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Year 6 SATs pressure

Discussion in 'Primary' started by woody_1, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Hello,
    This is my first year teaching year 6 (I spend my first year teaching in year 5) and I am feeling way out of my depth. My head wants me to start preparing them for SATs this half term and I have no idea really how to approach it all. Does anyone have any ideas of how to approach teaching revision lessons apart from just going through papers? I'm also struggling to think of ideas for revision displays apart from laminating past numeracy SATs questions for them to try when they have a spare few minutes.
    I really would appreciate any advice or help!
  2. slippeddisc

    slippeddisc New commenter

    If your head wants you to do this I would ask him/her what you should be doing.

    I have not taught year 6 but this is what I would do. For displays I would do the features of the different writing genres and checklists for how to answer a maths word problem. Also anything they are struggling with.
    You probably need to do a revision timetable so you know you are covering everything that needs covering.
    There is no point doing tons of sats unless they have a purpose e.g. will you analyse them to see where the children are weak? Will you teach them exam technique before each time you take a sat paper so they can get used to what they need to do?
  3. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    My class always find it useful to do an old reading paper and then go through it as a class. The problem I have found with the SATs reading is that, although somebody can give a good answer it might not be what the mark scheme is looking for. The children really like seeing the mark scheme (use a visualiser or get them online for the IWB). They can see what is expected of them for a 3 mark question and so on.

    In terms of writing we usually don't make too much of a deal about 'revision' but just make sure that I give my class plenty of opportunity to write different 'genres'. We talk about all the different features as we go along. I do make sure some of these (not all) are strictly timed so they get used to the planning then writing process.
    I don't do anything for displays but just talk about what makes writing interesting (which we do all year anyway). WOW words aren't always the answer. Having a style to your writing is important as is variety, but I don't want them to force different punctuation in for the sake of it.

    For maths, again, I just make sure everything is covered. We have a practice SATs week in Feb so this will help throw up any specific areas the class are lacking on. I have a pretty good idea already about what they need extra work on.
  4. You need to make sure that you have a revision timetable.

    I set Mondays aside in literacy to focus on reading comprehension, so easy to get marks once the kids understand the questions and they need to learn to finish the paper!
    The rest of my literacy lessons focus on writing and all of my writing opportunities come from a film. This year I am using Kung Fu Panda. Last week we wrote radio adverts on the dragon warrior event. This week we are going to be picking one of the furious five and will be writing information leaflets on them.

    In maths I spend a week on each topic- lots of word problems and then have lots of time to revisit areas of weakness at the end,

    While SATs have to be a focus, remember they're kids - don't treat them like machines, try to keep your lessons fun and interesting and they'll do their best for you.

    Enjoy it- year 6 are my most favourite year group to teach!
  5. Word of warning though - don't fall into the trap of making this into a scary ordeal that the children will be facing.
    Also don't make it so boring that they are switched off by the time May rolls around.
    I can honestly say that I will be doing nothing differently until the week before when I will revisit the different genres of writing and their features. The topics will still allow me to write in a range of genres so no panic on them being underprepared.
    Just put yourself in their shoes - January, February, March, April, and the start of May to prepare for about 5 hours of tests. Worth getting stressed out about? Not if your regular practice is of a decent standard.
  6. We do 'booster lessons' at my school starting after Feb half term, dividing the class into 2 broad ability groups (let's be blunt about it - the ones where we're looking for a good 4 maybe a 5 - and the ones where they need a huge push to be in with a chance of a 4). One of us does the 'English' the other the 'Maths' and we then have half the class at a time over 2 days a week, swapping around each session. It means that you can really focus on an area of difficulty like decimals/fractions (It's ALWAYS decimals/fractions!) with a group who are roughly at the same level of bemusement/confidence. Rest of the week is business as usual. We give them special folders, books, new pens/stationery and a timetable to follow so they have to be in a specific room at a certain time for the next session. This has an obvious advantage in also preparing them for secondary school. We find they really respond to the new timetable on Mondays/Tuesdays and certainly seem to up their game. A couple of years ago we also started the Booster Bank where they could earn little pretendy money tokens for concentration, high standards, having all equipment in right place, listening, generally working very very hard - they stuck them in bank book and at the end of the SATs they were redeemed for WHSmith/cinema gift tokens. Within the sessions we found that they worked best with short, sharp chunks of activity (especially the boys) and they got a lot out of 'checklisting' their work and seeing the mark schemes (eg 'this is what you need for level 4). Also marking each other's writing as well and working as a class (eg what could we do to improve this piece?). I think the key is making the revision different and enjoyable but not overcooking it. Good Luck!

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