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Topical Tuesdays: Tricky Tests - Key Stage 2 News Story and Reading and Writing Activity Sheet from The Week Junior

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Hundreds of parents and teachers complained after a Standard Assessment Test (SAT) English reading paper taken by Year 6 pupils in May 2023 left some children in tears.

Pupils, teachers and parents say the Year 6 English Reading test for 10 and 11-year-olds was too difficult. The National Association of Head Teachers, an organisation that represents headteachers across the UK, said it had upset children and left “even staff struggling to understand the questions.”

This resources pack includes an article from The Week Junior magazine, along with a sheet of activities designed to get children thinking, talking and writing about what the story means to them.


Everyone seems to think that tests and exams are terrible but are they really that bad? Don’t you think it can be interesting or even fun to see how much you know? Isn’t it nice, now and again, to be able to work in peace and quiet?

Or do you think they are an unnecessary pressure on schoolchildren? Do you think they force you to perform in an unnatural setting or atmosphere?

Shouldn’t teachers simply be able to say how good you are at a subject by looking at your work for the past year? What do you think?

Writing skills

Write a setting description for a classroom in which a SAT test is being taken on a hot summer’s day. Just imagine the stuffiness, the tension and the strange silence, apart from a fly bashing against the window. Use your best descriptive words, including figurative language, to capture the sights, sounds, feel and even smell of the room.


Schools write end-of-year reports on each pupil to let their parents and carers know how well they are doing. This is your chance to write a report on your school! Write two or three paragraphs about what you think your school does well and give one or two suggestions for improvement. Remember to make the tone formal but informative.


The Secretary of State for Education in May 2023 is The Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP. What do the abbreviations Rt Hon stand for? How many different people held the post of Secretary of State for Education in 2022? List their names.

Find the entire series of Topical Tuesday resources to download in our Topical Tuesdays collection.

What is The Week Junior?

The Week Junior magazine looks at current affairs and helps children make sense of the world, provides context and clarity to complex issues, improves general knowledge and encourages discussion and debate.

To find out more about The Week Junior and to download its free resources, please go to The Week Junior website.

  • News story
  • Activities sheet
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