Year 6 & 2 SATS Exams and Dyslexia. Do dyslexic children get extra time?

Children with dyslexia may struggle with school exams. The words SAT's can bring anxiety into the minds of school teachers, parents and dyslexic children.

Yet they are a part of primary school life, with SAT's taken in year 2 and year 6. SAT exams are something all children in schools across England usually do.

Do dyslexics get extra time in SATs?

Yes dyslexic children, students get extra time for SAT tests. Children with dyslexia, get 25% extra time in exams. Other special exam arrangements that dyslexic children can get are as follows:

  • Allowed coloured overlays.
  • Bigger font size on test sheets.
  • Use of a computer to type answers.
  • Someone to write their answers (scribe).
  • Use of a reader. A person or machine, to read out questions.
  • Someone to rewrite their work if it is hard to read (transcribed).
  • Compensatory marking for incorrect spelling.

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How to Get Extra Time in SATs Dyslexic Kids

For a dyslexic child to get extra time in SATs exams, it needs to be requested by SENCO. Dyslexic children do not get these special arrangements automatically.

  • The SENCO teacher has to apply by a deadlines for these exam arrangements to be made.
  • By submitting a request form by March or April.
  • Any special arrangements should reflect what the child normally does in class, the SENCO may-be asked to prove this.

Reasons for Getting Extra Time in Exams

Dyslexic children get extra time in exams. The reason is dyslexia is a disability, yet dyslexic children still do SATs.

To help, they are entitled to special arrangements set by the government. These special arrangements are for children that have any of the following issues:

  • Difficulty reading
  • Difficulty writing
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Processing Difficulties

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How to get Extra Time in Exams

To get extra time in exams, if your child has a learning difficulty like dyslexia. The school SENCO needs to fill in a form. Explaining why the child should be given dyslexia friendly exam arrangements.

They will be asked 7 questions, including:

  • Can the child focus on a task for 15 mins. Working on their own without getting distracted?
  • Is the child unable to write more than 10 words per minute, due to a physical, motor skill or learning disability?
  • Can the child read at a speed of 90 words per minute, making very few mistakes?
  • Does the child struggle with questions and answer on key stage 2 tests?

Helpful Articles

Does My Child Need a Formal Assessment Dyslexia, to get extra exam help?

No, a dyslexic child does not need to have been formally assessed, to get extra exam help.

Having a formal diagnosis however does make it easier for the SENCO to apply for reasonable adjustments in exams.

If you can prove your child is struggling with any of the areas covered in the section above. You can request the school applies for special exam arrangements.

Learn more read the official government guide to accessible exam arrangements.

Do dyslexic children have to do SATs?

Yes dyslexic children have to do SATs. Yet headteachers have a responsibility to ensure that pupils only take the KS2 tests if they:

  • are in a fit physical and mental state
  • are working at the standard of the tests
  • have completed the full KS1/KS2 programme of study

Yet exams such as SATs can put great pressure on children:

  • Dyslexic children who are already struggling in class, may worry more about to doing well in these exams.
  • If the child does the SATs exams and struggles to answer the questions.
  • This may greatly the dyslexic child's confidence and motivation to learn.

Does my Child have to do SATs Exams?

Although the government says all children have to do SATS. Some schools have relaxed rules, so their child does not have to do them.

The important thing is to talk to the child's school teachers. Find a solution that works best for the child.

  • The headteacher may apply for "Special Consideration". A child has to have special circumstances as listed on the government web-site.
  • Teachers maybe able to prove that the dyslexic child has not completed all KS2 work they need, to do the SATs tests.
  • Schools may not put SATs exams, league tables before the wellbeing of the child. Allowing the child to just not do or complete the exam. Instead submitting a blank test paper.

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What are SATs? 

SATs are tests all children do in schools in the UK. The tests take place twice at primary school level:

  • Once when the child is year 2, at the end of key stage 1. Then again in year 6, at the end of Key Stage 2.
  • The tests are designed to check the national curriculum is being delivered correctly.
  • To give clear information about education levels of children across the U.K.
  • The results of the tests are used towards school league tables.
  • Designed to show how well schools are performing. 

Learn more see - GOV, exams, testing and assessments.

Why did children do SAT tests?

  • Doing SATs exams can give a child focus, something to work towards.
  • It means that their progress is being monitored.
  • That teacher's, parents have a good understanding of the child's English level.
  • Making it clear what areas the child needs extra help in.
  • For dyslexic children that struggle with reading and writing. SATs can cause feelings of great anxiety.
  • Dyslexic children are entitled to special arrangements during exams to help them.

What to Expect Year 2 SATs

Children doing year 2 SATs will be tested on:

  • Reading
  • Maths

The teacher will also check their science, writing, speaking and listening levels. Yet this will not go towards the child’s SATs score.

  • At this age the children are still young, aged 6-7.
  • They will be at the end of year 2, finishing key stage 1.
  • Teachers may do the tests as classwork and the children may not even realise they are doing SATs.

What to ExpectYear 6 SATs Dyslexia- KS 2

Children doing year 6 SATs will be tested on:

  • English Reading
  • English Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Maths

Teachers will also check the child's speaking and listening, writing levels. This won’t be done as a single test, rather based on the child’s progress across the year.

  • The SATs test will be more formal at this age.
  • The child will be aged 10- 11 in year 6, completing key stage 2 work.
  • They are more likely to know they are doing a SATs test.
  • This can be stressful for many children, especially dyslexic children. Who may struggle to read and write.

Practise SATs Papers

Try some of the questions at home, found on SATs paper in the past:

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