Stanton St QuintinPrimary School

Discovering Together

English Assesments at Stanton

At a recent meeting of the Performance and Standards committee, we discussed the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 teaching assessment guidelines. This is guide for any parents who want to understand a little more about how we assess written work.

Teaching assessments at Stanton

At a recent meeting of the Performance and Standards committee, we discussed the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 teaching assessment guidelines. These guidelines are often changed by the government as part of the national curriculum and as all our children take the SATs exams at the end of KS1 and KS2, these changes are closely monitored by the teaching staff.

At each parents evening and for the end of year report parents are informed of their child’s assessments against English, Maths (and other non-core subjects). These assessments can be somewhat confusing and so I wanted to try to help parents understand these ratings a little better by looking at how the teachers asses the children.


English Assessments


At Stanton, we aim to support all our children to reach their potential. For most this will be to reach ‘working at the expected level’. This is the nationally recognised age related expectation. Some of our children will exceed this (working at greater depth) and some may be developing  towards age targets (working toward). To give a concrete example, a child working at the expected level at the end of KS1 for reading can: 

  • read accurately most words of two or more syllables 

  • read most words containing common suffixes

  • In age appropriate books, read words accurately and fluently without overt sounding and blending, e.g. at over 90 words per minute 

  • sound out most unfamiliar words accurately, without undue hesitation

  • Read most common exception words.

  • In a familiar book that they can already read accurately and fluently, check it makes sense to them.

  • In a familiar book that they can already read accurately and fluently, answer questions and make some inferences on the basis of what is being said and done.

and for writing:

  • write simple, coherent narratives about personal experiences and those of others (real or fictional) 

  • write about real events, recording these simply and clearly 

  • demarcate most sentences in their writing with capital letters and full stops, and use question marks correctly when required 

  • use present and past tense mostly correctly and consistently 

  • use co-ordination (e.g. or / and / but) and some subordination (e.g. when / if / that / because) to join clauses 

  • segment spoken words into phonemes and represent these by graphemes, spelling many of these words correctly and making phonically-plausible attempts at others 

  • spell many common exception words* 

  • form capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower-case letters 

  • use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters. 


The full assessment criteria is more detailed and extensive, but this summary gives a flavour of how the children are assessed in KS1. Teachers must obtain evidence for each area of the assessment criteria in order to give a firm assessment that can pass moderation. Moderation is carried out by an external person, usually from the Local Authority and Stanton may be moderated in 2018 for KS1 and will be moderated for EYFS in June 2018. Moderation is a detailed review of the children’s work, the teaching assessment and the gathering of evidence to support the assessments. 


As governors we often do a detailed review of a particular subject, examining the assessment criteria and looking for evidence that we are providing the best for each child. The children’s progress in each subject is monitored by the governors three times a year and it’s part of the role of governors to act as a check and balance by examining the data, looking over sample work and being assured that interventions are in place for those children who may need some extra help or who need some extra challenge to reach their full potential. We take particular interest in our vulnerable groups which include children with SEN (special educational needs) and EAL (English as additional language)


For KS2 in English in writing the pupil can:


  • write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences, selecting language that shows good awareness of the reader (e.g. the use of the first person in a diary; direct address in instructions and persuasive writing) 

  • in narratives, describe settings, characters and atmosphere 

  • integrate dialogue in narratives to convey character and advance the action 

  • select vocabulary and grammatical structures that reflect what the writing requires, doing this mostly appropriately (e.g. using contracted forms in dialogues in narrative; using passive verbs to affect how information is presented; using modal verbs to suggest degrees of possibility) 

  • use a range of devices to build cohesion (e.g. conjunctions, adverbials of time and place, pronouns, synonyms) within and across paragraphs 

  • use verb tenses consistently and correctly throughout their writing 

  • use the range of punctuation taught at key stage 2 mostly correctly^ (e.g. inverted commas and other punctuation to indicate direct speech) 

  • spell correctly most words from the year 5 / year 6 spelling list,* and use a dictionary to check the spelling of uncommon or more ambitious vocabulary

  • maintain legibility in joined handwriting when writing at speed.2 

If you are looking at this and wondering about grammar and sentence structures, it may be surprising to know that your children will need to also know what a subordinating conjunction or a frontal adverbial is. Please feel some sympathy for your children as the national curriculum requires knowledge of this at KS2.

Here is an example piece of work from KS1 to show how the assessment works in practise.