New SATs for Yr.6 in 2013. Are you ready?
Major changes have been made to the 2013 SATs exams for Key Stage 2 pupils in the UK. This year is the first time that children will be doing the spelling, grammar and punctuation exam. There will be no writing paper. Here are some basic facts you need to know:
1. In all state primary schools in the UK, SATs exams are held in May.
2. Children in Year 6, will be assessed in Maths and English (spelling, grammar, punctuation and reading) externally. Levels 3-5 of the national curriculum will be tested. There is an additional level 6 paper for children working above level 5.
3. English writing will be assessed by your child’s class teacher throughout Year 6 based on the work your child completes in class.
4. English speaking and listening will be assessed by your child’s class teacher.
5. There are 3 Maths tests; mental maths, non-calculator paper A and calculator paper B.
SATs exam results come out in July. The average Year 6 child is expected to achieve a Level 4b in Maths and English. The teacher assessments are passed on to Secondary schools for them to decide ability groups in Yr.7.
How do we help at Kip?
We understand that English skills need practising. With the introduction of the new spelling, punctuation and grammar exams, this is now even more essential. The skills needed to improve in these areas need to be registered in a child’s long-term memory. We’ve seen many children who get 10 out of 10 in their weekly school spelling tests, but spell incorrectly when using those same words in a sentence (indeed we have one of our very own!) One of the reasons is that the spellings have been crammed and learnt for the test, registered in the short-term memory and then forgotten. Long term memory can be improved by repeated exposure and that is what we ensure happens at Kip. So to help a child remember a spelling for example, we would use our Kip resources to get him/her to learn them, use the words in sentences, use the words in stories, put the words in alphabetical order, think of rhyming words, draw pictures to illustrate the words or write out the words in different colours.
Punctuation and grammar have to be learnt in such a way that they become a habit. This may sound ‘old school’ but it works. It should be learnt so that the child doesn’t have to be reminded to use capital letters and full stops and if they do forget, then there’s a niggling thought in the back of their mind that something is missing from the sentence. At Kip we encourage your child to ACT on that ‘niggle’. Whether they are 6 or 16 this kind of rigour is vital.
The key to our success at Kip is that we are able to identify and then focus on the gaps in learning specific to YOUR child which classroom constraints often make difficult.
Repetition is also important. Sometimes your child will understand straight away, whereas at other times it may take weeks to conquer a topic. For example, converting fractions to decimals and back again takes time and constant repetition until properly mastered. As experienced teachers we know when to move your child on. You can’t do a somersault until you’ve mastered a forward roll!
The exams are just 3 months away. Give us a call if you think we can help.
When we got our first look at the sample of the new English test we were astonished at just how close our resources matched up with the questions. We have always promoted the idea that we’re traditional and old fashioned in our approach and now it seems that Education Minister Michael Gove agrees with us!.
Here are just a couple of samples. In each case the top picture is a SAT’s question, the picture below is a Kip McGrath exercise, some are computer based, some are worksheet.
1) Singular and plural words
4) Correct verbs