Key Stages

What are the Key Stages?

The National Curriculum is divided into four Key Stages that children are taken through during their school life. For example, Key Stage 1 is taught during Years 1 and 2 of primary school. Targets defined in the National Curriculum are assessed at the end of each Key Stage.

The four Key Stages

Key Stage 1

Ages 5-7 

Years 1 and 2

Key Stage 2 

Ages 7-11

Years 3, 4, 5 and 6

Key Stage 3

Ages 11-14

Years 7, 8 and 9

Key Stage 4

Ages 14-16

Years 10 and 11

 


What is the National Curriculum?

State schools in England must teach a range of subjects according to targets set by the National Curriculum. This was established in 1989 to ensure the same standards of teaching and learning across the nation.

The National Curriculum covers learning for all children aged 5-16 in state schools, and sets out:

  • Which subjects should be taught.
  • The knowledge, skills and understanding your child should achieve in each subject (according to your child’s age).
  • Targets - so that teachers can measure how well your child is doing in each subject.

National Curriculum


What are Programmes of Study?

Programmes of study set out what teachers should cover in every subject during each Key Stage.

Click the links below to find information about the curriculum, spellings and end of year expectations for all year groups.

Programmes of Study


Please use the links below to find out more about each Key Stage at Meadow Primary School:

Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.

Assessments

There are assessments when a child is aged between 2 and 3 years and at the end of the academic year when they turn 5. These are not tests for the child - the assessments are based on EYFS practitioners’ observations.

Information from these assessments is used for parents, practitioners and teachers to support children’s learning and development.

Early years learning concentrates on 7 areas split between prime and specific areas of learning.

The prime areas of learning are:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional development

The specific areas of learning are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Teaching is often done through play, where the child learns about subjects and other people through games.

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile

At the end of the academic year when a child turns 5, the practitioner records each child’s development by watching the child playing and in the classroom. The completed assessment is known as the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Profile’. This is used to help the Year 1 teacher plan lessons for the children.

Further information for parents

Read more about EYFS for parents below, it shows you how you can support your child during the foundation years and what you can expect from the professionals working with your child. 

Statutory Framework For The Early Years Foundation Stage
Early Year Foundation Stage Parents Guide

Key Stage 1

Compulsory National Curriculum subjects at primary school are:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art and Design
  • Music
  • Physical Education (PE), including swimming
  • Computing

Schools must provide religious education (RE) but parents can ask for their children to be taken out of the whole lesson or part of it.

Schools often also teach:

  • Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
  • Citizenship
  • Modern Foreign Languages (at key Stage 1)

Tests and assessments

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

The check will take place in June when your child will read 40 words out loud to a teacher. You’ll find out how your child did, and their teacher will assess whether he or she needs extra help with reading. If your child does not do well enough in the check they’ll have to do it again in Year 2.

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 1 (Year 2)  tests cover:

  • English reading
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • Maths

Your child will take the tests in May. You can ask the school for the test results.

You’ll be sent the results of your child’s teacher assessments automatically.

Key Stage 2

Compulsory National Curriculum subjects at primary school are:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art and Design
  • Music
  • Physical Education (PE), including swimming
  • Computing
  • Modern Foreign Languages 

Schools must provide religious education (RE) but parents can ask for their children to be taken out of the whole lesson or part of it.

Schools often also teach:

  • Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
  • Citizenship
  • Modern Foreign Languages

Tests and assessments

Your child will take national tests in May when they reach the end of Key Stage 2. These test your child’s skills in:

  • English reading
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • Maths

The tests last less than 4 hours. You will recieve the results in July.

The school will send you the results of your child’s tests and teacher assessments.

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