If your child is coming up to the ages of seven, eleven or fourteen, they will most likely have to take their Standard Assessment Tasks (SATs) this May. These tests, which determine the learning level of your child, are vitally important in helping teachers and parents ensure that each child gets the right learning support for their development.
But these tests, which include Maths, English and Science, can be very daunting and stressful for children, especially amongst 11 and 14 year olds, where the tests become very formal and many children worry. In 2003, a BBC report showed that 6 out of 10 teachers felt that SATs caused high levels of stress amongst children.
As a parent, there are some things you can do help your child prepare, reduce the worry and add some fun to their revision. Here are some top tips from Alison Quill, ex-teacher and founder of Brightminds.co.uk, the award-winning children’s educational website, where FREE downloadable SAT test papers for different ages are available for parents to run through with their children.
Alison Quill’s Top Tips for Parents:
Tip 1: Remember your child's education is a partnership. Meet with their teachers as they will know your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and ask them how you can help.
Tip 2: Look through a practice SAT paper together and talk through the answers. Try drawing or acting out answers of difficult concepts such as fractions. You can download these practice papers for FREE on www.brightminds.co.uk
Tip 3: Explain that the number of marks allocated to each question gives your child an idea of how much time to spend on each one.
Tip 4: Make sure your child is aware that getting stuck is not a problem. Move on and if they have time, come back to the hard ones at the end.
Tip 5: Encourage your child to believe in themselves, "you can do it!"
Tip 6: Remind your child that the tests are important, but that they are not the only way they are to be measured.
Tip 7: Approach a subject from lots of different angles. Software, games, activities, books, flash cards and practical applications all help – make the revision time at home as fun and interactive as possible (see www.brightminds.co.uk for guidance and ideas).
Tip 8: It is easier said than done, BUT do not put your child under too much pressure. Have fun - they will find things easier to remember if they recall the good times they had learning.
The SAT Stages – and FUN products to help your child prepare at home:
Key Stage 1: From age 5-7. Tests in year 2, at the end of infants – age 7.
Each child is teacher-assessed in Reading, Writing (spelling and handwriting), Maths (number, shape, space, measurement) and Science. Your child’s teacher will set short pieces of work in English and Maths to judge what level of ability your child is considered to be.
FUN learning products: Happy Families for Spelling, the favourite family game now helps children with spelling (£13.99) and Jump Ahead Maths Year 2 – ‘Help CJ save the kingdom’ PC game (£9.99).
Key Stage 2: From age 7-11. Tests in year 6 - age 11.
More formal than Key Stage 1, these written tests (English, Maths and Science) are 45 minutes long and can be quite daunting for this age group. The papers are sent away for marking and the results are known before they leave primary school in July.
FUN learning products: Brightminds’ award-winning On-line Revision Game (closely mapped to the National Curriculum), with computer game animations, progress tracker and printable certificates when your child does well (£19.99) and Science Mania PC game (£29.99).
Key Stage 3: From age 11-14. Tests in year 9 – age 14.
Very formal written exams with 1 hour per paper (English, Maths and Science). These results, which are sent away for marking, are often used to determine which GCSE set your child will be placed in.
FUN learning products: Key Stage 3 Bite-size Interactive Revision with questions and sample answers on CD-Rom in Maths and Science (£7.49 each) and the Encyclopedia of Science on CD-Rom with 3D interactivities (£9.99).
For the free SAT papers and the fun revision products, visit www.brightminds.co.uk.
For jpeg images, further information or an interview with Alison Quill, please contact Kathy at Podium PR, Tel: 01432 352681 or Mobile: 07976 039025 or Email: email@example.com.
Notes to Editors:
Brightminds® is an award-winning home shopping company established in 2000 and committed to the importance of fun learning at home. The company holds 5 National Mail Order Awards (including the ECMOD 2007 Award for best mail order business in our category) and listed in The Daily Telegraph Top 10 UK mail order companies for 2007.
Brightminds can help you with your child's learning and development by bringing you the latest educational products which support the UK Curriculum and pointing you in the direction of other sources of information. They have both a catalogue and on-line shop where you will find over 1500 games, puzzles, flash cards, books, CD Roms and charts to help your child develop essential literacy and numeracy skills, together with creative curiosity for lifelong learning.
As well as the website, customers can also call the order line and speak to ex-teachers and parents to ask for a catalogue, discuss products and place their orders: 0844 41 222 50 (from 7am to 11pm).
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