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Year 2 Sats, Maths.

(35 Posts)
HermioneSnape Tue 25-Feb-14 08:40:33

My DS will be doing these tests this year as he's in year 2. DS was given a practice paper just before half term and scored a 2A.

I have printed one off and asked him to do it in the holidays, he completed it in 10 minutes and got everyone right. 30/30.

The school haven't mentioned putting him in for the level 3 paper? When would be reasonable to speak to the school about this? Do all schools have the right to put children in for the higher paper?

We are in Birmingham and my DS attends a state school.


caffeinated Tue 25-Feb-14 09:42:09

In all honesty you have no need to discuss this with the school. Also they will think you are crazy.

At my childrens school they all sit level 2 paper and those scoring high then do the level 3 paper too. It isn't supposed to work like that apparently and each child should only sit one paper but I know ours isn't the only school to do it this way.

The sats tests really aren't that important you know he will be graded overall on how his teacher feels he is performing.

Soveryupset Tue 25-Feb-14 10:35:57

In all honesty you have no need to discuss this with the school. Also they will think you are crazy

Why would a school think someone is crazy for wanting to discuss their child's progress?

I would in fact discuss it with the school in the context that perhaps he is performing better at home than he is in class and does he appear distracted in class or is something else amiss? They might also reassure you that they will indeed put him in for a L3 paper. Ours certainly did this without discussing it with us..

DeWe Tue 25-Feb-14 10:51:22

Our school is very clear that the difference between a level 2A and a level 3 isn't necessarily the score on the papers. A level 3 thinks at a different level, and is able to do more complex questions using more advanced methods (eg 7 bags of 8 sweets, level 2a might say 7+7+7+7+7+7+7+7=56 (writing out dots and counting them), whereas level 3 would say 7x8=56-not sure if that's actually what you'd expect, but it's that sort of using a more complicated method)

They did tell us that there are children who are capable of getting a very high (28-30) score on the level 2 paper, but for whom they do not yet have the mathematical understanding to achieve fairly a level 3.

However any child who is looking to be at the upper end of the level 2 paper and wishes to will be given the level 3. They only do one actual paper for SATS though, as it's teacher assessment really.

A lot of children do score better at home than school, so that's not goign to be a surprise to the teacher. We're specifically asked not to use practice papers at home as they don't want to find they've seen a paper before.

I would expect if they think he is capable of getting a level 3 they'll put hiim in for it. It's for their advantage anyway.

Wizard19 Tue 25-Feb-14 11:07:00

I would expect if they think he is capable of getting a level 3 they'll put hiim in for it. It's for their advantage anyway.

They get graded most on progress between year 2 and year 6, So a lower grade at this point is in fact "better" for the school. They get to show more progress between yr2 and yr6.

Or so I understand it .

HermioneSnape Tue 25-Feb-14 11:13:17

Thanks everyone, I'm not sure why it "would be crazy" to ask ...

I have printed DS a level 3 paper and he's had not problem completing the first couple of pages, although started to get fed up, so I put it away for another day.

Our school is notorious for not communicating well with parents, they haven't mentioned the Sats at all.

Its more me knowing they are coming up and wanting him to do well, and the results to be a reflection on his normal work within the classroom. i.e, wanting him to know the type of questions there are on the paper and the way they ask them.

I think I'll leave it for a bit and see if they mention it, closer to the time, if not I may just ask to have an informal chat.

PastSellByDate Tue 25-Feb-14 11:32:38

HermioneSnape (JK Rowling didn't think of that wrinkle)

Now I know I go on about maths a lot - possibly too much.

But this is my feelings on SATs & NC levels (seeing another discussion related to deciding NC Levels based on 3 questions).

At KS1 (so end of Y2) SATs are teacher assessed. Sure they take the test but they are based on what the teacher assesses the child to be.

If your school is both infants & juniors it is not in the interest of the school for children to score NC L3 - because that means the school has to get them to at least NC L5 and to show good progress maybe even NC L6. Our school certainly wasn't at all interested in stretching children to NC L3 on the whole - except in the year OFSTED came to visit - which benefitted DD2 who had a brilliantly useful Y2.

Now that doesn't mean the school won't try to get them to NC L5 come Y6 KS2 SATs - what it means is that the school benefits more by getting a NC L2 at KS1 SATs student to NC L5 than it does doing the same for a low NC L3 student. So if you're child looks to be 2a/ 3c border - you can see why they may play it down at KS1 SATs - for the great progress at KS2 SATs.

I think parents get really wrapped up in what their child's score is and not 'can they do this'. Now maybe for me with DD1 totally unable to subtract and barely adding at end of Y2 - worrying if she was a level 3 was just not on the agenda - so that may be why I have this perspective but my view is this:

Don't worry about the KS1 SAT scores, unless they're bad news.

If it's bad news, take into account your child's attention span, their maturity and whether they've been poorly (know of a child who really suffered with tonsillitis, often off sick, in Y2 - he's a different boy since he had his tonsils out).

Getting a Level 3 at this point is lovely - really - but ultimately may mean nothing if the run of teachers in early KS2 do very little.

My view is really get to know what the national curriculum says your child should be able to do in a given year and try your best to ensure that is happening.

We're also in Birmingham and maths at our primary can be appalling - so my advice is do more at home, encourage math gaming on-line (especially if your school subscribes to education city or My Maths) and consider on-line tutorials - if you feel they need to do more & enjoy challenge in maths.


BBC Bitesize KS1 Maths: - you can control difficulty

Woodland Junior School Maths Zone: tons of free resources/ links to free games in any area of maths:

Math Champs: this was advertised through mumsnet - and is free - has math games split by age level (so times tables are spread across 5-7/ 7 - 9/ 9 - 11 ages - which may mean a bit of hunting) - great practice - especially for speed of recall/ calculation:

when your DD is ready for multiplication

try games on

I'd also recommend Timez Attack (free version) download - which is a video game where you are cast as an ogre and run round a dungeon/ castle solving multiplication problems both as multiple additions and as traditional vertical multiplication problems (but this is after they've got the basics - because it's about building up speed of recall of facts):

My sincere advice Hermione is don't worry about what the teacher is saying/ noticing - worry about whether your child can do what is listed for her year under the new national curriculum - link here for maths programmes of study:

Also be aware that there will be years with great teachers (partly because your child also prefers their teaching style) and years where either you or your child just don't get on with that teacher.


HermioneSnape Tue 25-Feb-14 12:28:07

Thank you Past

I do get where you are coming from, but its very frustrating when you know what your child is capable of, but to see the school dragging their heels or not assessing your child properly.

I will read the links you have given me.

I do think I have to get out of this mindset that I am in, whereas I like the results of tests, as I assume they tell me where my DS is at academically.

I already do My Maths online with him, and also buy different Maths, Science and English books for him to do alongside the spellings and homework that the school already send home.

Although homework is a loose word - ticking boxes, writing one sentence does not seem like appropriate home work to me, but I make him do it.

He already is learning his times table as well, he's knows his 5, 10, 2, 11 & 3's, although I am still working with him on his 3's as he's still a bit unsure.

Thanks for your input, it's very interesting to see other peoples points of view.

Feenie Tue 25-Feb-14 12:52:32

You need to ask the teacher. Tests are only supposed to be used once and at any time as part of the assessment conversation. It's perfectly possible that the test informed their 2a assessment and that he is now ready to work on level 3 concepts between now and June, meaning that his final teacher assessment may be a level 3. You need to check with the teacher.

simpson Tue 25-Feb-14 13:12:56

Do teachers/schools tell parents if they are putting a child in for L3?

DS is now in yr4 and when in yr2 the first I heard about it was 1 week after sitting SATS papers (whole class together) a smaller number sat another one (DS's own words) which I then assumed was the L3.

PastSellByDate Tue 25-Feb-14 13:22:11

Your welcome HermioneSnape:

MyMaths has some great games - (they will indicate NC Level - so that helps determine difficulty) - let your DC explore. There's a lot of good securing of calculation skills/ increasing speed of answers to be had by playing a game for 10 or 20 minutes.

Genuinely support you in feeling your Birmingham school is just ticking boxes & treading water with your DC - much the same for our DDs I fear.

Academic achievement - stretching children - really making them think/ learn - just isn't the fashion in teaching at the moment.

But at the end of the day - like it or not - come senior school age in Birmingham local comperhensive options are pretty dire and many feel going for a grammar school (which is free here) is a worthwhile option. The 11+ is a rigorous test - presumes your child has mastered entirety of primary curriculum - but aiming for something like that at the end of primary is worthwhile (even if you don't quite pass - as is most likely the case for my DD1 - probably missed out on the schools she wanted to go to by <10 pts). But my, going for the 11+ (we started home DIY preparation beginning Y5) has meant she's a very sound student - so ultimately a very good thing wherever she goes on to for Senior School. And a big success considering she was NC L1 across the boards at KS1 SATs.

If you aren't happy with what the school is doing - trust your instincts. But my advice is keep a bit quiet about it - we were very open about what we were concerned about and asking for advice on workbooks what to do at home and had a lot of abuse from teachers & HT because of it. Led to a lot of bad feeling about the school - so much so we moved to a new area of Brum with better schools so DD2 (much more able than DD1 at this point) wouldn't whither on the vine.

jamtoast12 Tue 25-Feb-14 13:37:53

Dd sat both the l2 and the l3 paper in Y2. Even though the teacher said she did well on the L3 paper, she didn't feel that she had been working consistently at L3 during lessons and so was awarded a 2a. I'm glad of this as I'm guessing she was borderline and her teacher said it was to avoid unnecessary pressure in up the juniors. So although you dc may be doing well at home etc, it's not the test score that is reported to you anyway.

I also think they down grade in ks1 as only approx 4 children get a L3 in our school whereas in KS2, over 40% get L5!

HermioneSnape Tue 25-Feb-14 14:02:12


I have older DC who are in a very good school although it is 2 bus rides away - a compromise we thought a lot about, but in the end - was very glad we went for it. The school is the top 20% of the country getting the same results as our local grammar schools.

I agree that the year 6 Sats are important, but to instil in our children that hard work pays off I also would like to see more "old fashioned" styles of teaching making a come back, and alongside this, back in the day were tests to see how children were progressing - otherwise how would you know if the children were understanding the work before moving on to more complex work.

I already have had a run in with my HT on other issues, so I fear I have got a big mark against my name already!

The school my DS is in has an ethos of everyone working together and still doing a lot of activities, sitting on the carpet, working together, which my DS finds incredibly boring and pointless, to the point he has started to fidget, mess around talk when he shouldn't - I have pointed out twice now that he is bored, but it falls on deaf ears.

PastSellByDate Tue 25-Feb-14 14:29:34


Yep - one of our issues with St. Mediocre (a CofE Primary) is that ye olde Protestant Work Ethic is non-existent.

Great talk on TED about value of teaching perseverance (aka GRIT) here:

caffeinated Tue 25-Feb-14 16:16:04

Thanks everyone, I'm not sure why it "would be crazy" to ask ...

I have printed DS a level 3 paper and he's had not problem completing the first couple of pages, although started to get fed up, so I put it away for another day.

It's crazy to me because you are making your 6/7 year old sit maths papers at home. Of course he got a bit fed up. KS1 sats are so low key in most schools my children didn't even know they'd been formally tested. And both of mine scored level 3's across the board without me going in and micromanaging the teacher in case she was only putting them in for level 2 tests when I thought they were capable of doing well on the level 3 tests.

The school don't give you the test results. The test results are purely to inform their teacher assessment. I know a year 2 child who answered one question on the level 3 maths paper and refused to do more, the teacher has this child assessed as 3b already from many other sources of evidence.

I honestly think you just need to chill a bit. Even if your ds gets full marks in the level 3 test but isn't performing at that level consistently in the teachers opinion he won't get a level 3.

caffeinated Tue 25-Feb-14 16:22:32

Soveryupset I didn't say they would think she was crazy for wanting to discuss her child's progress, I said they would think she was crazy for wanting to discuss what level papers her child was sitting. I think parents should be kept well informed about progress. But going into school and asking if the child is sitting level 2 or level 3 isn't about progress the teacher assessment result at the end of year 2 is the measure of progress here.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 25-Feb-14 16:27:11

I'm puzzled as to why it bothers you so much and of course why you are giving him tests, poor child.
It really doesn't matter OP, honestly.
You know his capabilities and the school are assessing him, let him play.

HermioneSnape Tue 25-Feb-14 17:09:15

Caffeinated :

I agree that parents should be kept informed about their DC progress. But unfortunately some of us aren't. I have gone into my DS school to ask where he is at in his work. But get fobbed off, told they will get back to me - they don't.

I may come across as a bit obsessed. But I'm honestly not my DS loves sitting doing work. The work we do ranges from designing our own games, to drawing, science experiments and some printed off tests just lately as I wondered how he would fair in a test like this.


Poor child is a bit harsh. Tbh. Just before we did the test we had made cookies and decorated them. After the test I took him out on his bike.

mrz Tue 25-Feb-14 17:27:11

The tests aren't important they are just there to support teacher assessment which is the level reported.
The school may have already adminstered the tests months ago to set targets.

caffeinated Tue 25-Feb-14 17:44:04


caffeinated Tue 25-Feb-14 17:44:58

Oops hermione you have my sympathy. If school weren't giving me an insight into my childrens progress I'd be pulling my hair out.

Bunnyjo Tue 25-Feb-14 22:10:48

DD is in year 2. She sat a level 2 paper during the autumn term, along with the rest of the class, to get them used to the format. She scored 30/30. The teacher then gave her an old level 3 paper in January and she scored 28/30.

We were told, at parents' evening, that DD would be sitting only the level 3 papers as the teacher said it would be 'pointless' for her to sit the level 2 papers. She has, however, already been teacher assessed as level 3 in all subjects.

Feenie Tue 25-Feb-14 22:54:16

If she has been teacher assessed as a 3 and has already sat 2 tests then sitting another level 3 test is pointless. And against statutory rules.

Bunnyjo Tue 25-Feb-14 23:04:23

I don't like the idea of DD sitting lots of tests to be honest. However, that was what was said to me. The reasoning for her sitting the level 3 test was that there is a vast difference between the level 2 and 3 test, which I accept. I requested that the tests be kept to a minimum. I do know that the rest of the Year 2 children sat another level 2 paper on the day DD sat a level 3 paper.

I didn't realise it was against statutory rules and up to this point I have been happy with her school.

ShoeWhore Tue 25-Feb-14 23:07:10

Our infant school likes to keep the admin of SATS very low key and doesn't tell parents when they are doing them so they can't put pressure on tell the children! As far as the children are concerned they are doing special work in the library (the class teacher takes them out in small groups while the HT does really fun stuff back in class with the rest) and they seem to really enjoy the whole process.

I've had 2 dcs go through so far, one got 2a in everything, the other L3. At no point was I told which papers they were sitting and I didn't expect to be. They are only there to support the teacher assessment, after all.

I was at a briefing recently and schools are being advised only to give children L3 if they are a "very secure L3" which we were told means 3b.

I'm a bit puzzled as to why you'd do practice KS1 SATS papers at home tbh.

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