Implications for Teaching and Learning 2017 - a preview

Every year, Rising Stars commissions a team of experienced teachers and consultants to review the Key Stage 2 national test papers. They provide analysis of the questions, which help schools prepare children for future tests.


Implications for Teaching and Learning are published every Autumn. In the meantime, we have asked the authors to round up their key findings from the 2017 tests, offering you a little preview of what’s to come in the full reports in September.


Sign up to receive the full reports when they are released later this month.


Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling 


Key findings from the 2017 national test from Maddy Barnes, literacy consultant 

  • The tests are not strictly Year 2 and Year 6 tests – all year groups are assessed and the importance of reviewing the previous year group’s content is absolutely necessary.

  • There was less of a focus on children reasoning through explanations, but more focus on children being asked to answer more complex multiple choice style questions.

  • Word classes (26%) and punctuation (34%) carried most weight in the paper.

  • A small number of questions reminded pupils to punctuate their answer correctly.




Key findings from the 2017 national test from Shareen Mayers, literacy consultant 

  • Teachers must explicitly teach new vocabulary. The KS2 spelling rules are a good starting point and can help with the pitch of words.

  • Teachers must teach reading skills such as skimming and scanning. Most of the paper required pupils to find evidence quickly and at speed.

  • Children need to answer questions using evidence from the text. Interestingly, 44% of questions were focused on inference this year.

  • Children must be clear on how to answer the 3-mark questions. The question stems clearly stated that they needed to find two points, using some evidence from the text.

  • Teachers should use practice papers that are in the style of the 2017 test.




Key findings from the 2017 national test from Sarah-Ann Fernandes, mathematics consultant and Trevor Dixon, mathematics consultant 

  • Nearly half of all marks assessed Year 6 content with the remainder assessing content from Years 5, 4 and 3.

  • As expected, the papers had greater weighting towards ‘Number, ratio and algebra’ compared with ‘Measurement, geometry and statistics’.

  • Within ‘Number, ratio and algebra’ just over a quarter of marks were attributed to assessing fractions, decimals and percentages.

  • There was a greater focus on ‘Ratio, proportion and algebra’ with 15 marks being allocated to these strands compared to 10 marks in 2016.

  • Unsurprisingly, there continues to be a strong emphasis on pupils applying their knowledge and skills to one step and multi-step word problems.

Want more support in preparing your children for the 2018 national tests? Why not attend one of our Achieving and exceeding the expected standard at Key Stage 2 conferences?

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