Should you give a reward for good KS2 SATs results?

Having spent what seems like months preparing for the KS2 SATs, and then several days sitting the actual exams, results day is drawing nearer. Year six pupils up and down the country will be getting their results on Tuesday 10th July and, for many, it will be the first time they receive the outcome of a formal exam process. So, should you offer a reward?

Among parents, it can be a polarising issue and one that’s debated at the school gates. There’s no doubt that it’s a personal choice and one that needs to consider how your family usually celebrations. So, what’s the argument for and against?

For rewarding KS2 SATs results

It’s natural to want to reward your child for doing well, especially if they’ve put in the hard work revising and completing practice papers. For many parents, giving a reward is a ‘well done’ on your achievement and an incentive to put the effort in for further school work. If children have been particularly stressed or worried about taking the exams, a small gift can be used to congratulate them on getting through it.

Against rewarding KS2 SATs results

Those that fall in the against rewarding camp, often state that doing well in education should be a reward on its own and further encouragement shouldn’t be needed to keep working hard in the future. Of course, the thought that they need to achieve a particular mark to get a reward can also pile the pressure on a child if they are given a goal beforehand, leading to them stressing even more and potentially meaning they underperform.

So, which option do you agree with? If you’re planning on rewarding their efforts there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Reflecting effort – It’s important to note that results don’t always equal the effort put in. A child that’s been struggling with a particular subject but puts in lots of effort to increase their grade may still not necessarily achieve the best marks. When it comes to rewards, it’s often best to look at the grades your child is expected to receive and how they’ve performed in the past.
  • Choosing a reward – Deciding on a reward that reflects the celebration can be challenging. From money to a day trip out that your child gets to choose, there are a lot of options. You could even tie it back to school, such as a book of their choosing from the bookshop or a colourful new backpack to take to secondary school.
  • Giving targets – Specific targets for grades can make the whole exam process seem more stressful. If you want your reward to be given with a goal in mind, why not link it to sticking to a revision timetable or something similar instead?