Key Stage One (Age 7)

This records pupil attainment at the end of KS1 (or Year 2).

From 1998 to 2003 data was collected from standard tests and tasks in reading, writing and mathematics. Whole levels were collected, together with a breakdown of Level 2 into 2a, 2b and 2c. Teacher assessments were also collected for each attainment target (and for each subject overall) in English, maths and science, but only in whole levels.

From 2005 all KS1 data is based on teacher assessment only. The breakdown of level 2 into sublevels continues to be collected for reading, writing and mathematics, with whole levels only for the other elements (speaking and listening, science and the individual attainment targets within maths and science).

2004 was a transitional year with some Local Authorities trialling the Teacher Assessment system while others were using the tests, so the data on NPD is a hybrid.

No marks or fine grades have ever been centrally collected for KS1.

Some KS1 assessment was carried out before 1998 but identifiable individual records were not centrally collected. For the 1998-2001 Autumn Packages, KS2 data was matched to a small sample of KS1 records (approx 30K) gathered from LAs for this purpose.

KS1 records are only collected for maintained schools (including mainstream and special schools) in England

Data collection

Schools supply KS1 data at pupil level to their local authority which collates it and forwards it to DfE. Data is collated and validated within the department and then matched into the NPD. Version 1 is usually available in September, with a second version (including any late returns from schools/LAs) usually becoming available in March of the following year. As there are no performance tables for KS1, there is no checking exercise with schools. Some moderation is carried out by LAs (of test marking and/or teacher assessment).

Guidance to schools on the assessment process and data collection is set out in the annual QCA/NAA/QCDA Assessment and Reporting Arrangements, e.g.

Valid levels for reading, writing and mathematics tests, and TA since 2005 are:
  • W (“Working towards level 1” ie below level 1)
  • Level 1
  • Level 2c
  • Level 2b
  • Level 2a
  • Level 3
  • Level 4 (or 5 or 6) – occasionally used in TAs. Test Level 4+ only available by pupil sitting KS2 test.
  • A = Absent – relatively rare for KS1 tests because the test did not have to be carried out on a particular day, but at any point within a window of several weeks. A is even rarer for KS1 teacher assessments.
  • D=Disapplied – occasionally used for pupils with SEN who were not following the national curriculum. Also sometimes used for pupils unable to access the test due to disability, or language difficulties for pupils recently arrived from overseas.

Valid levels for speaking & listening, science and teacher assessments when running parallel with tests/tasks are:
  • W (“Working towards level 1” ie below level 1)
  • Level 1
  • Level 2
  • Level 3
  • Level 4 (? And possibly higher levels)
  • A and D might exist on the files but, as above, numbers should be minimal.

For 1998 to 2004, the reading test consisted of a reading task and a reading comprehension test. Both results were reported and should be available on NPD for these cohorts, but each gives partial data as they only cover part of the attainment range. For publication, the reading comprehension test was used to determine if pupils had attained Level 3. Otherwise the reading task level was used as the pupil’s overall reading level. NPD standard extracts contain an overall reading level produced using this definition.

A separate spelling level existed for some years in the late 1990’s but was only graded in whole levels. In other years a spelling test was included as part of the writing assessment.

To deal with the mix of numeric and string values, KS1 data is usually translated into point scores. Some NPD extracts contain recoded KS1 point score variables. The recode values are:
point score
or 2
As and Ds are treated as missing.
Subject point scores can be averaged to get overall average point scores. Different versions exist: for example KS1-2 CVA uses a KS1 average point score based on averaging reading, writing and mathematics, while the KS1 APS variable in the NPD extracts is based on reading, writing, maths and science.
Note that KS1 English consists of three equally weighted attainment targets for Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing: therefore combining reading and writing results (without S&L) does not produce an overall "English" result.

Validity of measure

Cleaning the variable

Stata code
SPSS code
Checks needed

Description of values across cohorts

National results for KS1 are published annually showing the distribution of attainment and the proportion of pupils achieving certain levels (eg level 2+, level 2b+, level 3+) nationally and at LA level.
Statistics are also published annually showing KS1 attainment by pupil characteristics eg FSM, SEN, EAL, ethnicity; LA district council area; and deciles of area deprivation (IDACI)