County news: Children given McDonalds breakfast to tackle SATs anxiety

Children at a Sussex primary school are being given McDonalds for breakfast to make them less worried about their SATs tests this week.

Year six Silverdale Primary Academy pupils ready for their SATs exams. Photo by the school
Year six Silverdale Primary Academy pupils ready for their SATs exams. Photo by the school

Year six pupils at Silverdale Primary Academy, St Leonards, are being given McMuffins and other treats from the fast food restaurant as part of a range of initiatives to allay exam anxiety.

The school is also gathering interest after sending a letter to all year six children telling them the tests do not assess what makes them ‘special and unique’.

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Principal Liz Miles said: “It’s about giving them a treat and saying to them that we look after them.

“There was a real buzz in the school this morning, the children weren’t stressed out, they were rising to the challenge of it and it was a great atmosphere in school.

“We want them to do the best they can and we want them to feel that about themselves.”

Children across the country will be sitting their SATS exams this week which are used to assess the pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills before the move to secondary school.

The tests have garnered controversy with many parents refusing to send their children to school and demonstrating in Alexandra Park on Wednesday (May 4).

But Silverdale have taken a novel approach to the exams by trying to alleviate stress and get across the message that they are not the be-all and end-all.

The letter tells pupils that the marks from the SATS do not tell them everything as ‘there are many ways of being smart’.

It includes a quote from Aristotle and tells them to ‘sleep, rest, believe and sparkle’.

“It’s very much about supporting them and letting them know that we think they are absolutely amazing,” Mrs Miles said.

“SATS is only one measure of someone but there are many other ways in which to measure a child and we recognise that and cherish them.”

The principal said the whole point is to make the children proud of themselves regardless of the exams and to spread positivity and confidence.

Mrs Miles added that she had received numerous emails from parents from other schools saying they will be reading the letter to their children because they liked it so much.

Read the letter here.

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