Key Stage 1 SATs – What Are They All About?

Key Stage 1 SATs Year 2I’ve put together some questions and answers about the SATs that are usually sat at the end of Year 2 or Key Stage 1.  The Key Stage 1 SATs are a key stage of your child’s primary education.

What are Key Stage 1 SATs?

SAT stands for Statutory Assessment Test.  They are carried out twice during a child’s time at primary school. Key Stage 1 SATs are taken in Year 2 and are assessments of how a child is doing in these different areas. Teachers will use the child’s work (including spoken work and homework) to work out what level the child is at in each area.  Children in Year 2 will be assessed for maths, reading, writing, speaking and listening and science.  They are actually only tested for maths, reading and writing though.

Do all children take SATs?

SATs are only taken by children in England, so SATs are not taken by children in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

When do children sit Key Stage 1 SATs?

There isn’t a formal timetable so they can be done throughout the year, but most schools will do them during the summer term as the children will have had the benefit of most of the year’s schooling by then.  The schools have to submit their assessments by Thursday, 3rd July 2014.

Do all schools in England use Key Stage 1 SATs?

No, not all schools do.  Independent (private) schools can choose to opt out of SATs.

Will my child be sitting an exam?

The Key Stage 1 SATs are more evaluations than exams.  The school will probably be very careful about the language they use to describe to the children what they are doing that day.  They might use a phrase like ‘we are going to be doing some special work today’.

Can my child opt out of SATs?

Not if they attend a state school.  With Year 2 SATs, they would be difficult to avoid by being absent too, as they are sat not at a set time.

Should I be helping my child to prepare for Key Stage 1 SATs?

There is no need to help your child prepare for Key Stage 1 SATs, other than by supporting them in their general learning and school work.  The SATs are now teacher assessments (for Key Stage 1) and they will be monitoring children’s progress throughout the year.

What level should my child be reaching in the SATs?

The target standard for Key Stage 1 children is a minimum of a level of 2B in all three areas.  A level 2A or above would be above the target.  A level of 2C, 1 or W (working towards level 1) would be below the target.  So the levels work up in the following order:

  • W – working towards level 1.
  • Level 1 – A weaker result.  Both W and Level 1 will often be achieved by children with special needs or learning difficulties, but there may be other reasons which have held a child back for some reason.
  • Level 2
    • 2c: The child has started to work within the level.
    • 2b: The child is working well within the level.
    • 2a: The child is at the top of the level, working towards Level 3.
  • Level 3
    • 3c: The child has started to work within the level.
    • 3b: The child is working well within the level.
    • 3a: The child is at the top of the level, working towards Level 4.

With changes to the grading system for children’s progress, will the SATs be changing too?

The SATs for 2014/2015 will be unaffected and will work on the old basis.  There will be changes though for children sitting the tests in 2016.

What will be done with the Key Stage 1 SATs?

They provide an indication for education officials of how well a school is doing and they provide a benchmark for how well individual children should perform in Key Stage 2 SATs in Year 6.  If a child achieves a 2b in Year 2, they will be expected to achieve at least a 4b in Year 6.  They should move on a minimum of two whole levels during Key Stage 2.

Although the results will be available to the child’s Year 3 teacher, they will usually do their own assessments in the early weeks of Year 3.

Can my child achieve a Level 4 in the Key Stage 1 SATs?

Yes, in theory that could happen, but it would be quite unusual.


  1. Anne Wallwin says

    great guide. i’ve been wondering why L’s school hasn’t made a big fuss of this but your review explains why. it is good to have an understanding of what each level means. L is behind in all 3 subjects mentioned so i won’t hold out for a high score!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge