Despite all the information you’ll receive from your child's teacher, SATs can still seem baffling. Here are the answers to your key questions.
1. What are SATs for?
2. Does my child have to take SATs?
On 30 March 2017 the Department for Education launched a consultation to propose making Key Stage 1 assessments non-statutory (so schools could choose whether to adminster them or not). The Y2 SATs would be replaced by a new baseline assessment for Reception pupils; KS2 SATs would not be affected. The consultation does not affect 2017 KS1 SATs, which will go ahead as planned.
3. What do the tests involve?
Children are tested on what they have been learning at school. At Key Stage 1 (Year 2), your child will take official SATs in reading, grammar, punctuation and spelling, and maths. They will also be assessed by their teacher (known as the teacher assessment) on speaking and listening, writing and science. At Key Stage 2 (Year 6), teacher assessment will cover English reading, grammar, punctuation and spelling, and maths. Other subjects including writing, speaking and listening and science are teacher assessed.
Teacher assessment can help to judge children's performance in a subject over a longer period of time. The results of teacher assessment are equally important, as a teacher may feel your child is doing better in a subject as a whole than in the parts of it covered by a test.
4. How will my child be helped to prepare?
5. So why do SATs seem so stressful?
6. What level should my child achieve in their SATs?
The national standard score for KS1 SATs and KS2 SATs is 100 and the government expects 85 per cent of children to reach it.
For more details of SATs results in KS1 and KS2 read our parents' guide.
7. When will I know the results?
Individual schools communicate SATs results to parents in different ways, so it is possible that (particularly at KS1) you won't your child's actual SATs scores unless you ask for them.
8. What does all the SATs jargon mean?
- SATs: Short for Standard Assessment Tests
- National curriculum tests: The real name for SATs, but many people still refer to them as SATs
- Raw score: the number of marks your child gets on the tests
- Scaled score: a converted score that allows overall SATs results to be compared from one year to the next
- National standard: the level that 85 per cent of children are expected to reach (set at 100 for both KS1 and KS2 SATs)
- Age-standardised test scores: refers to the system used to inform parents how their child did compared with other children born in the same month