Miss Britton

SATs Practice: A Waste of Time?

~ 15th April 2020 ~

With the majority of children in lockdown at home and this year’s exams cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, should all that teaching, learning and exam preparation go to waste?

waste paper bin

Wouldn’t it be a shame if children were to forget all that they have worked so hard to learn?

Now, I am in no way suggesting that children need a rigorous school-like routine while they are at home. The mental health and wellbeing of our children is of the utmost importance at this difficult time and it is my opinion that children should most certainly take this opportunity to spend quality time with their family, enjoy hobbies and games and perhaps learn to take on household responsibilities.

Having said this, I do think a little revision is important and also a good distraction for busy young minds.

Although the 2020 SATs will no longer take place, we should remember that the skills the children have been practising leading up to these exams are still relevant and necessary to their futures. Unless these skills are put into practice, it is possible that children could forget prior learning and this could mean they will potentially have more to catch up on when schools reopen.

woman teaching son computer

One revision idea involves children practising exam style questions, some of which will require them to apply their learning to real-life scenarios and problems. Past SATs papers and mark schemes are available as free downloads from satspapers.org.uk. This allows parents, or even the students themselves, to mark the tests and identify areas of strength and areas for improvement.

To accompany this revision exercise, I have begun making video walkthroughs for past KS2 SATs papers – the first of which is now on YouTube. In this video, I demonstrate strategies for answering questions from the 2019 KS2 Maths Paper 2: Reasoning.


I intend for the videos to act as both a guide for each test paper and as a helpful reminder of mathematical strategies for both students and parents, in order to support home learning.

Although the full video is quite long, I suggest you skip through to the questions most relevant to your needs. I will also be publishing shorter videos clips of questions relating to different topics e.g. Place Value, Geometry, Fractions etc.

What are your thoughts about SATs practice during this period of lockdown? Do you think some revision is necessary? Or is this all a waste of time now SATs have been cancelled?

I would be interested to hear your opinions on this matter, so feel free to use the button below to get involved in the discussion on Twitter.

For a range of less serious and more fun, educational activity ideas, read my ‘Activities for Children at Home’ series where I have suggested various ideas relating to Maths, Science, English, Art, History, Geography, Music and PE. ??

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About the Author

Julianne Britton

Julianne Britton is an experienced teacher and author. Having taught across KS1 and KS2 and after just 3 years, she was promoted into leadership and given the responsibility of 'Science and Computing Coordinator'.

Specialising in 11+ entrance exams and SATs preparation, she has also worked as a private tutor, successfully supporting the education of 50+ students and, in addition to writing for CGP Books and Teach Primary magazine, Julianne also publishes educational resources for teachers on TES.

Julianne is also a member of MENSA.

Get in touch via sales@missbritton.co.uk, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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As Featured in The Guardian
Resource Author for TES
Author for CGP books
Regular contributor to Teach Primary magazine