Overview
The ‘basic’ school curriculum includes the ‘national curriculum’, as well as religious education and sex education.

The national curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by primary and secondary schools so children learn the same things. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject.

Other types of school like academies and private schools do not have to follow the national curriculum. Academies must teach a broad and balanced curriculum including English, maths and science. They must also teach religious education.

Key stages
The national curriculum is organised into blocks of years called ‘key stages’ (KS). At the end of each key stage, the teacher will formally assess your child’s performance.

Child’s age Year Key stage Assessment

Pre - School Years

3 to 4 Early years
4 to 5 Reception Early years Teacher assessments

Infants

5 to 6 Year 1 KS1 Phonics screening check
6 to 7 Year 2 KS1 National tests assessments in English, maths and science

Juniors

7 to 8 Year 3 KS2
8 to 9 Year 4 KS2
9 to 10 Year 5 KS2
10 to 11 Year 6 KS2 National tests assessments in English, maths and science

Secondary School

11 to 12 Year 7 KS3
12 to 13 Year 8 KS3
13 to 14 Year 9 KS3

GCSE Years

14 to 15 Year 10 KS4 Some children take GCSEs
15 to 16 Year 11 KS4 Most children take GCSEs or other national

Assessments
By the end of each summer term the school must write a report on your child’s progress and talk it through with you.