With just a week or so to go, here are some very, very last minute dos and don’ts:
DO play the tables app repeatedly so their tables are as sharp as can be. Chat about shape names and look up the ones they don’t remember. Chat about how to find areas of rectangles, triangles and parallelograms and what the perimeter is. Play line kung fu together (making kung fu shapes for horizontal, vertical, perpendicular, parallel and adjacent).
DO discuss exam technique. The aim is to open the paper and spot a great question on any page. Do it. Get it absolutely right (by looking for tricks and stepping back a bit) before doing the same for the next question. Keep an eye on the clock at all times. One minute per question is key, so don’t get bogged down with slow ones at first, even if they are do-able.
DON’T allow panic to set in. Reassure your child that they know enough now and that it is all about picking their favourite questions, using the time wisely and checking the whole question has been answered before moving on.
DO read a few comprehension texts and chat about the purpose, any confusing bits, who is in it, where it is set and what it is all for. Talk about scanning texts for key facts and reassure that the first read is not about remembering names or details.
DO go over parts of speech. Adverbs tell us how the verb is done. Adjectives describe the noun. Pronouns feature regularly and so do proper nouns and conjunctions.
DON’T allow panic to set in. Remind your child of exam tips. It is often easier to do the back exercises first (timing themselves half a minute per question, so 3mins for the 6 usually given). Half of the comprehension questions will be fact picking so they just have to care enough to find the right part of the extract and scan for the correct fact. If they can’t find it, read another line or so further just in case it comes up later.
DO five minutes of the little vocab parrot book regularly, or instead the odd short exercise (6 questions or so) from a VR paper. But give up before next week.
DO slowly go through an exercise or so (12 questions, 6 minutes) from NVR exam papers. Be absolutely sure the answers make sense or photograph and send to one of us. Remind that 5 bars can be 2 patterns (box 1, 3 and 5 go together and box 2 and 4 have a separate version of the pattern). Remind about following individual elements of the pattern if the bigger picture is unclear.
DON’T allow panic to set in. All they have to achieve is half marks on any exercise they find tricky. Remind that in VR they should always do codes last as they are slower.
In the end your child knows enough now to do a good job of the paper. However bad the exam maybe, a strong kick-ass approach will be enough to score a pass even if there is plenty your child doesn’t remember on the day. Stay zen. And remember those silly kung fu moves around the house…