Resource | 17.10.2023 | By Teresa Quail

How should teachers support pupils in Year 6 SATS spelling test?

A member asked “How should teachers support pupils in Year 6 SATS spelling test? The child understands the BSL sign but may not then identify the derivative e.g. beauty, beautiful, beautifully. Is it best to use a form of visual phonics?”

BATOD contacted STA. STA response

“We would not expect a pupil dependent on accessing the curriculum via BSL or any other sign language to be able to access the spelling test. That is why the compensatory mark is offered.

Finger spelling is not allowed, however lipreading is allowed and to facilitate this, we recommend that the test is administered 1 to 1 by someone well known to the child. However, very few 11-year-olds have acquired the ability to reliably lipread derivatives such as the examples given and to discriminate between them.

We recommend that the school administers a practice test using a previous year’s paper to see if it would be better to award a compensatory mark. Please note that the school would need to make that decision before the administration of the 2024 tests, following the guidelines in the ARAs. They can’t administer the test and not send it for marking if they decide the child would have done better on a compensatory mark.”