School curriculum and exams
Our curriculum guide lets you know what stage of education your child will be at according to their age, as well as what exams they may be taking.
Age School year Stage of curriculum Exams 4-5 Reception Early years Foundation Stage 5-6 Year 1 Key stage 1 6-7 Year 2 Key stage 1 KS1 Sats More >>
Age School year Stage of curriculum Exams 4-5 Reception Foundation Phase 5-6 Year 1 Foundation Phase 6-7 Year 2 Foundation Phase More >>
Age School year Stage of curriculum Exams 4-5 Year 1 Foundation Phase 5-6 Year 2 Foundation Phase 6-7 Year 3 Key stage 1 More >>
Age School year Stage of curriculum Exams 4-5 P1 Early level 5-6 P2 First level 6-7 P3 First level More >>
It's not only the type of qualification you need to think about; the subjects you opt to study at 14+ can have far reaching consequences on A level and beyond. Careers and university options may seem like distant dreams, but it's important you check out advanced course requirements now to ensure that your options will enable to you take the courses you want at A level and university.
What you study post-16 is likely to shape a huge chunk of your future. If you are considering university study or apprenticeships at 18, make sure you scrutinise course requirements before choosing your advanced level study courses. It's important to think about the type of examination you opt for - A level, Highers, Pre U, IB etc.
Progress 8 aims to capture the progress a pupil makes from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school. It is a type of value added measure. Attainment 8 measures the achievement of a pupil across 8 qualifications.
Sats (Standard Assessment Tests) measure children’s educational achievement in years 2 and 6, with the ultimate aim of holding schools to account for the attainment of their pupils and the progress they make.
Common entrance (usually shortened to CE) is the name of the examination taken for entrance into some senior independent schools at age 11 (usually girls) or 13 (boys and girls).The 11+ CE examination is used mostly by girls’ boarding schools it consists of papers in English, maths and science. The 13+ examination covers eight core subjects at a higher level.
The 11+ is the entrance exam procedure for getting your brightish little button into a fee-paying or state grammar school. Much of the country abolished the 11+ several decades ago for state schools, but a few local authorities, such as Bucks and Kent, retained a large number of grammar schools and run county-wide entrance tests. In some other areas, such as Barnet and Kingston, a few grammar schools exist in tandem with the comprehensive system found in most of the country. These grammar schools set their own entrance exams.
An EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) is a sixth-form qualification that involves students choosing a topic, carrying out research, creating a report (or ‘product’ and report) and delivering a presentation.
For many A level students and their parents, Oxbridge is the sine qua non of a university education - a golden ticket to fame and fortune. But Oxbridge is certainly not for everyone, even some of the brightest, and certainly doesn’t guarantee riches, or even a job. Critics say that Oxford and Cambridge are too focused on academic ability.
If you thought it was difficult choosing GCSE subjects, there is added pressure at A level, IB or their equivalent. Whittling down GCSE choices from eight or more subjects can be tricky. If your school only offers A level and you prefer the breadth of IB, depth of Pre U or vocational orientation of BTec qualifications and the like, you may need to consider changing schools at 16.