KS2 SATS resources

It is that time of year again when KS2 SATs are rapidly approaching.  I know that both teachers and parents want their children to be able to do their best in the tests so I have put together a list of a few resources which I have found useful.

1. TES I Board http://www.iboard.co.uk/

A vast range of activities searchable by age and subjects. Many are free but others are only available by subscription. Also has a specific SPaG revision pack.

2. I Am Learning KS2 English, Maths and Science Apps https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/i-am-learning-ks2-english/id432518626?mt=8

Both apps have specific games for each skill and are listed by Year group or topic. They are a quick fire revisions and assessment tool and progress is recorded. they requires iOs 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Each priced at £1.49 (March 2014)

3. Literacy Shed http://www.literacyshed.com/

Though no formal test for writing at Year 6 there is still teacher assessment and this site features a range of resources to inspire writing.  Including videos and animations it offers suggestions of writing activities for a range of genres.  Ideal for reluctant writers or those looking for ways to inspire great creative writing and put into practise skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling.  All resources are free.

4. Sums Online http://www.sums.co.uk/

A site featuring a wealth of free resources for practising mathematical concepts.  Teaches and guides pupils as well as testing their ability. Ideal for those struggling with particular areas of maths or wanting to reinforce skills. Also a range of apps available to purchase for Apple devices – http://www.mathsapps.com/

5. BBC Bitesize http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/

A range of free activities, information, games and lesson plans for practising English, Maths and Science skills.  Games link to CBBC programmes making learning fun and engaging for children.

6. IXL Maths http://uk.ixl.com/math/year-6

A range of 227 Maths skills for Year 6 organised by category. Sample problems are shown, progress is tracked and questions increase in difficulty as you progress. Explanations are shown if an incorrect answer is input. Activities can be used for free and there is a free app. Subscriptions available for parents and schools who want full benefits including tracking and  reports.

7. Assessment and Reporting Arrangements for KS2 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/assessment-and-reporting-arrangements-2014-key-stage-2

Government documents on assessment and reporting requirements for KS2 teachers. Useful for parents who want to be informed about what tests and assessments will be taking place and when.


Learning Times Tables

Grasping the times tables is a key milestone in a childs mathematical learning journey. From the age of 6 or 7 they begin to memorize the answers to multiplications. Rapid recall of these number facts is a skill which remains useful throughout life but what is the best way to learn them? I would say that there is no one particular method which works best, since in my experience using a variety of methods and mediums embeds the facts and the concept of multiplication most effectively. I will discuss the methods that I have used both as a teacher and parent and hopefully some of these will prove effective for your children.

Learning by Rote
The practice of chanting times tables has been practised for decades and to this day remains an effective method. I recall myself that this is how I learnt my tables. A more modern slant is to use cds and songs to make the repetition of facts more interesting and engaging. I have often played cds of times tables as a background when getting changed for PE and at home have played it as my child settles down at bedtime. The only downfall of this method is that children may then have to go through the table from the beginning to find the answer to say 6 x 4.

There are multitude of apps which can be used on ipads, ipods and phones to practise tables. My personal favourites are:

Sing Your Times Tables with Percy Parker by Sherston Software (£0.69). This introduces the learner to Percy Parker who sings each times table song in a different style from country to heavy rock. Children certainly seem to find this engaging and there is also a grid and opportunities for them to recall missing answers.

Montys Quest by Primary Games (£0.69) This app requires rapid recall of times tables facts in order to help the mouse climb the hill to the cheese. The longer the answer takes the further the mouse will slide back down. There are options to select one or mixed tables and it is great for practising that rapid recall.

My Times Tables (free) It has variety of activities such as practising tables and number sequences, recalling missing numbers from the sequence and practising individual multiplication and division sums.

gridPlaying Games
Children love interacting with someone else when learning and so playing games involving tables is often very successful. Making flashcards of tables and answers and then matching the pairs is popular with my daughter especially when she has helped make the flashcards. Making multiplication grids and then taking it in turns to complete the answers is another method. This can be made more engaging by using a different colour each and trying to get four in a row etc.

PC program
http://www.Nessy.com have created Tables of Doom which provides a variety of activities for learning tables. What I particularly like about this is that they teach not only the answers but also what the tables mean in terms of 6×4 being six lots of fours objects. In the game Squares in the Air Children are asked to demonstrate this by selecting arrays/rows of squares of the correct size in response to table sums. Free demos of games are available though to use the full game there is a subscription fee of £20 per year.

Overall by using a mixture of these activities and mediums you are giving your children the best possible opportunities to learn their times tables, understand the concept of multiplication and begin to use this knowledge in their ongoing mathematical development.

RM Easimaths/RM Maths at home

RM produce a fantastic program for any parent or teacher wishing to enhance their children’s maths skills. Children can use this independently and it delivers activities which are appropriate  to the child’s level of ability and knowledge.

Originally running from a cd there is now a new version RM Easimaths which is an online program which costs £34.99 per year (Jan2013).

My daughters have been using the original version for the past two years and it has supported and built upon what they have learnt in school. They enjoy the interactive activities and since a score is provided at the end of every session they are keen to work on it again to improve their score.

Each session lasts around 15 mins, though this can be changed if less or more time is needed. Unlike some other maths resources it covers a range of aspects such as number, shape, pattern, measures, calculation etc.

Parents/teachers can check on the child’s progress and also any areas of difficulty.

Overalll a fantastic resource which can provide years of support and interactive learning.