Key Stage 2 is part of the national curriculum for the four years of schooling from Year 3 to Year 6 when children are aged between 7 and 11. The National Curriculum is generally followed in England and Whales.

The National Curriculum is classified into four Key Stages based on a students’ age:

  • Key Stage 1 ( age between 5 and 7)
  • Key Stage 2 (age between 7 and 11)
  • Key Stage 3 (age between 11 and 14)
  • Key Stage 4 ( age between 14 and 16)

The National Curriculum is formulated to ensure equal standards of teaching across England and Whales. Only the state-funded schools and local authority schools are exempted from following the National curriculum.

The National Curriculum sets the topics, syllabus, and subjects to be taught and assesses, tests, and what level the student should achieve.

The compulsory subjects to be taught in Key Stage 2 are:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Design and technology
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art and design
  • Music
  • Physical Education (including swimming)
  • Computing and languages

The schools often teach Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) and citizenship.

The schools must also provide Religious education. However, the parents can choose to exclude their children from these lessons( partially or completely).

At the end of each Key Stage the children’s skills, abilities are tested. These tests encompass four subjects:

  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • English reading (reading and understanding text)
  • Mathematics (arithmetic and reasoning)
  • Science (biology, chemistry and physics)

Their performance in this test is measured by the level set by the National Curriculum.

The National Curriculum tests are taken at the end of KS2, which is also known as SATs (standard attainment tests).

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What is the 11+ Exam?

The Eleven-Plus (11-plus or 11+ or 11plus) is an examination administered to primary school children in England and Northern Ireland, which governs admission to various types of secondary school. The name derives from the age group for secondary entry: 11–12 years. Most children will only be 10 years old when they take the test.

The children at the age of 11, who completed KS2, will have to take this test. This test is not a part of the National curriculum. This test helps the students to know which secondary school to attend after KS2.

The examination tests a student’s ability to solve problems using English, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Verbal reasoning and Mathematics. The intention was that it should be a general test for intelligence.

The content of the 11+ exam varies between different areas of the country, but generally, it will focus on a combination of the following four subjects:

Check out our article on “What is the 11+ Exam?to know more about it:

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ISEB – Independent Schools Examinations Board

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