Changes to KS1 SATs:

What parents need to know

If your child will start Year 2 in September 2015 or beyond, they'll need to be prepared for the new style KS1 SATs. Here's what you need to know about what the tests involve.
 
In May, children at the end of Key Stage 1 will sit new SATs papers. That means that if your child is currently in Reception or Year 1, they will be among the first pupils to take the new test. SATs are being overhauled in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 to reflect the changes to the national curriculum, which are being phased in from September 2014.
 
At the end of Year 2, children will take SATs in:
  • Reading
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • Maths

Key Stage 1 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 1 grammar, spelling and punctuation

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 worth 10 marks.

Key Stage 1 maths

The new Key Stage 1 maths test will comprise two papers:

  • Paper 1: arithmetic, worth 15 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).

When will the KS1 SATs take place?

The new-style KS1 SATs are due to be administered in May of each year.

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.

Other subjects

Other national curriculum subjects, including English writing, speaking and listening, science and computing, will be assessed by your child's teacher based on their work throughout the year.

Are there any practice papers?

Because the SATs are still in development and undergoing testing, including being tested on children, there are no sample papers yet. The DfE is planning to make these available during autumn 2015. If your child is taking Key Stage 1 SATs in the summer term , check out our free downloads to help them prepare.