Cut down teacher workload through SATs disruption

SATs Companion

SATs Companion is headed up by director and former headteacher Nasir Qurashi. Nasir leads a group of dedicated teachers and headteachers who have researched the challenges teachers, pupils and parents were facing with the new SATs curriculum changes. His team has developed an innovative, pupil and teacher-oriented system which has reduced teacher workload, improved pupil progress, and saved schools money.

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Images courtesy of supplier. Images courtesy of supplier.

When it came to SATs, Natalie Carry, deputy headteacher at St Edward’s Primary School in Birmingham, had a real problem. “We were finding it difficult to find questions for the pupils to answer,” explains Natalie, “and we were using booklets but these can only be used once.”

This is something our research told us was a key challenge for teachers. Finding appropriate resources which didn’t come with a mammoth price tag was a difficult task by itself! Add to the mix 30 worksheets or books, which then needs to be marked by the teacher, and you have a workload which very quickly becomes unmanageable.

We wanted to tackle this problem head on. For the teachers and headteachers here at SATs Companion, using technology has always been about finding innovative ways to help teachers. However, the challenge wasn’t just reducing workload (which we did!); it was also the new curriculum coverage and style of questions. For the latter, we conducted cutting-edge R&D, bringing them into the 21st century by taking them online with SATs Companion. We have developed over 40 different question-styles based on the government framework.

Natalie has found that this aspect of the system has helped St Edward’s tremendously with SATs prep: “With SATs Companion, we’re able to have questions which can change. So, we can set the children a task one day, and the next day we can set another task in the same area, but with a whole new set of questions.”

This means saving both time and money, as well as no more queueing for the photocopier!

Another challenge we found during our research: teachers felt there was too little support, and too few resources, to effectively implement the new curriculum. They were concerned that there was not enough time for them to plan, teach, mark, assess and report on pupil progress. PPA time was not enough, leading to stress and, sadly, some staff leaving the profession.

Thankfully, Natalie has found that using SATs Companion enables St Edward’s teachers to quickly and effectively plan, prepare and provide intervention: “It was clearly set up so that it supports teachers. We’ve been able to quickly analyse pupil data to ensure that they are aware of the gaps in pupils’ learning. This has saved time, and ensured that they can then spend time looking at exactly which questions the pupils need to answer next.”

Hearing feedback such as this really motivates us as a team. When we initially developed SATs Companion, we had one simple objective in mind: To free up teachers’ time.

SATs Companion quickly identifies intervention areas for individual pupils, groups and classes. Teachers can review data at the touch of a button, before assigning differentiated questions. Pupils can also independently access our bank of 28,000 questions. SATs Companion records, marks and shows pupil responses to questions, so teachers can identify and address misconceptions quickly.

Sound good? Take our one-hour workload-buster challenge! Book a 20-minute online demo to receive £100 worth of SATs test papers for FREE! Visit or contact / 020 8767 1971 for more information.

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