End of Key Stage One Assessments - FAQ
What are Key Stage 1 Assessments?
New-style SATs were introduced in 2016 for all Year 2 children in England. Here's what parents need to know about the English and Maths assessments in 2018.
In the summer term 2016, children at the end of Key Stage 1 were the first to sit new SATs papers. SATs were overhauled in both Key Stages 1 and 2 to reflect the changes to the national curriculum, which was introduced in September 2014. At the end of Year 2 children take SATs in Reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling and Maths.
The new reading test for Year 2 pupils is made up of two separate papers:
Paper 1 consists of a selection of texts totalling 500 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 be 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.
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’
English grammar, spelling and punctuation.
In 2018 the KS1 SPAG test remains optional, so schools can choose whether to administer it to their pupils. Your child will complete this assessment as a way of informing teacher judgements only.
Children taking Key Stage 1 SATs 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.
The new 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.
When do the SATs take place?
The new-style KS1 SATs are due to be administered in May 2018. 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 assessment timetable as they see fit.
I am worried about the stress on my child.
Here at Woods Bank, class teachers 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 and will consider it another a 'special job'.
How are the SATs marked?
Although the tests are set externally, they are marked by teachers within the school.
How are the SATs scored?
Instead of the old national curriculum levels, children are given a scaled score. The actual number of marks they get - their raw score – 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.
I never performed well in exams, what if my child does not either?
The assessment results help to inform your child's Teacher Assessments. Teacher assessments are used to build up a picture of your child’s learning and achievements across the whole year. 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 Department for Education aims for 85 per cent of children to reach the expected standard (this is a higher standard than was expected before 2016).
Other national curriculum subjects, including English writing, speaking and listening, science and computing, will be assessed by your child's teacher based on their work throughout the year.
Will this be a lot of pressure for 7 year olds?
Here at Woods Bank we assess children regularly without making them aware. Teachers will use a variety of methods available to them. One method is example papers, we do this so when your child begins the SATs process, tasks will be familiar to them.
What can I do to help my child prepare?
Ensure your child attends school regularly and that they are ready to learn and not tired. Read with your child at home and ask questions about the book they are reading 2 to 3 times a week. Ensure your child completes their weekly homework. Practice spellings with your child - these are tested each week. Most importantly, help you child to relax and try not to add un-needed pressure or stress. Remember, your child may not even be aware they are being assessed.
I have concerns, who can I speak to?
If you have any concerns you should discuss them with your child's class teacher. Alternatively you may want to speak to our Key Stage One Leader Mrs Haldron.