Key Stages 1 & 2 Overview

Key Stage 1 (primary school Years 3 and 4) builds on Foundation Stage experiences, and Key Stage 2 (primary school Years 5, 6 and 7) builds on Key Stage 1 experiences. As children progress through these stages, they move from informal to more formal learning.

As at Foundation Stage, the statutory curriculum at Key Stages 1 and 2 is set out in six 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.

Children develop their knowledge and skills through worthwhile, challenging, relevant and enjoyable learning experiences as they progress from Key Stage 1 into Key Stage 2. Children learn through process-based learning, which emphasises how they are developing knowledge, skills and capabilities at the same time.

At these stages, teachers teach the full range of Areas of Learning, making connections across topics and themes tailored for their pupils. The curriculum at Key Stages 1 and 2 is broad and balanced. Teachers have some flexibility in what they teach to help prepare their pupils to adapt and succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Pupils’ experiences in Key Stage 1 should build on their learning from Foundation Stage. Their experiences in Key Stage 2 should build on their learning from Key Stage 1 and prepare the foundations for Key Stage 3.

The Big Picture of the Primary Curriculum