The National Curriculum is used by primary and secondary schools. It is the agenda for teaching and learning in schools, and sets out the subjects and standards that children should achieve at each Key Stage (see below). It ensures that children nationwide learn the same things. The National Curriculum does not apply to Independent Schools, Academies or Free Schools which are free to set their own, although many Academies and Free Schools do choose to follow the National Curriculum.

The National Curriculum is organised in to blocks of years called Key Stages (see below). At the end of each Key Stage, performance for each child is formally assessed.  

Age Year Key Stage
3 to 4 Nursery Early years
4 to 5 Reception Early years
5 to 6 Year 1 KS1
6 to 7 Year 2 KS1
7 to 8 Year 3 KS2
8 to 9 Year 4 KS2
9 to 10 Year 5 KS2
10 to 11 Year 6 KS2
11 to 12 Year 7 KS3
12 to 13 Year 8 KS3
13 to 14 Year 9 KS3
14 to 15 Year 10 KS4
15 to 16 Year 11 KS4


Useful links