Research and analysis

Key stage 2 science sampling 2016: methodology note and outcomes

Outcomes of the 2016 KS2 science sample assessment and conclusions about national trends in pupils’ performance.


Key stage 2 science sampling 2016: Methodology note and outcomes


The biennial statutory assessment in science estimates national performance in relation to areas of the national curriculum in science, based on a matrix sampling approach.

We publish the assessment outcomes to inform schools and other stakeholders about national trends in pupils’ performance in science.

Pupils taking part in the 2016 science sampling assessment at key stage 2 were the first to have been taught the revised national curriculum programmes of study, introduced in 2014.

The methodological note includes:

  • a detailed explanation of the methodology used to analyse the sample
  • overall performance in key stage 2 science assessments in 2014 and 2016
  • performance by gender, eligibility for free school meals, and English as an additional language
  • performance by subject strand: biology, chemistry, physics and working scientifically
Published 20 July 2017