Sats are a testing time for parents as well as children

Exams are a testing time at any age. But, none are more controversial than the Standard Attainment Tests, or SATS taking place in primary schools this week.

Wednesday, 16th May 2018, 9:21 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th May 2018, 9:36 am
Parents hold a rally with their children in Preston Park, Brighton, in protest at controversial Sats tests for six and seven-year-olds. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 3, 2016. The Let Our Kids Be Kids campaign has organised the day of action in protest at children being "over-tested, over-worked and in a school system that places more importance on test results and league tables than children's happiness and joy of learning". See PA story EDUCATION Sats. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Since their introduction more than 25 years ago, teachers and parents have complained about the pressure they put youngsters under.

While the Government has made it clear they are here to stay Ross McWilliam, freelance speaker and author on mindsets, has put together a simple action plan for mental well being which can easily be adapted by parents to help their children work through exam stress.

n Exercise MONDAY:

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Dyscalculia - number blindness- is an under-estimated problem

Everyone knows exercise is good for us. Exercise can help all aspects of health, but it has been particularly effective in combatting mental health issues. It can also act as an effective antidote to developing these issues.

n Goal setting TUESDAY:

I believe that setting short, medium and more longer-term goals is essential for emotional health. Even when goals have not been fully achieved, there is still plenty of progress to be pleased with that helps us on life’s journey.

Sometimes goals change as we are trying to achieve them and this is also okay – it can even be a positive thing.

Ross McWilliam has advice for looking after mental wellbeing during exam time

A simple analogy might be a plane journey from England to Spain, where the pilot has to detour because of poor weather, but that journey could also be helped by thermal winds that accelerate progress towards the destination.


For many people, eating good food in a balanced diet, is an area of personal well-being that can be difficult to maintain. Like goals, if you make some poor food choices, it’s not a total failure.


Sats tests

Getting quality sleep, with no or little interruptions is essential. According to The Sleep Foundation, without the right kind of sleep we feel tired in the morning - children are no different.

n Positive Reflection FRIDAY

By reflecting, we can learn from the past so we don’t repeat errors, but we can also repeat behaviours that give us successful outcomes.

Writing our thoughts down gives us a better understanding of an issue.

I write a Today Result, which is a list of all the things that went well in the day. I can focus on this rather than all the ‘perceived’ failures. This is why I always focus on the positives, to redress that.

Secondly, I write down what I call my Tomorrow Promise which is one or two promises I am going to make myself tomorrow.

Weekends are a time for family and friends.