National curriculum tests (SATs) at key stage 1


If you have a child in year
2 at the end of key stage 1, it’s their class
teacher’s responsibility to make judgements
about the standards at which they’re working. To help inform these judgements, pupils sit national
curriculum tests, otherwise known as SATs. Parents at our school
often ask us for more information
about these tests. We’d like to share some of
those key details with you now. The tests are taken by pupils in
year 2 at the end of key stage 1, who are typically age
six or seven years old. The tests can be taken
at any point during May. Schools can actually
arrange the tests in a way that pupils may even
be unaware they’re taking them. Children will sit tests
in mathematics, English reading, and if the school
has opted to do it, English grammar,
punctuation and spelling. The key stage 1 mathematics test consists of two papers,
arithmetic and reasoning. The arithmetic paper assesses
pupils’ confidence with fluency, with whole number,
place value and counting. It also includes
the four operations; addition, subtraction,
multiplication and division. Whilst the test
is not strictly timed, it typically takes pupils about
20 minutes to complete. The reasoning paper requires
pupils to demonstrate their mathematical fluency, their ability to solve problems and their mathematical
reasoning. Again, it’s not strictly timed, but it typically takes pupils
about 35 minutes to complete. Pupils do not have to sit
the two maths papers on the same day, and they can be given rest
breaks if they need them. The key stage 1 English reading
test consists of two papers. A range of texts
will be included; such as, age-appropriate
fiction, non-fiction or poetry. The pupils read the texts and then answer
questions about them. Again, they’re not
strictly timed, but typically pupils take 30
minutes to complete paper one, and 40 minutes
to complete paper two. Pupils do not have to sit the two reading tests
on the same day, and they can be given rest
breaks if they need them. If schools choose to do it,
the English grammar, punctuation and spelling test
consists of two papers. The first is spelling. It contains 20 words, which are
read out loud to the children. The second is short questions, which assesses pupils’
understanding of grammar, punctuation
and vocabulary. In total, the two papers
should take approximately 35 minutes to complete. Children with additional needs might need specific
arrangements, like additional time,
a scribe or a reader, so that can take part in
and access the tests. If they normally have this
support in the classroom, teachers can make arrangements to provide similar
support in the tests. After the tests are taken, they’re marked
internally at school. Your child’s class teacher
will consider their work from across the key stage, as well as their
performance in the tests. They will then make
their own judgements about the standards
at which your child is working in English reading, English writing, mathematics
and also in science – although there is
no statutory end of key stage test for science. By the end of the summer term, parents should receive
their child’s school report, which should include
the end of key stage 1 teacher assessment judgements. For teachers, they’re a tool to help us measure
pupil performance, and to assess any needs
they have as they move into key stage 2. Teachers will make sure
pupils in their class are prepared for the tests. You should continue to read
with your child at home, and ensure they
complete any home learning tasks to the best
of their ability. For further information about
the key stage 1 assessments, or if you have any questions,
you should always begin by talking to your
child’s class teacher. Additional details
can be found online at www.gov.uk/STA.

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