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Should you offer rewards ahead of KS2 SATs?

For primary school children preparing to head to secondary school, the KS2 SATs are looming. For many children, it will be the first time they sit a formal exam, but should you be offering them rewards as encouragement for doing well? It can be a tricky balancing act.

The thought of a reward, whether it’s a trip out or some extra pocket money to spend on something they’ve had their eye on, should they achieve a certain grade can really spur a child on. But it can also negatively affect their performance if they feel under pressure and stressed. Whether your child responds well to rewards, will depend on their personality and how they’re approaching the SATs.

On top of how they handle pressure, it’s important to remember that each child is different academically. As a result, pinning rewards to certain grade levels that are out of reach for a child can leave them feeling as though they’ve failed, even if they’ve improved substantially and put in the effort to boost their grades ahead of exam day.

Of course, you can focus on encouraging revision instead, such as setting out mini rewards as they progress or offering a larger incentive when they get to the end. It’s the ideal way to ensure they get as much preparation as possible ahead of the actual exam and that they’ll reach their full potential, setting them for a great start before they head to secondary school.

So, what revision steps can help your child get ready for the KS2 SATs and could you offer a potential reward for?

  • Your child’s school is likely to have handed out revision worksheets for your child, targeting the essential areas they need to get to grips with. Completing these can help fill in any gaps they may have in their knowledge and flag up areas to go over.
  • There are also plenty of past papers available to help them get ready for exam conditions. With the ability to mark to exam guidelines, you can help them understand where they might pick up marks.
  • Reading a variety of books and other content can help with English papers. Reading and comprehension make up a significant portion of the paper and practising with books they enjoy can make revision seem less like a chore.
  • Practice spellings and grammar with your child. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar (SPAG) are also important for SATs and should be a core area they focus on during their revision that you can support them with.

Will you be using rewards to encourage your child as the KS2 SATs approach or to support revision goals?