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Year six SATs

(89 Posts)
RoadRunner123 Wed 07-May-14 16:15:36

Are parents generally informed about which SATs tests their children are entered for?

My son has been taking part in extra maths lessons for level six, but we have not been told if he has been entered for it. Likewise, he has been getting 5bs recently for the grammar tests, but my son says it still hasn't been decided who is taking the level six paper.

Is this usual?

RaisinBoys Wed 07-May-14 16:25:04

My son has been told. As it involves taking Sats morning (level 3-5) and afternoon (level 6) it would be unfair not to tell them.

Ask his teacher for confirmation.

JWIM Wed 07-May-14 16:47:20

They may not have told the children but the school will have ordered the SATs papers back in March and would have had to name the Level 6 candidates being entered.

HavannaSlife Wed 07-May-14 16:50:51

Yes we have known for quite a while that he has been entered for level 6

Heifer Wed 07-May-14 17:19:12

I know our schools yr 6 parents were told just before Easter hols if they had been entered.

MrsKCastle Wed 07-May-14 18:28:13

As JWIM says, the school had to make the decision back in March, so I would definitely ask the class teacher. They should have been told by now.

They may be trying to keep the level 6 tests low-key rather than having the children stressing about them.

EyeMyrrhSlapHer Wed 07-May-14 18:29:27

Yep. We were told a while ago. I would ask.

AmberTheCat Wed 07-May-14 18:32:18

As others have said, they'll have had to order the papers, but they can still decide not to enter a child they've ordered a paper for (but not the other way round). My dd's teacher has been trying to work out whether to enter dd for the L6 reading paper, and has given her a coyote of practice papers to try over the last couple of weeks before finally making her mind up about whether to get her to actually sit it.

AmberTheCat Wed 07-May-14 18:36:06

A 'coyote' of practice papers?! That'll be a couple grin

Endymion Wed 07-May-14 18:43:48

We were told today. Think that they're doing the level 3-5 first thing. Then a short break. Then those doing the level 6 papers will do them before lunch. Think they want to make it 'fair' in terms of afternoon to recover for all kids rather than a whole day marathon for those who are doing the level 6 papers as well.

Dd is doing all 3 level 6. Would really rather she wasn't in some respects because I think she hasn't a cat in hell's chance of getting the reading comp level 6. She's a young year 6 and despite having a degree in English, I struggled to work out what the questions were actually wanting to know. Maths is a possible - she did well in the mock. SPAG is a complete mystery to me, because we didn't do formal grammar/punctuation in my day. So goodness knows! I suspect she won't get it.

Endymion Wed 07-May-14 18:46:00

And I've made it quite clear to her that as long as she tries hard, it doesn't matter to me what level she comes out at.

I like the school very much though, and so I do hope they manage to get get the best results for every child.

HavannaSlife Wed 07-May-14 19:07:30

The dc entered for level 6 have been going to the local secondary school one afternoon a week for maths and english since jan. Theyve really enjoyed it, although ds was a bit upset that he misses art on weds grin

AmberTheCat Wed 07-May-14 21:24:44

Endymion - I agree on the reading test. I had a look at the answers dd had given in her practice papers - some I thought she'd answered well, some I thought she'd kind of missed the point and been too literal, and others I couldn't work out what on earth they were expecting the kids to say!

pointythings Wed 07-May-14 22:30:30

We've known since parents' evening in October that DD2 was going to be entered for the whole lot, received the schedule today so we know the timings too. I suspect she won't get the L6 in reading, that's such an expectation of analytical skills and maturity - but the school handled 'preparation' for it by setting up a reading club which hasn't done more than a couple of practice papers. Instead they have read and discussed interesting and challenging books, DD has got a lot out of it and really enjoyed it.

She's got a good shot at the maths and the SPaG, the latter is her absolute favourite thing in the world.

Zingy123 Wed 07-May-14 23:19:44

Yes we were told a few weeks ago at parents evening. She is doing all level 6.

RoadRunner123 Thu 08-May-14 07:46:12

Thanks for all the responses, I feel rather down now that other schools are so organised!

I will ask for confirmation today.

DialsMavis Thu 08-May-14 08:20:06

The school haven't told me DS is doing the level 6 papers, but he found out he was this week. They did some maths boosters a few weeks ago and the level 6 children are doing separate revision this week. There has been no prep for the literacy and reading (SPAG? I am clueless about all of this) ones. I am torn between thinking that is good and then thinking how are they going to pass without the extra prep so why bother entering them.

DS is feeling a bit stressed now and I don't know whether to just leave him to his own devices or to get him to do a couple of level 6 papers over the weekend so he has an idea of what to expect.

HolidayCriminal Thu 08-May-14 08:39:10

Are parents generally informed about which SATs tests their children are entered for?

I wasn't. Dd only got entered for L6 because I queried it, and then had to convince the teacher it was possible, all 2 days before the application deadline.
Other DC won't get entered for L6 so not something to worry about again.

Martorana Thu 08-May-14 08:45:18

Can I ask, genuinely, why it matters?

HolidayCriminal Thu 08-May-14 08:48:16

Well... in DD's case she really wanted to do the L6 tests (she did well on them, btw), so me knowing she wasn't signed up for them is what enabled her to be signed up for them after all. Then she was ill on the Monday so I needed to work with the school to allow her to still take them all (but starting a day late). It was good that I knew what she was taking to support her best as I could with all these hiccups.

RoadRunner123 Thu 08-May-14 10:14:20

Martorana - where we live the secondary school do set Y7 children mainly based on their SATs results. I think DS is capable of getting level six in maths so I wanted to be clear he had been entered for it so that his results represent ability.

To us, it doesn't matter so much about the writing, reading and SPAG because I think a level six wouldn't really represent his ability!

PastSellByDate Thu 08-May-14 10:50:19

First off thanks for posting this RoadRunner! DD1 was rather mysteriously told this week that 'at the moment' her group of Year 6 pupils were all entered for L6 Math SAT and final decisions would be made this week and was confused. And I've no idea how this is meant to work.

So as AmberTheCat has explained - it seems they're making that final decision on who to put forward for L6 Maths this week and I'll let DD1 know. So Thank You! Explains why she's taking 3 practice SAT tests a day at the moment.

Martorana - asked why does it matter.

Well in an ideal world of course it doesn't.

But in a target driven world where working to the target is all you are required to do - the higher your child scores at the end of primary school the higher the target will be throughout secondary school and the changes in how progress is measured (against low/ middle/ high ability pupils) means that schools now will focus on higher achievers, instead of diverting all resources to low achievers for KS3 SATs and/or C/D boundary at GCSE.

KS3 Target is roughly two full NC Levels higher than KS2 SATs performance from what I can work out. (e.g.

So scoring L4 at KS2 means expectation of at least L5/6 at KS3
Scoring L5 at KS2 means expectation of at least L6/7 at KS3
Scoring L6 at KS2 means expectation of at least L7/8 at KS3

L5/6 is the notional achievement target for KS3

This is important because in ordinary comprehensives (around here at least) a lot of energy is expended catching Y7 pupils up to the right standard (so still teaching multiplication tables to x12, how to divide - both inverse multiplication & on to bus stop method/ forms of long multiplication/division; ratios, proportions, fractions (adding/ subtracting/ multiplying/ dividing), percentages, etc...).

Scoring L5 or below here means you are doing this fairly rudimentary maths work (basic multiplication/ division skills) for at least the next two years.

Scoring L6 means that from at least Y8 you move on to more challenging mathematics. Which frankly is necessary if you want that option open to pursue further study in STEM (Science/ Technology/ Engineering/ Mathematics) subjects. Because access to certain GCSE options will be dependent on performance on KS3 SATs. And of course access to A Level subjects is dependent on GCSE performance.

In effect scoring L6 means that the school can't ignore higher achieving pupils for 2-3 years. The system has somewhat changed as well to avoid this - but the reality is that English pupils do well internationally at the end of primary in terms of Maths but fall behind rapidly in secondary - and part of that is that this middle ability group (NC L4/ L5) can be left to tread water for years whilst lower achieving pupils are the focus of teaching attention.

See rather damning conclusions/ statistics on Maths in England toward bottom of this webpage: - in particular:

Alongside low participation, international tables show that England’s performance in maths has stagnated at ages 10, 14 and 15, while
30% of businesses in the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) education and skills survey last year reported dissatisfaction with
the standard of school and college leavers’ numeracy. Some 68%
of employers said they wanted both maths and science promoted more in schools.

Finally - just as an observation - many schools completely stop work for pupils after SATs in Year 6. It's a fun time working on end of year plays, special field trips, business projects, etc... - but it probably wouldn't hurt to encourage a few on-line maths games to keep those maths skills fresh for next September when the senior schools will start testing your child all over again.

Thanks & HTH

StarDustInTheWind Thu 08-May-14 11:00:28

Our local secondary schools both test Maths, reading and comprehension in the week before Oct half term, and sets for maths and English after the holiday.

We (and a few other parents of kids in her class) asked for DD not to be entered for the L6 test as it was a load of hoo-hah and hassle - they were tutoring at lunchtimes and a for an hour after school one day a week for no reason other than the school being able to say they got so many to level 6 - being of the standard and being tutored for the test amount to 2 different things....

These tests are not for the kids, they are for the schools statistics.. I would not have liked my DD to go to a secondary school that bases their sets on Y6 SATs results...

RoadRunner123 Thu 08-May-14 11:13:24

But they are for the kids too aren't they if their targets are based on their results as PastSellByDate says?

That's very complicated if the 3-5 paper is statutory but level six is optional. So targets can be set based on level six....but if a school or parents say they don't want to participate that is ok? Weird system!

PastSellByDate Thu 08-May-14 11:46:53


totally agree with you. DD1 is at a school who's official policy was homework was of no benefit in primary and indeed she had next to none (not even access to library books) but suddenly Easter break Y6 children sent home with complete photocopies of KS2 SATs buster workbooks and told to complete close to 200 pages of worksheets over the holiday. We were advised to spend up to 30 minutes a day - we tried to keep to that but even so barely finished. This half-term she's had 2-3 KS2 SATs practice papers a day.

I personally would have preferred the school to have aimed to get all pupils to NC L4 by Y5 and to be using Y5/ Y6 for added value. But as the HT has repeatedly informed me my standards are too high.

DD1 has spent the last 9 months doing nothing but prepping for these SATs. I in no way condone this approach or respect it. Moreover I think the panic stricken nature of teaching staff throwing all resources at Year 6 - single form school divided Y6 into upper (for which read secure NC L4)/ lower ability (for which read shaky to get NC L4) and have had upper ability with substitutes until parents complained - lower ability being coached to achieve NC L4 and upper ability being coached to achieve NC L5/ 6.

Lovely if you have a choice about how your local comprehensive streams pupils (3 in our area all stream by KS2 SATs scores initially & refine later by their testing) but the end of KS2 SATs are an official statistic that the senior school has to work from and their performance is measured by this (not their own testing) as far as I understand (but I'm just a parent).

For years locally bright children have been utterly turned off to maths because the first 2-3 years of senior school is entirely about helping those who 'don't get it' catch up with things like multiplication facts/ inverse multiplication facts.

This isn't all schools/ regions - but here at least doing well on SATs does ensure you get into the stream with better teachers/ more challenging curriculum content/ higher aspirations. I'm not doing anything special to prepare DD1 for these SATs - but we did attempt the 11+ and I suspect that's preparation enough. Now, we just what the school sends home - which is tons at the moment and a bit of a shock after years of absolutely nothing.


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