Can you answer questions from Sats Year 6 reading paper that even staff 'had to think about' and left kids 'in tears'?

18 May 2023, 12:17

Some children were left in tears
Some children were left in tears. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Below are some questions from a Year 6 Sats paper that some teachers and parents said was so tough that it left pupils in tears.

Some teachers "had to really think" about the answers, according to the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT).

Meanwhile, the government said Sats papers are "designed to be challenged" and had been "rigorously trialled".

But can you answer what have been described as some of the toughest questions from the test?

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Question 7 - What hit Priya?

A Noise in the Night, Question 1
A Noise in the Night, Question 1. Picture: Government

Relevant extract: Priya woke with a start, her heart beating fast. Something had disturbed her but she wasn’t sure what... Then it hit her. Rustlers! They had to be. It couldn’t possibly be Mr Jones. Why would he have two vehicles? Why would he park there with the lights out? She knew she was right.

Then it hit her. Rustlers! They had to be. It couldn’t possibly be Mr Jones. Why would he have two vehicles? Why would he park there with the lights out? She knew she was right.

Question: "Then it hit her." What is it? (1 mark)

Answer: Award 1 mark for reference to any of the following:

1. Priya’s realisation that they were rustlers

2. Priya’s understanding of the situation

3. Priya’s realisation only

Do not accept: (the / some) rustlers.

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Question 8 - How did Priya get inside the tent?

Question 8
Question 8. Picture: Government

She wriggled back inside the tent...

What does this tell you about how Priya got inside the tent? Tick one.

  • She ran quickly inside
  • She jumped through the flap
  • She had to squeeze in
  • She crept in quietly

Answer: She had to squeeze in, but some teachers have said children may have chose 'crept'

Question 13 - In which American state is the Congress Avenue Bridge found?

2023's Sats reading paper
2023's Sats reading paper. Picture: Government

Another seemingly hard question is 13, which centres around where the Congress Avenue Bridge is in America.

Relevant extract: By day, the Congress Avenue Bridge in the city of Austin could hardly look more normal: a grey, dreary city-centre road bridge. By night, it plays host to one of the most amazing shows nature has to offer. The underside of the bridge is home to more than a million bats, and every evening in summer they all come swarming out at once, rising up into the city sky like a tornado before spreading out in all directions like plumes of smoke. Standing on the bridge, you might even feel the wind from their wings as they pass by. Austin is the capital city of the state of Texas in the USA, but it is also the bat capital of North America. The bats under the bridge attract thousands of visitors every year, and every August bat lovers celebrate Bat Fest on the bridge in their honour.

Question: In which American state is the Congress Avenue Bridge found?

Answer: Texas

Question 17 - Find and copy one word that is closest in meaning to "eat"

Question 17
Question 17. Picture: Government

Look at Harriet's answer beginning It's actually very appropriate...

Find and copy one word that is closest in meaning to "eat".

Relevant extract: It's actually very appropriate that you call it a "hotspot". The gaps underneath the bridge are a perfect place for mother bats to raise their young. Baby bats are born hairless and have only a few months to develop before travelling south in autumn. They need somewhere warm and safe and the gaps under the bridge are just the right width to trap warmth nicely. These bat pups need to spend their energy on growth, not on keeping themselves warm.

Texas in general is a paradise for bats because of all its tasty insects. A mother bat will go out hunting every evening and consume about two-thirds of her body weight in insects every single night to meet her energy need. The feeding frenzy can last all night.

Answer(s): Feeding, consume

Question 18 - Look at Harriet’s answer to the question: Have there always been so many bats here?

Question 18 focuses on bats
Question 18 focuses on bats. Picture: Government

Find and copy one word which means "a group of bats living together" (1 mark)

Relevant extract: No, this large number of bats is quite new. A few bats had lived under the bridge for years. It was headline news when they suddenly began moving in by the thousands after engineers rebuilt the Congress Avenue Bridge in 1980 – they had no idea that they were creating such an ideal bat home. So, when these bats first came, they were seen as uninvited guests. Many campaigned to have the bat colony eradicated. It was frightening. Back then, we thought they’d attack us by pulling out our hair or that they’d carry disease. Gradually, though, we learnt the surprising truth: bats make ideal neighbours. They are gentle creatures that will not harm you, as long as you do not try to touch them. Eventually we came to welcome the bats, and the population under the bridge grew to be the largest city bat colony in the world. Austin now has one of the most unusual and fascinating tourist attractions anywhere.

Answer: Colony. Also accept: population

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