What is expected of my child in each key stage?

Early Years

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Profile is a report of your child’s development and achievement at the end of the Reception Year. There are three main objectives:

  • To inform parents about their children’s development
  • To ease the transition into Key Stage 1 (KS1)
  • To help the Year 1 teachers plan for the year ahead to meet the needs of the entire class

The EYFS Profile is broken down into seven specific areas of learning:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSE)
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Within each of these areas, there are specific Early Learning Goals – e.g. in the case of Communication and language, there are Listening and Attention, Understanding, and Speaking. Your child will be given an achievement level for each area of learning

The above criteria are broken down into four age bands, called Development Matters bands: 16-26 months, 22-36 months, 30-50 months and 40-60 months. For each age band, and each area of learning, there is a series of statements relating to a child’s development and the teacher, teaching assistant or nursery practitioner will tick off these developmental statements as they see your child demonstrating them.

Within each Development Matters age band, there are three separate achievement levels:

  • Expected – your child is working at the level expected for their age
  • Emerging – your child is working below the expected level
  • Exceeding – your child is working above the expected level

At the end of Reception, on leaving the Foundation Stage, a child is considered to have a ‘good level of development’ if they have achieved at least the expected level in Early Learning Goals in all aspects of PSE, Physical Development, Communication and Language, Literacy and Mathematics.

If your child is working below the expected level for their age, the Academy will focus on supporting him to catch up with his peers in KS1. If your child is considered to be exceeding the expected level at the end of Reception, their Year 1 teacher will ensure that they continue to be adequately challenged.

Year 1

The Phonics Screening Check shows how well your child can use the phonics skills that they have learned up to the end of Year 1, and to identify children who need extra support. The check is taken in June and, if a child doesn’t pass the check, they will take it again in Year 2 (the 2019 test will take place in the week commencing 10th June 2019). All children in England must take the test.

The check takes between 4 and 9 minutes to complete and consists of 40 words and non-words which your child will read 1-1 with their class teacher. Non-words (or nonsense words, pseudo words or alien words) make up half of the test and are a collection of letters that follow the phonics rules that you child has been taught. Each of the non-words is presented with a picture of a monster / alien, as if it were their name. The test is divided in to two sections – one with simple word structures of three or four letters, and one with more complex words of five or six letters.

Copies of previous checks are available on the government’s website

End of Key Stage 1 Assessment

SATS tests are just one part of the KS1 assessment process; your child’s teacher will also be taking into account their work in Years 1 and 2 in order to build a full, accurate picture of how well your child is doing. The full, teacher- assessment report about your child’s progress in maths, writing, reading and science will be sent to you in the summer term.

The SATs tests consist of formal assessments in maths and reading and these take around 3 hours to complete. There is also an optional ‘grammar, spelling and punctuation paper’ which we like the children to complete. In 2019, the children can take these tests at any time during May. Unlike the KS2 SATs, they don’t have to be administered to a nationally-set timetable in a specific week, which means that the Academy can manage the timetable and administer the tests in the classroom, in a low-stress, low key way.

The reading test is made up of two papers; paper 1 has a selection of texts (400-700 words) and is interspersed with questions. Paper 2 is a reading booklet with the questions in a separate booklet (800-1100 words). Each paper is 50% of the total mark and take approximately half and a hour to complete, but this is not timed so children can take longer if needed.

The maths test is also broken into two papers; the first is pure arithmetic and the second is ‘mathematical fluency, reasoning and problem solving. The first paper normally is worth 25 marks and the second 35 marks. The first test takes approximately 15 minutes and the second 35 minutes but, again, neither of these are a test of speed so the timings can be extended to suit the child. Children are not allowed any resources in these tests.

The ‘grammar, spelling and punctuation tests are also broken into two tests; the first assesses spellings and the second tests grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. The spelling tests checks your child’s ability to spell 20 words and takes around 15 minutes. The second test is split into two sections and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

The tests form part of the End of KS1 Assessment, alongside the teacher’s assessment of your child’s learning and achievements.

At the moment, it is statutory that children complete the SATs papers but in 2023 these will be made non-statutory.

End of Key Stage 2 Assessment

Key Stage 2 SATs take place in the summer term of Year 6 (in 2019, this will be from Monday 13th May 2019 to Thursday 16th May 2019); they will be tested in Reading, Maths, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. These tests are both set and marked externally, and the results are used to measure the Academy’s performance.

The reading test is a single paper with questions based on three, varied pieces of text. They will have an hour to take the test, including reading time.

The grammar, punctuation and spelling test consists of two parts – a grammar and punctuation paper which takes 45 minutes and an aural spelling test of 20 words which lasts around 5 minutes.

The maths test is split into three papers – paper 1 is pure arithmetic and papers 2 and 3 contain reasoning questions.

A number of schools across England are chosen to take the KS2 science test which consists of three papers – biology, chemistry and physics.

Once the tests are marked, the children are given a scaled score between 80 and 120, with 100 being the expected standard.

Writing is assessed in KS2 by the teacher using the ‘Teacher Assessment Framework’ to form their judgement. A sample of these assessments are then moderated locally at events organised by the East Sussex County Council Moderation Team.

Copies of past phonics and SATs papers can be found on the government website if you would like to look at them: