I was watching Good Morning Britain, and they have conducted a poll showing that over 60% of parents say that their children are losing sleep over SATs. SATs are tests taken by Primary school children in the UK, and they test their Maths and English skills. The tests are taken at the end of Year 2 (Aged 7-8), and at the end of Year 6 (Aged 10-11). Optional SATs tests can also be taken during Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6), however these results are not nationally recorded.
I think that it is horrible that these tests are damaging the mental health of people so young. Something needs to be done so that these children don’t feel under so much pressure. As far as I am aware, my SATs results (taken in 2011) have only ever determined which class group I was put in at Secondary school. But even then, groups are changed nearly every term to make sure that people are in the right class for their academic ability. A lot of pressure is put on these children for tests that only really show the quality of the schools teaching, and gives them a position on a league table!
Fortunately, my Primary school was very supportive and made the experience of SATs a lot less stressful. I remember my experience with SATs quite well (mainly because I started my period on the first day!), but I remember how the teachers would reward us during our spare time by allowing us to have extra break time, and encouraging us to spend some time outside. Our SATs ran from Monday until Thursday, so on Friday we had a ‘Funday’. We spent most of the morning outside, playing games like rounder’s and playing with the big ‘Jenga’ bricks. Then, in the afternoon we had a class disco, and we all brought in some snacks and drinks, and we danced to songs such as ‘Price Tag’ by Jessie J and Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’. I truly believe that having this event made us feel more comfortable, and gave us the motivation to work hard. I mean, it must have worked because I came out of the other side with Level 5s.
However, the problem now is that many parents are unable to support their child. A lot of what is now taught in schools was not taught to the parents, so they cannot help with their child’s homework and revision in the way that they would like to. Last year, I had a conversation with my English teacher who had a daughter in Year 6, and she told me that some of the homework was even a struggle for her to figure out. A woman who had a degree in English, qualified as a teacher and taught for over 10 years, couldn’t complete the homework of a 10 year old!
Here are some links for useful websites:
If you know of anyone taking exams at the moment, whether it me SATs, GCSEs, A Levels, or anything else. Please be supportive and make sure that they are putting their mental health first, it is so important.
See you soon x