If your child is in Year 6, they will be sitting their SATs (Standard Attainment Tests) in May, the exams will take place over a one week period beginning Monday 9th May. These tests will be marked externally by examiners where previously they may have been marked internally by the school teachers.
The purpose of the Year 6 SATs is to ensure that all schools in the UK are provided sufficient value to their pupils education. These results can be used to compare one school against another. Your child’s Year 6 SATs results will not be something that your child will one day write down on their CV.
What the SATs allow schools to do is to internally use the results to split students into ability groups. Some schools do this purely on SATs results, some use solely teacher assessment, and some use a combination of both. It’s really up to the school to decide what they would like to do.
Your child’s individual results will not be published, only you will receive a copy of these in July, and your child’s school for Year 7 if they are changing school.
This is a common misconception among parents, they feel a Level 5 is the average grade or level their child is required to achieve but this is not true. The average level for a Year 6 student was a Level 4B.
However, schools have now abolished this system of giving out National Curriculum levels, so your child will not receive a Level when they get their results.
This year, your child will be given three bits of data instead of a Level.
The simple answer is no, as all levels have been abolished from this year onwards. In previous years, selected students were given an opportunity to sit another exam paper, usually on the same day as their normal exam. The content for this exam was generally not covered by the teacher so would require a lot of extra work from the child to achieve the Level 6.
There will be some more challenging questions in the SATs this year to challenge the students that would’ve been taking the Year 6 test.
There are both pro’s and con’s of the new system and most people don’t like change. I personally am little more open minded as change is good and I personally believe that we in the UK are pretty far behind in terms of education when we compare ourselves to the likes of Singapore and South Korea.
Some of the problems with the old National curriculum level system would be students would be told by their primary school that they got a Level 5 but when they get to year 7 would struggle with Level 5 content.
Many parents ask if this years test will be harder, and I would say yes I do expect this to be harder than last years. Mainly because it is the first sitting of this new style exam, schools and teachers are not quite sure what to expect, I feel next year everyone will have a better idea. But don’t worry as every school and every teacher is in the same boat, nobody knows exactly what to expect.
I did enjoy teaching the content for the Level 6 paper as it would really get students to stretch their minds and I will miss this aspect of the new system. Of course, you can still practice using these papers and I have many of these from the year 2000, although there was a 10 year absence of these. If you would like a copy of these, please email me on anish @ direct-tuition.co.uk with the subject Year 6 Level 6 Papers and I will email them across.