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Dealing with sress in Year 6: Preparations for SATs

To show methods for dealing with stress.

by Hayley Kearns

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To show methods for dealing with stress.

Preparation and materials

  • Object or ball and a target to hit.
  • Page of French writing or Spanish writing depending on the modern foreign language the school is doing.


  1. Ask children the following questions.

    –  Can you read every word in books your teachers give you? Put your hand up if you can.
    –  Are you able to answer every sum you are given?

    (Some might be over confident in their responses but direct them to knowing that all children and adults still learn new things every day.)

    Then ask: Are you good at maths? Stand up if you are.

    Ask a similar question for different subjects and activities – make sure every child can stand up at least once.
  2. Point out that many very different children stood up to say they are good at the different subjects. You aren’t all good at the same things at the same time.

    What matters is that we always try our best to do our best in areas where we are strong and where we are weak.
  3. Ask a child to come out and throw the object at the target. Each time the child succeeds, increase the distance until the child fails.

    When the child fails, does this mean that he or she is a failure? What can the child do to ensure success at that distance?

    Direct children to thinking about the importance of asking for help, and of practising what they are learning. (You can demonstrate using sentences in Spanish/French with some words that are recognizable and some that are difficult.)
  4. Tell the children that whenever we attempt to do something that is hard, there is no failure in not being able to do it but only failure in not trying. In fact, by getting something wrong we can identify what we need to do to get it right, and learning occurs.
  5. Say to the children that they are about to do tests in English and Maths which will have some importance because the results will be passed on to their secondary schools. But everyone knows that these only test ability in two subjects on one particular day in school.

    As long as you try your best in SATs’ week, parents, teachers and even you yourselves should be pleased.

Time for reflection

Take a few moments to think about the areas of work that you find easy.



Now think about the things that you find more difficult.


How can you practise the difficult work? If you can’t think of a strategy, maybe you could talk to your teacher about this.

I pray that you will hold my hand
and walk me through the dark times.
Please reduce the burdens in my life
or show me the path I need to take to get things done.
Please rid me of the things weighing me down.
Thank you, Lord, for all you do in my life,
and for the ways you will provide for me,
even in these stressful times.


‘One more step’ (Come and Praise, 47)

‘Under pressure’ by David Bowie

Publication date: May 2012   (Vol.14 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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