KS2 SATs papers – creative and fun ways to use

KS2 SATs papers – creative and fun ways to use them

Hi, today I’m going to write about how we might use KS2 SATs papers in a fun way to help to children familiarise themselves with the type of questions asked and how they might answer them.

You can get the papers from a number of sites including:




On each site they are arranged slightly differently, so see which you prefer.  Just don’t download them and present whole papers to your child.

The Importance of Practising Questions from KS2 SATs papers

Note I didn’t call this section “The Importance of Practising KS2 SATs papers”.

It is a fact that the best way to do well in the test or exam is to practice doing the test or exam beforehand. However, it is also very important not to put children off of learning as this can backfire disastrously and mean that they can end up doing worse or even switching off or glazing over when a particular topic is mentioned. You never want to push your child to this stage as it is it is notoriously difficult to come back from.

However, with some thought we can change the presentation of what we are doing and have kids loving what they’re doing .

Presentation is Everything – well nearly

It became very obvious to me, as a teacher, that I could give out the same piece of work to children and get completely different responses depending on what I said.

Scenario 1 – “Hey, I thought we just have a quiz today. I’ve got some new stickers to give out to the winners.”

Scenario 2 – “Well, today we’re going to see how well you’ve learnt what we’ve been doing. I have a worksheet for each person. Try to do as much of it as you can on your own. If you get stuck look for clues around the classroom, ask a friend or if you’re still stuck you can ask me. When you have finished swap papers with somebody else who has finished. Check their work and see if you agree with their answers. If you don’t agree, then see if between you you can figure out why you have different answers and see whether you both still think that your own answers are correct.

Scenario 3 – “Hello class, today we are going to have a test. The results are important as it gives me a good idea of what you already know, and what I need to teach. Please do all of this work on your own. Work in silence. When you have finished, if other people are still working, then read through your answers and check that you haven’t made any mistakes.

As you can imagine a scenario one was usually greeted with “Yes!”, cheers, and other positive noises from most people. Scenario 2 would get a mixed response of positive and negative or maybe slightly nonchalant responses depending on the particular class and the individuals within it. Scenario 3 would probably get rather more negative reactions

So when we are working with our children, let’s make it more interesting and aim to get more positive responses.

Reframe the SATs papers as a quiz

If you’re very lucky then you might be able to just reframe the SATs papers as a quiz.

One question at a time

Print off the required pages. Cut up the pages so that there is one question on each piece of new paper. Either laminate these new questions  or get some coloured card and stick the questions on the coloured card.

Take it in turns to choose a question, answer it, and give a good explanation as to why you know you’ve come to the right answer.

You can move from you modelling how to answer the question, to working collaboratively with your child to answer the question, to allowing them to work independently to answer the question.

A few pages at a time

Print off the required pages and remove all references to SATs you can do this quite easily by photocopying the SATs page with a piece of paper covering up the party don’t want showing .

I would just give out a few pages and I would set a timer. You might want to do the pages yourself dash also in the given times that you are seen to be doing it dash rather than just watching your child work! Also, you can give you a search you can do model answers making sure your explanation is clear. This has the dual advantage of showing your child how to layout a good answer rather than just coming out with the answer and also by showing them how to tackle any questions that they don’t know how to do.

Creating Cards for Games

You can create as many cards as you like using the method described above.  However, the SATs papers have been written so that children can write directly onto the paper.

When creating cards for games they don’t need to write directly onto the paper so you can decrease the size of the cards.  You can print out a page and cut up the questions. If you have a photocopier at home, you can decrease the size. Depending on your photocopier, you’ll have different options that you can choose.  Sometimes you can choose to reduce the size by 50% or 25% or 75%, other times you might go from A4 to A5 or something similar.

Board Games

Find a board game you’ve got at home and think how you might play that game using these questions instead of the cards that go with the game that you have.

Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit

If you have a Trivial Pursuit board, divide up your cards into different piles which then correspond to a colour which might be landed on.

For example:

Green  – a science question

Yellow – a spelling question

Red – a multiplication question

Pink – a punctuation or grammar question

Blue – any level 3 maths question

Orange – a potluck question

These are completely random suggestions. You might want to include some non-SATs tasks, for example, sing any song from the charts. Do a yoga pose. Choose a dessert for next Monday’s dinner.

You might want to play mainly for fun with just a few SATs questions thrown in. You might want to concentrate on mainly one area and divide the cards randomly between the colours. It depends entirely on your children, how close you are to the SATs and what you think would be best for them. Do think of the long-term rather than the short term gains that can be made.

Who wants to be a millionaire?

Have you got this as a board game?  Do you want to buy it? (You can click on it if you do.)

If not, no problem!  Just create the board. Better still, discuss it with your child and create it together. You could make it on an ordinary sheet of A4 photocopying paper.  You could make it from a large piece of cardboard that you take from a piece of shopping, for example, the cardboard around 6 1L cartons of milk. Open it up and that gives you a great piece of cardboard for creating a game.  Alternatively, pick up any small box cardboard box open it out and again you’ve got a large area to create a board game.

Decide on the layout and also the amounts of money to go in each section.  It doesn’t need to be exactly the same as on the game: “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” In fact, they’ve changed their format and amounts from time to time.

You might want to have alternative prizes to go with the amounts, what you might want to just write the amount down because you might have different prices with each game that you play.

Here are some suggested prizes, but this is just to get you thinking about what you might choose.

£1,000,000 – a trip to the zoo

£500,000 – a museum trip

£125,000 – and item of clothing

£75,000 – cinema tickets

£50,000  – a hardback book

£25,000 – a paperback book

£12,000 –  a new pen

£6,000 – a piece of cake

£3,000 – 2 biscuits

£2,000 – 2 sweets

£1,000 – another sticker

£750 – another sticker


£500  – another sticker

£100  – one sticker

What about other games?

Monopoly – collect questions instead of Chance cards, Community Chest cards and at Stations and Utilities.

Avoid paying rent at somebody’s property by answering a question instead.

Snakes and Ladders – answer a question to go up a ladder and avoid coming down a snake.

What else?

If you have any ideas please let me know in the comments area below.  I would love to hear your ideas!


2 thoughts on “KS2 SATs papers – creative and fun ways to use”

  1. I think this is an excellent post which presents some creative ideas how to administer some tests. Not sure if the term “administer” works well in this context. We are aware that the test/quiz or any other type of assessments should not be taken as a punishment, it should serve as an indicator of teacher’s work, and should serve as an encouragement for kids… for all kids – those who have achieved excellent results and those who are struggling. In this post, some excellent ideas are given regarding scenario of the possible assessment – games. Gaming is a future of learning for different levels of studies and different age groups of learners. Great work. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks for this Nadja.

      Let’s hope the days of people doing tests for punishment are long gone!

      I certainly want children to enjoy their learning, both because learning should be enjoyable and also because it is most effective when it is enjoyable.


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