We hope that the explanation set out below will help you to understand the process of Standard Assessment Tasks (SATS) a little better. It is intended that these assessments will take place mostly within the normal classroom setting. It is not advisable to talk about SATS with your child, as this may cause unnecessary concern or alarm. Assessments are made on children throughout their school life and SATS should be seen as part of this ongoing process, and not something too much out of the ordinary.SATS are carried out in Year 2, when the children are aged seven, or are in their seventh year. The timescale for these tasks and tests begins in January, until four weeks prior to the end of the Summer Term.
The National Curriculum has been designed so that at the end of Key Stage One a typical seven year old should be able to attain Level 2, the descriptor of which is attached. This is not always the case, and some children who are seven years old may still be working towards attaining Level 1 or may be able to attain Level 3.
KEY STAGE ONE ASSESSMENTS
There are two parts to the assessment:
Teacher assessment is an essential part of the National Curriculum Assessment Arrangements. The results from teacher assessment are reported alongside the task and test results. Both have equal status and provide complementary information about children’s attainment. The tasks and tests provide a standard ‘snapshot’ of attainment at the end of the Key Stage, while teacher assessment, carried out as part of teaching and learning in the classroom, cover the full range and scope of the programmes of study, and takes account of evidence of achievement in a range of contexts, including that gained through discussion and observation.
Tasks and Tests
Teachers are required to use the Key Stage One tasks and tests with all children to be assessed at the end of Key Stage One to make separate assessments of reading, writing (including spelling) and mathematics. The tasks must be completed between the beginning of January and four weeks before the end of the Summer Term. The tests must be completed during May.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR ASSESSMENT
At Level 1, the task is to read a book from the selected list of appropriate stories. The reading material used is taken from a list of books sent to every school by the DfEE and these books must be used to assess your child’s achievements in reading. The task assesses the child’s ability to read a book aloud with accuracy and discuss his or her understanding of the text.
Levels 2A, 2B and 2C
At Level 2, the task is to read a book from a different, more difficult list of appropriate stories, where the teacher makes a running record of how your child has decoded the text. Once again, the DfEE has chosen the list of books we must use. This task also assesses the child’s ability to read a book aloud with accuracy and to discuss his or her understanding of the text.
At Level 2, the children are also required to undertake a reading comprehension test. It will consist of a story and an information text, with questions for the children to answer. The Level 2 test provides additional and complementary information to the reading task. The test assesses the child’s ability to read independently and respond in writing to comprehension questions.
At Level 2 the child’s reading needs to be closely assessed. Therefore, the Levels 2A, 2B and 2C are awarded within Level 2 for reading, with A being the highest grade and C being the lowest grade.
At Level 3, the children will be assessed using a reading comprehension test. It will be based on a story booklet and a separate information booklet, together with a question booklet for children to complete. The test assesses the child’s ability to read independently for a sustained period, and respond in writing to comprehension questions.
The writing task covers all levels of assessment. There are two tasks for the children to complete; one is a longer piece (approx 45 minutes), the other a shorter piece (approx 30 minutes). The writing tasks will be incorporated into normal classroom activities and will take the form of a story, a letter, information writing, instructions or an account. The tasks assess the child’s ability to communicate meaning in writing, to use punctuation and spelling accurately, and to write legibly. Although each child will complete two writing tasks, each child will be awarded a single overall level for their writing. The levels W, 1, 2C, 2B, 2A and 3 are awarded.
The spelling test covers levels 1, 2C, 2B, 2A and 3 and all children are entered for the same test. The mark gained in the spelling test goes towards the overall assessment of writing, and is therefore not reported separately.
At Level 1, the assessment will be made through a set task. The task is a mixture of practical and written work and will be carried out with a small group of no more than four children at a time. If a child does particularly well at the Level 1 task, they can then be entered for the Level 2 test.
Levels 2 and 3
At Levels 2 and 3, the assessment will be made through a mathematics test. There are two separate tests, one to assess whether a child is at Level 2A, 2B or 2C, and one to assess whether a child is at Level 3. The children who will be taking either of these mathematics tests will be encouraged to work right through the paper, even if they are struggling, but not if they are upset about doing so.
Your child’s assessment in Science is assessed through Teacher Assessment. There are no tasks or tests for your child to perform.
THE SATS AUDIT
The Local Authority requests an audit of our SATS results by law. This is to ensure that SATS have been carried out and that the standards applied are consistent to National Standards. Once the SATS results have been audited and endorsed by the Local Authority, the results are then sent out to parents in the form of a written report attached to the child’s School Report in July.
We hope that this explanation is helpful and makes SATS a little clearer to understand. Please feel free to ask about any area you are unsure of and try not to feel anxious about the next month. It is important that we work together to make this time as stress-free as we can for your child.