First of all, what are SATS? SATS are exams that are given to children at the end of KS1 and KS2. KS1 exams are typically sat at the end of Year 2 whilst KS2 exams are at the end of Year 6. This therefore means that they are age based exams. They sit exams in the following: reading, grammar, punctuation, spelling and maths.
Why do children have to sit SATS? These exams allow schools to set unique target grades for each child which are dependent on their performance in the exams and therefore their individual academic capabilities. The target grades that are extracted from these exams are then set as guidelines as to what a child should be achieving, as minimum, during secondary school.
Why do children have to sit two sets of SATS exams? The reason behind having them at two different stages is to measure the attainment and progress of each individual. In this case, attainment means what grade the child has actually achieved in that particular exam. Having two sets of results allows for comparison which would not be possible if each child only had one set of results. This allows schools to measure the progress made between KS1 and KS2. For example, if a child performs badly during their KS1 SATS but performs exceptionally high during their KS2 SATS, it means that the child has good progress as he or she has improved significantly between the two.
Some of you may understand why KS2 SATS are important but why are KS1 SATS important? KS1 SATS allow each school to evaluate how a child is performing. These are not like KS2 SATS as there is no expected standard (explained below) so therefore there is no ‘pass’ or ‘fail.’ They simply help identify what level a child is working at which will therefore indicate individual weaknesses and strengths. This allows schools to help facilitate improvement in each child. These SATS are important as it will help indicate your child’s academic capabilities and whether or not you would need to organise further educational help outside of school to enhance their performance.
How do you know if your child has performed well during KS2 SATS? According to the National Curriculum Assessment Guidelines, the highest a child can attain is 120 marks. The expected standard for each child is to attain higher than 100 marks. Anything below 99 marks means that they have not met the expected standard.
Do KS2 SATS results matter? The answer is yes. They are used to generate target grades for secondary school for their GCSE grades. This means that if a child performs low during their SATS, their target grades for GCSE will also be low and vice versa.
How can you help your child as a parent? These are the things you could do to help your child get through this process in the most effective way:
- Send your child for English and Maths tutoring outside of school. This will help your child to enhance their existing skills and to improve their existing knowledge.
- Find existing SATS papers online for your child to complete. As mark schemes are also available you will be able to get an indication of your child’s performance. A site which can be used it : https://www.sats-papers.co.uk/sats-2020.
- To make it more enjoyable, incorporate revision games into your daily routine. For example, use arts and crafts to create 2D and 3D shapes, create a board game where one can only move forward if you get a spelling right. The possibilities are endless!
- Do not put too much pressure on your child as it may cause them to underperform. Instead use encouragement and let them know you are proud of them. This will help to boost their self-esteem which will in turn drive them to perform well.
- Use positive reinforcement. When your child does well at school during the year or performs well on a paper at home or does well during tuition, reward them with a meal out, a new toy or some sweets. This will encourage them to work hard or work even harder as they will enjoy the outcome of performing well.