The Meadows

Primary School

‘Play Together, Learn Together, Achieve Together’

The National Curriculum

The National Curriculum

The national curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by primary schools, so children learn the same things. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject.


Key stages

The national curriculum is organised into blocks of years called ‘key stages’ (KS). At the end of each key stage, teachers will formally assess your child’s performance.


Early Years Foundation Stage

Year 1

Key Stage One

Year 2

Year 3

Key Stage Two

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6



Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which:


  • promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils, and
  • prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

Children from Years 1- 6 follow the national curriculum

The National Curriculum is organised on the basis of subjects, which are made up of ‘core’ and ‘other foundation’ subjects. Please click on each subject title to find out more about what is studied in each subject at primary school.


Compulsory national curriculum subjects at primary school are:

  • English
  • maths
  • science
  • design and technology
  • history
  • geography
  • art and design
  • music
  • physical education (PE), including swimming
  • computing
  • ancient and modern foreign languages (at key stage 2)


Schools must provide religious education (RE) but parents can ask for their children to be taken out of the whole lesson or part of it.

Schools often also teach:

  • personal, social, health & economic education (PSHE)
  • citizenship
  • foreign languages (at key stage 2)


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. If your child does not meet the standard expected in Year 1, they will repeat the check again in Year 2.


Key stage 1

Key stage 1 tests cover:

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

Your child will take the tests in May. You can ask the school for the test results.

You will be sent the results of your child’s teacher assessments automatically.


Key stage 2

Your child will take national tests in May when they reach the end of key stage 2. These test your child’s skills in:

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

The tests last less than 4 hours. You will receive the results in July.

The school will send you the results of your child’s tests and teacher assessments.