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What are the SATs?

Year 6 SATs… What are they?


If you're the parent or carer of a child in primary school, you'll definitely have heard of SATs, whether it's parent talk in the playground or parents’ evening with teachers. 

How important are SATs in year 6? SATs (Standard Assessment Tests) are designed to evaluate your child’s progress throughout years 3-6 and to compare how your child achieves against other children of their age.

However you feel about this - and SATs do divide opinion - it's likely you'll have some questions about the upcoming SATs tests and how best to support your child.  This section of the Year 6 Class page aims to offer you information and advice on how you can support your child. 





Assessment and Reporting


As of 2014, the ‘old’ national curriculum levels (e.g. level 3, 4, 5) were abolished as set out in government guidelines.


The 2014 curriculum is rigorous and sets noticeably higher expectations than previous curricula, which is why all schools have had to work hard to meet and adapt to it since its introduction.

Since 2016, test scores have been reported as ‘scaled scores’.


Scaled Scores

It is planned that 100 will always represent the ‘national standard’.

Each pupil’s raw test score will therefore be converted into a score on the scale, either at, above or below 100.

The scale will have a lower end point somewhere below 100 and an upper end point above 100.

A child who achieves the ‘national standard’ (a score of 100) will be judged to have demonstrated sufficient knowledge in the areas assessed by the tests.

Each pupil receives:

•             a raw score (number of raw marks awarded);

•             a scaled score in each tested subject;

•             confirmation of whether or not they attained the national standard.



Scaled Score Examples

On publication of the test results in July:

  • a child awarded a scaled score of 100 is judged to have met the ‘national standard’ in the area judged by the test;
  • a child awarded a scaled score of more than 100 is judged to have exceeded the national standard and demonstrated a higher than expected knowledge of the curriculum for their age;
  • a child awarded a scaled score of less than 100 is judged to have not yet met the national standard and performed below the expectation for their age.


Higher-Attaining Pupils

In the past, Key Stage 2 tests were aimed at children achieving levels 3-5 (with a national expectation to reach at least level 4).

This meant that additional level 6 tests were produced for children who demonstrated higher than expected attainment (above level 5).

Under the new system, there are not any separate tests for the most-able children. Instead, each test will have scope for higher-attaining pupils to show their strengths.

This means that some questions towards the end of the tests may be more difficult for many children but they should be encouraged to attempt as much of the test as they are able to.