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Boy solving maths reasoning problem

Non-verbal reasoning

Non-verbal reasoning is one of those phrases you may have heard a lot, especially if your child is in Year 6, and it is likely to come up in many Year 6 home/school meetings. But what exactly is non-verbal reasoning? What is non-verbal reasoning? Non-verbal reasoning is sometimes called abstract reasoning. It involves solving problems … 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

The new GCSEs explained – what’s changed and how the new grades work

GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) are the main academic qualification taken in several subjects by the vast majority of pupils in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In England, there have been significant reforms to many topics studied within the subjects, as well as to the grading system and examinations themselves. So … Read more

How to support your child during GCSEs – what to do and when

If your child is about to embark on their ‘GCSE journey’, there are probably dozens of questions spinning around your mind. Aside from the obvious one (which is ‘where has all the time gone? It seems like only yesterday they were at primary school!’), you may well be wondering about the new style of GCSEs, … 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

The word gap: How to build your child’s vocabulary at home

An Oxford University Press report, Why the Word Gap Matters: Oxford Language Report, published this week reveals that both primary and secondary schools teachers are finding that an increasing number of children have a limited vocabulary – a word gap. Without enough words a child will not only find it difficult to understand instructions at … 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