Compulsory Education in UK

Compulsory education in the United Kingdom comprises of four key stages, namely Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, and Key Stage 4.

In Key Stage 1, your child is in primary school, and they’re introduced to basic knowledge subjects, such as the English language, physical education, music, mathematics, and history. At this stage, your kid is five to seven years old. The children undergo phonic screening to assess their ability to decode and understand phonics. Assessment in phonetics involves speaking loudly to the teacher a list of 40 words. At the end of this stage, your kid sits for English, maths, and science examinations to assess their development.

Children between seven and 11 years are in Key Stage 2, where the curriculum is developed to improve their knowledge in core subjects, which include mathematics, science, English reading, and English grammar, punctuation and spelling. Your kid must be tested in these subjects (English and mathematics are done under a national assessment) at the end of stage 2.

From 11 to 14 years, your child is in the third stage of compulsory education. The subjects taught in this stage include English, mathematics, science, geography, and history. The pupil also learns physical education, music, art and design, modern foreign languages, computing, and design and technology. Towards the end of this stage, your child takes national qualifications, such as GCSEs.

Your child is in the final stage of compulsory education at the age of 14 to 16. The curriculum in Key Stage 4 includes both core subjects (English, mathematics, science) and foundation subjects, including citizenship, computing, and physical education. All schools are also required to offer any of the following subjects during this stage:

  • Humanities
  • Arts
  • Modern foreign languages
  • Design and technology

At the end of this stage, your child must sit for GCSEs or other national examinations.