For the first time in two years the Government set school exams seem to be going ahead as planned. Many parents know to expect the SAT’s in Year 6 but do you know the other Government planned assessments?

In this blog we will look at when to expect these exams and what they will include. The most important thing to remember is that none of these exams are labelled as pass or fail. The Government uses the data to look at how well the individual schools are teaching children across the country; as well as ensuring children are consistently meeting similar criteria deemed to be essential for starting Secondary School. In some situations, such as the phonics screening test children are asked to repeat the test a year later to see if any gaps in learning have been filled – this is only ever repeated once and if they do not meet the Government criteria then no further assessment is taken.


Key Stage One

Year 1

In Year 1 all pupils undertake the phonics screening check. Children go one at a time with an adult that they know and are asked to read a number of words; these include ‘alien’ and real words. Thus, assessing how children segment (break up the spelling using their phonics) and then how they blend (merge the sounds, form the word) them back together again. This assessment checks to see which of the phonic sounds children are confident with. The school should then use this information to plan their phonic groups and needs for Year 2.

Reading with your child can help their phonetic knowledge. Another good website to use is Phonics Play or BBC. Both break down the sounds, teaching both parents and children how to say words correctly. In addition, they provide games to practice blending and segmenting the sounds.

Phonic screening tests take place Week Beginning 6th June 2022.

Year 2

In Year 2 children take their SATs during May. The children will undertake Reading, Writing and Maths assessments and schools often work hard to conduct these in small groups, with adults that the children know, to ensure that the least amount of pressure is placed on them. Remember this is not an assessment of the child but the school’s teaching and highlights progress made from Early Years.

Year 2 SATs are taken throughout May.


Key Stage Two

Year 4

This is a new assessment, which should have started in June 2020 but was delayed due to Covid. This computer based assessment will provide each Year 4 pupil with 25 multiplication questions from any times table 2 – 12. However, there will be an emphasis on tables deemed to be more difficult, including the 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 time tables.

The children will have 6 seconds to answer each question and they will only need to type in the answer. They do not need to push enter or click next.

To find out more about the multiplication screening check take a look at our Multiplication blog.

Multiplication assessments are taken over three weeks starting from 6th June 2022.

Year 6

This is often the assessment that parents are aware of. Secondary Schools often use Year 6 SATs results to inform the group your child will start in. The school informs the parents of the final SATs score through an average system. The score you receive is between 80 and 120 with the average being 100. The Government looks at how many children score at least 100 in Reading, Writing and Maths. Followed by how many achieved at least 100 in all three subjects, giving the school a combined score.

Find out more in our SATs blog.

Year 6 SATs are undertaken between Monday 8th – Thursday 11th May 2022.


Supporting Your Child

There are a number of ways to support your child through the different assessments. Most importantly, is a calm environment, these tests are a good and important insight to check that your child has no learning gaps but adding pressure or negative messages will not help them focus and do their best.

Reading is key, the more you read and discuss texts the better understanding they will have of books, the world around them, writing styles and even interrupting maths questions. Another great way to support learning is to follow their interests. Use numbers, words and everyday situations to look at learning. Discuss prime numbers as you walk past houses, look at the bus numbers and discuss how you make a certain number. Play games such as Bogle or Scrabble to improve spellings and word meanings. Anything can be turned into a game, a discussion and a learning opportunity.

Some parents seek professional help through a tutor. This is a great way to ensure that specific gaps within learning are being filled. Although meeting the Government expectation is not a requirement, ensuring a solid foundation of knowledge before your child starts Secondary School can be important. A good tutor or teacher can help with this.