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Can someone talk to me about the new SpaG test please?

(15 Posts)
lljkk Sat 19-Oct-13 18:40:34

L6s really don't matter, OP. Nice bragging point for us parents, but honestly, shouldn't matter, won't make a diff to what sets she goes onto later because the L6s are too few to make up their own set. Just ask her to try her best to learn, all any of us can do.

What would happen if she was just 'ill' on the day of the test.

They will beg you to get her in, even if it's just for a few hours. Then they will shake in their boots at the prospect of getting Dept. of Ed. to issue a waiver (?exception) that allows her to take the test the next day. They will then grimace & come back & tell you if a waiver was possible, in which case she has to avoid all other children & the Internet until she goes in. So she will just have to take twice as many tests the next day she's in.

PastSellByDate Thu 17-Oct-13 22:58:14

Sorry all - I didn't scroll down far enough to see the spelling test & script was there - as wellthen pointed out. I genuinely thought the first part of the test was it and as grammar is my DD1s real weak spot - didn't explore beyond that point.

Just a genuine mistake.

Wellthen Thu 17-Oct-13 19:59:39

The first document is paper 1: short answer question booklet.
The second document (scroll down slightly) is paper 2: spelling task booklet.
Which is a spelling test. Its in the name.

PSBD do you understand that people commenting on these threads have actually administered these tests? They will have also attended training sessions on the Y6 tests. So they might actually have a tiny bit more information than you. Amazingly.

Picklesauage Thu 17-Oct-13 17:51:20

Oh sunbeams, I'm so sorry your poor DD has been made to feel so insecure about it. Apologies for the confusion, I haven't taught year 6 in a couple of years and so was used to getting a combined score.

It is really bad form for teachers to read out attainment for whole class. Really bad practice.

Is there any chance she could talk to year 7's? We have a couple of our previous year 6's pop in recently and I specifically asked one of them about SATS as she had been really anxious about them. She said no one had mentioned them since starting secondary and she couldn't believe how stupid they were!

Sneezy86 Thu 17-Oct-13 16:47:36

PastMySellByDate please look at this correctly. The SPAG test consists of two papers. Paper 1 is a short answer booklet worth 50 marks and paper 2 is a spelling test where the teacher reads out sentences and the child has to spell the missing 20 words on the sheet. So yes there is a lot of spelling involved in their SPAG level. 20 out of 70 marks are purely spelling!!! That's almost a third of the SPAG level a child earns.

PastSellByDate Thu 17-Oct-13 16:19:35

Hi moldingsunbeams -

Really look at the L3-5 example SPAG. There's hardly any actual spelling involved - most of it is multiple choice and choosing the correct word to use in a sentence.

If you're really worrying about spelling try on-line spelling games at St. Ambrose Primary spelling page which works through various spelling rules/ tricky bits:

Also - try GCP literacy workbooks (Y4/ Y5) - there meant for grammar, but along the way there are a lot of spelling rules introduced.

We did about 10 - 15 minutes of these (1 or 2 on-line games - 1-2 pages from GCP book) during Y5 in advance of 11+ here and it really made a difference (at school as well).


moldingsunbeams Thu 17-Oct-13 14:09:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sneezy86 Thu 17-Oct-13 13:25:00

Just to clarify a couple of points made above which may misguide you.

This year teachers did not receive a combined literacy level. We received separate levels for reading, writing and SPAG.

Secondly, PastSellByDate says there really isn't a spelling test! Yes there is. The SPAG test consists of a spelling test of 20 words which are worth one mark each and yes they are hard. In previous years your score out of 20 translated to a number of marks out of 7. Now each spelling is worth a mark.

Sneezy86 Thu 17-Oct-13 13:19:54

I will answer this as a teacher.

This year (may 2013) the Reading, writing and SPAG levels were completely separate. Each child I taught received 3 literacy levels. They were not and could not be combined in anyway.

However that is not to say that will happen next year. As this year was the first year the SPAG test was done the results aren't being used in league tables or anything like that as the government were testing the water.

Unfortunately you will just have to wait and find out what the government decide to do with it this year.

PastSellByDate Thu 17-Oct-13 13:19:02

Hi moldingsunbeams:

There really isn't a spelling test - look at the example L3 - 5 SPAG test (second link - 1st response from me) - it's multiple choice in the main - yes she may have to chose between singular/ plural forms - but if she has good grounding in 'proper English' she need only just think through how she would say it.

The school will work with your DC until May preparing them for this. There will be worksheets/ handy songs to remind you/ etc...

What you can do at home:

I'm from the US and we grew up with School House Rock - these little clips about grammar are fantastic: - just select video links.

My personal favourite is unpack your adjectives:

The GCP literacy workbooks for Years 4 & 5 will teach much of the grammar terminology and there are a lot of spelling rules in there to help as well. I worked through both with my DD (in run up to 11+/ and because grammar wasn't taught at all at our school until late last year) - and it has made a world of difference. We just did a page or two a week - I corrected them - didn't take more than 10 - 15 minutes and fit in nicely whilst waiting for her sister to finish dance lesson.

St. Ambrose Primary has some very useful spelling pages - which review spelling rules (as on-line games). Now a few of these don't work - but with your help - you should be able to work out the answers. Link here: - you can do the booklets - but we just did the on-line activities.

I know you've posted elsewhere about your child's spelling and Y6 SATs - but really there's no need to be worried about how your child will do on this. As I said in your other post - this is about assessing the school's performance with the entire cohort - yes your child's score will be in there - but if she's the only one - they'll suppress her data (unless it's a L6 of course!).


Picklesauage Thu 17-Oct-13 12:59:24

The reading level is technically separate from the writing level. The writing level is achieved from teacher assessment of classwork and the Spag test. The reading level comes from the reading test. However it is not possible to enter a child for part of the literacy SAT, they must do both reading and Spag.

Also the literacy level is often reported as combined score, but teachers do get the separated scores.

Can I ask why you are worried about them. They really mean so little from a child's point of view, it's really all about the school!

moldingsunbeams Thu 17-Oct-13 09:52:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PastSellByDate Thu 17-Oct-13 09:44:40

oops forgot brackets

SPAG L6 example test here:

PastSellByDate Thu 17-Oct-13 09:44:08

Hi moldingsunbeams:

Department for education information for parents is here:

Example tests are here:



moldingsunbeams Thu 17-Oct-13 09:26:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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