Understanding Your Child’s Curriculum

*collaborative post*

It’s useful for parents to have a clear understanding of the curriculum so that you can be aware of challenges as they arise. This will enable you to fully support your child as they journey through the various stages of education.

The National Curriculum in England is separated into 4 key stages and how your child fits into these stages will depend on their age. We don’t include the first year of most children’s education or Reception in this. Reception is not compulsory – it’s only in year 1 at age 5 that children in the UK must be in some form of formal education.

Key Stage 1

This is the stage between Year 1 and 2 when children are between the ages of 5 and 7. It’s at the end of Year 2 that children sit their SATs (Standardised Assessment Tasks). These are designed to assess children’s academic abilities in the most important areas – mathematics and English.

The important thing to remember about SATs at this age is that there is no ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. They’re just a way of measuring progress and a way for schools to evaluate how well each pupil is doing.

Key Stage 2

Children aged between 7 and 11 are taught at Key Stage 2 level. At the end of this Key Stage there’s another round of SATs and children are assessed for reading, mathematics, spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Key Stage 3 

For Key Stage 3, children are in secondary school. Key Stage 3 covers the years between the ages of 11 and 14. There are no SATs at the end of this Key Stage but there are formal teacher assessments.

At this Key Stage religious education and sex education are included in the curriculum.

Key Stage 4 

This is the last stage of the school curriculum and children are between the ages of 14 and 16 at this point. The assessments for Key Stage 4 includes sitting GCSE examinations.

Following Key Stage 4

At this point, students can choose between A-Levels which are considered to be Key Stage 5 or move on to college or an apprenticeship. Young people must stay in education of some kind until the age of 18.  If your child wants to leave school then they must do one of the following –

  • Attend full-time college
  • Start a traineeship or apprenticeship
  • Spend 20 hours per week in work or volunteering whilst studying at college part-time

Making these decisions can feel overwhelming to both parent and child so it’s vital that you seek the advice of teachers who can advise you in the best way. As the leaders of this co-ed school in Hertfordshire believe, children need one-to-one guidance and pastoral care if they are to fully realise their potential.

 

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