Schoolday Trials and Tribulations Part One: SATS

This time of year many young children are gearing up for their Statutory Assessment Tests, or SATs.

Boo is in year six and her SATs are in May but already her workload has increased to a ridiculous amount. Each day she is bringing home at least two pages of homework, all SATs related. They are doing their SATs mock exams to see what extra help they need to get the best possible results in the actual tests.

Now, out of all three of my children at school, Boo loves it the most and always has done. She works hard, tries her best in everything and nearly always has 100% attendance (blooming chicken pox spoiling it one term!) Her teachers have always had such lovely things to say about her and she has lots of friends. She’s not the brightest in the class, sometimes learning things do not come naturally for her, but she gives her all and is keen to learn.

These past couple of weeks I’ve seen a change in my little girl. She’s become moody and snappy and although she’s still happy to go to school she’s coming home feeling tired and grumpy. School is not fun anymore, it’s all work, work, work. Now you may say that is what school is all about, but there has to be some down time and she’s only ten, she’s still in primary school.

They are SATs not GCSEs

I do see the importance of these tests, they let the school know a lot about their teaching methods and help to define the learning paths of the children. But surely they should be a test of how well they have learned throughout the year and not treated like proper examinations like G.C.S.Es? What I mean is, they are assessments rather than qualifications so I believe that the children should not be forced to revise and practice the tests over and over to get the best possible results.

These tests are way too stressful for children so young, I really believe that schools should be more relaxed about them. If they are teaching the children properly then they should fly through the tests.

I Tried Some Tests Myself

Mind you, have you seen some of the things children are meant to learn at this age? I struggle to help her with her maths homework, I really don’t remember doing compound fractions at primary school. And I consider my English to be pretty good, but I stumble when it comes to things like ‘subordinate conjunction’ and ‘apostrophes used for a contracted form,’ well, unless I look up what they actually are. I did a 2017 English SATs test online and got less than half of the questions right! I did exactly the same on the Maths test. I’m definitely not brainier than a 10 year old. I really can’t understand why they need to learn these things so early! I’m certainly sure that the things they learn has changed a lot since I was in primary school, maybe I need to go back?

It’s only February, but I can’t wait until May is over so that I can have my happy little girl back again.

Do you have a child doing SATs this year?

Keep calm it's only SATS


  1. February 12, 2018 / 12:03 pm

    My youngest is doing them this year. We’ve had a new head teacher since my older two did it. This time round, so far, all their homework is on the computer, which means he is very happy to do it and more. I take your point about not being GCSE. I know for my eldest they used their SAT results as benchmarks for their GCSE, which seems slightly wrong to me. The teachers also supply their predictions, but the children will still put weight on the SAT benchmarks provided from 5 years earlier. With SATs I wish the emphasize and message to the 10 to 11 year olds was to prepare them for secondary and not to test them. **steps off soap box** #MMBC

    • February 12, 2018 / 12:51 pm

      I totally agree. I didn’t know they were used as a benchmark for GCSEs that’s even more infuriating. I have an online SATs program for my daughter and she was quite happy to use it at first, but now she’s bringing so much homework home every day she’s not having time for anything else. She had a strop the weekend and point blank refused to do anything school related, and I can’t really blame her.

  2. February 12, 2018 / 2:21 pm

    I am so not looking forward to this period, my son already hates the little homework he gets. X #mmbc

  3. February 12, 2018 / 3:17 pm

    My daughter sailed through her sats, but she is naturally very academic. I cannot say the same for my son, he really struggled with the pressure. The problem I have found is that they are used as a basis for what set to stream into in high school. Many of the children end up in classes above their natural ability because they have been hothoused for months. This means they are constantly changed classes until they find where they should be #mmbc

    • February 12, 2018 / 3:40 pm

      I never really thought about that but it makes sense, there is no way a child can keep up if they have not learned it naturally.

  4. February 12, 2018 / 3:31 pm

    My youngest son is the last one to be doing SATS this year. He is worried, worried that he will fail and be as he says, dumb! With my other 3 and now with him, I stress to him as I did the others that, yes while they are tests they are not, like you point out, GCSEs. No matter what their score they will be retested at their new school once they are there and these are really only for school information. Its the school I feel that pile the pressure on as I wont add to it in my house. I feel at age 10 my son is way to young to feel any pressure on grades. Its a bugbear of mine as I always want my kids to be happy, after all a happy child will get on, an unhappy child wont!

    Thanks for sharing a great article. #MondayStumble

    • February 12, 2018 / 3:43 pm

      Yes, my plan was not to add pressure as I know my girl does not learn as quick and easily as her peers. I got her the online learning app because I thought it would be an enjoyable way for her to learn. But I’ve held off persuading her to do it because of all the work she’s had sent home from school.

  5. February 12, 2018 / 7:04 pm

    Ahh! Ellie my youngest is in year 6 now and instead of bringing homework home she has after school lessons for 45 minutes 3 nights a week. We have cut it down to two as it would have meant her missing her choir lesson which is one of the only things she loves about school.
    My girl is coming out of school grumpy too. I can see myself writing a blog post like this before May. Grr!
    Subordinate conjunctions are a sore subject in this house. lol Ellie had a huge kick off over homework involving them.

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