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Sats: How hard was today’s Spag test?

More than 600,000 pupils aged 10-11 were tested on their spelling, punctuation and grammar today

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More than 600,000 pupils aged 10-11 were tested on their spelling, punctuation and grammar today

Sats week began today with Year 6 children facing a "tough" spelling paper, as part of the spelling, punctuation and grammar (Spag) test.

The test consists of two papers: a 45-minute question-and-answer booklet and a 15-minute spelling test in which the teacher reads out 20 words that the pupils have to write in their answer booklet.

Initial reaction on the Tes forums was mixed – but there was concern that the spellings were tough.

“I thought it was hard and the spellings were deceptively hard,” said one teacher.

Another said: “Thought it was tough too – especially the spellings.”

A teacher added: "I thought it was fair but the spellings were definitely trickier than last year. Kids were quite chirpy after the first part but found a handful of those words difficult in spelling. Fingers crossed for a similar threshold."

But not everyone agreed, with one person saying that “the paper was very easy for the higher-attaining children”.

The Spag test was one of the most controversial tests last year when it emerged that pupils who had correctly answered a question about where a semicolon should go in a sentence were failed if the semicolon was deemed by markers to be too large.

Nearly a quarter of children failed that question, and while it was not clear how many of these lost marks because of misshaped rather than misplaced semi-colons, the exams watchdog Ofqual later revealed that the question “did not function as intended”, with a higher number of changes being made to the question than others during reviews of Spag papers.

Sats week continues with the reading paper tomorrow and maths papers on Wednesday and Thursday.

We know how important these tests are, but please do not discuss the content as more children will be taking the paper over the next few days.

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