How important are the Key Stage 2 SATs results?
With the KS2 SATs results being released to schools later this week, we thought there was no better time to look at how important they are to your child's future.
What do SATs assess?
SATs assess how well students have understood what they've learnt in three subjects: mathematics, reading, and spelling, grammar and punctuation. It's only the second year of the new, harder SATs so 2017 results will only be comparable with last year.
Not all schools offer SATs. Independent schools can choose whether to offer them, but they usually still do an equivalent at the end of primary/prep school to assess students ability.
Do the results really matter?
SATs are important to the future education of your child. Many secondary schools use the results to gauge student ability in order to organise them into sets for subjects and even to predict how they will perform right through to A levels. Poor results at SATs can lead to students being incorrectly streamed through school not allowing their true potential to shine through. One would hope that secondary schools are good at identifying children in the wrong sets, but unfortunately this isn't always the case, especially where there are big class sizes.
The accuracy of the OLD SATs in predicting future student grades was disputed, however the new tests are designed to be far better at measuring performance. Consequently you and your child will have a clear picture of their strengths and areas of weakness that can be improved. If you feel your child could benefit from private tuition, do feel free to register HERE.
The SATs results are also used to analyse how well a primary school is performing. Understandably teachers are under pressure to get their students working to the best of their ability. They might even be denied a pay rise if results are poor, although there are changes afoot to address this. Some would argue that SATs are more important to the school than the child and that there are less stressful ways to measure competence in the classroom than formal exams at this age.
Help, my child's results aren't great!
Firstly, reassure them that it's not the end of the world. They may be young, but will still have felt pressure to perform well and compare themselves to peers. In fact, some schools are boycotting SATs as they fear they are too stressful for pupils. There's always plenty of time to improve knowledge in weak subject areas, especially with the whole of the summer holiday ahead.
As long as your child put in their best effort there's nothing more you could have asked for. At the end of the day, we put such importance on exam results, but they can only ever provide a snapshot of ability!