Practice, as the popular saying goes, makes perfect. Research also clearly shows that the right sort of psychometric test practice has a ‘practice effect’. The right sort of practice means firstly using a closely matched test format.

Primary school teachers regularly give out practice SAT tests. Children take them home and already stressed out parents have to set aside time in their busy diaries to manage their completion. There is an easier way, which is why I formed Passed Papers, which grants every parent easy access to the right practice papers and test-taking tips. That means improved scores – as well as reduced anxiety for both parents and child alike.

First of all, Key Stage 1 SATs, taken at the end of Year 2 as well as Key Stage 2 SATs taken at the end of Year 6, help alert teachers and the school to specific areas where support may be needed. The results are also scrutinised by Ofsted when they inspect schools. This helps to determine the consistency in performance and provide evidence of standards improving or declining.

What do the SATs measure?

The SAT’s test school pupils in the three core subjects. Plus:

  • Your pupils’ school success in teaching these core subjects (English, Maths and Science); and
  • Your child’s progress.

The SATs are now carried out at the end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and Key Stage 2 (Year 6). In 2010 Key Stage 3 SATs were scrapped. Subsequently, those Key Stage 3  assessments have been replaced by formal teacher assessment in each of the National Curriculum subjects.

Similarly, it was confirmed on 14 September 2017, that Key Stage 1 SATs will be made non-statutory (schools will be able to choose whether they want to take it) in 2023. Until then all Year 2 pupils will be subject to these assessments.

Most noteworthy is that the National Curriculum is used for the content of these assessments in KeyStage 1 and Key Stage 2.


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Temple Grafton CofE Primary School was awarded the first place in the Telegraph’s top 1000 primaries in the UK in 2016. Even though the school is very small, with only 111 learners in 2016. Their SAT scores showed a 100% pass rate at the expected level. Furthermore, 46% of learners met the higher standard that year.

Despite her school outperforming the majority of other schools in the UK, Ms Hendry, the head teacher is not a great supporter of the SAT’s. According to her, she would rather skip the exams altogether. She goes on to say: “They can put a lot of unnecessary pressure on 11-year-olds, and that’s something we work very hard to minimise. We don’t make a big thing of the SATs to the children, because for the children, the SATs don’t matter. No one will ever ask them in later life  how they performed in their Key Stage Two reading comprehension.”

Ms Hendry emphasises the school’s focus on independent learning. In her school, children have a choice of projects. They choose what they do and how they present their learning. Therefore the children actively participate. Teachers know them really well and can plan for their learning on a more personal level. She also warrants her success to a family feel and varied extracurricular activities.