KS1 and KS2 SATs - Information for Parents (UPDATED)

This article has been updated to include the Information leaflet and videos for parents about end of key stage assessments (often referred to as SATs) for 7 and 11 year olds.

Documents to DOWNLOAD:

Information for parents: 2018 national curriculum tests at the end of key stages 1 and 2

Information for parents: 2018 national curriculum tests at the end of key stages 1 and 2 (text only version)

National curriculum tests (SATs) at key stage 1

National curriculum tests (SATs) at key stage 2

Year 6 End of Key Stage 2 Tests

SATs, or Standard Assessment Tests, are the former, but still held to, name for National Curriculum Tests. These are statutory end of key stage tests in the two core subjects of the National Curriculum; reading and mathematics. On all test papers children are shown how many marks each question is worth: one, two or three. This should help them know how much effort to put into answering each one. For example a ‘one mark’ answer in a reading paper often only requires one word, while a ‘three marker’ may need two or three sentences. Papers are sent away for independent marking and returned to the school. The staff check the papers for accuracy of marking and tallying the marks. From 2016, scaled scores will be used to report national curriculum test outcomes. For the KS2 tests a scaled score of 100 will represent the ‘expected standard’. The school will receive the following information: a raw score (the number of marks awarded) a scaled score and confirmation of whether or not they attained the expected standard All parents/carers receive a report that states whether their child achieved the expected standard in the three core subjects, in both the results of the tests and the Teacher assessments. We usually share these results with the children. Using this information, the secondary schools will be able to provide for continuity in each child’s education in Year 7.


The Year 6 SATs will take place during the week of 14th – 17th May 2018

SATs Breakfast: 8: 30 am each morning during SATs week

Every morning during SATs week, your child is invited to come along to our free SATs breakfast. This is an informal, relaxed way to begin each day with friends and the Year 6 staff; whist enjoying cereal, toast, fruit.

We hope to see as many of the Year 6 children attending each day.


The children have to read a story or poem, and some information writing broadly based on a theme such as ‘The Olympics’ or ‘Weather’. 60 minutes is available to read the texts and answer a range of questions in written answers. Answers can be in phrases and often don’t have to be in full sentences. The questions range from the literal (who does what, when) to the deductive (where, for example, they have to work out how someone is feeling from what is written). Your child will be encouraged to say which parts of the text contained the answer and will need to include examples.

Writing and handwriting

This is no longer tested via a formal test. Ongoing teacher assessment and internal and external moderation of extended writing will enable class teachers to give an accurate writing level.

SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar)

This consists of two separate tests. The punctuation and grammar test is a series of short questions, which require one word answers, rewriting of sentences with correct punctuation or identification of vocabulary to give correct definitions. The spelling test consists of 20 spelling questions, following the format of a traditional spelling test.


There are three maths papers. The papers include calculating skills, understanding of shapes, symmetry and reading charts.

The first paper is on arithmetic skills. Children are given approximately 35 written calculations which practise formal methods.

The second and third papers have a range of problems from straight calculations to practical examples (such as working out how many cakes fit on a tray), as well as questions on shape, graphs and charts.

In both of these papers, children are encouraged to show how they arrived at an answer. Children will also be expected to show an understanding of how to use and apply their mathematical knowledge in a variety of ways or ‘to think like a mathematician’. NO calculators can be used on either paper.

Children who need questions read to them may be assigned a reader depending on their needs. All children can ask for reading help throughout the test.

Look at this website for examples of past questions – they can be practiced online too!

Tips on how you can help your child prepare

Practice papers

The biggest single influence on your child’s SAT marks will be their reading ability. Good readers can read questions quickly, and understand what they need to do. Continue to encourage your child to read every day, looking at both stories and non-fiction.

To help your child prepare for SATs use websites listed below: (lots of online past SATs questions in maths) (general revision) (interactive revision activities) (science, literacy, numeracy) (maths tutor)

Handy Hints

  • Look through a practice paper together and talk about how you would answer the questions.

  • Agree on what the question is actually asking you to do.

  • The number of marks each question is worth is printed at the side:

  • 1 mark answers can be brief, one word or number.

  • 2 mark answers will require at least two bits of information, like two different phrases, or an answer complete with method.

  • 3 mark answers need to be thorough. Encourage your child to look for this information, and not to waste time agonising over the 1 mark answers.

  • Some questions are multiple-choice. If they don’t know the answer, your child can guess – and may still get a mark. Children are not used to doing this!

  • If they get stuck on a question, tell them to move on rather than waste time on it.

  • Practice spending five minutes checking a paper to make sure all the questions are answered as fully as necessary.

How else can you help?

There is no need for your child to feel worried as the tests approach. Everything will be done to help your child feel at ease and to allow them to give of their best. The tests are carried out in classrooms – there is no ‘sitting in rows in the hall’. We have carried out practice tests – the actual tests will be no different in the way that they are administered.

To help your child be prepared and ‘at their best’ during the week, you can…

Reassure them that they just have to try their best on the day.

Tell them to ask for help if they need it – we will support them wherever we can – for example, with reading help in the Maths test.

Encourage them to spend 10-20 minutes a day on revision or practice.

Remind them that in most parts of the SAT papers, children do not have to write in sentences: often, phrases or even single words will be enough.

Keep an early and regular bedtime routine in the days leading up to and including the test week – no later than 8.30 p.m.!

Ensure your child has breakfast every day, especially during the week of the tests. Research shows that children who miss breakfast perform worse in late morning. Attending our SATs breakfast during SATs week is the ideal way to eat a nutritious breakfast whilst relaxing with friends.

Check your child can tell the time accurately so that they will know how long there is to go in the test.

To be the best we can be

©  Sunny Bank Primary School  2020