2016 Key stage 2: assessment and reporting arrangements (ARA)

Section 8: Science sampling

Key dates, test administration and results for the biennial science sampling tests

8 Science sampling

Biennial science sampling tests for pupils at the end of KS2 will take place in June 2016. The tests will not be taken by whole cohorts. Instead, a sample of approximately 9,500 pupils will be randomly selected, based on five pupils from 1,900 schools.

In addition, of the 1,900 schools selected, a sample will be selected to participate in the pre-test trialling of the 2018 science sampling tests. Five additional pupils from each school will take these tests.

Schools that are selected have a statutory obligation to participate.

The science sampling tests will cover the aspects of the curriculum that lend themselves to paper-based, externally marked testing. An overview of the tests is available. Detailed information will be provided to schools selected to participate.

8.1 Key dates

Pupils will sit the tests within a two week period from Monday 6 June. The tests will consist of three papers. Each will take no longer than 25 minutes to complete.

Schools will be contacted in the spring term to agree the date that the tests will be taken at each school.

8.2 Test administration

The tests will be overseen by external administrators. A member of school staff may need to be available to support the administration of the test if this is agreed with the external administrator. The external administrator will notify the school of the pupils that have been included in the sample and or the pre-test trialling. Schools are not required to place test orders. The external administrator will be responsible for bringing the test papers to the school and taking the test scripts for marking.

The science sampling tests will not be subject to monitoring visits nor will they need supporting by local authorities.

8.3 Test results

Science sampling test results will be reported as national data only. No individual school or pupil will be identified within the data that is published. Results will not be used for school accountability or performance tables and individual results will not be returned to schools or pupils.

Schools won’t have access to the test papers after their administration. However a set of questions will be made public after the assessment cycle, which schools can use for teaching purposes.