Wednesday 11 October 2017

Letts Study Guides for Key Stage 2 SATS (Updated for 2018) Review.

Letts have recently updated their Key Stage 2 study books for the 2018 SATs tests. They've made them more friendly and less formal, and the chunks of text are smaller and less intimidating. It's a new look that should appeal to more children, as the revision and workbooks seem less like a test or school work and more like a traditional 'rainy day' puzzle book.

It's well known that I never force my children do homework unless they're off school ill or fall behind. As long as they are on target, I let them spend their free time doing (within reason) what they choose. Sometimes they choose to play LEGO or computer games, and sometimes they want to draw, write or fill in puzzle books. By having a range of activities available, it's often clear to see that your children really just want to explore and learn.

My two boys are completely different characters and I doubt it's ever been move evident than in the  picture above. My 7 year old launched into the page and answered questions without hesitation. My 9 year old sat and read the entire 2 page spread before he did anything. The Letts books suited them both equally and they both felt that this wasn't really 'work', it was more like a quiz.

They both chose Maths books, so at random I gave the Maths Workbook to my 7 year old. Key Stage 2 is the age band 7-11 (Junior School) and both of my boys fit within it. At 7 1/2 and 9, they are still quite far apart in ability, and I was able to compare.

Although they both perform well in school, my younger son was a bit daunted as the first thing he encountered in the Workbook was Roman Numerals and he isn't confident with them. His big brother helped him though, which was a proud moment for me, and his momentary lapse of confidence was soon over.

My 9 year old looked at the Letts Maths SATs Revision Guide. I expected this to be more test like, but actually it almost reads like a magazine and is incredibly accessible to children.

He genuinely had no problem at all and didn't ask for clarification on anything. This alone is impressive as he can lack confidence in his own judgement and feel a need to check anything new with an adult.

I was more excited about the English books, I was always more of a wordsmith.

The KS2 English SATs Success Workbook is in a similar style to the Maths Workbook, possibly with even more illustrations. It's full of writing prompts and exciting projects that encourage children to think outside the box and stretch their use of language.

Activities are often presented as a fun quiz and answers are short enough that they are quick to reward your child as they see the page fill up. Even a page full of questions looks friendly and inviting.

The KS2 English SATs Success Revision Guide I found fascinating. Primary English has changed an awful lot since I was at school. I didn't know at 9 what Persuasive Writing meant or what Blurb was. I found it really interesting to see what I was learning looking at the books.

Just the same as the Maths Revision Guide, information is presented in chunks, with important words clearly highlighted and it reads like a magazine, in a friendly, chatty way that isn't like formal school at all.

Letts agree with me that children shouldn't be expected to work outside school excessively, and that SATs aren't something that youngsters (or parents) should become stressed about.

When a child is scared everything is harder, and when it becomes too stressful or too hard, your child will make the minimum effort required to satisfy you and then switch off.

I asked my boys to take a look, but then they chose to complete several pages each. They enjoyed the Letts books and really got their teeth into completing tasks. Both felt a sense of achievement and pride, which is always a good thing.

You can find out a bit more about the new range here - Letts Revision Key Stage 2 - where you can also download free sample pages from the books to find out if they will suit your child.

Letts Workbooks and Revision Guides for Key Stage 2 each have 96 pages and cost £5.99 each. They are part of a huge range of books available to support your child's schoolwork. Available to buy now direct from the Letts Website and from all good bookshops.

We have previously reviewed the Key Stage 2 Letts Wild About Workbooks.  

I was paid for the time taken to review and write this post and we were sent our books.

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