KS2 Science SATs: Sample Questions
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KS2 SATs are mandatory tests for all state schools in England. They are designed to give an accurate reflection of the ability of the UK’s children as a cohort. English and Maths SATs are administered to all Year 6 children. Progress in other areas, such as writing and Science are assessed through data collected by the class teacher. However, a selection of schools will also be asked to administer science sampling papers.
The current sampling consists of three separate papers which are based on the three key areas of Science: biology, chemistry and physics. The papers are expected to last 25 minutes each, and each paper is awarded around 22 marks. Children will answer questions based on their studies throughout KS1 and KS2.
Below are some examples of the types of question your child may be asked in the KS2 Science papers, based on the KS2 teaching programs.
- Identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers.
- Identify the requirements of plants for life and growth and how they vary from plant to plant.
- Complete the life cycle of a plant.
Living Things and Their Environment:
- Group a selection of living things according to certain characteristics.
- Describe environments and habitats and their features.
- Describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals.
- Describe the differences in the life cycle of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect or a bird.
Animals, including humans:
- Identify and explain correct nutrition and relate it to food types.
- Identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement.
- Identify the elements of a food chain or web.
- Identify the main parts of the human circulatory system, and describe the functions of the heart, blood vessels and blood.
Evolution and Inheritance:
- Show an understanding that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.
- Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.
- Describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock.
- Recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.
States of Matter:
- Observe how some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C).
- Identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.
Properties and Changes of Materials:
- Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets.
- Explain that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution.
- Give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials including metals, wood and plastic.
- Recognise that we need light in order to see things and that dark is the absence of light.
- Describe the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye.
- Describe the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them.
Forces and Magnets:
- Explain that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance.
- Describe magnets as having two poles.
- Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing.
- Describe the patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it*.
- Explain how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating.
- Label a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers.
- Explain how a switch opens and closes a circuit and associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a simple series circuit.
- Give reasons for variations in how components function, including brightness of bulbs, loudness of buzzers and on / off position of switches.
- Explain how unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object.
- List the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction that act between moving surfaces.
Earth and Space:
- Describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system.
- Describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies.
- Explain the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.