![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/28d2b21b-4fd5-4522-8659-94d2671aa215/991d75a0-730c-4126-9389-acd929c8990dLBQ17.7.19-6206.jpg "Image") **Are you still second guessing SATs?** As we approach Christmas many will be thinking of pantomimes, parties, school disco, decorations, Christingle and other school festivities. But for Year 6, maths leads and the SLT there are other upcoming events that occupy mind the mind: SATs SATs are coming, like Christmas, inevitable and unavoidable. Bah humbug! So how can teachers help fulfil children’s potential in maths whilst satisfying the demands of SLT and government targets? **What does past paper analysis tell you?** The moment SATs are released, a deluge of analysis hits social media. Teachers spend hours poring over the content, breaking it down by topic and year group. Revision programmes will be created, trends in question topics analysed, previous papers reviewed, and potential pass scores calculated. For some Year 6 teachers, it seems that SATs success is all about doing their homework! So, what have we learned? Analysis of previous SAT papers show that since the new format was introduced in 2016, less than 50% of the questions are from content actually taught in Year 6. It hardly seems possible to include more learning than that, given that a great portion of the academic year for ten and eleven year olds is taken up by numerous rounds of practice questions and papers. Not only does this create an atmosphere of pressure for our children, but we’re adding to the marking and assessment burden already placed on teachers. **Reducing the pressure on Year 6** We need to start earlier. If we follow the mastery approach, then learning should be completely embedded in Years 3, 4 and 5. Then it’s a case of practise. Practice makes perfect is an old mantra chanted by my father and his grandfather and many others from the older generations, but recent theory and research shows that those old sages had a point. Deliberate practice theory as advocated by James Clear shows that focusing on a skill and repeatedly attempting does have a positive outcome. **Don’t take the blanket approach** Instead of focusing on what’s going on in the papers, focus on what’s going on in the classroom. Pinpointing precisely where the gaps in learning are means that you can dispense with the ‘catch all’ rounds of practise papers and focus on the areas that your learners need specific help with. LbQ has SAT practise papers and real-time performance analysis for teachers (with no marking) so you can see those gaps clearer, faster. What to do with the time saved? The time saved in marking can then be spent identifying the key skills that stop pupils from progressing. Or you could work with individual learners to make sure that everyone in your class reaches their potential. Or you could nail that nativity. Or, and this is a real Christmas wish, free up your weekend and don’t end up shopping and wrapping those presents on Christmas Eve! Have a look at our high-quality SATs practice Question Sets now and leave marking practice paper after paper behind. Click [here](https://www.lbq.org/search/mathematics/assessment?keywords=(sats)/) to view the sets.