National Curriculum assessments are a series of educational assessments, colloquially known as SATs. These are used to assess the attainment of children attending maintained schools in England. They comprise a mixture of teacher-led and test-based assessment depending on the age of the pupils.
During Year 2, teacher assessment is carried out in the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. In English, teachers are required to record a level in the three strands of Reading, Writing, and Speaking & Listening. To assist teachers in arriving at an assessed level, tests and tasks can be completed in reading, writing and mathematics.
During May in the final year of Key Stage 2, children in state-funded schools (and independent schools if they so choose) undertake three National Curriculum Tests: reading; spelling, grammar and punctuation and Mathematics. Science tests are taken by a selected sample of schools to monitor national performance in science. Because the science sampling tests are to collect evidence on national performance, schools and pupils do not receive results. From 2014, the Science sampling tests have been taken biennially.
Writing, formerly a part of the test, is now assessed by teachers and is no longer part of the National Curriculum tests.
In addition to the tests, teachers are required to provide teacher assessments in the subjects tested.
These tests provide grades from Level 3 to Level 5. Level 6 National Curriculum tests have been introduced for the exceptionally able. They are not mandatory, and teachers have to apply to give their pupils the tests.