Keeping end points on your radar

The first of the new Key Stage 2 National Tests are fast approaching. If you are planning on a revision programme, or even if you aren’t, it is probably best to be aware of the areas that will be included in the tests that have not been taught in Year 6. Thank to Mathematics Advisor Caroline Clissold for this valuable article on end points.

Everything that is covered in primary school will be tested at some point. They will not all be tested in one year but over a cycle of, possibly, four years. One important thing to remember is that the aims of the national curriculum will be tested. So children will need to display their fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills. So any opportunities that you can provide for children to develop these skills will be helpful.

End points is a term that I am using for the last time concepts are taught in the primary curriculum. These can be easily identified from the progression documents in the National Curriculum microsite on the NCETM website. This article aims to highlight a few of them.

From Years 3 to 5 Roman numerals are taught. These are not taught in Year 6 but are likely to be tested so it is important to revise Roman numerals to 1000 and show the children how years are written in this format. For example 2015 is written MMXV, M is one thousand, so MM is two thousand. X is ten and V five, so XV is 15. You could fit quick activities relating to Roman numerals as part of your starters or morning mathematics meetings if you have these.

There is a focus on prime numbers and prime factors in Year 5 which are briefly mentioned in Year 6. The children will need to explore these and recall all prime numbers up to 19. They need to know that these numbers are different from other numbers which are known as composite numbers. They have special properties in that they only have two factors. They are divisible only by themselves and one. Other numbers have more factors.

The children need to continue exploring square and cube numbers which are a focus in Year 5 and know how to record them. There are lots of nice activities which will help the children develop their conceptual understanding of these. For example, explore square numbers using a grid of squares. This will link well with arrays and area, a real life application of square numbers. Explore cube numbers within the context of volume, making these using interlocking cubes.

The children also need to continue multiplying and dividing whole and decimal numbers by 10, 100 and 1000. They also need to recognise and use thousandths, relating them to tenths, hundredths and decimal equivalents.

In Year 3 the children find and write fractions of discrete sets of objects. You will need to rehearse this area of mathematics as finding fractions of amounts is likely to be tested. They will also need to rehearse equivalent fractions from Year 5 which are mentioned in Year 6 but only as a way to add and subtract fractions.

In Year 5 children are asked to solve problems which require knowing percentage and decimal equivalents of 1/2, 1/4, 1/5, 2/5, 4/5 and those with a denominator of 10 or 25. This area doesn’t come as a requirement for Year 6 but is likely to be tested.

It is assumed that children can tell the time and read, write and convert time between analogue and digital 12 and 24 hour clocks by the end of Year 4. This will need rehearsal because many children struggle in this area of mathematics. A helpful way to do this is to focus on minutes past, as these link well to the digital equivalent, for example 50 minutes past 6 is 6:50. They can then explore how many minutes it is to the next hour, 10 minutes to 7. By Year 3 children should know the number of seconds in a minute and the number of days in each month, year and leap year. They should also be able to compare durations of events of tasks. Again, these are areas worth revisiting in Year 6 as they may be tested.

In statistics, bar charts, pictograms, tables and line graphs are not part of the Year 6 requirements but are likely to be part of problem solving tasks in the tests. So give the children the opportunity to explore all these ways of representing data.

A key visual representation which needs to be included in problem solving is the bar model. Children who use this model can see more clearly what a problem is asking them to find. There will be missing number problems in the tests for addition and subtraction. The bar model is helpful when solving these.

By Year 6 children should know the generalisation a = b + c, a = c + b, a – b = c, a – c = b. This will mean that they can solve missing number calculations such as 45 + ? = 93 and ? – 62 = 13.

The children can use their generalisation to find the missing number by counting on from 45 to 93 or back from 93 to 45. In the example below, they can see that adding 62 and 13 will give the starting number.


Some of the sample test questions could be easily solved using the bar model. Here is an example:

From this model we can clearly see that each section is worth 30, therefore Lara has 150 pages in her book.

We hope you find this article helpful for when you begin your revision for Year 6 SATs.


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