Case Studies

Key Stage 2 Reading SATs Question Level Analysis Study 2017-2018

This study compares the 2017 & 2018 data from the ‘Key Stage 2 Reading Data by Question’ (SATs Reading paper) to highlight how Reading Plus® can help Y6 pupils answer more questions correctly to increase scaled and standardised scores.



The 2016 KS2 SAT 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 is a web-based program that builds upon the foundational skills of phonemic awareness and phonics to develop reading with metacognition – reading for meaning. Aimed at pupils in KS2 and above, Reading Plus combines a wide variety of age-appropriate texts with rigorous questioning designed to challenge a pupil’s deeper understanding of texts. Using a unique Guided Window system, Reading Plus accelerates silent reading speed and increases pupils’ stamina. This, together with vocabulary exercises, develops a strong foundation for reading fluency and comprehension.

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 the 2017 cohort (pupils who did not use Reading Plus) attempted in their SATs Reading Paper, compared to the 2018 cohort (pupils who did use 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%.



In summary;  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, by reading the text more efficiently, this has allowed more thinking time to be dedicated to writing higher quality answers.

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