they would have covered them over the years at school. However, this process will allow them to revisit and refresh their memory, as well as address any areas, which they are unsure about.
Once these books are completed and if you feel that you would like some more materials for your child to practice, you could try the following:
These are great for training your child to focus and work efficiently within a limited time frame.
Flashcards are a fun and effective way to practice those all-important SPaG skills in an informal manner. There are 60 cards with questions and helpful tips. The challenge sections are particularly great, as it allows you to stretch their knowledge and deepen their understanding of grammar.
Once you feel that your child is ready and prepared. It’s time to put it all to the test! You can purchase an exam pack of practice papers. You can allow your child to complete the exam papers in their own time, whilst they familiarise themselves with the format. However, you may also want your child to complete the papers under exam conditions, just as they will at school. The packs come with a full set of guidelines, exam durations and answer booklets; so you can grade the paper once complete and revise any areas, which they may have found challenging.