National Curriculum

The National Curriculum tells schools and teachers what subjects to teach

National Curriculum

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The National Curriculum for England is to be taught in all maintained primary and secondary schools from September 2014.
The National Curriculum tells schools and teachers:
  • - The subjects they have to teach.
  • - The knowledge, skills and understanding required in each subject.
  • - Standards or attainment targets in each subject.
  • - How your child's progress is assessed and reported.
The aims of the National Curriculum are:
  • The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.
  • The national curriculum is just one element in the education of every child. There is time and space in the school day and in each week, term and year to range beyond the national curriculum specifications. The national curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.

The National Curriculum is organised into blocks of years called 'Key Stages'. There are four key stages, which cover ages from 5-16. The National Curriculum doesn't contain content and learning guides for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This has it's own framegwork which is specifically designed for ages birth to five.
  • Foundation Stage : covers education for children before they reach five (from the age of 3/4 at preschool/daycare and for a year in school)
  • Key Stage 1: covers learning between the ages of 5 and 7
  • Key Stage 2: covers learning between 7-11
  • Key Stage 3: covers learning between 11-14
  • Key Stage 4: covers learning for 14 +


The Curriculum consists of 3 'core' subjects and 9 'foundation' subjects.

In addition Religious education is compulsory for all pupils registered in maintained schools up to the age of 18. Maintained schools must follow their locally agreed syllabus. Maintained schools must also provide a daily act of collective worship that should be broadly Christian, unless the school has been granted a determination to conduct collective worship of another faith.