Life After SATs
The battlefield is eerily quiet. The surviving men, women and children glance anxiously at one another amongst the rubble and the wreckage. Who will lead them now? What happens next? It’s no man’s land…
…No I’m not talking about the final episodes of Game of Thrones, I’m talking about coping with life after SATs! It’s hard when everything that you’ve worked so hard preparing for, planning for, pre-teaching, teaching, re-teaching and revising is over. Once the dust settles, the aftermath of the looming annual milestone that is SATs can often leave us feeling lost and without purpose. “But we can relax now!” you cry, “summer is coming!” you rejoice. But hang on… there are still 7 weeks to plan and prepare for!? The students need to be kept busy and calm and engaged for all that time, meanwhile, your flights are booked and you are mentally already on the beach… What are you to do?
We hope this blog helps keep you saner than the mad king and prevents your students rebelling like fire-breathing dragons during the final stretch before the summer break…
Plan to be creative
As much as we need to maintain the routines of the day and as much structure as possible throughout the post-SATs weeks, we have a little more freedom to plan and try out creative ideas and projects with our students. This helps give a purpose to work towards with plenty of scope for teamwork, fun and performance that is a far cry from exam stress. Base a topic around a favourite book, become filmmakers with windows movie maker, or get cross-curricular and design a theme park.
Keep your students’ upcoming transitions in mind
Whether your students are moving up into KS2 or beginning secondary school next year, keeping this fact in your students’ minds is an effective way of maintaining focus giving the class a common goal to prepare for. Simply carrying on with the curriculum never harmed anyone either.
Revisit and evaluate learning
Revisiting learning that you and your students tackled together throughout the year can be a very useful activity in self-reflection. Students’ literacy and numeracy skills need to be kept sharp for the next academic year. Ask for student opinion and evaluate your practice as you re-tread these learning paths – what worked well? What did they enjoy? How could you tweak this for next time? You may find yourself inspired and planning half a topic of work for next year’s class well ahead of schedule!
Data is due at the end of June
This is a fact you can share with your students. They don’t need to know that all this data will stem from work and papers that have already been completed. Use this to your advantage (alongside reminders of the end of year reports being written for parents) to keep an air of normality and a sense of culpability in the classroom.
Covering all the KS2 curriculum
You’ve been living and breathing English and Maths for what seems like forever. Why not help prepare your students for the wide variety of lessons they’ll encounter at KS3, it will improve their general knowledge if nothing else. Do they know their continents and oceans? Have they studied the History non-European society? Do they know the basics of another language?
Trips, visitors, talent shows, sports day class performances, end of year rewards. Now is the season to celebrate successes from the year and to give students a chance to recognise their achievements! Why not create memory books with your students to take with them?