Taking part in our research
2018 key stage 2 (KS2) science sampling live tests
Project code: SSCI
What are the KS2 science sampling tests for?
The KS2 science sampling tests are used to gauge the national performance of pupils at the end of year 6 in science so that attainment across the country can be compared to previous years. 1,900 primary schools have been selected to take part and each school will have up to five pupils take science sampling tests in June 2018.
Who is sponsoring NFER to carry out this work?
The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has been commissioned by the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) on behalf of Department for Education (DfE) to administer the 2018 science sampling tests. This is the third time that NFER has administered these tests on behalf of STA, having previously administered them in 2014 and 2016.
How have schools been selected to take part?
STA has drawn a randomly selected, nationally representative, sample of 1,900 local authority maintained schools and academies (including free schools) with age-appropriate pupils from across England to take part.
How do I know if my school has been selected?
Schools will be informed whether they have been selected to participate in the 2018 science sampling tests on 23 April 2018. If a school has been selected we will write to the head teacher. We will also inform the school’s local authority if the school is local authority maintained. If the school is an academy which is a member of a multi-academy trust (MAT), then we will inform the relevant MAT.
Do schools have to take part?
There is a statutory obligation for all schools selected to take part in the 2018 science tests.
When will the tests take place?
The tests will be administered on a date which is convenient to the school during the period 4 to 15 June 2018.
What does taking part involve?
Up to five year 6 pupils from each school will be randomly selected by STA to take the science sampling tests. Each pupil will take a combination of three tests. Each test will take 25 minutes.
An NFER administrator will bring the science sampling materials to the school and administer the tests to the selected pupils. Schools will be required to supply a member of staff to support the test administrator. Teachers will not have to package or send science sampling scripts for marking as this will be done by the NFER administrator.
Will my school receive individualised feedback on the results of the science tests?
Schools will not receive results of pupil performance for the science sampling tests and results will not be shared with local authorities, Ofsted, MATs or Regional Schools Commissioners. A report of national results from the 2018 science sampling tests will be published in 2019.
How will NFER use and protect the data collected?
All information relating to the science sampling tests will be kept confidential by NFER and STA and no individual or school will be identified in any report. NFER and STA will not disclose names of individuals or schools involved in the tests, either in any reports arising from the use of this data or in any other way.
Who can be contacted for more information?