What Are The SATs?
All state primary pupils in England are tested at the end of and Key Stage 2 (Year 6). Many schools run ‘unofficial’ optional SATs in Years 3 to 5 as well.
Year 6 children take their tests on set dates in mid-May. Results are then submitted to the school’s local authority and to parents by the end of the summer term.
What Subjects Are Covered?
Year 6 children are tested in spelling, punctuation and grammar (known as the SPAG test), reading and maths (with both written and mental maths tests). Their writing is now assessed by the teacher rather than formally tested and as of 2013 there was also no science test. Year 2 children will also have SPAG, reading and maths tests.
Will I Be Told The Results?
Yes, by law parents must be given their children’s results, broken down by subject, at the end of the summer term in years 2 and 6.
For year 2 children, schools have to provide the teacher’s assessment but do not have to give you the results of any written tests unless requested.
What Sort Of Results Will Be Given?
You should get a report with SATs levels for each subject. In 2016, the old grading system was replaced with ‘scaled scores’, which you can learn more about in our guide, here.
How Much Do SATs Matter For My Child?
We’d love to say they don’t have any significance but some secondary schools base their year 7 sets on children’s year 6 scores (others carry out their own testing). But remember that sets can and do change throughout secondary school, so even if your son or daughter ends up lower than you expected, they might move up later on.
First and foremost, SATs are there to help parents get a feel for how their child is progressing and for the education officials to assess how schools are doing. And of course remember that your child’s year 6 SATs will NOT end up on their CV or job applications when they’re grown-ups - they aren’t worth you or them losing sleep over!
Is There Anything I Should Do To Prepare My Child?
There’s a raft of SATs preparation-related products and services on offer, from tutoring to workbooks. You shouldn’t really need to go down this route. If you do though, try and keep things very low key and remember the bit above about SATs not going on their CV!
Beyond this, as ever it does probably make sense to quietly try and ensure that Year 6 kids are relatively well-rested and well-‘breakfasted’ during SATs week, so they can do their best.
Follow Liat on Twitter: @liathughesjoshi