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KS2 reading SATs – question level analysis study 2017-2018

This study compares the 2017 and 2018 data from the KS2 reading data, to highlight how Reading Plus can help Year 6 pupils answer more questions correctly to increase scaled and standardised scores.


The 2016 KS2 SAT’s Reading paper saw a significant increase in, not only the quantity of words pupils had to read, but also the complexity of the sentence structures and vocabulary. Feedback from schools would suggest that there were a number of pupils who consistently failed to complete all three texts on this and subsequent papers.

Data was drawn from 672 pupils across 10 schools located in the North of England (spanning eight Local Authorities). All 10 schools reported that their SATs Reading results were either below, or significantly below, the national average in 2017. 9 out of the 10 schools are above the national average for Pupil Premium, with an average of 10% EAL pupils.
All 10 schools in the study purchased Reading Plus at the beginning of the 2017/18 academic year, following concerns about their 2017 SATs reading results, specifically their pupil’s fluency, and stamina.

Reading Plus

Reading Plus was used for an average of 30 hours (3x 30 minutes per week) by the schools in the study over the course of the academic year.


The results of the study show the number of questions attempted in 2017,  by pupils who were not using Reading Plus, compared to pupils in the 2018 cohort who had been using Reading Plus.

On average, the results from the schools involved in the study show a 10% increase in the number of correct answers (71.55% in 2018 compared with 61.71% in 2017). This compares favourably with a national average gain of 2.9%.

Considering the final text only, the results from the schools involved in the study show a 17.5% increase in the number of correct answers. This compares with a national average gain of 7.7%.


This study would suggest that schools using Reading Plus, alongside good teaching first, helps develop fluency and stamina. This has resulted in pupils being able to read the KS2 SATs Reading paper quicker and with greater understanding. Crucially, reading the text more efficiently has allowed more thinking time to be dedicated to writing higher quality answers.

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