National Tests and Assessments

National Tests and Assessments

There are four statutory assessment points during your child's primary education. At each point, the school is required to make an assessment of your child against a set of 'national criteria' - the outcomes of each assessment are reported to families. In some year groups a set of national tests are used, in others the teacher makes the final judgement based on their knowledge of your child. The four assessment points are:

  • The end of Reception year - your child is assessed against each of the Early Learning Goals
  • The end of Year 1 - your child completes the Phonics Screening Check
  • The end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2) - your child is assessed in reading, writing, mathematics and science
  • The end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6) - your child is assessed in reading, writing, grammar, punctuation & spelling, mathematics and science

This page explains, in more detail, what happens during each assessment point and also includes copies of some national test materials for you to view.

End of Reception Year

Teachers make on-going assessments and observations of your child throughout Reception year. At the end of the year, teachers have to make a final judgement about whether your child has achieved the Early Learning Goals. The document below describes the assessment system for Reception year.

End of Year 1

At the end of Year 1 (usually around the middle of June), your child takes the Phonics Screening Check. They work one-to-one with their teacher to take the check and are required to read 40 words to check their phonic knowledge. Each year a threshold mark is set (usually around 32/40) to indicate the expected standard. If your child does not meet this they re-take the check at the end of Year 2. A copy of the check from 2017 can be downloaded below:

End of Key Stage 1

At the end of Key Stage 1, teachers make an assessment for your child in reading, writing, mathematics and science. These assessments are made against a set of national criteria. In reading and mathematics, a set of national tests (SATs) are published each year to support the teacher in making their assessment. These have to be completed during the month of May (each school can decide how to timetable each test). A copy of the papers from 2018 can be downloaded below.

End of Key Stage 2

At the end of Key Stage 2, your child takes a set of national tests (SATs) for reading, mathematics and grammar, punctuation & spelling. These usually take place in mid-May - each test is timetabled for a specific day meaning children, across England, take the same test at the same time. There is no test for writing - instead your child's writing is assessed by their teacher against a set of national standards. A copy of the SATs papers from 2018 can be downloaded below.

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