Key Stage 3 Overview

At Key Stage 3 (post-primary Years 8, 9 and 10), the curriculum builds on the learning experiences that pupils bring from primary school. Pupils now attend classes in different subjects, and teachers typically teach specific subjects to pupils across the different Years.

At this stage, the statutory curriculum is set out in eight Areas of Learning and Whole Curriculum Skills and Capabilities. Religious Education is also a compulsory part of the curriculum. However, parents can withdraw their child from part or all of Religious Education or collective worship.

Teachers continue to have some flexibility in what they teach. Key Stage 3 pupils should have opportunities to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in all Areas of Learning. Teachers must make sure that pupils are learning in the context of the key elements that underpin the curriculum objectives. These elements, which are outlined in the statutory requirements, include personal health, ethical awareness and employability.

Pupils’ experiences in Key Stage 3 should build on their learning from Key Stage 2 and prepare the foundations for subject choices at Key Stage 4.

The Big Picture of the Curriculum at Key Stage 3