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Dog tales

Man’s best friend takes the lead in these wonderful tales. Oh No, George! Chris Haughton Age: 3–5 | Oxford Level 4–5 George tries to do the right thing, but sometimes temptation is just too much for him. Join George as he attempts to exert some self-control in a gloriously funny story that will resonate with … Read more

boy looking quizzical

What do the KS2 SATs scores mean?

Key Stage 2 National Test scores explained Post first published on 14th June 2017 and updated on 10th July 2018. In May, 11-year-olds across England took national tests in reading; grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS or sometimes, SPaG); and maths. These tests (often referred to as SATs) are marked externally and the results are sent … Read more

practising SATs skills

Countdown to the KS2 SATs: week four

A marathon, not a sprint “We want children to arrive at the week itself feeling confident and relaxed. They’ve put in the hard work and now it’s time for the race itself.” Hello, I’m James Clements. For ten years, I worked as a teacher and deputy head at a successful primary school in West London. … Read more

Countdown to the KS2 SATs: week three

Revision can be fun… yes, really “Revision doesn’t just mean poring over a revision guide or completing a practice paper. This week I’m going to share some ways of preparing for the KS2 national tests that might actually be (whisper it) fun.” Hello, I’m James Clements. For ten years, I worked as a teacher and … Read more

Maths prep

Countdown to the KS2 SATs: week two

Five tried and tested revision techniques “The first step is to talk to them about where they feel their strengths lie and where they might need to develop.” Hello, I’m James Clements. For ten years, I worked as a teacher and deputy head at a successful primary school in West London. For seven of those … Read more

Countdown to the KS2 SATs: week one

Week one: Staying positive “We should talk about learning new things in mathematics or developing confidence in reading, rather than the scores children are getting. If we focus our energy on children’s learning, the tests scores will take care of themselves.” Hello, I’m James Clements. For ten years, I worked as a teacher and deputy … Read more

sharing books

Picture books for older readers

Who says we have to leave picture books behind in KS1? These wonderful books use spellbinding illustrations to introduce children to big ideas. A Child of Books Oliver Jeffers, Sam Winston Age: 5+ | Oxford Level 7 A beautiful picture book all about the wonder and importance of books. What’s not to like? Buy on … Read more

Children playing at primary school

Choosing a primary school

If your child was born between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014, you will need to apply for a place at primary school by the middle of January 2018. If this applies to you, you might find yourself asking two questions: 1. Wow, primary school already, where did the time go? 2. Now, where … Read more

How to support your child through KS2 SATs

If you are a parent of a child in Year 6 in an English primary school, you’ll probably be very aware of the SATs tests. For one week in May, Year 6 children will be tested on their reading, mathematics, and grammar, punctuation and spelling. They’ll also have their writing assessed. At the end of … Read more

Supporting spelling at home

How important is good spelling, really? Is it still vital in a world of typed documents, emails and autocorrect? Isn’t it the quality of writing we should be worried about, rather than the spelling of the words themselves? Perhaps, as Mark Twain observed, ‘anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word … Read more