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KS2 SATs 2020: everything parents need to know

For an overview of 2023 SATs, please take a look at our SATs guide for KS1 and KS2.

SATs: one tiny little acronym that can strike dread into parents, children and teachers alike. With exactly six months to go before Year 6 pupils sit their end of Key Stage 2 tests, we’ve produced a mini-series of SATs support for parents.

In this first instalment, we break down what they are, when they are, how you can support your child and, most importantly, why you shouldn’t panic!

What are they?

SATs stands for statutory assessment tests.

As it says on the tin, these are simply tests which all maintained schools and academies have to complete. These are compulsory for maths and English (including reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar). 10% of schools will also receive unannounced monitoring visits from the local authority.

Papers have been designed to be accessible for as many students as possible, so if your child has special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), most will still be able to participate. Schools will identify any children who have additional support in school and will provide access arrangements (such as a reader, scribe, additional time etc) where required. Schools must provide documentation and evidence that this is normal practice for those children. 

What’s included?

Maintained and free schools and academies work from the national curriculum. This is the document provided by the government which ensures that all children have a good breadth of learning. The SATs papers test elements from the whole of the curriculum, not just Year 6 content. 

There are three maths papers: one which tests arithmetic and two which test reasoning skills. These will all have been taught throughout your child’s primary education.

When are they?

Wednesday 13th May 2020

Mathematics Paper 1 (Arithmetic) 

Children have 30 minutes to complete the test. It is worth 40 marks.

Mathematics Paper 2 (Reasoning)

Children have 40 minutes to complete the test. It is worth 35 marks. 

Thursday 14th May 2020

Mathematics Paper 3 (Reasoning)

Children have 40 minutes to complete the test. It is worth 35 marks. 

What skills do children need?

As well as a good understanding of arithmetic, children should also have a range of calculation strategies up their sleeve. Estimation and using inverse operations are a great way of checking answers.

Encourage your child to always show their workings out, as not only does this make it easier to find where you may have made a mistake in your calculations, but also questions worth more than one mark often give a point for correct working out, even if the answer is wrong. 

Children should also be able to explain their answer. Towards the end of the paper, they will receive questions which award marks based on the explanations they can give about why an answer is correct or incorrect. 

The Multiplication Tables Check (MTC)

Children in Year 4 will also have a test at the end of the academic year. The Multiplication Tables Check is designed to help ensure that children know their times tables up to twelve off by heart. To find out more about the MTC, have a look at our handy summary.

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