SATS Information for Parents (2017)

2016 National Changes to Statutory Key Stage 2 Assessment Information

In 2016 changes were made to the SATS assessment and we want to ensure our parents are aware of the changes. 

Following the introduction of the new National Curriculum, the assessments are now much more rigorous and challenging than previous years. The expectation has increased.

In previous years, the children were given a level, e.g. 4A/4B, based on teacher assessment and a test level based on a SAT (Standard Attainment Test) in reading, SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) and maths. The national expected standard at the end of year six was 4B.

Our teaching staff continue to work extremely hard to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum whilst preparing pupils for the end of year assessment.   

At the end of Year 6, children sit tests in:

  • Reading
  • Maths
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar

These tests are both set and marked externally, and the results are used to measure the school’s performance (for example, through reporting to Ofsted and published league tables). Your child’s marks will be used in conjunction with teacher assessment to give a broader picture of their attainment.

Key Stage 2 Reading

The reading test is a single paper with questions based on three passages of text. Your child will have one hour, including reading time, to complete the test.
There will be a selection of question types, including:

  • Ranking/ordering, e.g. ‘Number the events below to show the order in which they happen in the story’
  • Labelling, e.g. ‘Label the text to show the title of the story’
  • Find and copy, e.g. ‘Find and copy one word that suggests what the weather is like in the story’
  • Short constructed response, e.g. ‘What does the bear eat?’
  • Open-ended response, e.g. ‘Look at the sentence that begins Once upon a time. How does the writer increase the tension throughout this paragraph? Explain fully, referring to the text in your answer.’

From 2018 the Department for Education has announced that the reading content of the KS2 SATs will be more closely linked to the curriculum to ensure children are drawing on their knowledge when answering reading comprehension questions.

Key Stage 2 grammar, punctuation and spelling test

The grammar, punctuation and spelling test consists of two parts: a grammar and punctuation paper requiring short answers, lasting 45 minutes, and an aural spelling test of 20 words, lasting around 15 minutes.

The grammar and punctuation test will include two sub-types of questions:

  • Selected response, e.g. ‘Identify the adjectives in the sentence below’
  • Constructed response, e.g. ‘Correct/complete/rewrite the sentence below,’ or, ‘The sentence below has an apostrophe missing. Explain why it needs an apostrophe.’

Key Stage 2 maths

Children sit three papers in maths:

  • Paper 1: arithmetic, 30 minutes
  • Papers 2 and 3: reasoning, 40 minutes per paper

Paper 1 will consist of fixed response questions, where children have to give the correct answer to calculations, including long multiplication and division. Papers 2 and 3 will involve a number of question types, including:

  • Multiple choice
  • True or false
  • Constrained questions, e.g. giving the answer to a calculation, drawing a shape or completing a table or chart
  • Less constrained questions, where children will have to explain their approach for solving a problem

Key Stage 2 science

Not all children in Year 6 will take science SATs. However, a number of schools will be required to take part in science sampling: a test administered to a selected sample of children thought to be representative of the population as a whole. Science sampling testing will take place in the weeks commencing Monday 4 June 2018 and Monday 11 June 2018.

For those who are selected, there will be three papers:

  • Biology: 25 minutes, 22 marks
  • Chemistry: 25 minutes, 22 marks
  • Physics: 25 minutes, 22 marks

It sounds very intimidating, but these are ‘questions in a physics/chemistry/biology context’, for example:

Biology: ‘Describe the differences in the life cycle of an amphibian and a mammal’

Chemistry: ‘Group a list of materials according to whether they are solid, liquid or gas’

Physics: ‘Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, based on where the poles are facing’

When will KS2 SATs take place in 2018?

Key stage 2

Date Activity
Monday 14 May English grammar, punctuation and spelling papers 1 and 2
Tuesday 15 May English reading
Wednesday 16 May Mathematics papers 1 and 2
Thursday 17 May Mathematics paper 3

Science sampling tests

Schools selected for science sampling will need to be available to administer the tests within the 2 week period from Monday 4 June 2018.

How will Key Stage 2 SATs be marked?

The previous national curriculum levels have been scrapped, and instead children are given scaled scores (read our parents' guide to primary school grading and SATs codes for more details).

You will be given your child’s raw score (the actual number of marks they get), alongside their scaled score and whether they have reached the expected standard set by the Department for Education (‘NS’ means that the expected standard was not achieved and ‘AS’  means the expected standard was achieved)

The range of scaled scores available for each KS2 test is:

  • 80 (the lowest scaled score that can be awarded)
  • 120 (the highest scaled score)

The expected standard for each test is a scaled score of 100 or more. If a child is awarded a scaled score of 99 or less they won't have achieved the expected standard in the test.

The Department for Education expects at least 65 per cent of children to reach the expected standard (the figure was initially 85 per cent but has been revised).