Supporting children during SATS week
SATS week can present a challenging time for children and teachers alike, but how can you safeguard their well-being?
For teachers, working to eliminate stress in the build-up to the exams is key and every child should feel that they have access to support if they feel they need it.
Different behaviour to what a teacher is used to can be an indicator of anxiety or stress, and teachers should talk to each child privately if they feel this is the case.
However, there is plenty more that teachers can do in the classroom in the build-up to exams to ensure that all of their class are calm, composed and prepared.
The key is to be vigilant, and to be available for support should a child feel they are struggling.
A teacher is best placed to talk through exams and preparation techniques, as well as any other issues that a child may be facing.
Body language is therefore also important, as children will recognise when a teacher is positive and upbeat, which increases the likelihood of them feeling a similar way.
Another way to reduce anxiety is to encourage group activities and group thinking – this can help to avoid any child feeling that they are alone in the run-up to the exams.
This should also enable children to better manage their own emotions in front of their peers and to talk about anything they are unsure about.
Group activities such as revision games and debate can help to lighten the mood, while also keeping the children’s minds on the subjects at hand.
At the same time, teachers should attempt to keep a degree of normality to their teaching and revision lessons, even if they are slightly less formal than usual.
Many tactics for maintaining well-being in the classroom will vary depending on the children involved, but it is pivotal that teachers are always on hand to lend support.
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