Do you have a child in Year 2 at Primary School?

If the answer is yes, they will have taken the national curriculum tests, also known as SATs, in May. Your child’s teacher will use the results of these tests to help them judge how well they are progressing, but they won’t be using the test results alone. Instead, they’ll be thinking about what they’ve seen over the whole of years 1 and 2 so they can get a full, accurate picture of how well your child is doing. Your child’s school will send you a report on their progress by the end of the summer term.

Assessment is important because it helps teachers to understand how your child is doing and put in place support to help them improve if they need it. If, for example, your child is struggling with their reading, it is vital that the school knows this early on, so they can give them the help they need to get back on track. Without these assessments, there is risk your child is struggling and they do not get the support they need.

Why the need for assessment in Early Primary Years?

The reason this assessment happens is to make sure your child is on course to master the basics of reading, writing and maths by the time they leave primary school. But if problems are picked up early on, the school can invest time getting your child back on track straight away by providing extra support. The government wants to make sure every child has mastered the basics, so they can get on and do well in life. Understanding what a child can do at the end of key stage 1 is essential to ensure that they’re on the right track when they reach the end of primary school.

What you will receive from your school?

After your child’s teacher has considered your child’s work across years 1 and 2, as well as their scores on the tests, they will make their assessment. The school will then provide a report on what your child has achieved in mathematics, English reading, English writing and science, and you will receive this report by the end of the summer term.

When making their decisions, teachers will think about what your child can do against the national standards, that is how other children are performing across the country. The report from the school will tell you whether your child is performing at the expected standard for their age in maths, English reading and English writing or whether they need some more support to achieve it.

Further Information

Your child’s teacher will be able to answer any queries about the tests and the overall teacher assessment judgements, or you can visit for more details.

You can find more information about scaled score and the key stage 1 tests at

Download Information for Parents KS1

Year 6

SATs for English and maths reflect the national curriculum, and are more rigorous than previous years’ tests. There is also a completely new SATs marking scheme and grading system which has replaced national curriculum levels.

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

  • Reading
  • Maths
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar

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.

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.’

Key Stage 2 Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling Test

The grammar, punctuation and spelling 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 grammar and punctuation test will include 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

How will Key Stage 2 SATS be marked?

You will be given your child’s raw score (the actual number of marks they get), alongside their 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 (the figure was initially 85 per cent but has been revised).