St Marie's Catholic Primary School

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Information for parents

What happens when it’s SATs time?




During May, Year 2will sit their end of Key Stage national tests (often called ‘SATs’). These tests are designed to check that children in all schools are making progress. This leaflet looks at what actually happens during the testing period and how you can help your child.



The Department for Education says:


  • All children must take the national tests at the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
  • Testing must take place in May. Key Stage 1 children have the whole month to do the tests.
  • 7-year-olds are tested on Reading, Writing, Spelling, and Maths.


  • Key Stage 1 teachers mark the tests themselves, with their marking checked by the authority’s advisors or inspectors.


None of the tests have a set time limit and children can take as long as they need within reason.



During May, all pupils will be tested in written comprehension. The children will have a booklet containing a story and some information or non- fiction writing, which they will read and then answers questions about.

For children to read fluently (without sounding out) they must read at a speed of 90 words per minute. This, in turn, allows them to understand and process what they are reading; enabling them to answer questions about it.


Children have another booklet in which they write spellings of common words as the teacher reads them out. The spelling mark is no longer reported separately but is added to the writing mark.


A child’s writing in Year 2 is teacher assessed. It is based on a range of the child’s writing and judged against the interim framework. Children’s handwriting will also be judged against its legibility.


Children work through two booklets; an arithmetic paper and a reasoning paper. These tests cover the work the children have been doing in their numeracy lessons including number, shape, measuring, simple fractions, data handling and problem-solving. Your child is allowed to use some equipment for counting and have a ruler, but, as in all the other tests, they are expected to work out the answers independently. There may be questions for which they will have to write an explanation of their ‘working out’. Children can ask the teacher to read the questions to them and the written answers are not judged on spelling or handwriting.


The school will report teacher assessments for Maths, English and Science. This assessment is based upon work done throughout the year.


Frequently Asked Questions


Does my child have to do the tests?

Yes, unless their teacher sees any issue in doing so. Unfortunately, you can’t withdraw your child because you don’t agree with testing or because you think it might upset them.

What happens if my child misses a test?

At Key Stage 1, teachers will arrange for your child to take it at another time.


How you can help

  • Please don’t take your child on holiday during term time.
  • Make sure they get plenty of sleep during the SATs period. The SATs week can be tiring for 7-year-olds, and they will need a chance to relax and get some fresh air and exercise when the school day is over.
  • Try not to make a big thing of it. Not every child deals with exams well. The tests are used to inform the teacher assessments which take account of your child’s work over the whole year. This helps to give a balanced picture of what they can do.



To sum up

National tests are an important milestone in school life. They give useful information to your child’s teachers and to the government. But it’s important to get them in proportion. They are just one of the ways the school works out how well your child is doing. They shouldn’t be stressful, and in fact many children enjoy the change in routine, as long as they know they have your support and understanding.