Sats: 'Tricky' maths test left children in tears

Today's final maths Sats paper was deemed 'kinder' than yesterday's test, which left some pupils distressed

Helen Ward

girl looking at test paper

More than 600,000 pupils aged 10 and 11 finished their Sats today, with a maths paper which seemed "kinder" than yesterday's maths test.

Year 6 pupils take three maths papers during Sats week: yesterday they took an arithmetic paper and the first of two maths reasoning papers, today children took a second maths reasoning test.

Teachers commented that yesterday's reasoning test quickly became difficult – causing some children to become upset.


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And on a Tes forum another teacher commented: "Arithmetic was OK, pretty much as expected and the children coped well with it. Reasoning was another story. GDs [Children working at greater depth] were OK with most of it, but the...question had more than one in tears." 

The initial verdicts on today's 40-minute maths reasoning paper were that it was kinder than yesterday's but asked a lot in terms of reading.

The prime minister Theresa May was asked about the stress of Sats during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday and replied that she believed it was right that the “simple tests” continue.

But today, with the tests over for most pupils, schools tweeted to declare how proud they were of their Year 6 children and the work they have put in.

The week kicked off with a spelling, punctuation and grammar (Spag) test which was considered “fair” and a reading test that some teachers felt was “tricky”.

Last year, the final maths paper was described as a “nightmare” by one teacher, although others thought it was “not too bad”.

Results for maths rose slightly in 2018, with 76 per cent of pupils reaching the expected standard, up from 75 per cent in the previous year.

The results of this year’s KS2 Sats will be returned to schools on 9 July.

Note to teachers: 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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Helen Ward

Helen Ward

Helen Ward is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @teshelen

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