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Have SATs explained politely

(14 Posts)
startail Fri 08-Jul-11 18:11:24

Pleas could someone explain the SATs levels at KS1 and KS2 clearly and politely without it turning in to a cat fight between teachers and others as it has in a couple of education threads.
I know a lot of people don't like SATs (personally I agree they have there flaws)
However many parents getting reports this
week simply need to understand the levels clearly and without the jargon.

startail Fri 08-Jul-11 18:12:14

Their flawsblush

TheFlyingOnion Fri 08-Jul-11 18:19:26

ok, so year 2 SATs are as follows:

level 1 - working below expected level
2c - working at expected level, slightly below average
2b - spot on
2a - working at expected level, above average
3 - working above the expected level

Only know about year 2 though, sorry...


TheFlyingOnion Fri 08-Jul-11 18:21:25

oh, flaws are:

1. don't really tell you any more as teachers know where kids are working to anyway
2. Puts little ones under lots of stress
3. Parents are under even more!


1. Well, if you like facts and figures you can see where everyone is at-a-glance
2. They're 7 years old. some do better than expected, some panic and bomb them.

feckwit Fri 08-Jul-11 18:23:00

And at KS2 it is just the same but 4b is average and 5 above average...

Tuzz Fri 08-Jul-11 18:45:56

Children finish the foundation stage (nursery and reception) and are given a grade/score out of 9. At the end of reception the are expected to be 8/9 in all areas.
Then the teachers start to assess children on a different scale. This starts at level 1C and goes up to level 10 (GCSE) There are 3 sub-levels a,b and c. C being the lowest.
Each school year the children are expected to progress by 1.5 or 2 sub levels e.g. from a 'c' to an 'a'.
At the end of each year teacher assessment gives a score. In year 2 and year 6 there are national tests to make sure that the teachers are assessing correctly.
National averages for children are made and used to gauge wether children are above or below national expectations. Below are the national expectations.
year 1 - 1b
year 2 - 2b
year 3 - 3c
year 4 - 3b
year 5 - 4c
Year 6 - 4a

OFSTED not only to measure levels in schools but also on rate of progress. A school/child is doing really well if they make 2 sub levels every year, it doesn't matter where they start, they all have to progress.

Hope this helps

youarekidding Fri 08-Jul-11 18:59:06

Well I just learnt something. I didn't realise children should only progress 2 sublevels. Do some children who progress say 3/4 sublevels in a year sometimes only progress 1 in another year? I take it as long as they progress the 'number' of sublevels may vary?

clam Fri 08-Jul-11 19:06:42

I cannot believe that there are still schools out there who are sending out reports with NC levels on them, yet not including with them some explanation of what those figures mean.
Sure, SATs have been around for a while now, but that's not much use if you're a parent new to the scene.

Tuzz Fri 08-Jul-11 19:06:49

Yes it does vary from child to child.
4 sub levels is probably unlikely and children with SEN may only make small amounts of progress, possible not even 1 sub level.
The national levels are a bit unhelpful because they compare children en masse . It's the progress your child makes that's important.

youarekidding Fri 08-Jul-11 22:19:49

Thanks tuzz, Was asking for personal reasons as my DS was below national expectations in literacy and expected in Maths and Science (end of yr 1). Has had a brilliant teacher this year who has engaged him in school and he's made 3/4 sublevels progress and now NE in Lit and above in science and maths. I am however (maybe incorrectly) expecting his progress to even out now to 1/2 sublevels a year.

NorfolkNChamberOfSecrets Fri 08-Jul-11 22:59:44

The other thing to remember about SATs is they only show what that child achieved on that day. If the child was having an off day they can seriously underperform, TA are a much more accurate picture if undertaken across the year.

Also levels mean different things in different subjects so a level 5 might be desirable in Year 6 English & Maths but would be hard to achieve until KS3 in other subjects.

BusterGut Fri 08-Jul-11 23:08:18


KS1 SAT tests are only done to support teacher assessments of the levels achieved.

KS1 reported levels are teacher's assessments of children's work between January and June.

Teachers must be able to provide evidence to external moderators of their assessments.

startail Fri 08-Jul-11 23:16:06

Thank you folks you are stars. I'm not a teacher and although I know the basics I certainly don't know the expected progress or levels in between Y2 and Y6.

Unfortunately, reading round the boards, schools are sending out reports with no explanation.

BusterGut Fri 08-Jul-11 23:22:33

i'm very surprised that reports have no explanations, as our 'SIMS' reports (which we send to parents about each `y2 child) definitely has an explanation at the bottom of the page. Lots of schools will be using 'SIMS' to create reports.

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