Gee is not a confident child at all and up until the last few weeks we had turned a corner with her stress and anxieties, OCD traits had largely been overcome and she had begun to feel happier and more at ease with life's battles. Then came the preparation for SATs in May.
SATs this year have changed and the tests are far more rigorous with children being tested on reading, maths, spelling, punctuation and grammar. A lot of the questions are what the Year 8s have been completing up until now and although I do agree with helping children to achieve more, for children like Gee who worry and sometimes struggle to grasp certain things, it is likely to lead to more children suffering from mental health problems.
I have sat with Gee and devised a plan that she is happy with which will hopefully help her feel more in control of her fears. Although we always talk and she is very open with me, I do get concerned when she bottles things up about school work.
- We discuss her day at school and I always ask her if she is concerned about anything she has had to do that day.
- For half an hour after school we look at a subject that she is finding particularly hard, last week we spent a lot of time looking at fractions.
- Try and make it fun, hot chocolate with fancy toppings and cake add something to look forward to.
- Reassure your child that the SATs are a way of measuring school's performance and not theirs.
- Last but not least, boost their self esteem as much as possible even if they are struggling, every child is good at something.
Yes she is still worried but hopefully I am helping her to be less stressed and more confident in dealing with her emotions around the SATs. Isn't it about time children were valued for what they can achieve and not measured on tests that may be above them. We should be nurturing them through the learning process and cherishing every moment of their early years.
I would love to hear your views on the new SATs and if you have any good advice for other parents?