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The year 6 grammar and spelling test

A pupil writing

The year 6 grammar, punctuation and spelling test will assess the English skills of all year 6 pupils in the key areas of spelling, punctuation, grammar and vocabulary.

It forms part of the annual SATs tests which all year 6 children take at the end of key stage 2.

The test has been introduced to make sure that children move on to secondary school with the appropriate skills and confidence in their grammar, punctuation and spelling. Primary schools will place a greater focus and emphasis on the teaching of these skills than they have previously.

In addition to the SATs results, parents of pupils taking the test will now have more information about how their children are performing in grammar, punctuation and spelling than before.

Changes are also being made to GCSEs so that from 2013 there will be marks awarded for spelling, punctuation and grammar in key subjects. By developing
confidence in these skills early on, your child will improve their chances of succeeding in important qualifications later on in their education.

Changes to SATs

The original writing test is still in place, and the additional English grammar, punctuation and spelling test will be introduced in May 2013. From 2013 teachers will instead make a separate judgement on how well your child is doing in the different aspects of writing, such as composing letters or stories.

The test itself

The test will be presented in two papers, one 45 minute grammar test and one 15 minute spelling assessment.

The grammar component will test pupils on their understanding of principles such as where to insert commas in a sentence, how to use colons and semicolons correctly, and when to use personal, relative and possessive pronouns.

The spelling assessment will ask pupils to correctly spell commonly misspelt words such as permanent, preferred and desperately.

The test assesses levels 3-5 of the current statutory Key Stage 2 English National Curriculum programme of study for English. A separate level 6 test is available for schools that wish to enter children who are expected to be working above level 5 in May 2013. The level 6 test samples additional content from the Key Stage 3 programme of study for English.

What kind of questions will my child have to answer?

The test might include circling adverbs contained within a sentence, matching a punctuation mark to a sentence, underlining subordinate clauses, and rewriting sentences in direct speech.

Last updated: over 3 years ago