Primary School SATs Results Explained

Advice and Tips Type English Maths Free Teaching Resources Subject English Maths Age 7 to 11 Years Old Key Stages Key Stage 2

SATs And How Primary School Children Are Assessed

Children at Primary School are assessed continuously.  Most assessments are teacher assessments.  This is where the class teacher will give all the children in the class a Maths and English assessment to complete.  It is marked and given a level by the teacher.  This is then recorded and used to inform future planning and can be shared with parents at a parents evening meeting or through reports that are sent home.  Many schools will moderate the marking to ensure consistency throughout the school. 

When Are Children Assessed More Formally?

During Year 2 and Year 6, children are assessed more formally and the levels achieved by each child is not only to inform future planning, but sent to the local authority. 

What Levels Can Be Given To Children?

The table below shows the levels children are expected to achieve at the end of Year 2, Year 6 and Year 8.

How Do Teachers Decide On The Level To Give A Child?

Throughout the year, teachers assess children’s abilities in Maths and English.  A piece of work will be given to the child to complete.  This piece of work will be assessed using level descriptions from the National Curriculum.  The level descriptions give targets or objectives the child must show in their work to achieve that level.  If a certain objective can’t be seen in the work the child has produced, then that level hasn’t been achieved.  The child may be working within a level, but not achieved it.  At the end of the year, the teacher will summarise the levels from throughout the year and give an overall level for the year.

Year 2 SATs Levels Explained.

In Year 2, children are assessed for maths, reading, writing, speaking and listening.  Parents should be told what their child’s SATs results are for each of these areas. At the end of Year 2, children are expected to achieve a Level 2b.  Level 2c and Level 1a/b/c are considered to below the expected level.  Level 3 means your child is working above the expected levels for their age.

If a child achieves Level 2b in Year 2, they are predicted to achieve Level 4b at year 6 and are on the right track.

Year 6 SATs Levels Explained

Children are expected to leave Primary School having achieved a Level 4 in Maths and English.  If a Level 5 is achieved, they are working beyond the expected level.  A Level 6 is exceptional.  More able children can be given the chance to take a Level 6 SATs papers.

Do SATs Results Matter?

Year 2 SATs

The level a child achieves at Year 2 is mainly used to help inform teachers planning and to give parents an idea of how their child is progressing at school.  Schools use these results to predict which children will achieve the expected Level 4 in Year 6.

You might find your child’s SATs level is lower than you expected in Year 2.  Some schools give children a lower level at Year 2, so that when the children achieve a higher than expected level in Year 6, the school’s ‘value added’ score is higher.  This means that the amount of progress made by the children between Year 2 and Year 6 is higher, making the school look better in the league tables.  This doesn’t happen in all schools, but it is not unheard of.

Year 6 SATs

The level a child achieves at Year 6 is used to give parents an idea how their child has progressed.  The results can also be used by Secondary schools to help them put children into the appropriate set or group.  Some Secondary schools prefer not to use these results and will assess them again.  Year 6 SATs results are also used in School League tables and can be used to compare one school against another.  They also show how children are achieving when compared to other children/schools nationally and regionally.

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