Changes to KS2 SATs in 2021: what parents need to know
Covid-19 and KS2 SATs in 2021
On 6 January 2021 it was confirmed that KS2 SATs will not take place in 2021.
Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, said that the government recognised the primary tests “will be an additional burden on schools and it’s important we are very much focused on welcoming children back to the classroom at the earliest opportunity”.
To reflect the disruption to children’s learning, primary school performance data will not be published in 2021.
Below section details how KS2 SATs work in a normal year.
KS2 SATs in Year 6
At the end of Year 6, children usually sit tests in:
- Grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS)
Details of KS2 SATs
Key Stage 2 Reading
Key Stage 2 grammar, punctuation and spelling test.
Key Stage 2 maths.
Key Stage 2 science
Key Stage 2 Reading
There will be a selection of question types, including:
- Ranking/ordering, e.g. ‘Number the events below to show the order in which they happen in the story’
- Labelling, e.g. ‘Label the text to show the title of the story’
- Find and copy, e.g. ‘Find and copy one word that suggests what the weather is like in the story’
- Short constructed response, e.g. ‘What does the bear eat?’
- Open-ended response, e.g. ‘Look at the sentence that begins Once upon a time. How does the writer increase the tension throughout this paragraph? Explain fully, referring to the text in your answer.’
Key Stage 2 grammar, punctuation and spelling test
However, in 2021, pupils will not take the GPS test.
Ordinarily, the GPS test includes two sub-types of questions:
- Selected response, e.g. ‘Identify the adjectives in the sentence below’
- Constructed response, e.g. ‘Correct/complete/rewrite the sentence below,’ or, ‘The sentence below has an apostrophe missing. Explain why it needs an apostrophe.’
Key Stage 2 maths
- Paper 1: arithmetic, 30 minutes
- Papers 2 and 3: reasoning, 40 minutes per paper
- Multiple choice
- True or false
- Constrained questions, e.g. giving the answer to a calculation, drawing a shape or completing a table or chart
- Less constrained questions, where children will have to explain their approach for solving a problem
Key Stage 2 science
Normally, in selected years, a number of schools (approximately 1900) are required to take part in science sampling, a test administered to a selected sample of children thought to be representative of the population as a whole.
For those who are selected, there are three papers:
- Biology: 25 minutes, 22 marks
- Chemistry: 25 minutes, 22 marks
- Physics: 25 minutes, 22 marks
It sounds very intimidating, but these are ‘questions in a physics/chemistry/biology context’, for example:
Biology: ‘Describe the differences in the life cycle of an amphibian and a mammal’
Chemistry: ‘Group a list of materials according to whether they are solid, liquid or gas’
Physics: ‘Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, based on where the poles are facing’
When will KS2 SATs take place in 2021?
The Year 6 KS2 SATs were set to be administered in the week commencing 10 May 2021.
However, this year, the KS2 SATs will not take place.
Usually, the SATs timetable runs as follows:
English GPS Paper 1: questions
English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 2: spelling
Mathematics Paper 1: arithmetic
Mathematics Paper 2: reasoning
Mathematics Paper 3: reasoning
How will Key Stage 2 SATs be marked?
You will be given your child’s scaled score and whether they have reached the expected standard set by the Department for Education (‘NS’ means that the expected standard was not achieved and ‘AS’ means the expected standard was achieved).
The range of scaled scores available for each KS2 test is:
- 80 (the lowest scaled score that can be awarded)
- 120 (the highest scaled score)
The Department for Education expects at least 65 per cent of children to reach the expected standard (the figure was initially 85 per cent but has been revised).