I dont know how the systems works here as I went to school in another country. in year 3 they have an exam to assess their level. when is the exam? end of year 2? start of year 3? and where do I get past exams or mock exams? my child is in year 1 thanks
State schools here have what are called SATs in Yr 2, to help assess children's levels, but they are teacher assessed - there is no big exam the kids take. You don't need past papers, they don't exist!
In private (paid for) schools there are a variety of exams that occur in the later years of primary, for example the 7+ which is a test that some schools set children for entry into year three. These are specific to the school so you would need to know which school you wanted your child to attend to get a better idea of what needs to be covered, but I don't think that is what you mean?
I thought that the exam in year 2 were linked in some ways to the 7+ exams? That if you would be in a top group, giving you more chance to get good grades at the 7+ exam (which takes place in year 7?)? Our son is doing well with everything and we would like to set him up for a very good school.
Is your son at a State school or a private school? Where is he going to be next year? State or Private? If he is at State school and going to another State school, then any tests he takes will not affect which school he gets into. At the age of 7 no state school select by academic ability.
If he is going to a new Private school at 7+, they may well have an entry exam. However this will just be checking where he is academically. Even very academic schools will be selecting on more than just a pass mark at 7. Also most schools which do select at 7 do also select further later on, even if they go through to 18 (either by exams with a strict pass mark or by subtly suggesting it is not the right idea for your child). If he is entering schools with a 7+ exam then you need to ask the schools for what if any preparation he can do. They usually only want you to do the minimum to overcome nerves.
(A 7+ exam takes place when a child is 7 years old, not at the end of year 7.) The exam some State schools use for entry is called an 11+, and is taken at the start of year 6 (or for Private school entry is taken about January of year 6). The only State schools which take notice of this are Grammar schools, which only exist in some areas of the country.
How children do in their SATs in year 2 in no way affect how they do in year 6. The Government does expect children to develop linearly, so those who do well at 7 to do well at 11; this isn't actually how children necessarily develop.
First off RELAX. Your child doesn't need to prepare for Y2 SATs which are teacher assessed (and includes wide impression of all work in addition to tests) - in 3 areas - science, maths and english (reading & writing).
Now these 'exams' are really about the government (who funds education in the state sector with taxpayers money) ensuring that taxpayers are getting what they are paying for (in other words that teachers are doing their job).
The school will most likely start to assess your child against current National Curriculum levels this year: (for more information on assessment & progress through NC Levels see MN info here: www.mumsnet.com/learning/assessment/introduction.
So as a parent at parent/ teacher meetings you can request information on how your child is performing on any standardised tests and how they feel they are performing generally. Some schools will discuss Maths/ Reading & Literacy (sometimes just called Writing) in terms of NC Levels and other schools will talk more vaguely about working below expected level/ at expected level and above expected level.
My advice to you is that being informed about what your child is expected to cover (and therefore in theory to know) each year is helpful:
Campaign for Real Education has some parent friendly curriculum descriptions for what 'in an ideal world' should be covered in each year of primary school. I would advise that this is most likely at a higher standard than most schools operate at - but it is useful to understand what is possible: www.cre.org.uk/primary_contents.html
From September 2014 the new national curriculum will be adopted - and this will apply to your DC and information on what this will cover by subject is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum - just scroll down and you can look at individual subject areas like science, maths, English, history, etc...
I know that a number of parents are discussing SATs (especially KS2 SATs taken formally in May of Y6) here on MN - but I really think that you should be less worried as a parent about an individual exam/ assignment and more concerned that your child is covering the full spectrum of the curriculum and clearly mastering appropriate skills at the right time. Even if your school is being vague or overly positive, as a parent you should be able to get a sense of how your child is performing and you should use parent/ teacher meetings to ask for that information.
In my opinion Y1 is about securing reading skills - so moving from struggling to sound out words to securely being able to read one/ two syllable words and make plausible guesses at longer/ more complicated words. In maths it is about securing ability to add/ subtract numbers to at least 10 - but many can master to 20. I think some schools then make a huge jump to 100 - so it may be easier to work with a smaller target next - say 50 - after that 100 seems pretty easy. One of the key mistakes we made was not appreciating that number bonds were important beyond just all the ways to make 10. So work on bonds for 5 - 9, as 4 and under are pretty obvious - but this will make addition/ subtraction work when you start to carry or borrow tens so much easier.
I have to say as a parent I really think schools and teachers need to be less frightened about giving parents bad news. I was endlessly being told DD1 was doing fine and a lovely girl but what I knew was she couldn't add or subtract for toffee in KS1. It really took getting a NC L1 in maths in KS1 SATs to spur me into action because I believed in the school and was endlessly being assured that things would pick up next year. So my personal view is that if multiplication tables are meant to be memorised by some point in Y4 and it's now Y5 or Y6 and your DC is struggling - that's a problem. It is late in the day, but there are all sorts of resources out there (many of which are free) that can help give practice and support learning/ memorisation of these crucial number facts that clearly underpin all more advanced maths: e.g. www.greatmathsteachingideas.com/2014/01/05/youve-never-seen-the-gcse-maths-curriculum-like-this-before/ - if you scroll down to the second image - he shows that what underpins the entire GCSE curriculum in maths in sound mutliplication/ division skills - and what underpins all of that is multiplication table knowledge. That's why learning your times tables to 12 is so important - it makes everything else so much easier.