The frameworks are written primarily for test writers. They set out what will and will not be assessed by the statutory national tests, how each element will be assessed, the proposed structure of each test and what standard pupils will be expected to achieve. They are not designed to be used to guide teaching and learning or to inform statutory teacher assessment.

The draft frameworks for the new national assessments that will be introduced in summer 2016 are now available and can be downloaded from the gov.uk website

At Key Stage 1 there are frameworks for each of reading; grammar, punctuation and spelling; and mathematics. The key sections of each document are:

  • the nature of the test (particularly the test format)
  • the content to be assessed
  • the ‘cognitive domain’, in other words the thinking skills and intellectual processes to be assessed (e.g. problem solving, reasoning)
  • the test specification, including the performance descriptor.

It is very important to note that the tests do not cover all the content or skills of the National Curriculum for English and mathematics. The tests focus on what can be assessed in a paper-based, written test. The document states the areas of the curriculum that are outside the scope of the national tests and that need to be assessed by teacher assessment.

Each of the framework documents includes a performance descriptor that describes the ‘typical characteristics of children whose performance in the tests is at the threshold of the expected standard.’ These characteristics are intended as a general guide rather than as a prescriptive list and will be used by a panel of teachers to set the standards on the new tests in summer 2016. Pupils who have achieved the expected standards in the tests will be deemed to have demonstrated sufficient knowledge in English and mathematics to be well placed to succeed in the next phase of their education.

Below is a summary of the three frameworks for Key Stage 1: reading; grammar, punctuation and spelling; and mathematics. Please see the separate summary of the test frameworks for Key Stage 2.

All Key Stage 1 national tests will be externally set and marked internally by teachers. The test outcomes will be expressed as scaled scores and will be reported to parents at the end of the Key Stage along with the statutory teacher assessments for English, mathematics and science.

Reading

The reading test will cover the aspects of reading comprehension that lend themselves to testing. As currently, there will be two papers.  Paper 1 will comprise reading passages with questions and answer space combined and will be part-read to pupils. Paper 2 will be completed independently and will be of higher challenge, with a longer selection of texts. It will have a reading booklet and a separate answer booklet. Unlike the current tests, from 2016 all pupils will be given the same test papers.

Between 60% and 90% of the total marks for reading will be awarded for comprehension, with up to 30% awarded for inference, and up to 10% awarded for understanding ‘language for effect’. The format of the papers is summarised below:

Component Description Number of papers Number of marks Approximate timing of paper (Recommended)
Paper 1: Combined reading and answer booklet A selection of texts with a total word count of 400-700 words. Teachers will read the beginning of the text(s) aloud to the children and also read aloud any supporting words that are provided 1 20 30 minutesIncluding reading and answer time
Reading booklet for paper 2Paper 2: reading answer booklet A selection of texts with a total word count of 800-1,100 words. No more than 3 questions will be worth 2 marks. This paper will be read completely independently by children. 1 20 30 minutesIncluding reading and answer time
Total 2 40 60 minutes

The framework document describes a number of ‘assessable elements’ which will replace assessment focuses (AFs). There are 9 assessable elements compared with six AFs, although some of the assessable elements are closely related. In broad terms, the current AFs (non-statutory) map to the assessable elements, although there are some differences in emphasis and detail. This will need closer scrutiny.

The final total score (out of 40) will be converted to a scaled score, with an indicator of whether or not the pupil has met the expected requirements.

Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

Pupils will be now required to take a grammar, punctuation and spelling test at the end of Key Stage 1 – this is a new development. The test will include aspects of grammar, punctuation, language strategies, handwriting and spelling from across the Key Stage 1 National Curriculum. The majority of the content assessed will be from the statutory appendices to the Programme of Study for English, however some areas of content assessed will be from the main part of the Programme of Study.

The grammar, punctuation and spelling test comprises three papers. The first of these will be a short writing task based on a prompt, which can be assessed for various features, including handwriting. Paper 2 focuses on grammar, punctuation and vocabulary and is in the form of short answer questions. The third paper is a spelling task of 20 words. Interestingly, although there are 20 spelling words, only 10 marks are awarded for this paper. This contrasts with Key Stage 2, where there are 20 spelling words for 20 marks overall. No rationale for this discrepancy is given. The table below is a summary of the test format and components.

Component Description Number of papers Number of marks Approximate timing of paper (Recommended)
Paper 1: grammar and punctuation – short task Written task (includes assessment of handwriting) 1 15 20 minutes
Paper 2: grammar, punctuation and vocabulary – questions 2a) Contextualised short answer questions (linked to a contextual passage)2b) Short answer questions 1 2a) 102b) 10 Two 10 minute sections, between which a break may be given at the teacher’s discretion20 minutes in total
Paper 3: spelling task Spelling (20 words) 1 10 15 minutes (not strictly timed)
Total 3 45 55 minutes

The marks will be allocated as follows:

Paper Element of content domain Number of marks Percentage of total mark
Paper 1: grammar and punctuation – short task Grammar and sentence structure 6 13%
Punctuation 5 11%
Appropriacy for purpose 2 4%
Handwriting 2 4%
Paper 2: grammar, punctuation and vocabulary – questions Grammar 10-15 22-33%
Punctuation 5-10 11-22%
Vocabulary 1-3 2-7%
Paper 3: spelling task Spelling 10 22%
Total 45 100%

Mathematics

Pupils’ mathematical attainment will now be assessed through two test papers rather than one paper at a specific level. There are some additional changes for the 2016 tests. Paper 1 focuses on arithmetic and is new for 2016. It assesses calculation skills out of context. Paper 2 is designed to assess mathematical fluency, problem solving and reasoning skills and the first five questions in this test will be aural. As with other tests, the final raw score will be converted to a scaled score, with an indicator of whether or not the pupil has met the required standards.

Several resources may be used during the test including a number line of 0 – 30, hundred square, structured apparatus (tens and ones), pencil, eraser and ruler. Calculators may not be used in either of the papers.

The table below is a summary of the test format and components.

Component Description Number of papers Number of marks Approximate timing of paper (Recommended)
Paper 1 Arithmetic 1 15 15 minutes
Paper 2 Mathematical fluency, solving problems and reasoning 1 35 35 minutes, with a break if necessary
Total 2 50 50 minutes

The profile of marks by paper and content area is as follows:

Paper Number Measurement, geometry and statistics Total marks
Paper 1 (arithmetic) 15 0 15
Paper 2 (fluency, problem solving and reasoning) 17-23 12-18 35

The table below provides a more detailed breakdown of marks by the main content areas and strands within them.

Content area Number of marks Percentage of marks
NumberNumber and place value (N)Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division (calculations) (C)

Fractions (F)

32-38(of which 15 are in Paper 1) 65-75%
Measurement, geometry and statisticsMeasurement (M)Geometry – properties of shapes (G)

Geometry – position and direction (P)

Statistics (S)

12-18 25-35%

We have produced summaries of the national tests for Key Stage 2, and of statutory teacher assessment for both Key Stages.

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