Your child's assessment journey
Through the academic year, children are assessed at various points in their primary school journey. These assessments happen in every primary school across England and help teachers and parents to know what children can do and what they need to learn next. The information from these assessments is also used by the government to monitor school standards.
This page gives you information about your child's journey through primary school and the assessment points along the way.
Reception (Early Years Foundation Stage)
Throughout the year, children in Reception are assessed in 17 areas of learning through interaction and play. These include the core skills of Speaking and Listening, Reading, Writing and Maths, as well as personal skills such as Managing Feelings and Behaviour, Understanding the World and Self-Confidence. The assessments are linked to the milestones children should achieve by a certain age.
At the end of the year, children have a Good Level of Development (GLD) if they have reached the Early Learning Goals (ELG) in 7 areas: Personal, social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy and Maths. Parents will be informed in July whether their child has achieved a Good Level of Development.
In September 2020, the government are introducing new Early Learning Goals and a Reception Baseline Assessment. More can be read about this here.
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
In June, children in Year 1 take the Phonics Screening Check (PSC). All Year 1 children sit this at the same time in each primary school. The children work one to one with a class teacher or familiar adult to sound out and read 40 words: 20 pseudo-words (not real) and 20 real words. An example of the Phonics Screening Check can be found here.
The pass mark for previous years has been 32 out of 40 and children are deemed to have passed the Phonics Screening Check if they read 32 or more words accurately, however, the government release the pass mark each year after the check has been completed. If children do not reach the required standard in phonics they then retake the check in Year 2.
Children are required to have a good grasp of the sounds individual and groups of letters make and to blend and segment these sounds into words. This has been shown to support children to learn to read. You can help by reading regularly with your child, practising any words or sounds that are sent home. This video shows you how to pronounce and recognise letters and their sounds.
Year 2 (End of Key Stage 1)
At the end of Year 2, children are assessed by teachers and using the Standard Attainment Tests (SATs). They are assessed against the Year 2 standard published by the government. They can be Working Towards the Year 2 standard, Working at the Expected Year 2 standard or Greater Depth. Parents will be informed in July whether their child has achieved the standard for Year 2.
The SATs are completed during the month of May and help to inform teachers what children can do in Maths and Reading and what they need to learn, however, the judgement of whether a child is working at a Year 2 standard is the decision of the individual teacher. More information on the KS1 SATs can be found here.
Will my child have to sit the SATs?
Most children will be able to access part or all of the KS1 SATs. Some children will have access arrangements in place to support them in accessing the tests. Where a child has an special educational need or disability which prevents them from accessing the test, they will not be expected to sit them. This will be discussed and confirmed with individual parents where necessary.
Year 6 (End of Key Stage 2)
At the end of Key Stage 2, children across the country sit their Year 6 SATs in reading and maths. These are formal tests that are sat at the same time and day for every child. These tests are then sent to be externally marked and the results are returned to school. Writing is assessed using teacher judgement and evidence.
If children get a standardised score of 100 in their reading and maths SATs they are assessed as Working at the Expected Standard for Year 6. Children who score below this are assessed as Working Towards the Standard for Year 6 and children who score 110 or above the standardised score are assessed as working at Greater Depth. Writing is also assessed using the same descriptors. Parents are informed in July of their child's results. More information on the KS2 SATs can be found here.
Will my child have to sit the SATs?
Most children will be able to access part or all of the KS2 SATs. Some children will need access arrangements in place to support them in accessing the tests. Where this is necessary, the school must make an application the the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) who decide which access arrangements are appropriate according to need. Where a child has an special educational need or disability which prevents them from accessing the test, they will not be expected to sit them. This will be discussed and confirmed with individual parents where necessary.