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Recent Changes To The KS2 SATs

Over the past few years, we have seen a number of changes to the national curriculum tests.

The main alterations in 2012 were:
  • The writing test was to undergo a complete renovation in 2013, but for 2012 the writing test was in the form of internal teacher assessment. A writing test was also sent to the schools to aid them in their judgement. However, if schools still wanted to have the tests externally marked, they were able request separate tests.  
  • Optional Level 6 tests were made available for high attaining students. A reading test and mathematics test are now available for external marking and a writing test was also be supplied for internal marking and assessment.

2013 saw some significant adjustments to the English testing process to allow for a more structured, literacy-based assessment. The 2013 changes were as follows:

  • The writing test was replaced with a statutory test of grammar, spelling and punctuation skills. Writing will now be subject to teacher assessment only, while the more technical aspects are to be assessed by an externally marked test.
  • There was no science testing in 2013. There will be biennial science sampling from 2014.
  • More emphasis was placed on teacher assessment. Schools will be required to submit their teacher assessments before the national curriculum test results are returned, as this will prevent them from being swayed by the test results.

In 2014, the tests remained largely the same. There were just a few refinements to the Level 3-5 tests as follows:
  • The calculator paper was removed from the Level 3-5 mathematics exams. Both maths papers were non-calculator.
  • The texts in the reading paper were no longer linked by a theme. There were still 3 or 4 texts, but they had different subjects, starting with the least demanding text, then increasing in difficulty.

This format remained the same for the Key Stage 2 SATs in 2015, then the tests were updated to fit the new curriculum, with new tests being implemented in 2016.

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