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Preparing for the Tests - Revision
Revision has always been a traditional part of preparing for tests and examinations. Although we will be doing plenty of revision during lesson times in school, some extra time at home would be really useful!
Your child should not attempt to spend hours and hours 'cramming' for the tests - lets keep some kind of perspective! However we all want our children to do their best and to demonsrate their real capabilites - so 'little and often' has to be the best policy.
Try to negotiate a set time for your child to undertake some revision - and 15 to 20 minutes a day is plenty as long as the revision programme starts now and not the weekend before the tests!
Reading and multiplication tables
All of the tests (except mental mathematics) require your child to be able to read the questions - although during the tests they can request some help. Therefore improving reading skills will be helpful. Try to find some time for your child to read to you - and ask them questions about what they have read. Try to avoid simple factual recall ... instead ask questions like ;Why did the writer say that?' Encourage your child to read a variety of texts - story books, magazines, comics, recipe books, tv guides etc.
Multiplication tables are vitally important in the mathematics tests. Pupils will find it difficult to reach Level 4 if they don't know all multiplication facts up to 10 x 10 and the related divisions eg. 'How many 6's make 54'? Tables are not easy to learn and remember - your child needs your help!
Local shops, supermarkets, DIY stores and newsagents are full of revision guides and workbooks. If you decide to buy one for your child please remember to buy Key Stage 2 guides! On the whole guides on 'How To Do It' are far more useful than workbooks full of questions - unless your child is super-confident and you know what the answers are! Maths and Science guides tend to be more helpful than English guides since these two subjects are both knowledge and skill based.
Many home now have access to the Internet. There are a number of useful Key Stage 2 revision sites on the Internet. The best is probably the Bitesize site (formerly Revisewise) which is run by the BBC.
The address is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks2bitesize/index.shtml
Each of the three subjects, English, Mathematics and Science, is broken down into the same topics as the National Tests. Within each topic there are animations and fact sheets designed to reinforce children's grasp of all the key points that they have covered in school plus quizzes to test their knowledge and understanding. The online tests are marked and feedback on performance is provided.
The coverage is comprehensive and the activities varied. No risk of being bored! Regular visits to 'Bitesize' between now and May would provide just about the perfect amount of revision for your child. Children whose parents do not have internet access will be given priority access to the schools' ICT suite in the period immediately after Easter.
More useful 'stuff' can also be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/games
There are lots of learning games for all curriculum areas including literacy, numeracy and science - in some ways this is even better than 'Bitesize' as a learning tool.
In addition to the website there are a range of activity books available; some of which are specifically for home use, some for school. All other resources are suitable for both home and school use. For details of all these resources, together with ordering information, visit the BBC Shop on http://www.bbcshop.com.