Key Stage 1 and 2
The National Curriculum and the Education System
What is an independent school?
In the United Kingdom independent schools have an excellent reputation for high standards of teaching and learning and almost all pupils go on to prestigious universities when they leave.
Is school education the same throughout the United Kingdom?
In England and Wales, the government introduced a National Curriculum in 1988. This provides a framework for education between the ages of 5 - 18. It has been reviewed over the past five years and a new and revised system will be implemented from 2014.
Independent schools are not required to follow the National Curriculum in all its details, but they must show that they provide a good all-round education and they are inspected regularly every few years.
How does National Curriculum work?
The National Curriculum is constructed in Key Stages:
- Key Stage 1 - Foundation year and Years 1 to 2 - for pupils aged between 5 and 7 years old
- Key Stage 2 - Years 3 to 6 - for pupils aged between 8 and 11 years old
Compulsory national curriculum subjects at primary school are:
- design and technology
- art and design
- physical education (PE)
- information and communication technology (ICT)
Schools can develop their own ICT curricula or follow the programmes of study. They must also provide religious education (RE)
Schools often also teach:
- personal, social and health education (PSHE)
- modern foreign languages
What are programmes of study?
Programmes of study set out what teachers should cover in every subject during each Key Stage.
There are also four general teaching requirements, which apply across all subjects.
- use language effectively
- use information and communication technology (ICT) effectively
- follow health and safety guidelines
- provide teaching that includes different ethnic minority viewpoints