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Key Stage 1 SATS

Key Stage 1 SATS take place in school during May for pupils in Year 2. This is an indication of pupil achievement at the end of Key Stage 1. This information will inform pupil predictions for the remainder of their time at school and inform a prediction of their outcomes at Year 6. 

New-style KS1 SATs were introduced in 2016 for all Year 2 children in England. This was to refelct the changes o the National Curriculum which became statuatory in September 2014. SATS are set externally by national government but administered in school by the child's class teacher and support staff. These staff also mark the tests and they are not sent away for marking although your child's results are submitted to the local authority. 

Children sit KS1 SAT tests in the following subjects: 

  • Reading
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling (optional paper, schools can decide whether to use it)
  • Maths




The new reading test for Year 2 pupils is made up of two separate papers:

  • Paper 1 consists of a selection of texts totalling 400 to 700 words, with questions interspersed
  • Paper 2 comprises a reading booklet of a selection of passages totalling 800 to 1100 words. Children will write their answers in a separate booklet

Each paper is worth 50 per cent of the marks, and should take around 30 minutes, but children are not be strictly timed, as the tests are not intended to assess children’s ability to work at speed. The texts in the reading papers cover a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and get progressively more difficult towards the end of the test. Teachers have the option to stop the test at any point that they feel is appropriate for a particular child.

There are a variety of question types:

  • Multiple choice
  • Ranking/ordering, e.g. ‘Number the events below to show in which order they happened in the story’
  • Matching, e.g. ‘Match the character to the job that they do in the story’
  • Labelling, e.g. ‘Label the text to show the title’
  • Find and copy, e.g. ‘Find and copy one word that shows what the weather was like in the story’
  • Short answer, e.g. ‘What does the bear eat?’
  • Open-ended answer, e.g. ‘Why did Lucy write the letter to her grandmother? Give two reasons’




The SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) Test remains optional but should school choose to administer this test it comprises of the following: 

  • Paper 1: a 20-word spelling test taking approximately 15 minutes and worth 20 marks.
  • Paper 2: a grammar, punctuation and vocabulary test, in two sections of around 10 minutes each (with a break between, if necessary), worth 20 marks. This will involve a mixture of selecting the right answers e.g. through multiple choice, and writing short answers.




The new Key Stage 1 maths test is made up of two papers:

  • Paper 1: arithmetic, worth 25 marks and taking around 15 minutes.
  • Paper 2: mathematical fluency, problem-solving and reasoning, worth 35 marks and taking 35 minutes, with a break if necessary. There are a variety of question types: multiple choice, matching, true/false, constrained (e.g. completing a chart or table; drawing a shape) and less constrained (e.g. where children have to show or explain their method).

Children are not allowed to use any tools such as calculators or number lines.



Further Information

There are many practice papers which can be found online to support children sitting a more formal assessment. In the run up to SATS staff in school will also allow them to practice in a test situation. However, we try to keep this as low key as possible and in line with what children are used to and in consideration of their age. 

The following guide is useful for parents wishing to read further support materials about the SATS. CLICK HERE. 

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