Tests! It’s That Time of the Year Again…

What do you think, when someone mentions SATs or Tests?

This was the question we put to 90 Year 6 students during research into creating ‘Key Stage 2 Active Research Sessions’ last year. Naturally, there were was a mixture of responses.

Many cited the importance of the tests, with one child recognising that the tests were “life changing”. That said there was one child who saw the tests as “life-threatening”. At least one child deemed the tests “pointless”. Meanwhile, some recognised the need for revision and that “pressure can be both hard and easy.”

What Were the Positive Attitudes?
  • “I don’t mind a test because it’s fun and I enjoy tests.”
  • “Exciting”
  • “Focused study”
  • “Happy”
  • “Working out past papers”
  • “Calm and relaxed”
  • “Concentrating”
  • “Working out and checking”
  • “Fun”
  • “Easy” and “Quite easy”
  • “Confident”
  • “I have courage to do it”
  • “Challenging and excited nervous”
  • “Pride”
  • “Happiness”
  • “Confident”
  • “Determination”
  • “Brain-teasing”
  • “Curious challenging”
  • “Helpful and judging”
What Were the Negative Responses?
  • “The tests are hard.”
  • “You have to work ‘quick time’ and I worry about not finishing in time.”
  • “I sometimes don’t understand the questions.”
  • “Annoying”
  • “Boring pressure”
  • “Pressure” and “a lot of pressure”
  • “Worrying”
  • “Scary’ and “scared”
  • “Nervous” and “very nervous”
  • “Anxious” and “anxiety”
  • “Difficult”
  • “Stress” and “stressed”
  • “Tiring”
  • “Fearful’
  • “Boring stressful”
  • “Stressing”
  • “Stressful confusing”
  • “Stressful score”
  • “Disappointment”
  • “Frightened”
  • “Fail”
  • “Tension”
  • “Panic”
  • “Nerve-wracking”
  • “Unsettled”
  • “Concerning”
  • “Worried as I may not get a good score.”
  • ‘Worried about solving problems”
  • “Oh No!!”
  • “Gosh! Pressurised.”
  • “Stress and anxiety and worry and scary… a nightmare!!!”

As predicted, the range of responses were varied and speaking with teachers across the country, the same same responses have been elicited across many schools, not just in KS2 but also in KS1. It is up to us as teachers, to ensure that we know just how our children are feeling in the run up to the National Tests so that we can allay any fears and put them into context.

What is the Solution? Our Response…

An Active Approach to Tests

As teachers and school leaders, we can empathise completely with teachers and children alike.

In response to requests from teachers, Tagtiv8 Ltd have created alternative Active Revision Sessions that engage children in preparation for their KS1 and KS2 National Curriculum Tests in Mathematics.

Rather than simply sitting down going through past papers, teams of children collaborate and compete in physically active games that generates numbers. The children then use these numbers to solve bespoke SATs-type questions focussing on Arithmetic and Reasoning.

These sessions work equally successfully with whole classes as well as smaller intervention groups.

As one teacher recently said:

“I didn’t know he could do that.

He’s never written it in his maths book or shown me in a maths lesson.”

To find out more, just reach out…