National Curriclum

Key stages

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.

AgeYearKey stageAssessmentAverage level of attainment
3-4 Early years  
4-5ReceptionEarly years  
5-6Year 1KS1Phonics screening check 
6-7Year 2KS1Teacher assessments in English, maths and science2
7-8Year 3KS2  
8-9Year 4KS2  
9-10Year 5KS2  
10-11Year 6KS2National tests and teacher assessments in English, maths and science4


National Curriculum

Tests and assessments

Year 1 phonics screening check

The check will take place in June when your child will read 40 words out loud to a teacher. You’ll find out how your child did, and their teacher will assess whether he or she needs extra help with reading.

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 1 tests cover:

  • reading
  • writing
  • maths
  • science

The tests are taken when the school chooses. You’ll get the results but they’re only used to help the teacher assess your child’s work.

Key Stage 2

Key Stage 2 tests cover:

  • English reading
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • maths (including mental arithmetic)
  • science (only schools selected to participate in a national sample)

The tests are taken on set days in mid-May and last under 5.5 hours. You’ll get the results of these tests

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