The Importance of KS2 SATs and How to Prepare

Feb 10, 2023
The Importance of KS2 SATs and How to Prepare

If your child is in Year 6, then they will be preparing for the SATs exams coming up towards the end of the academic year. 

These exams are a critical milestone in a child’s educational journey and provide an opportunity to showcase what students have learned and achieved. Proper exam preparation is essential to ensure success and reduce stress. 

In this article, we'll explore the significance of the KS2 SATs exams and share tips and strategies to help your child prepare effectively for the big day.

Let's see how we can help your child achieve academic success!

What are KS2 SATs?

KS2 SATs exams are a series of standardised tests taken by Year 6 students in English schools. The exams are designed to assess students' knowledge and understanding of the National Curriculum in English, Maths, and Science. 

These exams are an opportunity for schools to measure a student's academic progress and readiness for secondary school.

The tests are rigorous and require students to demonstrate their critical thinking, problem-solving, and writing skills. 

As a parent, it's important to understand the significance of these exams and support your child's exam preparation to ensure they can perform to the best of their abilities. 

These exams are also a useful way for schools to assess their overall academic success and they are more often than not used as a way for schools to determine their ranking in the education system. 

year 6 students revising for SATs exams

When do KS2 SATs take place?

KS2 SATs exams usually take place in May of Year 6 in English schools. The exams are typically spread out over several days, and each exam takes between 45 minutes and one hour to complete. 

The specific dates for the exams are usually determined by the school, and parents and students are informed of the dates well in advance to allow for proper exam preparation. 

What subjects are part of KS2 SATs?

The KS2 SATs exams cover three main subjects: English, Maths, and Science. With proper exam preparation and study, students can approach the exams with confidence and perform to the best of their abilities.

KS2 English exams

The English exams consist of two papers that evaluate the student's ability to read and comprehend texts, write clearly and coherently and use grammar, spelling, and punctuation correctly. 

KS2 maths exams

The maths exams also consist of two papers that assess the student's mathematical knowledge and problem-solving skills in areas such as arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and data handling. 

a girl studying for a maths SAT exam

KS2 science exam

Science is no longer formally tested at KS2 - there used to be assessment papers, however, your child's science skills are now evaluated by their classroom teacher. 

According to The School Run, they may look for your child to know the following: 

  • Major body organs and know where they are
  • Classify materials by their different properties
  • Comment on the design of a simple experiment
  • Make changes to and draw simple electrical circuits.

Why are KS2 SATs important?

KS2 SATs exams are important for both your child and their school… 

Importance of KS2 SATs for students

For your child, the exams provide an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills and to gain a sense of achievement and confidence. Try and explain this to your child and show them how these exams can improve their confidence.

They can also help identify areas where your child may need further support or extra challenge, which can guide their educational journey in secondary school. It's important to explain to your child that the exams are a way for them to showcase their learning and that with hard work and preparation, they can do their best. 

young black girl studying on the sofa

Importance of KS2 SATs for schools

For schools, the SATs exams provide a measure of the school's academic progress and can guide future teaching and learning strategies. 

The exams are also used by secondary schools to assess the level of academic readiness of incoming students. This will be used to inform multiple aspects of a student’s secondary education such as class ‘sets’ for core subjects (grouping based on ability) and GCSE predicted grades (which may seem far away now but they come around fast!). Read more about the importance of GCSEs and how to prepare in our article. 

In summary, the KS2 SATs exams are an essential component of the education system, and it's important for both parents and schools to support children in their preparation and performance in the exams.

How do KS2 SATs results impact secondary education?

KS2 SATs exams have an impact on secondary education and GCSE exams. The results can influence the sets or streams in which students are placed, depending on their academic abilities.

In addition, KS2 SATs results are used in some cases to predict a student's potential GCSE results. This is because the SATs exams are designed to be a rigorous assessment of a student's knowledge and understanding of the National Curriculum. The results can give an indication of a student's academic strong and weak points, which can help to identify areas where they may need additional support or challenge in secondary school.

It’s worth noting that KS2 SATs exams are not the only factor that determines a student's GCSE results, and other factors such as their attitude towards learning, work ethic, and other assessments, also play a significant role. However, the SATs exams can provide a useful benchmark and starting point for a student's secondary education and their preparation for GCSE exams.

When should a student start preparing for KS2 SATs exams?

As with any examination, the earlier the preparation the better. The best time to start preparing for these exams is in Year 5. This is because the SATs exams test a broad range of knowledge and skills, which are built upon over the course of several years. Leaving preparation until Year 6 can cause a student to ‘cram’ in revision which is not an effective way of learning. 

The preparation for the KS2 SATs exams should be a collaborative effort between the student, parents, and teachers. Students should be encouraged to engage actively in their learning, asking questions and seeking help when they need it. It's also essential to ensure that your child attends school regularly in the lead up to the exams. 

KS2 SATs study support

They should also be encouraged to make use of past papers so they can get an idea for the structure of the exam and they aren’t presented with any surprises along the way. There are many websites where past papers are available but this one has a wealth of papers for each subject and is definitely worth taking a look at.

revision materials on a table

Parents can provide support at home by ensuring their child has a quiet study environment, a healthy diet, and plenty of rest. They can also work with the school to identify areas where their child may need additional support or challenge. 

Teachers can provide guidance on the exam format, offer practice tests and study materials, and provide individualised feedback to students. 

Overall, early and consistent exam preparation is crucial to ensure success in the KS2 SATs exams.

How can Learning Cubs help?

At Learning Cubs, we provide support for students throughout all stages of their education journey, whether that’s preparing for 11+ exams, KS2 SATs or KS4 GCSEs. 

Our tutors are trained in all specialities across English, Maths and Science and they are guaranteed to help your child’s academic success improve. 

extra tutoring for KS2 SATs at learning cubs

So, if your child just needs some extra reassurance about their KS2 SATs or if they need regular academic support, bring them along to one of our centres and we’ll get started with a baseline assessment so we can tailor a bespoke learning journey that guarantees success! 

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