Schools disguise Sats as ‘spy training’

Primaries protect children from the pressure of Sats by telling them it is a 'secret agent' exercise

Will Hazell

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The pressure that Sats exert on children is a perennial complaint from primary school teachers, with reports of children being driven to tears by the tests every year.

However, it seems some schools have come up with a clever way of easing this pressure – by disguising the tests.

Caroline Spalding, assistant head at Tupton Hall School in Chesterfield and a Tes contributor, tweeted last week that her seven-year-old nephew had told her he had undertaken “secret spy training” at school. This involved having to “complete challenges and quizzes to unlock his reward at the end of the week”.

She said it took her five minutes to realise he was actually referring to Sats.

The school – Holbrook Church of England Primary School in Derbyshire – is apparently not alone in using what one tweeter called the “hiding the broccoli trick”.

Hartsholme Academy, in Lincolnshire, uses “secret agent training” to help with learning for exams.

Another teacher talked about how she had encouraged children to be “undercover learning ninjas”.

One tweeter said she wished the approach had been taken with her “stressed” daughter.

And another asked whether the technique might be applicable to slightly older pupils.

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Will Hazell

Will Hazell

Will Hazell is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @whazell

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