Wales National Tests

All children from Year 2 to Year 9 sit the Wales National Tests each year in the Summer Term. This year, the tests will take place between 7th – 14th May 2019.

There are three tests…

  • Reading Test
  • Procedural Maths Test
  • Mathematical Reasoning Test

Reading Test

The reading tests are made up of short questions based on a number of different texts. Some of the questions check how well the text has been understood, others aim to find out if children are able to make judgements about what they are reading.

Procedural Maths Test

The procedural test measures skills in things like numbers, measuring and data.

This year, the Procedural Maths Test will be sat online. It will be an Online Adaptive/Personalised Assessment. The assessment will begin by asking the pupils a base question and then automatically adapting the following question depending on whether the pupils answer the question correctly or incorrectly. The more correct answers a child gets, the more difficult the following questions will be. The more incorrect answers a child gets, the following questions will adjusted to be easier.

For more information, please watch the video, read the Frequently Asked Questions for Parents and Carers or the ‘Understanding Personalised Assessment Feedback‘ document.

Mathematical Reasoning Test

The reasoning test measures how well children can use what they know to solve everyday problems.

Are tests the best way to measure progress?

At St. Julian’s Primary, we don’t believe formal tests conducted in this manner are the best way to measure progress. We use a range of data throughout the year to monitor and track pupils’ progress in order to provide targeted support where it’s needed.

  • Many questions in these tests are multiple choice questions. This means that if there are four possible answers to a question, a child as a 25% chance of getting it right, whether they have understood the question or not.
  • Working under pressure doesn’t help. Just because a child doesn’t complete a test in a tight time limit doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have known the answers to any questions that they missed out.
  • These tests are a snapshot of how a child performs on one particular morning, over 30/60 minutes and over 30 questions. Pupils can have all sorts of things going through their minds… If there’s been an argument at home that morning, or if they’ve fallen out with their friend, of if they were late for school, or if they’re not feeling well. All of these things can have an impact on how well a child performs. We believe it’s far better to build up an assessment over time, rather than just taking a ‘snapshot’.
  • These tests go against our teaching philosophy. We teach children to be resourceful and to use what’s around them. We teach them to collaborate and to work together. Having that drummed into you all year by your teacher and then arriving in school on the week of the tests to be told… “we’re going to use this test to judge your progress, but we’re going to cover up the walls and displays and stop you from using any resources that you’d usually use and also, you’re not allowed to talk to anyone.”
  • Some questions can be worded in an awkward confusing way. Any maths assessment should be an assessment of mathematical skills but often pupils take time trying to decipher and interpret what the question is actually asking them to do.
  • Welsh Government are still working on getting the questions pitched at the correct level. One year in a Year 2 test, pupils were asked to “double 2 and half”, but doubling halves isn’t even in the Foundation Phase Curriculum (set by Welsh Government) so they may not have even been taught how to do that yet.

Sample Test Papers

Click above to download sample test materials to help your child become familiar with the style of test questions

Parent Handbook

Click above to download the parent test handbook produced by Welsh Government

Online Tutorials

Click above to take you to the Online Tutorials that will talk you through past test questions

Information Evening

Click above to register for the National Test information Evening at St. Julian’s Primary

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