End of Key Stage 1 (Year 2)

In addition to the Phonics rescreening for any children who did not pass the Phonics test in Year 1, Year 2 pupils will also be assessed by their teacher, and will also sit the Year 2 SATs at some point convenient to the school in the month of May. Unlike the Phonics test and the Year 6 SATs, there is no national set week for testing.

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The Year 2 SATs Tests

The Year 2 SATs tests consist of the following:

2 tests for English:

    • Paper 1 takes approximately 30 minutes. The reading texts (400-700 words) are integrated with the questions and answers.
    • Paper 2 takes approximately 40 minutes. The reading texts (800-1100 words) are in a separate reading booklet to the answer booklet.
    • The majority of the marks (40%-80%) are design to test “identify/ explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction texts, such as characters, events, titles and information”.
    • 10%-35% marks available for “make inferences from the text”.
    • The remaining marks (17.5% in 2018) are for 3 other topics.


2 tests for Mathematics:

    • The arithmetic test takes around 20 minutes.
    • The reasoning test takes around 35 minutes, including 5 aural questions.
    • The majority of the marks (all the marks in the first paper, and 65%-74% in the second) are designed to test number, calculations and fractions.
    • The remaining marks in Paper 2 test measurement, geometry and statistics.


There are two additional, optional, tests for Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling.

  • The spelling test consists of 20 words and takes around 15 minutes
  • The grammar, punctuation and vocabulary test takes around 20 minutes.
  • These two tests are equally weighted (50% for spelling, and 50% for paper 2).
  • The marks are designed to test grammar (25%-38%), punctuation (12%-25%), and vocabulary (2%-7%).


None of the tests are strictly timed.

Does my child have to sit the SATs?

It is important to note that these tests do not form the basis of pupils’ results at the end of Year 2. It is evidence that could support a teacher’s assessments, but is not definitive.

Not all pupils have to take the tests. Reasons for not taking them include being considered to be unable to answer the easiest questions in the SATs tests, or are unable to participate, even with access arrangements.

For pupils who are not going to take the KS1 SATs tests, the school should discuss the pupils’ circumstances and needs with their parents, carers or guardians.

Who sees my Child’s Results?

Unlike the Key Stage 2 (Year 6) results, tests are marked internally by the school.

Schools are not required to report these results to either their Local Authority or any other school (e.g. to a Junior school, if a child leaves an Infant school at the end of Year 2).

They are also not required to automatically report these scores to parents.

However, parents must be given their children’s results if they request them.

Where can I get more information?

Additional information about the Key Stage 1 Tests can be found on the GOV.UK website for Tests and assessments (Key Stage 1).

This website includes:

Additionally, official literature (a leaflet and video) aimed at parents about the Key Stage 1 SATs are available on the gov.uk website.

In early June, the DfE will publish on the above gov.uk website a conversion table, showing where the pass mark is for each test. Teachers will use this data to assist with their Teacher Assessments.


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Teacher Assessments

Teachers will make judgements against each pupil by the end of June for English reading, writing, maths and science.

They will use a series of DfE “pupil can” statements, backed by exemplification examples to assess whether a child is:

1) Working at the Expected Standard (EXS)?  

If so, are they working at a Greater Depth within the Expected Standard (GDS)? (not Science)

2) Working towards the expected standard (WTS) in Reading, Writing and Maths

and Has Not Met the Expected Standard’ (HNM) in Science.

3) Not working towards the Expected Standard… 

If so, they will be assessed against Pre-Key Stage Standards 1 to 4 (except for Science).

Any pupil not meeting Pre-Key Stage Standard 1 will be assessed against p-scales 1 to 4.


In 2018:

The percentage of pupils working at least at the expected standard (EXS+) was 75% for Reading, 70% for Writing, 76% for Maths, and 83% for Science. Girls are 9% above boys in Reading, 14% above for Writing, but only 2% above Maths.

The percentage of pupils working at a Greater Depth (GDS) was 26% for Reading and 22% for Maths.

After a big rise (2%-3%) between 2016 and 2017, all of these percentages (except for Writing) are within 1% of the 2017 figures. For technical reasons, writing percentages for 2018 are not directly comparable to the 2017 figures.

Teacher Assessments need to be submitted by schools to their Local Authority near the end of June, although individual LAs may have their own, earlier, deadlines.

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What information will Parents receive?

At the end of Year 2, parents will receive before the end of the summer term:

  • Achievements, general progress and attendance,
  • Teacher assessments in English Reading, Writing, Maths and Science,
  • School averages, and
  • National averages where available.

In addition, parents will receive a statement saying that the results of the tests have been taken into account when considering the Teacher Assessments and, where appropriate, an explanation as to why a child has not taken any specific test. Additionally, if a parent has requested this data, they will receive their children’s tests results.

What data is released by the DfE?

The Key Stage 1 National and LA averages are released by the DfE on the public gov.uk website in late September.

No school-level data is released to the public.

Additionally, a school’s Key Stage 1 data is included in the DfE’s Analyse School Performance (ASP) and Ofsted’s Inspection Data Summary Report (IDSR).

This is typically in mid-November, with additional data regarding disadvantaged pupils being released in late November or early December. These reports are generally not made public by schools, although schools often publish their figures on their website.

What is the future of the KS1 SATs?

In 2017, the DfE issued its “Primary assessment in England – Government consultation response”.

On page 20, the DfE said that it aims to make both the Key Stage 1 tests and the teacher assessments non-statutory as soon as possible after the reception baseline assessment has been fully established and, if possible, from 2022/2023.

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Points to Ponder

How did the overall percentage of all pupils attaining the expected standard or above compare with the national figure?

  • How did the difference vary across subjects?
  • How did this compare with percentages attaining greater depth?

Which pupil groups made the most progress and which groups made the least?

  • Did this vary between subjects?
  • Which groups made statistically above or below average progress?

Did enough pupils attain the expected and high standard/greater depth?

  • How did this vary between subjects, by groups, and by starting points/early years development overall and for subjects?

Does the school improvement plan clearly identify areas for improvement?

  • Are the targets set for improvement ambitious enough?
  • Are they measureable and is the time scale realistic?
  • Are milestones in place to show whether pupils are on track to reach their targets?
  • How are these priorities evaluated? When and by who?

Our online ASP and IDSR training includes training about the Teacher Assessments, Tests and Progress. Completely FREE

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