Jobs and Careers Autumn 2017 - 150
SPOTLIGHT ON TEACHING
CHILDREN SIT COMPULSORY
TESTS - KNOWN AS SATS - AT
THE END OF KS1 AND KS2
Why are they used?
SATS provide parents with
information about their child's
progress. The results are also used
to ensure schools are teaching
children the required key skills at
this primary stage of education.
What do they test children on?
SATS test a child's knowledge of
maths and English. The English
tests focus on grammar, spelling,
punctuation and comprehension,
while the maths questions test
arithmetic and reasoning.
to meet the set objectives. You
can be far more creative, link your
learning through all your topics
and play to your pupils strengths.
"Of course, higher expectations
mean an increased expectation
of what a child is able to achieve.
Children now have to be able
to do things at a younger age,
which provides another real
challenge for their teachers."
TEACHING KEY STAGE 2
KS2 shares almost the same
curriculum elements as KS1,
with English, maths and science
as the three core subjects.
WHAT ARE CHILDREN TAUGHT?
In maths, the focus during the lower
years of KS2 (Years 3 and 4) is on
mastering the four operations:
addition, subtraction, multiplication
and division. By the end of Year 6,
the focus is on fractions, ratio and
proportion, and introduces algebra.
In English, there is a stronger
emphasis on vocabulary, grammar,
IS A HUGE
AMOUNT TO FIT
IN. YOU HAVE TO
KNOW MORE THAN
TEACHERS OF THE
PAST! SARAH POULTON
punctuation, spelling, handwriting and
spoken English. In lower KS2, teachers
help children build on their work from
KS1 to make them more independent in
both their reading and writing. By Year
6, children are looking at a wide range
of texts and types of writing. There is
also a greater focus on grammar as
they prepare for national curriculum
tests to be taken in the summer
term of Year 6 (see box, top right).
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO TEACH KS2?
"The new curriculum certainly allows
for greater ﬂexibility," says Sarah
What do teachers think?
"Children in KS1 have to sit a
test, so you have to teach them
what a test looks like," says Linda
Droogmans. "You do spend time
teaching testing techniques when
you could be investing more
teaching time into each subject.
But with further key stages
becoming so exam-based, at least
children are getting used to taking
tests in a supportive and hopefully
Poulton, a KS2 teacher from
Cambridgeshire. "You can organise
your school day as you wish, as
long as the content's there.
"However, there is a huge amount
to ﬁt it. The bar's been raised and the
way we assess children has changed
too, so it's undoubtedly challenging!
You certainly have to know a lot
more than teachers of the past. You
have to be a jack-of-all-trades and
have the skills to teach in all subjects.
"It works if you love learning, are
happy to remain on your toes and
keep one step ahead even when
you have to teach subjects you're
not entirely comfortable with!"
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148 J&C JC17 National Curriculum jw.indd 150