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KS1 Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG)


SATs have been overhauled in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 to reflect the changes to the national curriculum, which was introduced from September 2014.  In  September 2015, children in Year 2  will need to be prepared for these new KS1 tests in 2016.

At the end of Year 2, children will take tests in:

  • English punctuation, spelling and grammar
  • Reading
  • Maths

Key Stage One Reading

The new reading test for Year 2 pupils will involve two separate papers:

  • Paper 1 consists of a selection of texts consisting of 400 to 700 words, with questions interspersed.

  • Paper 2 comprises a reading booklet of a selection of passages consisting of 800 to 1100 words. Children will write their answers in a separate booklet.

Each paper is worth 50 per cent of the marks, and should take around 30 minutes, but children will not be strictly timed, as the tests are not intended to assess children’s ability to work at speed. The texts in the reading papers will cover a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and will get progressively more difficult towards the end of the test. Teachers will have the option to stop the test at any point that they feel is appropriate for a particular child.

There will be a variety of question types:

  • Multiple choice

  • Ranking/ordering, e.g. ‘Number the events below to show in which order they happened in the story’

  • Matching, e.g. ‘Match the character to the job that they do in the story’

  • Labelling, e.g. ‘Label the text to show the title’

  • Find and copy, e.g. ‘Find and copy one word that shows what the weather was like in the story’

  • Short answer, e.g. ‘What does the bear eat?’

  • Open-ended answer, e.g. ‘Why did Lucy write the letter to her grandmother? Give two reasons.

Key stage 1 Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

Children taking Key Stage 1 tests will sit two separate papers in grammar, spelling and punctuation.

  • Paper 1: a 20-word spelling test taking approximately 15 minutes and worth 10 marks.

  • Paper 2: a grammar, punctuation and vocabulary test, in two sections of around 10 minutes each (with a break between, if necessary), worth 20 marks. This will involve a mixture of selecting the right answers e.g. through multiple choice, and writing short answers.

    The tests are set externally, but will be marked by teachers within the school.  Instead of the old national curriculum levels, children will be given a standardised score – although this may not be communicated to parents. Teacher assessments will, as always, form an integral part of building up a picture of your child’s learning and achievements. In addition, your child will receive an overall result saying whether they have achieved the required standard in the tests. The Department for Education aims for 85 per cent of children to reach the required standard.