What are the SATs?
SATs are the Standardised Assessment Tests that are given to children at the end of Key Stage 1. They take place during May.
The SATs papers consist of:
§Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
Writing is assessed using evidence collected throughout Year 2 so there is no Year 2 SATs writing test.
When and how are the SATs completed?
The tests take place during normal school hours. Unlike KS2 SATs, KS1 SATs don't have to be administered according to a nationally-set timetable in a specific week. Schools are free to manage the timetable and will aim to administer the tests in the classroom in a low-stress, low-key way; some children won't even be aware they've taken them!
Specific arrangements for SATs
Children with additional needs (who have similar support as part of day-to-day learning in school) may be allotted specific arrangements, including:
§Additional (extra) time;
§Tests being opened early to be modified;
§An adult to scribe (write) for them;
§Using word processors independently;
§An adult to read for them (including a translator);
§Arrangements for children who are ill or injured at the time of the tests.
Although the tests are set externally, they are marked by teachers within the school. 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).
The reading test for Year 2 pupils is made up of 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 are not strictly timed, as the tests are not intended to assess children’s ability to work at speed. The texts in the reading papers cover a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and get progressively more difficult towards the end of the test. Teachers have the option to stop the test at any point that they feel is appropriate for a particular child.
The Key Stage 1 maths test is made up of 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 are 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 are not allowed to use any tools such as calculators or number lines.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
Children taking Key Stage 1 SATs may also sit two separate papers in grammar, spelling and punctuation:
§Paper 1: a 20-word spelling test taking approximately 15 minutes and worth 20 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.
There are a variety of question types:
§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’
Supporting your child in preparing for the SATs
Firstly, a positive attitude goes a long way. Give them as much encouragement and support as you can (but we don’t need to tell you that)!
§Ensure your child has the best possible attendance at school.
§Talk to your child about what they have learnt at school each day – this helps the learning to stick.
§Support your child with any home learning tasks. Practise phonics and spelling regularly at home.
§Try to encourage a love of reading with your child’s practise and sharing reading books. Read them regularly and talk about the stories before, during and afterwards.
§Play board games, card games or other mental maths games.
§Encourage opportunities for telling the time: ask your child to work out how many minutes until dinner time etc.
§Find examples of maths in the environment and talk about it for example, you could discuss which house numbers are odd and even or you could ask them to calculate change when shopping.
Below are some documents you may find useful if you wish to do some light revision at home with your child.