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Age-related expectations: KS2

Age-related expectations explained
Were age-related expectations mentioned on your child's report? We explain the targets children are asked to meet by the end of their primary school journey.

Every May, children in Year 6 take compulsory SATs in reading; spelling, punctuation and grammar; and maths.

The results of these tests are used as a snapshot of how a school is performing, but they also let parents know whether their child is on track for their age.

As well as being told your child’s score, you’ll be told whether they are meeting age-related expectations. This equates to a score of 100 or above on each paper.

In 2019, 65% of pupils met age-related expectations in all three SATs subjects. Alongside SATs, teachers assess whether children are working at age-related expectations in writing and science.

Here’s what your child needs to know or be able to do in order to meet Year 6 age-related expectations.

KS2 reading age-related expectations

Because reading is assessed by KS2 SATs, with a score of 100 being the expected standard, the Department for Education (DfE) doesn’t publish age-related expectation objectives.

However, the English reading curriculum says that Year 6 children should be able to:

  • Read and discuss a wide range of fiction, poetry and plays, non-fiction and reference books.
  • Read books that are structured in different ways, and read for a range of purposes.
  • Increase their familiarity with a wide range of books, including myths, legends and traditional stories, modern fiction, fiction from our literary heritage, and books from other cultures and traditions.
  • Recommend books that they have read to their peers, giving reasons for their choices.
  • Identify and discuss themes and conventions across a wide range of writing.
  • Make comparisons within and between books.
  • Learn a range of poetry by heart.
  • Prepare poems and plays to read aloud and to perform.
  • Understand what they read by checking that the book makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and exploring the meaning of words in context.
  • Ask questions to improve their understanding.
  • Draw inferences, for example about characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives.
  • Predict what might happen from details stated and implied.
  • Summarise the main ideas drawn from more than one paragraph, identifying key details that support the main ideas.
  • Identify how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning .
  • Discuss and evaluate how authors use language.
  • Distinguish between statements of fact and opinion.
  • Retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction.
  • Participate in discussions about books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves.
  • Explain and discuss their understanding of what they have read, including through presentations and debates.
  • Provide reasoned justifications for their views.

English KS2 writing (teacher assessed) age-related expectations

To meet age-related expectations, pupils must:

  • Write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences, selecting language that shows good awareness of the reader (e.g. the use of the first person in a diary).
  • In narratives, describe settings, characters and atmosphere.
  • Integrate dialogue to convey character and advance the action.
  • Select vocabulary and grammatical structures that reflect what the writing requires.
  • Use a range of devices to build cohesion (e.g. conjunctions, adverbials of time and place, pronouns, synonyms).
  • Use verb tenses consistently and correctly throughout their writing.
  • Use the range of punctuation taught in Key Stage 2 mostly correctly.
  • Spell correctly most words from the Year 5 and 6 spelling list (the DfE produces a spelling list: see p23).  
  • Use a dictionary to check the spelling of uncommon or more ambitious vocabulary.
  • Maintain legibility in joined handwriting when writing at speed.

KS2 maths age-related expectations

As with reading, to meet age-related expectations at the end of Year 6, pupils must score 100 or more in their SATs.

The curriculum says they must be taught:

Number and place value

  • Read, write, order and compare numbers up to 10,000,000 and determine the value of each digit.
  • Round any whole number accurately.
  • Use negative numbers in context, and calculate intervals across zero.

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

  • Solve number and practical problems that involve all of the above.
  • Use common factors to simplify fractions; use common multiples to express fractions in the same denomination.
  • Compare and order fractions.
  • Add and subtract fractions with different denominators and mixed numbers, using the concept of equivalent fractions.
  • Multiply simple pairs of proper fractions.
  • Divide proper fractions by whole numbers.
  • Associate a fraction with division and calculate decimal fraction equivalents for a simple fraction.
  • Identify the value of each digit in numbers given to three decimal places, and multiply and divide numbers by 10, 100 and 1000.
  • Solve problems involving the relative sizes of two quantities where missing values can be found by using integer multiplication and division facts.
  • Solve problems involving the calculation of percentages.
  • Solve problems involving similar shapes where the scale factor is known or can be found.
  • Solve problems involving unequal sharing and grouping using knowledge of fractions and multiples.


  • Use simple formulae.
  • Generate and describe linear number sequences.
  • Express missing number problems algebraically.
  • Find pairs of numbers that satisfy an equation with two unknowns.
  • Enumerate possibilities of combinations of two variables.


  • Solve problems involving the calculation and conversion of units of measure, up to three decimal places.
  • Use, read, write and convert between standard units, converting measurements of length, mass, volume and time from a smaller unit of measure to a larger unit, and vice versa.
  • Convert between miles and kilometres.
  • Recognise that shapes with the same areas can have different perimeters and vice versa.
  • Recognise when it is possible to use formulae for area and volume of shapes.
  • Calculate the area of parallelograms and triangles.
  • Calculate, estimate and compare volume of cubes and cuboids using standard units, including cubic centimetres and cubic metres.


  • Draw 2D shapes using given dimensions and angles.
  • Recognise, describe and build simple 3D shapes, including making nets.
  • Compare and classify geometric shapes based on their properties and sizes and find unknown angles in any triangles, quadrilaterals, and regular polygons.
  • Illustrate and name parts of circles, including radius, diameter and circumference and know that the diameter is twice the radius.
  • Recognise angles where they meet at a point, are on a straight line, or are vertically opposite, and find missing angles.
  • Describe positions on the full coordinate grid (all four quadrants).
  • Draw and translate simple shapes on the coordinate plane, and reflect them in the axes.


KS2 science (teacher assessed) age-related expectations

To meet age-related expectations, pupils must be able to:

  • Name and describe the functions of the main parts of the digestive, musculoskeletal and circulatory systems.
  • Describe and compare different reproductive processes and life cycles in animals.
  • Describe the effects of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on how the body functions.
  • Name, locate and describe the functions of the main parts of plants, including those involved in reproduction and transporting water and nutrients.
  • Use the observable features of plants, animals and microorganisms to group, classify and identify them into broad groups.
  • Construct and interpret food chains.
  • Describe the requirements of plants for life and growth, and explain how environmental changes may have an impact on living things.
  • Use the basic ideas of inheritance, variation and adaptation to describe how living things have changed over time and evolved, and provide evidence for evolution.
  • Group and identify materials according to their properties, and justify the use of different everyday materials based on their properties.
  • Describe the characteristics of different states of matter and group materials on this basis.
  • Describe how materials change state at different temperatures, using this to explain everyday phenomena, including the water cycle.
  • Identify and describe what happens when dissolving occurs in everyday situations; and describe how to separate mixtures and solutions into their components.
  • Identify, with reasons, whether changes in materials are reversible or not.
  • Understand that light travels in straight lines and enters our eyes to explain how we see objects, and the formation, shape and size of shadows.
  • Understand that sounds are associated with vibrations, and that they require a medium to travel through, to explain how sounds are made and heard.
  • Describe the relationship between pitch and volume of a sound.
  • Describe the effects of simple forces such as resistance, friction and gravity.
  • Identify simple mechanisms, including levers, gears and pulleys, that increase the effect of a force.
  • Use simple apparatus to construct and control a series circuit, describe how the circuit may be affected when changes are made, and use recognised symbols to represent simple circuit diagrams.
  • Describe the shapes and relative movements of the sun, moon, Earth and other planets in the solar system.
  • Describe and evaluate their own and others’ scientific ideas, using evidence from a range of sources.
  • Ask questions about the scientific phenomena that they are studying, and select the most appropriate ways to answer these questions (e.g. observing changes over time).
  • Use a range of scientific equipment to take accurate measurements or readings.
  • Record data and results using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  • Draw conclusions, explain and evaluate their methods and findings.
  • Raise further questions that could be investigated, based on their data and observations.
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