07 October 2018


Is your child in year 2 or 6 at the moment; gearing up to take the SATs tests next year? Well, get your diaries out and save the following dates:

For KS2, as in 2018, the first test will be spelling, punctuation and grammar (Spag). This will be held on Monday 13 May.

The reading test will be taken on Tuesday 14 May.

Maths papers 1 and 2 will be taken on Wednesday 15 May.

Maths paper 3 will be taken on Thursday 16 May.

The KS1 test period will be in May, and the phonics check week will start on 10 June.

There will be no science sampling test in 2019.

The 2020 KS2 tests will also, as usual, be taken during the second week of May: 11 May to 14 May. There are no details yet on which test is scheduled for each day.

The new Year 4 multiplication tables check is due to take place during the three-week period from 8 June 2020.

The Year 6 science sample tests will also be taken during the two-week period from 8 June 2020.


                                                SATs Demystified

 What does SATs stand for?

SAT stands for Statutory Assessment Test, in UK education and they are carried out by the Standards & Testing Agency.


Why SATs?

SATs enable teachers to learn more about the child’s strengths and weaknesses. A comparison can then be made to see how well each child is doing, to their peers, in their school and nationwide. SATs can also be used to gauge a child’s performance and level of improvement from one key stage to the next, which in turn is used to predict the likelihood of children achieving specific results at the GCSE level.

The results are also used by head teachers, local authorities and the Department for Education, to process information such as determining schools that are struggling and those that are doing well. Those that are doing well could then partner up with schools that are underperforming, to share their ‘success recipes’.

Is SATS Compulsory?

In England, SATs is obligatory for children who are 7 and 11 year old. SATs in Key Stage 3 was discontinued in 2008.

On 14 September 2017, the Department for Education announced that the SATs for those in year 2 would become non-compulsory. This means schools would be able to choose whether to administer them or not from 2023.

There will be a new baseline assessment for pupils in Reception. There would be no change for those in year 6 taking the KS2 SATs.

The above changes would not affect children taking the KS1 SATs before 2023, which means children born before 31/08/15 would still be tested at the end of year 2.

What do the tests entail?

The children are tested on what they have been learning in school. At the end of year 2 (Key Stage 1), children will take the SATs in reading and maths. In addition, they will also be assessed by their teacher. This is what is known as The Teacher Assessment Test. This test will be on speaking, writing, listening, and science.

A separate grammar, punctuation and spelling test at this level, was introduced in 2016, but has not been confirmed as compulsory.

Those in Year 6 (Key Stage 2) take the compulsory SATs which covers English, maths grammar, punctuation and spelling. The following subjects are also taken, but are assessed by their teachers: writing, science, speaking and listening. Teacher’s assessment is helpful in determining the child’s performance in a subject over a longer period of time, which is just as important, as the teacher will have a better overview of the child’s performance than just parts of it, as covered by a test.

How can my child prepare for the test?

Revision of all the topics taught to date (spellings and times tables included) in conjunction with the use of past question papers. Past question papers are crucial so your child can practice and get used to the sort of questions that may come out in the test. Teachers will also use past papers at school and simulate the process, to enable your child get used to the process and feel more comfortable with the exams.

How do we cope with the stress of the test?

It is natural for you or your child to become overwhelmed with the process, but the key is to understand that the more relaxed you are the better your child will be able to cope with the process. Space out the revision process so it doesn’t feel too daunting to you and your child. This will also give you more time to tackle any problem areas. A scheduled routine should be in place and learning times shouldn’t be too long. The tests will only reflect how well your child has understood what they’ve been learning in school; so no pass or fail.

The results are, however (as already stated) used to predict the likelihood of children achieving specific results at the GCSE level.

Some secondary schools will use the scores to stream new starters in Year 7, so you need to find out if your child’s new school does this. Others may use a combination of SATs results and Year 7 CATs (Cognitive Ability Tests) or their own internal tests at the beginning of the new term.

Is there a particular score my child should achieve?

For both Year 2 and Year 6, there is a national standard that they are supposed to achieve. This is a score that the Department for Education thinks the children should be able to attain at that stage. The national standard score for KS1 and KS2 is 100. 61% of the children achieved this in 2017 – in all subjects.

When do the results come out?

The results usually come out in the Summer Term. This can be communicated differently by different schools, so there is the possibility that you may not get the actual scores. If this is the case, you will need to make that request from your child’s school.

In general, you will be given a report stating your child’s ‘raw score’. This is the actual number of marks they got in the test. The ‘scaled’ score will also be stated in the report. This is a conversion score that enables the results to be compared from year to year. You will also be advised on whether your child achieved the national standard. The report will also comprise of the teacher’s assessment, giving more insight on your child’s learning and achievements.


Can schools or pupils appeal?

Yes. If a school thinks that a pupil has been incorrectly marked, or a clerical error has been made, it can apply for a review of marking. This has to be done by the end of Friday 20 July and schools will be informed of the outcome on 12 September.

Reviews are free if there is a change to the pupil either achieving or not achieving the expected standard, or a change of two or more marks to the raw score. If a marking review does not result in any of these outcomes then schools will be charged £9.

Are these the final results?

No. The appeals process means that the results published in July are described as interim results. In August or September, the provisional results, which show how local authorities have done, are due to be published. This is when the percentage of pupils reaching “greater depth” in each subject is also released.

The final, revised results are due to be published in December. These final results also include the progress scores. The performance tables showing how each school has done – and how many are below the floor standards – are published alongside the final results.


Some SATs terms decoded

  • SATs: Short for Standard Assessment Tests
  • National curriculum tests: The real name for SATs, but many people still refer to them as SATs
  • Raw score: the number of marks your child gets on the tests
  • Scaled score: a converted score that allows overall SATs results to be compared from one year to the next
  • National standard: the level that children are expected to reach (set at 100 for both KS1 and KS2 SATs)
  • Age-standardised test scores: refers to the system used to inform parents how their child did compared with other children born in the same month

Still in need of guidance for your child? Visit any of our centres to see how we can assist.



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