The English national curriculum is a set of primary and secondary school subjects and standards. They split into key stages with written tests and assessments.
SCHOOL SUBJECTS: The national curriculum determines what subjects get taught in schools. It denotes the standards that schools expect children to reach in each given subject.
By doing so, children study the same subjects. They learn the same things according to national standards and similar education levels.
Religious education and sex education are also included. They form part of the 'basic' school curriculum for most schools in the United Kingdom.
There are several different types of schools, such as private schools and academies.
These particular education institutions are not required to follow the national curriculum. Even so, all academies must teach religious education. Academies must set out a broad and balanced curriculum. It must include English, science, and mathematics.
The national curriculum levels get organised into blocks of years. The school system in the United Kingdom name the blocks 'key stages' (KS). Teachers will make a formal assessment of each child's performance at the end of each key stage.
|3 to 4||EYFS|
|4 to 5||Reception||EYFS||Teacher assessments (optional assessment at the start of the year)|
|5 to 6||Year 1||KS1||Phonics screening check|
|6 to 7||Year 2||KS1||National tests and teacher assessments in English, maths, and science|
|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 and maths science|
|11 to 12||Year 7||KS3|
|12 to 13||Year 8||KS3|
|13 to 14||Year 9||KS3|
|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 make a written report of the progress of each child by the end of each summer term. Teachers will then discuss the school reports with the parents.
Primary school compulsory national curriculum subjects are:
Note: The schools must provide religious education (RE) as a compulsory subject. But, parents may request their children to get taken out of certain parts or the whole lesson.
The phonics screening check takes place in June. Your child reads 40 words out loud to a teacher and they will inform you how well your child performed.
The teacher also assesses whether your child needs extra help with reading. The check gets repeated in Year 2 if your child does not perform well enough in the first year assessment.
Your child will take the Key Stage 1 test in May and you can get the results from the school. Results of your child's teacher assessments get sent out automatically.
Your child will take national Key Stage 2 tests in May when they reach the end of KS2 term. Your child will get tested in their skill levels of:
As a rule, Key Stage 2 tests last no longer than 4 hours. You should get the results in July. The school also sends you the results of your child's teacher assessments and tests.
Key Stage 3 and 4 compulsory national curriculum subjects are:
Note: Religious education (RE) and sex education become compulsory subjects in the national curriculum from key stage 3. But, parents may request their children get taken out of parts or the whole lesson.
As a rule most pupils work towards national qualifications (usually GCSEs) during key stage 4 (KS4). The 'core' and 'foundation' subjects get included in the compulsory national curriculum at this point.
Schools must also offer at least one subject chosen from arts, design and technology, humanities, modern foreign languages. They must also provide religious education (RE) and sex education at key stage 4.
In performance tables, the English Baccalaureate shows how many students got a GCSE grade C or above in:
Children do not have to take exams in the 2 other compulsory subjects. But, they must study religious education (RE) and sex and relationships education (year 7 onwards).
Schools have to teach Religious Education as one of the other compulsory subjects. But, parents can choose to withdraw their children from all, or sections, of the lessons. Once pupils reach 18 they can choose to withdraw themselves from RE as a compulsory subject.
Sex and relationship education (SRE) is a compulsory subject of the national curriculum. Children study it when they reach age 11 and onward.
The subject teaches children about sexuality, sexual reproduction, and sexual health. It does not promote early sexual activity or any particular sexual orientation.
There are some compulsory sections of sex and relationship education as part of the national curriculum for science. But, parents may withdraw their children from all other parts of this topic if they wish to do so.
Note: All schools must have a written policy on sex education. The policy must be available to all parents and free of charge.
The National Curriculum for the United Kingdom