In the summer term 2017, children at the end of Key Stage 1 will sit SATs papers. SATs were completely overhauled in 2016 in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 to reflect the changes to the national curriculum.
At the end of Year 2, children will take SATs in:
- English grammar, punctuation and spelling
Key Stage One Reading
The new 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 One Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
Children taking Key Stage 1 SATs will sit three separate papers in grammar, spelling and punctuation:
- 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 is worth 10 marks.
Key Stage One Maths
The new 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.
When will the Key Stage One SATs take place?
The new-style KS1 SATs are due to be administered in May 2017.
How will the tests be marked?
Although the tests are set externally, they will be marked by teachers within the school. Instead of the old national curriculum levels, children will be given a standardised score – although this may not be communicated to parents. Teacher assessments will also be 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. The Department for Education aims for 85 per cent of children to reach the required standard.
How are the results used?
KS1 SATs results are used by teachers and schools as a whole to check against national averages. Individual results will be provided to parents, at the end of the school year.
Understanding what kind of learner your child is:
It’s important to know that children learn in different ways. Some learn by doing (kinaesthetic learning) and others are more visual or auditory – we all learn slightly differently. This inevitably means that some children are less predisposed to certain assessment-type situations, and you might be concerned that your six or seven year old will not shine in ‘exam’ conditions. Firstly, be reassured that while the tests do have a sit-down/ paper element they are carefully devised to ensure that all learning styles are catered for as much as possible; for example, in maths there are questions on shape and space as well as problem-solving and calculations. Secondly it’s important to reassure your child that a SATs assessment simply highlights a certain part of their learning; it doesn’t show everything about them! If they’re worried they might not do as well as their peers, it’s vital they know that all of their talents are valid and celebrated.
KS1 SATs preparation: what you can do at home:
Above all encourage confidence in your child’s ability to do well; explain that SATs are just for showing off what they already know and have learned during their time at school.
- Read as much as possible at home – have your child read to you and share reading books together. Talk to them about what they read, about plot, character, what the author is achieving, use of language, use of punctuation, etc.
- Use everyday activities to help them develop their maths skills. Trips to the supermarket, for example, can be packed full of opportunities for problem-solving and calculation practice.
- Last, but most certainly not least, play! Playing is how children learn; it’s not instead of studying, it is studying. Set up a little toy shop where they can buy objects or work out change; have fun playing with traditional nursery rhymes or making up fun, silly rhymes together; make a water or sand tray where they can learn about measures and capacity. The best learning occurs when children are relaxed and happy, so never feel that play and school work are separate – they’re entirely, intrinsically linked.