What are SATs?
Children take SATs twice during their school career. The first time is in Key Stage 1, at the end of Year 2.
Teachers are responsible for judging the standards that the children are working at in English, maths and science by the end of Key Stage 1. To help inform these judgements, children sit national curriculum tests (SATs). The tests are a tool for teachers to help them to measure a child's performance and identify his/her needs as they move into Key Stage 2. They also allow teachers to see how the child is performing against national expected standards.
Children take SATs in reading and maths. There is also an optional spelling test and punctuation and grammar test.
The tests can be taken any time during May. The majority of children will take them in their normal classroom and they are administered by the class teacher. The tests are timetabled into the normal school day. Teachers have the option to stop the test at any point that they feel is appropriate for a particular child.
Teachers will use the results from the tests, along with other work that the child has done throughout the year, to help them reach their own judgements. Although the test are set externally, they are marked by teachers within the school. Children are given a scaled score. A score below 100 indicates that the child needs more support and a score above 100 suggests that the child is working at a higher level than expected for their age.
The Reading Test
There are two separate papers:
- Paper 1 lasts for approximately 30 minutes and has 400-700 words. Children read the text and answer questions as they 'go along'.
- Paper 2 lasts for approximately 40 minutes and has 800-1100 words. Children read the booklet first then answer questions in a separate booklet.
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.
The Maths Test
There are two separate papers:
- Paper 1: Arithmetic (lasts for approximately 20 minutes)
- Paper 2: Reasoning (lasts for approximately 35 minutes)
SATs at St Chad's
At St Chad's, we recognise that our Year 2 children are still very young and we therefore keep the 'testing' procedure informal. The majority of our children will sit their tests in their normal classrooms alongside their peers. All of our tests are administered by the class teachers and they are timetabled as part of our normal school day. We allocate a two-week 'administration' window for all of the tests to be taken so that no child feels overwhelmed. In the run-up to the SATs, we practise covering our learning displays and moving our tables so that children feel safe, secure and relaxed.
We want to assure all of our parents that SATs aren’t about 'passing or failing'. They are used to reflect the level your child is working to. Therefore, SATs should never be seen as a one-off period in the school calendar but as a part of the overall teaching your child receives throughout the entire academic year. We report the outcomes of the SATs in our end of year reports in July.
The key to making SATs less stressful for your child is not to panic yourself. Children are well prepared for SATs throughout their school life, as teachers regularly carry out this type of assessment but you can support your child by regularly supporting them with their home learning outside of school.
There are also a lot of commercially published and very useful practice materials available and a number of very good websites to support learning in general – but remember to give your child extra work to do in moderation. Play and quality family time are still vital at this young age!
The format of SATs and the mark scheme changed in 2016 but the new-style papers are now available to download. Sample test papers can be downloaded from here
A useful video explaining the SATs can be viewed here.
Helpful Information for Parents
Example English Papers
Example Maths Papers
Useful Websites to Support Home Learning