The SATs – or Standard Assessment Tests – started this week in some English schools. Many schools are boycotting the tests on the advice of trade unions, because they don't feel they're of any use. And who knows whether the new coalition government will choose to keep the tests? The Conservatives and the Lberal Democrats both said in the run-up to the election that they planned to reform SATs, but we don't know yet what form that will take.
My six -year-old is in Year Two at Infant School, and I asked him if he knew about any extra tests or special work they were doing. He had no idea what I was on about and asked me what was for tea.
And really that's as it should be – SATs at this stage are an assessment done by the teacher in such a low-key way that children won't know whether they've taken them or not. If you're worried, don't be.
I know it's a bit weird to think of your six- or seven-year-old being involved in some kind of school test, but it really is no big deal so please don't fret about it. I've written a longer feature here specially for parents of Year Two children who are concerned about SATs.
SATs tests for Year 6 pupils do take the form of a 'proper' exam, with more formal preparation and test papers to be filled in. Therefore these children may be more prone to stress over this process. Please reassure your child that there is no 'pass' or 'fail' with these tests – their purpose is to see how your child is doing compared with other children of their age. It's also a way of assessing teachers to see that they're doing all they should.
Keep up with all your child's normal activities during SATs season. Make sure they get a decent night's sleep and a good breakfast. There are past papers available to buy or download, but you don't really need to do this, they aren't A Levels. Keep calm and carry on, and encourage your child to do the same.
What do you think about SATs? Are you or your child worried about them? Do you think they should be abolished? Leave a comment below.