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 don’t 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.
The national curriculum is organised into blocks of years called ‘key stages’ (KS). At the end of each key stage, your child’s teacher will formally assess their performance to measure your child’s progress.
|Age||Year||Key stage||Assessment||Average level of attainment|
|3 to 4||Early years|
|4 to 5||Reception||Early years|
|5 to 6||Year 1||KS1||Phonics screening check|
|6 to 7||Year 2||KS1||Teacher assessments in English, maths and science||2|
|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 and teacher assessments in English, maths and science||4|
|11 to 12||Year 7||KS3||Teacher assessments|
|12 to 13||Year 8||KS3||Teacher assessments|
|13 to 14||Year 9||KS3||Teacher assessments||5/6|
|14 to 15||Year 10||KS4||Some children take GCSEs|
|15 to 16||Year 11||KS4||Most children take GCSEs or other national qualifications|
The school must report your child’s progress to you. This can happen in different ways, eg an end-of-term report or meetings at the school.
Children will start sitting the new national primary curriculum tests in 2016.
Children in years 2 and 6 will be the last to receive an end-of-key-stage ‘level’, in summer 2015.