Statutory Assessments in Primary Schools
Statutory Assessments in Primary Schools
The phonics screening check is a short, simple assessment to ensure that all pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard by the age of 6 years old. All Year 1 pupils in maintained schools, academies and free schools must complete the check. This is undertaken during the summer term
The phonics check is to support teachers in identifying the children who need extra help so they can receive the support they need to improve their reading skills. These pupils will then be able to retake the check in Year 2. If the pupil does not pass the phonics screening test for a second year they will not undertake the check in Year 3. The Year 3 class teachers however will be made aware of these children to provide additional phonics support.
The phonics screening check comprises a list of 40 words and non-words which the child will read in a one-to-one situation with a teacher.
Standard Assessment Tests (SATs)
SATS tests are given at the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. They are used to track progress and attainment of children in schools from Early Years to Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2. They comprise a mixture of teacher-led and test-based assessments.
Key Stage 1
During May all children in Year 2 will undertake the end of Key Stage 1 SAT. Children will be assessed in reading, writing, grammar, maths and science.
The children will have two booklets to complete. The first focuses on fluency and the second is reasoning. The only maths resources they have available to use are a ruler and mirror. There may be questions where they have to write an explanation of their ‘working out’ but they will not be judged on their spelling or handwriting. Children can ask the teacher to read the questions to them. The fluency booklet takes approximately 20 minutes and the reasoning booklet takes approximately 35 minutes (both tests are not strictly timed).
Children will be tested on their written comprehension. The children will undertake two booklets containing a range of texts (usually fiction, non-fiction and poetry) which they will read and answer questions about. The second booklet is more challenging and tests high level comprehension. This will include harder texts and have more complex questions to answer. The teacher can decide if it is not appropriate for a child to sit the test or stop during the test at any time. The two test marks are combined to give an overall result. Booklet one takes approximately 30 minutes and booklet two will take approximately 40 minutes (both tests are not strictly timed).
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
Children complete two booklets, one focusing on grammar and punctuation the other spelling. Like the reading tests the results are combined to create a total. Children can ask the teacher to read questions to them, The Grammar tests is approximately 20 minutes and the spelling test takes approximately 15 minutes (both tests are not strictly timed).
The class teacher will provide the children with opportunities to write in a range of genres throughout the year. They will then assess their writing to form their teacher assessment.
Throughout the year the class teacher will provide opportunities for children to access the science curriculum and assess their understanding. This knowledge will be used to produce a teacher assessment.
All Key Stage 1 tests are marked internally. The reading and maths papers are checked by other members of the school for consistency and accuracy. To ensure writing levels are accurate rigorous moderation is undertaken internally with all teaching staff, the SWAN Academy Trust, other primary schools and the local authority. Periodically external moderators will visit the school and moderate a sample of the children’s reading, writing and maths levels.
With each test undertaken, maths, grammar and reading, a standardised score in given from the raw score. A standardised score below 100 identifies the child is working towards the expected standard, 100 to 114 identifies the child is working at the expected standard and a score of 115 or more means the child is exceeding the expected standard. The class teacher then uses this information, alongside work undertaken throughout the year, to produce a teacher assessment.
Once the children’s levels have been validated parents will be informed of the teacher assessment level. This information is shared with parents at the end of the Summer term. A parent or carer can request their child’s test results including their standardised scores.
On 14 September 2017 the Department for Education announced that the Year 2 SATs will be made non-statutory, meaning schools will be able to choose whether to administer them or not, from 2023. This announcement does not affect children due to sit KS1 SATs before 2023, so if your child was born before 31 August 2015 they will still be tested at the end of Year 2.
In the Spring term the Year 2 team will lead a SATs parent’s session.
Please follow the link for the Key Stage One Interim Framework 2018 for Reading, Writing, Maths and Science
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2 SATs are undertaken in Year 6 and are more formal. They take place in May in a dedicated week and all tests must be administered on days specified in the statutory test timetable set by the Department for Education and Standards and Testing Agency. Therefore, it is essential that your child is in school during this week to undertake their SATs. Below is the timetable for May 2023:
Monday 8th May 2023
Tuesday 9th May 2023
Wednesday 10th May 2023
Thursday 11th May 2023
This test consists of a reading booklet and a separate answer booklet. Children will have a total of one hour to read the three texts in the reading booklet and complete the questions.
English Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
The grammar and punctuation paper component consists of a single test paper. Children will have 45 minutes to complete the test, answering the questions in the test paper. The spelling test consists of an answer booklet for children to complete and a test transcript to be read by their teacher or another test administrator e.g. headteacher, deputy headteacher. Children will have approximately 15 minutes to complete the test (not strictly timed) by writing the 20 missing words in the answer booklet.
To assess the children’s maths three papers are undertaken, one assessing fluency and two assessing reasoning. Children have 30 minutes to complete the fluency test and 40 minutes to complete each reasoning test paper. The only maths resources they have available to use are a ruler in all test, and an angle measure or protractor and mirror in the reasoning tests. There may be questions where they have to write an explanation of their ‘working out’ but they will not be judged on their spelling or handwriting. Children can ask the teacher to read the questions to them.
Writing is not undertaken through a SATs test but assessed through writing in a range of genres over a period of time. Like Key Stage 1, to ensure writing judgments are accurate rigorous moderation is undertaken with all teaching staff, the SWAN Academy Trust, other primary schools and the local authority. External moderation by the local authority is undertaken periodically, similar to moderation in Key Stage 1.
Throughout the year the class teacher will provide opportunities for children to access the science curriculum and assess their understanding. This knowledge will be used to produce a teacher assessment. Biannual science sampling is undertaken whereby children complete a test booklet. The test is not undertaken by the whole cohort but a sample of children randomly selected. Schools are informed if they are required to undertake. This is not undertaken in the May SATs week.
All the Key Stage 2 tests are kept sealed and locked away until the time of the test. The test pack is opened in front of the children before the specific test starts. Unlike Key Stage 1 all Key Stage 2 papers are sent away to be marked.
The teachers are also required to submit teacher assessments for each child in writing and science. The results parents receive are test results for reading, grammar, punctuation and spelling and teacher assessments for writing and science. When a test is undertaken, maths, grammar and reading, a standardised score in calculated from the raw score. A standardised score below 100 identifies the child is working towards the expected standard, a score of 100 to 114 identifies they are working at the expected standard and a score of 115 or more means they are exceeding the expected standard. The class teacher then uses this information, alongside work undertaken throughout the year, to produce a teacher assessment.
The children’s results are shared with parents towards the end of the Summer term with results being available before your child leaves primary school in July.
In the Spring term the Year 6 team will lead a SATs information parent’s session.
The Multiplication Tables Check
The Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) is a Key Stage 2 assessment to be taken by pupils at the end of year 4 (in June). The MTC was introduced for the 2019 / 2020 academic year however due to COVID-19 the first check will take place in June 2021. The purpose of the MTC is to make sure the pupils times tables knowledge is at the expected level.
The MTC is an online test were the pupils are asked 25 questions on times tables 2 to 12. For every question you have 6 seconds to answer and in between the questions there is a 3 second rest. Questions about the 6, 7, 8, 9, and 12 times table come up more often. The questions are generated randomly based on the rules of the MTC.
The children regularly undertake times table learning in class and Times Table Rock Stars reinforces this learning at home. Prior to undertaking the screener, the children will have the opportunity to undertake a practice so they are familiar with the organisation. The screener is similar to the Studio game on Times Table Rock Stars if you would like familiarise yourself.
The Department for Education provided additional informational, in the Autumn term, in regards to statutory assessment. They have recognised the difficulties that primary schools are facing in light of the ongoing disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19). Therefore, they have altered their approach to the 2021 National Curriculum assessments, and will focus on the most important summer assessments for schools, pupils and parents.
For 2021, The Department for Education has removed:
- all key stage 1 (KS1) tests
- the key stage 2 (KS2) English grammar, punctuation and spelling test
- the requirement to make and report teacher assessment judgements for science at KS1 and KS2
As a school Barnsbury will still undertake termly summative assessments and in Year 2 will use previous SATs to undertake this. Likewise, in Year 6 we will still assess the children in English punctuation and spelling (which is undertaken every term) to ensure progress is being made and to aid transition to their secondary schools.
To further support schools, the Department for Education:
- have delayed the statutory introduction of the multiplication tables check – school may choose to take part on an optional basis
- have extended the timetable variation periods for phonics and KS2, to allow schools greater flexibility if pupils cannot take the tests on the scheduled dates because of coronavirus disruption
- have removed the requirement for schools to submit applications for pupils who need additional time in KS2 tests or notifications that they used an aid (such as a scribe or word processor)
Barnsbury will undertake the multiplication tables check in order to assess and track the children’s progress.
This means that the following statutory assessments will continue in 2021:
- the phonics screening check for year 1 pupils (and year 2 pupils who have not met the expected standard previously)
- KS2 English reading and mathematics tests
- KS1 and KS2 teacher assessment (excluding science)
Assessment and Curriculum Leader