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KS2 SATs in Year 6

At the end of Year 6, children in England sit tests in:

  • Reading
  • Maths
  • Grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS)

These tests are both set and marked externally, and the results are used to measure the school’s performance (for example, through reporting to Ofsted and published league tables). Your child’s marks will be used in conjunction with teacher assessment to give a broader picture of their attainment.

The KS2 SATs for English and maths taken since 2016 reflect the amended national curriculum, and are more rigorous than previous years' tests. There is also a new SATs marking scheme and grading system which has replaced national curriculum levels.

In 2020 and 2021 KS2 SATs did not take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Primary school SATs results will not be published in national league tables until 2023 to reflect the disruption to children's learning.

 

Key Stage 2 Reading

The reading test is a single paper with questions based on three passages of text. 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.’
Since 2018 the reading content of the KS2 SATs has been closely linked to the curriculum to ensure children are drawing on their knowledge when answering reading comprehension questions.

Key Stage 2 Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation 

Usually, the GPS test consists 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 GPS test includes 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 sit three papers in maths:
 
  • Paper 1: arithmetic, 30 minutes
  • Papers 2 and 3: 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


When will KS2 SATs take place in 2022?

The Year 6 KS2 SATs will be administered in the week commencing 9 May 2022.

The SATs timetable runs as follows:

Monday 
English GPS Paper 1: questions
English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 2: spelling

Tuesday 
English reading

Wednesday 
Mathematics Paper 1: arithmetic
Mathematics Paper 2: reasoning

Thursday 
Mathematics Paper 3: reasoning

 

How will Key Stage 2 SATs be marked?

The previous national curriculum levels have been scrapped, and instead children are given scaled scores (read our parents' guide to primary school grading and SATs codes for more details).

You will be given your child’s scaled score and whether they have reached the expected standard set by the Department for Education (‘NS’ means that the expected standard was not achieved and ‘AS’ means the expected standard was achieved)

The range of scaled scores available for each KS2 test is:
 
  • 80 (the lowest scaled score that can be awarded)
  • 120 (the highest scaled score)
The expected standard for each test is a scaled score of 100 or more. If a child is awarded a scaled score of 99 or less they won't have achieved the expected standard in the test.

The Department for Education expects at least 65 per cent of children to reach the expected standard.