Primary KS1 and KS2 SATs: Updated Guidance for Parents 2021

Published: 12 May 21
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Coronavirus impact on SATs 2021

Are SATs still going ahead in 2021?

Updated 20 March 2021: In recognition of the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Department of Education has now cancelled both KS1 and KS2 SATs tests for 2021. The aim is that with the pressures of KS1 and KS2 SATs lifted, primary schools will have some space to address the urgent issues of educational recovery.

The summary of changes caused by COVID in 2021 are as follows for Primary school children:

  • The Year 1 phonics check is cancelled in 2021.
  • All KS1 SATs for Year 2 pupils are cancelled in 2021.
  • All KS2 SATs for Year 6 pupils are cancelled in 2021.
  • The English grammar, punctuation and spelling test at KS2 is cancelled in 2021.
  • Primary performance data "will not be published" for the second year in a row, but teacher assessment in English reading, writing and maths at KS1, and other assessments at KS2, will remain.
  • KS1 and KS2 teacher assessments in science will also be cancelled in 2021.

Are SATs important?

While SATs are not a 'gateway' exam like GCSEs and A-Levels in that they open or close doors to new opportunities - they are an important marker in your child's education and development.

A good SATs score shows that your child is progressing well in their education and they are ready for the next stage and to be stretched further. This is important because secondary schools use SATs results to determine what ability groups to put your child in which can be self-determining for their future.

Should I consider a SATs tutor?

Even though SATs are cancelled in 2021, SATs preparation and continuous development of your child during KS1 and KS2 are crucially important for their long-term education and life-prospects.

A good SATs tutor can help your child understand their current strengths and weaknesses, then put together a tailored learning plan for them to ensure they maximise their potential and get the SATs score they deserve.

We recommend getting a professional teacher as a SATs tutor

Our home/online tutors are all professional and qualified teachers, experienced in teaching Primary school-age children to the current syllabus. They know how to engage and develop Primary age children and help them reach their potential in a 1-2-1 environment, informed by their classroom experience.

Click here to find a SATs tutor local to you.

What are SATs?

SATs stands for Standard Assessment Test. SATs tests have been designed to give a measure of attainment in three subjects areas:

  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • Reading
  • Maths

These tests are set and marked externally, and the results are used to measure the school’s performance (for example, through reporting to Ofsted and published league tables). Your child’s marks are used, in conjunction with their teacher's assessment, to give a broad picture of their levels of attainment. The expected level is set to be 100, with scores ranging from 80 to 120. Any score above 100 is regarded as a pass and any under as a fail.


The reading test is a single paper with questions based on three passages of text. Your child will have one hour, including reading time, to complete the test. There is a selection of question types, including:

  • Ranking/ordering, e.g. ‘Number the events below to show the order in which they happen in the story’ 
  • Labelling, e.g. ‘Label the text to show the title of the story’
  • Find and copy, e.g. ‘Find and copy one word that suggests what the weather is like in the story’
  • Short constructed response, e.g. ‘What does the bear eat?’
  • Open-ended response, e.g. ‘Look at the sentence that begins Once upon a time. How does the writer increase the tension throughout this paragraph? Explain fully, referring to the text in your answer.’


Children sit three papers in maths:

  • Paper 1: arithmetic, 30 minutes 
  • Papers 2 and 3: reasoning, 40 minutes per paper

Paper 1 consists of fixed response questions, where children have to give the correct answer to calculations, including long multiplication and division. Papers 2 and 3 will involve several question types, including:

  • Multiple choice
  • True or false
  • Constrained questions, e.g. giving the answer to a calculation, drawing a shape or completing a table or chart
  • Less constrained questions, where children will have to explain their approach for solving a problem

The Year 6 KS2 SATs was planned to have been administered between 10 May 2021 through to 26 May 2021 as follows:

English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 1: questions 
English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 2: spelling 
English reading

Mathematics Paper 1: arithmetic 
Mathematics Paper 2: reasoning
Mathematics Paper 3: reasoning

About Teachers To Your Home

Teachers To Your Home provides SATs Tutors who are all fully-qualified and experienced Primary Teachers; subject-specialists, professional, energetic and up-to-date with the current demands of a changing Primary Curriculum and the requirements for SATs Examinations.

Lessons are taught at your home and are scheduled at your convenience; whether weekdays, evenings or weekends. If you are considering tuition for your child and would welcome some further facts, professional advice or teaching support, please feel free to speak with us on 03300 580908.

Our Primary SATs teachers provide high-quality SATs tuition right across the UK including Bath, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff. Chelmsford, Chester, Coventry, Derby, Durham, Exeter, Gloucester, Hereford, Hull, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, PortsmouthSalisbury, Sheffield, Solihull, Southampton, Swansea, Truro, Wakefield, Winchester, Wolverhampton, Worcester, York

We can find you qualified teachers in your area for home or online tuition