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What’s new about the KS2 SATs 2014 tests? Changes for the ks2 maths test

If your child is going to sit their KS2 Sats this year, you will probably be surprised to hear that some changes have occurred.

Within the KS2 English SATs, the English grammar punctuation and spelling papers were introduced in 2013. The 2014 sats test will now see changes related to the duration of the English reading paper, the reintroduction of the science sampling and the great emphasis put on the level 6 papers in English and maths. But all of these changes will not, as a parent, directly affect you and the way that you get your child ready at home for their tests. The changes that will have the most impact are the ones related to maths.

In this article, we will first talk about the 2014 changes and offer suggestions of resources to help your child.


So what are the KS2 Sats 2014 changes?

In previous years the level 3 to 5 papers in maths had always had 3 papers; one calculator paper, one non calculator paper and one mental maths paper. What is important to know is that most children in the UK normally sit the level 3 to 5 paper which is the standard paper and some high-achieving children will be put to sit the level 6 paper in addition to the level 3 to 5 paper. But what will change from 2014 is the fact that while the level 6 maths test will continue to include a calculator and a non calculator paper, the level 3 to 5 paper will no longer have a calculator paper included in the test. They will instead have two non-calculator papers.


Do these changes correspond to a devaluation of the level 3-5 Sats in maths?

With the removal of the calculator paper, many think that the level of this KS2 Sats test in maths could ultimately be lower than before. It is argued that since the calculator paper required students to use a calculator, the questions in themselves were more difficult; Scrapping the calculator paper means a decrease in the level and difficulty of the maths test.

Another important point to consider is the skill developed by being able to use a calculator. This level 3-5 paper will no longer allow students to develop the crucial tool that is the ability to fully use a calculator. As this vital skill will no longer be tested at the end of primary school through the year 6 Sats in maths, we can understand how teachers might not see the need to teach it to their students. We can already hear many saying “we do not already have enough time to cover the syllabus so why bother with something that is not tested”.

The decision to remove the calculator paper has been explained by the need for children not to rely on a calculator to perform basic operations. This goal was already reached by differentiating the calculator paper from the non-calculator one. In the non-calculator paper children were required to solve basic sums without a calculator. The calculator paper included more challenging operations. The question that many are asking is: why having two papers when they do not have any major differences between them?

However, ironically, the mastery of the skills gained through using a calculator will be needed in secondary schools. Children will indeed be expected to show understanding of how to efficiently use a calculator. The use of a calculator will be required to perform more complicated maths work such as in algebra for instance. The position of many, who consider that this removal contributes to an inadequate preparation for further studies in maths at secondary schools, could easily be understood.


To sum up…

Anyway, we all have our opinion on the subject. but what is important is that the changes is being implemented.

From 2014, the level 3 to 5 maths papers will consist of:

  • two non calculator papers called paper 1 and paper 2 as opposed to paper A and paper B which is how they were called before. Each paper will last 45 minutes
  • The KS2 mental maths tests which will last 20 minutes


What resources are available for the new KS2 Sats 2014 tests?

To help your child prepare for these new changes (ie: 2014 KS2 Sats in maths with this new type of test), a completely new range of KS2 maths practice papers  in line with the 2014 KS2 Sats is being released. You will find  that this range also includes Sats practice papers suitable for the high achieving children who will be sitting the maths level 6 Sats papers. Each pack contains three practice tests, the mark scheme and a guidance booklet that you will find very useful.

On top of its already vast range of KS2 papers for maths and English, CGP has devised a fully updated range of KS2 test papers in maths  that respond to the need for the calculator free test in 2014 (and beyond). It includes the level 3-5 set 1 papers which corresponds to paper 1 in the real test and the set 2, which corresponds to the paper 2 and both are in the style of the 2014 test KS2 in maths. Their Level 6 papers are also available.

For a more extensive list of  25 of the most popular KS2 sats papers and revision guides, click here.

More past SATs papers in other subjects?

* KS2 English test papers

* Maths past SATs papers

* Science SATs papers

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Other useful topics:

* What are the 2014 KS2 SATs’ dates?

* What were the 2011 KS2 SATs’ dates?

* How important are the KS2 SATs?

* How KS2 SATs revision books can help your child progress?