Ultimate Year 6 SATs preparation plan from MathShed

We hope to help you and your classes in your journey to Year 6 SATs success by providing:

  1. Why it’s key to prepare pupils to score marks based on their learning from prior KS2 year groups
  2. The importance of arithmetic for meeting National Standard in the KS2 SATs
  3. Where to prioritise revision by blocks / areas of learning in mathematics for SATs success and how MathShed’s digital Lessons can support this
  4. Arithmetic practice as part of your class’s daily routine and how MathShed’s Quick Maths is perfect for that
  5. Downloadable worksheet or online self-marking practice papers from MathShed
  6. Using MathShed’s digital fluency games to consolidate key procedures
  7. A takeaway CPD presentation download to share all this information with your colleagues!

The Imporance of Prior Learning for KS2 SATs Success

KS2 SATs Marks Breakdown by Year Group Content

As the chart above shows, in some years (2016 and 2017), children can meet the National Standard for age-related expectations (ARE) in their KS2 SATs without answering a single question from the Year 6 curriculum correctly.

In 2018 and 2019 where Year 6 content factors into meeting the National Standard, it is a matter of a few marks. 

So, it is really important to identify and plug any gaps in children’s mathematical learning from Years 3 to 5. 

Importance of arithmetic fluency for Year 6 SATs

Year 6 SATs Mean Pass Mark vs. Marks per Paper

To meet the National Standard in Mathematics, children need between 56 and 60 marks out of 110 in total across all three papers, which is 51-54%.

Paper 1, Arithmetic by itself is 40 marks.

Also, these skills with conceptual variation are covered heavily in the reasoning papers, Paper 2 and Paper 3.

As the bar chart shows, a good score of 90+% of marks from Paper 1 alone will get children over halfway towards meeting the National Standard.

Marks by Block or Unit of Learning within Previous KS2 SATs Papers

KS2 SATs Score Breakdowns by Area of Learning

Four Operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) tend to make up a mean of about 33% of all marks across the three papers each year. Combined with Number and Place Value, the total for number and operations is closer to 45% of marks as a mean. 

Fractions, Decimals and Percentages on average make up a further ~20% of marks.

Followed by Measurement, Ratio & Proportion, Geometry which make up between 5% and 10% of marks each.

Then, Algebra, Statistics and Position & Direction with each of these areas of maths make up less than 5% of total marks. 

Although it is worth focusing on areas like Algebra to encourage algebraic thinking to help in other areas of mathematics or Statistics to help where tables and charts have been used to test other aspects of the curriculum, the data does show that focusing on properties of number and the four operations should offer the greatest benefit in delivering SATs success for your pupils.

Example MathShed Lessons sequence based on prioritising scoring for SATs success

Stage 6 – Autumn Block 1 – Place Value – Lesson 1 – To be able to represent numbers up to ten million
  1. Problem solving using addition and subtraction (shed.ly/LYSDWZI)
  2. Number & place value up to 10 million (shed.ly/LNYNPHT – a FREE sample Lesson!)
  3. Problem solving involving Money – mixed domain involving decimals, +/- and place value (shed.ly/LYKQHTZ)
  4. If you still have any children who are struggling with any of their times tables knowledge, that is a key fix. 
    MathShed provides a free times tables game as part of our individual teacher and whole school subscriptions.

Using MathShed’s Quick Maths to support the learning of key skills for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

MathShed’s Quick Maths for Year 6 is based on past papers to give children rigorous, logical fluency practice

Quick Maths, is our daily arithmetic fluency scheme, for all years from Year 1 to 6. 

All of the Year 6 Quick Maths weeks in the Spring and Summer terms, in the run-up to the SATs, are based on past papers.

MathShed’s Quick Maths provides spaced repetition for rapid recall.

Arithmetic practice, like Quick Maths, is a great settler task either in the morning or after break times

From our experience, it is best to do this when children are settling into the school day in the morning or after break or lunchtime. Try to have the questions up on the board and give each child scrap paper or jotters to do their arithmetic practice. 

If you do so, children will benefit from covering similar questions each week, providing retrieval practice for key procedures and known facts.

Self-marking past paper-inspired Question Sets, for in-class or at home use

We also have practice Paper 1 question sets based on each of the sample and past papers that can be either produced as PDFs and completed on paper or completed online, that way it is self-marking and the data feeds into our curriculum competency reporting dashboard.

Example KS2 SATs Paper 1 question set from MathShed based on the 2019 paper

Using MathShed’s arithmetic fluency games for effective and engaging KS2 SATs preparation

If you identify weakness with times tables, number bond recall or mental addition and subtraction, you could use our abstract fluency games.

If you find that there are particular questions children struggle with you could then set them the corresponding Lesson or question set on MathShed.

If there are many gaps, refer back to prioritised list of objectives to cover based on the historical allocation of marks in SATs papers.

MathShed arithemtic fluency game preview

How can you use MathShed to support problem solving and reasoning for Papers 2 and 3?

As with Paper 1, we also have practice Paper 2 and Paper 3 question sets modelled on each of the sample and past papers that can be either produced as PDFs and completed on paper or completed online, that way it is self-marking and the data feeds into EdShed’s curriculum competency reporting dashboard.

KS2 SATs Paper 2 Question set, 2018-inspired

Thanks for reading and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any further advice or support from any of the EdShed team in helping your pupils’ journey to SATs success!

If you would like to share these insights with your colleagues, please download our Engaging and Effective Year 6 SATs Preparation presentation!

Bonus: Video Webinar recording for all of the above