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Guide to KS2 SATs Tests

The scores achieved by children in their KS2 SATs tests at the end of Year 6 will determine the sets they will be placed in Year 7 and their target GCSE grades in Year 11. Therefore, it is essential that students are prepared to achieve the highest grades to set them up for success at secondary school.

What are KS2 SATs?

SATs are compulsory national tests sat by all year 6 children, normally in May, in maths and English. The results measure the children’s end of primary school levels of attainment as well as the performance of schools.

KS2 Maths Tests

There are three test papers in maths. Paper 1 tests mental arithmetic skills with questions requiring a correct answer to each question; papers 2 and 3 test mathematical reasoning and problem solving skills.

KS2 English Tests

Paper 1 tests knowledge of grammar, spelling and punctuation (SPAG) with questions requiring short answers such as ‘which word is a noun in this sentence’ or ‘why does this sentence need an apostrophe’. Paper 2 is a 20 word spelling test. Paper 3 is a reading comprehension test; children have to read the passages from a text they are provided and answer a range of questions related to the passage.

KS2 Science

Science SATs are not compulsory. However, a few schools are selected for science SATs which take place after the compulsory maths and English tests in early June for official sampling purposes. You can check with your child’s school if it has been selected.

The New KS2 SATs & Scores Explained

The new KS2 SATs tests, introduced in 2016, have become more difficult and the way they are marked has also changed. Previously, students were awarded levels ranging from 3 (the lowest) to 6 with 4b set as the national standard expected for each subject. Now, they are marked with a score ranging from 80 (the lowest) to 120 with a national standard expected score of 100 for each subject. The new more rigorous tests have seen fewer students achieving the expected standard score of 100 compared to the old KS2 SATs tests’ 4b.

Preparing Your Child for KS2 SATs

A 2016 Department for Education study found that year 6 pupils who had failed to achieve the national expected standard KS2 levels were lagging behind throughout secondary school and failed to achieve five GCSE’s at grade C or above including maths and English in Year 11. Furthermore, as class sizes are too large to ensure each child can be prepared to achieve the highest KS2 SATs’ scores, parents must provide extra support to their children by:

  • Encouraging daily reading at home, asking them questions about the story they have read and learning spellings of new words
  • Making them work from KS2 SATs workbooks and websites such as BBC Bitesize
  • Getting tutoring for them through qualified and experienced primary school teachers for accelerated progress, ideally from Years 4 or 5 for maximum scores above 100

To arrange a free KS2 assessment of current levels and progress towards SATs preparation for your child in Years 4, 5 or 6, at our Derby or Burton centres, email

Revising in Ramadan

As Ramadan begins with only a week or two to GCSE and A-Level exams, Muslim students will be revising while fasting with no food or water intake for around 18-19 hours. Here are the most useful tips that could help you to maximise your revision while fasting:

Eat Healthily & Keep Hydrated

Fried foods like Samosas and fat-dense curries together with high-sugar foods such as desserts lead to tiredness. Replace these with healthier options with grilled meats and slow release carbohydrates such as potatoes, bananas and rice; eat at least two portions of fruit and fibrous vegetables such as broccoli. Furthermore, take a good quality one-a-day vitamin supplement to keep your immune system strong.

Drinking plenty of water between sunset and dawn. This will help keep your concentration levels high the following day and ensure that you do not become tired the following day. So keep a full water bottle with you, sipping it throughout the night.

Strategically Plan Revision Times

Plan your revision timetable strategically around the times when you are most energetic and alert; conversely, plan your sleeping times when you are the most tired. So for example, when on study leave, you may choose to stay awake after Suhoor (the pre-dawn meal) and revise your most difficult subjects while you are energised and fully hydrated until the early afternoon (with short breaks), and then go to bed after the Dhuhr prayer which can be performed as soon as it starts.

If you prefer, you could work for a few hours after Suhoor on your toughest subjects and then sleep until late afternoon, performing the Dhur prayer towards the latter part of its time and then study for another couple of hours before the time to break fast on the less challenging subjects. Then after breaking fast and the night prayers (Tarawi), resume revision of the toughest subjects until Suhoor time.

In short, experiment and adopt the timetable that works best for you. If you start to feel tired, go for a quick walk and best of all, plan your breaks around prayer times, the pre-prayer ablution (wudhu) will wake you up!

Avoid Intensive Exercise

Exercise or sports that dehydrate should be avoided while fasting as it will impact the effectiveness of your revision. A short walk during breaks is sufficient for recharging your brain and overcoming tiredness.

Following these simple tips will allow the fasting students to be able to make the most of their revision without compromising their religion during Ramadan.