May 2024 will once again be testing time for pupils in Years 2 and 6. From this year, however, testing of Key Stage 1 (KS1, Year 2) pupils will be optional, however most schools are expected to test as in previous years. For Key Stage 2 (KS2, Year 6, SATs will take place in the week of 13th May 2024.
This guide contains everything you need to know about both KS1 and KS2 SATs.
WHAT ARE SATS?
SATs stands for Standard Assessment Tests. They are tests designed to measure a child’s educational achievement, which, in turn, is designed to measure the school’s performance and achievement.
SATs are managed and administered by the Government’s Standards and Testing Agency. This is an Executive Agency of the Department for Education.
You can find out more about the Standards and Testing Agency at: Standards and Testing Agency – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The now optional KS1 tests include papers in maths, reading, and English grammar, punctuation and spelling. Most pupils taking KS1 tests will be in Year 2 and will reach the age of seven by the end of the academic year. KS1 tests are intended to assess pupils’ abilities in a fair and comparable way. Most pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) can participate using the standard versions of the tests.
As the papers at KS1 are marked internally by teachers in accordance with the mark scheme provided by the Standards and Testing Agency, it is up to schools to decide when and if they share the results.
Children in Year 6 (those aged 10-11) will take tests in Maths, Reading and grammar, punctuation and spelling under formal exam conditions. Each exam is timed.
These papers are marked externally but with separate teacher assessments in writing and science. KS2 SATs are as follows:
All KS2 SATs papers will be completed during the week commencing 13th May.
WHO TAKES KS2 SATS?
The tests are designed for pupils who have completed the KS2 programmes of study and are working at the overall standard of the tests. Most pupils taking the KS2 tests will be in Year 6 and will reach the age of 11 by the end of the academic year.
Headteachers make the final decision about whether it is appropriate for a pupil to take the tests. In so deciding the headteacher should:
discuss the pupil’s circumstances and needs with their parents and teachers
consult, if appropriate, with their Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), educational psychologist, medical professional or other specialist staff to consider access arrangements that might be appropriate to enable pupils to demonstrate their full abilities.
If a headteacher decides a pupil should not take one or more of the tests, they should report this decision to the pupil’s parents.
KS2 tests are externally marked. However, in addition, there is a teacher assessed element at KS2 to establish a ‘writing’ score. The papers are sent back to be marked centrally with marks standardised around a score of 100.
The school must report to parents by the end of the summer term.
The report to parents should include:
a brief commentary, outlining an account of what the teacher assessments and national curriculum tests results show about the pupil’s progress individually, and in relation to other pupils in the same year, which draws attention to any particular strengths and weaknesses of the pupil
the results of any National Curriculum tests taken, including the pupil’s scaled score and whether they met the expected standard (or a statement explaining why any National Curriculum test has not been taken)
comparative information about the attainment in the core subjects of pupils of the same age nationally.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATION FOR SATS
The following circumstances may make your child eligible for Special Consideration:
bereavement of a family member or close friend within 12 months of the tests
the pupil, or a close family member, has a diagnosed terminal illness at the time of the tests
the pupil or a close family member has suffered a severe or permanent injury or illness, or has undergone major surgery, in the 6 months prior to the tests
a serious domestic incident occurred within 2 weeks of the start of the tests
a longer term major incident that occurred in the 6 months before the tests is still having an impact on the pupil at the time of the test.
If you think you may be eligible for Special Consideration you must contact your school as soon as possible.
If any pupils cannot take the tests on the days specified in the statutory timetable, the school may apply for a timetable variation. An approved timetable variation allows an individual pupil or group of pupils to take the test up to 5 school days after the scheduled test day. If a pupil is absent and does not return within 5 school days of the scheduled test date, they should be recorded as ‘A’ (absent) on the test attendance register. Pupils who do not take all test papers for a subject will receive a score for the papers they have completed.
WHAT DO KS2 SATS PAPERS LOOK LIKE?
THE KS2 READING SATS:
The English reading test focuses on comprehension and includes a mixture of text types. The test is designed so that the texts are presented in increasing level of difficulty. The test consists of a reading booklet and a separate answer booklet. Pupils will have one hour to read the three texts in the reading booklet and complete the questions, which are worth 50 marks in total.
THE KS2 SPAG SATS:
Paper 1 of the English grammar, punctuation and spelling test is a combined question and answer booklet. Pupils will have 45 minutes to answer the questions, which are worth 50 marks in total. Paper 2 which tests spelling consists of a test transcript to be read by the test administrator and an answer booklet in which pupils write 20 spellings. The paper takes approximately 15 minutes but is not strictly timed. The spellings are worth 20 marks in total.
THE KS2 MATHS SATS:
The maths test comprises two components, arithmetic and reasoning, assessed via three papers. Paper 1 assesses arithmetic. Pupils will have 30 minutes to answer the questions and the assessment is worth 40 marks in total. Papers 2 and 3 assess reasoning and pupils have 40 minutes to answer the questions, which are worth 35 marks per paper.
HELP PREPARING FOR SATS
You may find the following videos helpful as your child prepares for SATs: