Instead of Sats, we've got the Prats

With Sats cancelled, head Colin Dowland imagines the DfE coming up with the Pandemic Rhetorical Assessment Tests

Colin Dowland

Covid and schools: Instead of Sats, we've got the Prats, says headteacher Colin Dowland

In a surprise development, the Department for Education has announced that this year’s end-of-year primary Sats tests will be replaced by a new assessment: the Pandemic Rhetorical Assessment Tests (Prats).

Tes has received a leaked copy of the maths paper from a trusted source at the Standards and Testing Agency. See how many Prat questions you can answer correctly.

Forget Sats, here come the Prats

Question 1: A school receives three boxes of 52 lateral flow test kits. Each kit contains seven tests. If the 45 staff each have a test twice a week for the next three weeks, calculate the total number of times during swabbing that they will gag.

Question 2: At an end-of-the-day show and tell, Jenny in Year 2 shows a birthday photograph of a LEGO model she made of a drive-thru Covid test centre, complete with helipad, palm trees and plastic dinosaur volunteers. In the photograph, you notice three other girls from Year 2. Her birthday was last weekend. At what time do you report this illegal party to the police?

Question 3: In the school medical room, there are four boxes of face masks, three boxes of aprons and six boxes of rubber gloves. Work out which Cabinet minister’s friend was the supplier, and draw your own conclusions.

Question 4: Last Friday, teacher Ms Clench’s boiler broke down. A plumber visited her house on Saturday. On Monday, the plumber developed a temperature and had a Covid test the following day. Two days later he received a positive result. He felt better the next day. Ms Clench has been absent from school since Tuesday. Calculate to the nearest three days which day Ms Clench can return to school.

Question 5: Every primary school child in the country washes their hands at the beginning of the school day, at the start of every lesson, at the end of every lesson and at the end of the day. If each child uses three paper towels every time they wash their hands, when will the world run out of trees?

Question 6: Not including bubble closures, from March 2020 to March 2021, the school was closed for 23 weeks as a result of lockdown. Compared with the same period the year before, work out how many fewer cakes were eaten in the staffroom.

Question 7: Under the DfE schools’ guidance for staggered starts and separate entrances, the beginning of a school day looks like this:

  • Year 3 and Year 5 enter school via the playground gate at 8.55am. 
  • Year 4 and Year 1 enter school via the car park at 9.05am.
  • Year 5 and Year 3 enter school via the main entrance at 9.00am.
  • Year 6 and Reception enter school via the school field at 9.10am.

Calculate how many siblings are completely lost by 9.15am. 

Question 8: If every class in the UK uses three 500ml bottles of hand sanitiser each week, how many weeks would it take to use the equivalent amount of hand sanitiser to fill up all the unused swimming pools this summer on the Costa del Sol?

Question 9: A free school meal hamper made to last five days contains two potatoes, a jar of gherkins, five sachets of ketchup, a plastic yellow duck and a small pebble. Draw a Venn diagram to illustrate which catering organisation is making the most money.

Question 10: Some of the children in school have new lockdown puppies. Anoushka has a new golden retriever. Marti has a new French bulldog. Blessing has a new border terrier and Giles has a new cockapoo. Which child will be the first to blame their new puppy for eating their maths homework?

Question 11: Supply PE teacher Mr Simpkins works at five different schools each week, teaching four classes a day. In each school, he also runs a mixed-aged after-school football club. If he tests positive after his next lateral flow test, estimate to the nearest seven hours how long it would take to trace his contacts, and then calculate how many bubbles would close and how many children would be happy not to be shouted at for at least a week.

Question 12: According to Tes reports in March 2021, 47 per cent of headteachers and 46 per cent of teachers have said they are considering leaving their jobs. In addition, 71 per cent of teachers said they were working far more hours than they had been before the pandemic. Using these percentages, find the equation that results in a teacher pay rise of 0 per cent. Be careful to check that your answer makes sense.

Colin Dowland is a primary headteacher in North London. He tweets as @colindowland

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