The Tutor’s role in SATs

Tutor no longer registered
Key Stage 1 English By: Tutor no longer registered
Subject: English » Key Stage 1 English
Last updated: 09/05/2016
Tags: ks1 sats, ks2 sats

SATs are a hot topic of political debate and media speculation at the moment.  Everyone has an opinion about SATs and it seems we can’t escape them.  The government believes the rigorous testing will raise standards, teachers know they are to measure the school’s progress and parents worry about their children getting unnecessarily stressed about their education and being labelled failures.

So what is a tutor’s role in preparing for SATs?  I believe it is to support, stretch and to build a child’s confidence, as well as develop and fine tune their skills and understanding of the curriculum.

Many good KS1 teachers will say that children are unaware of the tests taking place, but they are aware something is different.  They are asked to sit in silence for a start (how many 6 year olds can do that for 40 minutes!).  They are asked to read texts which are unfamiliar and in a very different format to that which they are used to.  Finally, with every will in the world teachers will understand the importance of getting good results in the tests, and children can feel this even if, as good teachers, they believe they are not showing it.

Some children will be feeling worried, will be lacking confidence and will feel like failures.  Why?  Because they are aware of whether they can read fast enough, can work out the answers in their head without the usual equipment that helps them or can remember the spelling pattern they need without their usual visual prompts.  They may also be aware that their parents have been told of areas they can work on and whether they are meeting ‘age related expectations’.

With this information communicated to them at a ‘consultation’ evening, parents could be feeling under enormous pressure too.  They'll be wondering whether they should ignore the tests and just tell their children they will be ok and there is nothing to worry about.  Or, should they give their children some extra support to help them through the tests?  They will be worrying about the future and whether their children’s results will have a negative impact on their future learning.

A tutor’s role is to help parents, children and teachers through this difficult time.  We are able to support the individual child rather than them being taught in a group which might not fit their needs exactly.  We can focus on their particular needs and teach them in the style that works for them using equipment and resources which excite and engage them.   We can help them feel nurtured and we can build their fragile confidence by showing them they can succeed.  Ultimately, we will help break down those barriers to accessing the rich broad and balanced curriculum the schools are offering (when the SATs are over!!).

With our help, children can flourish and shine, and everyone involved will have greater confidence about the tests - which it seems are not going anywhere.

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