Key Stages

School education is divided into blocks of years called Key Stages (KS). There are five blocks for pupils between the ages of 3 and 16:


  • Early Years Foundation Stage (ages 3-5 including Reception)
  • Key Stage 1 (ages 5-7) (Years 1-2)
  • Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11) (Years 3-6)
  • Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14) (Years 7-9)
  • Key Stage 4 (ages 14-16) (Years 10-11)

The government sets out targets for pupils to achieve at the end of each key stage and teachers are required to officially assess them. At primary schools the assessments for Key Stages 1 and 2 cover:


  • English reading
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • Mathematics


There is also a separate phonics screening check for pupils at the end of Year 1.  All test results are not a pass or fail; they simply provide teachers with an indication of each pupil’s progress and how to plan their future learning.


Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The teaching and learning for the EYFS is organised into areas of development:

  • Communication and language (speaking, listening and self-expression)
  • Physical development (co-ordination, control, movement and an understanding of the importance of healthy food choices and an active life-style)
  • Personal, social and emotional development (self-confidence, self-awareness, managing feelings, understanding appropriate behaviour and making positive relationships with others)
  • Literacy (reading, writing and linking sounds and letters)
  • Mathematics (numbers, counting, addition, subtraction, shapes, spaces and measure)
  • Understanding the world (people, communities, places, technology and the environment)
  • Expressive arts and design (exploring and playing with a range of media and materials and providing pupils with opportunities to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings)


Key Stages 1 and 2

 The teaching and learning for Key Stages 1 and 2 are based on three themes:

  • Core skills: English, mathematics, science, information and communication technology (ICT) and French (Key Stage 2 only)
  • Well-being: physical education (PE), religious education (RE) and personal, social and health education (PSHE)
  • Creativity: art, design and technology, geography, history and music