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Kip McGrath Bristol Centre » Blog  » How to help your child with KS1 and KS2 SATs

How to help your child with KS1 and KS2 SATs

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It’s the summer term and across Bristol pupils are working on their final preparation for KS1 and 2 SATs.

With SATs having gone through a dramatic shake up in the last 24 months, teachers, parents and pupils are having to work towards new topics and new expectations.

It is understandable therefore, for parents and pupils to be looking for support in the build up to these exams. So to help, here is our guide to supporting your child through whichever exams they are preparing for this summer.


These tests are taken by Year 2 students and the key facts you need to know are below:

  • The tests are teacher assessed so there is no external marking
  • These are low key tests and are mostly taken in a ‘hardly know you are doing it’ style
  • The marks scored on the tests are converted into a scaled score which determines whether your child has met, exceeded or fallen short of the national standard.

How to help your child with KS1 SATs

It is the school’s job to prepare your child for these tests, and at KS1 the preparation is usually nice and subtle.

Pressure or panic exerted from home is unlikely to help.

Seek support from school
If you are concerned or want to support the work that the school are doing then speaking to your child’s teacher to get some advice about areas you could help with is the best starting point.

Essentially, the SATs are testing whether your child knows the areas of the curriculum that they have been taught. Therefore understanding from your child’s teacher if there are any learning gaps or areas that your child is struggling with is the best way to establish if they need further support ahead of the SAT tests.

Keep up the reading at home
At this age (6-7) keeping up daily reading with your child and talking through the books, characters, storylines, what could happen etc is hugely helpful and supportive for their overall learning and ability to digest and comprehend books.

These are also the aspects of reading and learning that are tested in KS1 SATs, so reading together is a really really great way to encourage their love of reading as well as preparing them for SATs

Play numerical games
Playing maths games is a great way to help with numeracy and mental arithmetic. You can grab dead time in the car or walking home from school or at dinner to quiz your child with the types of questions they are expected to be able to answer.

The Oxford Owl website has some games and Apps for you to play with your child to reinforce their learning.

Trust your instinct
If you feel that your child could be performing better and are worried about areas in which they seem to be struggling then resources such as the CGP website has examples of the types of question your child will be expected to answer for KS1 SATs. You can use these to reinforce topics at home if your child seems keen to do so.

Although the KS1 SATs are not critical for your child’s future, if there are any learning gaps at this stage it can be useful to address them before your child enters into KS2.

If you do have concerns that your child has learning gaps and would like an external assessment of their knowledge then our FREE assessment can help to determine any areas in which they need support and enable us to develop a personalised programme for them.


These tests are taken by year 6 students and are a more formal exam than the KS1 tests. Here is the key information about KS2 SATs:

  • The exams are done on a set day and externally marked (mainly)
  • You will aso receive separate teacher judgement assessments – besides the formal test results
  • The SATs exams cover English reading comprehension, grammar, punctuation, and spelling, and in maths (including arithmetic and mathematical reasoning)
  • In 2016 additional questions were added to assess new areas of core subjects and 2017 will only be the second year of this new standard of exam which makes practice of past papers limited

How to help your child with KS2 SATs

Preparing for these exams is something that will be done by your child’s school. The syllabus to be tested will have been taught and your son or daughter will have been practising the type of question they are expected to be able to answer.

Work with your child’s teacher
It is important to get advice from the teaching staff if you or your child has concerns about the SATs. Your child’s teacher should be able to advise you of any areas of concern and what you can do from home to help. It is always best to try to work on a united plan with the teaching staff so that any activities you are doing from home are supporting the efforts going on in class.

Try not to get stressed
It is important as with any test, that your child doesn’t get too stressed or worried about the SATs. They are designed to show the progress your child has made at primary school and will be passed on to their secondary school BUT they are not going to blight their life forever even if they don’t do as well as hoped.

At home talk about the SATs and reinforce that your child should not get worried about taking them. Make sure that you continue the usual routine and attend any out of school activities as normal.

Schedule some time to work through questions at home
As there has only been one year of papers for the SATs, there is a limited number of past questions your child can practice and it is likely that the school will have done this.

However if your child is keen to practice at home then you can find example ‘type’ of questions on the site and CGP website which also has an online shop where you can buy study books for KS2.

It is important to schedule any work at home around the normal routine though and not to impact down time or time usually spent doing other activities such as sport or music as these can really help keep stress at bay.

Trust your instinct

If you do have concerns that your child has learning gaps but are finding it difficult to tackle these yourself at home then we can help. Our FREE assessment can help to determine any areas in which your child needs support and enable us to develop a personalised programme for them.

How Kip McGrath can help your child with SATs

We work with children from the age of 5 up to 16, supporting them with whatever learning challenges they may have.

Although there is much controversy around SATs, the results of SAT tests do identify areas in which your child may need some extra support.

Rather than offer tutoring to specifically prepare for tests such as SATs, we help your child to fill any learning gaps they have in English or Maths to ensure that they are confident with the syllabus that they will be tested on in the SATs.

If your child has taken SATs this year and any areas for concern were identified then extra support in these areas will help to ensure that your child has tackled these areas before they start Year 3 (KS1 SATS) or secondary school (KS2 SATs).

If you would like to discuss your child’s SAT results or arrange for our FREE independent assessment of their level in English and Maths, please contact Seonaid at our central Bristol study centre. of their level in English and Maths, please contact Seonaid at our central Bristol study centre.


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