The Key Stage 2 tests for Year 6 pupils
Children will sit tests in:
- Maths (Arithmetic, Reasoning Paper 1 and Reasoning Paper 2)
- Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
These tests will be both set and marked externally, and the results will be used to measure your child’s progress and the school’s performance. 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 will provisionally be a single paper with questions based on one 800-word text and two passages of 300 words. 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.’
Key Stage 2 grammar, punctuation and spelling test
The grammar, punctuation and spelling test will consist 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 will sit three papers in maths:
- Paper 1: arithmetic, 30 minutes (written)
- Papers 2 and 3: mathematical fluency, solving problems and 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. 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
How will Key Stage 2 SATs be marked?
Children will be given standardised scores. You will be given your child’s score, alongside the average for their school, the local area and nationally. There will also be a ‘performance descriptor’ of the expected standard for Key Stage 2 pupils. The Department for Education is aiming for 65% of children to reach or exceed that standard.
Key Stage 1 SATs
At the end of Year 2, children will take official SATs tests in:
Key Stage 1 Reading
The reading test for Year 2 pupils will involve two separate papers:
- Paper 1 consists of a selection of texts totalling 400 to 700 words, with questions interspersed
- Paper 2 comprises a reading booklet of a selection of passages totalling 800 to 1100 words. Children will write their answers in a separate booklet
Each paper is worth 50 per cent of the marks, and should take around 30 minutes, but children will not be strictly timed, as the tests are not intended to assess children’s ability to work at speed.
The texts in the reading papers will cover a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and will get progressively more difficult towards the end of the test. Teachers will have the option to stop the test at any point that they feel is appropriate for a particular child.
There will be a variety of question types:
- Multiple choice
- Ranking/ordering, e.g. ‘Number the events below to show in which order they happened in the story’
- Matching, e.g. ‘Match the character to the job that they do in the story’
- Labelling, e.g. ‘Label the text to show the title’
- Find and copy, e.g. ‘Find and copy one word that shows what the weather was like in the story’
- Short answer, e.g. ‘What does the bear eat?’
- Open-ended answer, e.g. ‘Why did Lucy write the letter to her grandmother? Give two reasons’
Key Stage 1 Maths
The Key Stage 1 maths test will comprise two papers:
Paper 1: arithmetic, worth 25 marks and taking around 15 minutes.
Paper 2: mathematical fluency, problem-solving and reasoning, worth 35 marks and taking 35 minutes, with a break if necessary. There will be a variety of question types: multiple choice, matching, true/false, constrained (e.g. completing a chart or table; drawing a shape) and less constrained (e.g. where children have to show or explain their method).
Children will not be able to use any tools such as calculators or number lines.
Key Stage 1 Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation (Optional)
In 2017 the KS1 SPAG test remained optional, so schools can choose whether to administer it to their pupils.
- Paper 1: a grammar and punctuation written task, taking approximately 20 minutes, and worth 15 marks. Children will be provided with a prompt and stimulus for a short piece of writing, with a clear text type, audience and purpose. Handwriting will be worth four per cent of the marks.
- Paper 2: a grammar, punctuation and vocabulary test, in two sections of around 10 minutes each (with a break between, if necessary), worth 20 marks. This will involve a mixture of selecting the right answers e.g. through multiple choice, and writing short answers.
- Paper 3: a 20-word spelling test taking approximately 15 minutes and worth 10 marks.
How are KS1 tests marked?
Although the tests are set externally, they are marked by teachers within the school.
Instead of the old national curriculum levels, children are given a scaled score. Their raw score – the actual number of marks they get – is translated into a scaled score, where a score of 100 means the child is working at the expected standard. A score below 100 indicates that the child needs more support, whereas a score of above 100 suggests the child is working at a higher level than expected for their age. The maximum score possible is 115, and the minimum is 85.
Teacher assessments are also used to build up a picture of your child’s learning and achievements. In addition, your child will receive an overall result saying whether they have achieved the required standard in the tests (your child’s actual results won’t be communicated to you unless you ask for them).