The UK Curriculum – What it looks like

Brain Based Learning – Improving Executive Function in Kindergarten Children
January 30, 2018
British Curriculum – IGCSE at Kingsgate International School
February 13, 2018
Show all

Structure of UK Curriculum

The structure of the national UK curriculum, in terms of which subjects are compulsory at each key stage, is set out in the table below:

Figure 1 – Structure of the national curriculum

Key stage 1 Key stage 2 Key stage 3 Key stage 4
AGE 5 – 7 7 – 11 11 – 14 14 – 16
YEAR GROUPS 1 – 2 3 – 6 7 – 9 10 – 11
CORE SUBJECTS
English
Mathematics
Science
FOUNDATION SUBJECTS
Art and design
Citizenship
Computing
Design and technology
Languages
Geography
History
Music
Physical education

*AS and A Levels(aged 16-19)

After Key Stage 4 students have the option to complete advanced studies. The syllabuses prepare learners for university study, which is why universities worldwide value and recognise Cambridge International AS & A Level qualifications.

The Detail

Early Years Curriculum (Age 3-5)

Your child will mostly be taught through games and play.

The areas of learning are:
– Communication and Language
– Physical Development
– Personal, Social and Emotional Development
– Literacy
– Mathematics
– Understanding the World
– Expressive Arts and Design

Key Stage 1 and 2 (Age 5-11)

Compulsory national curriculum subjects at primary school are:
– English
– Maths
– Science
– Design and Technology
– History
– Geography
– Art and Design
– Music
– Physical Education (PE), including swimming
– Computing
– Ancient and Modern Foreign Languages (at key stage 2)

Schools often also teach:
– Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
– Citizenship
– Modern Foreign Languages (at key stage 1)

Key stage 3 (Age 11-14)

Compulsory national curriculum subjects are:
– English
– Maths
– Science
– History
– Geography
– Modern Foreign Languages
– Design and Technology
– Art and Design
– Music
– Physical Education
– Citizenship
– Computing

Key stage 4 (Age 14-16)

During key stage 4 most pupils work towards national qualifications – usually GCSEs.
The compulsory national curriculum subjects are the ‘core’ and ‘foundation’ subjects.

Core subjects are:
– English
– Maths
– Science

Foundation subjects are:
– Computing
– Physical Education
– Citizenship

Schools must also offer at least one subject from each of these areas:
– Arts
– Design and Technology
– Humanities
– Modern Foreign Languages

AS and A Levels (Age 16-19)

Cambridge International AS & A Level develops learners’ knowledge, understanding and skills in:

In-depth subject content
Independent thinking
Applying knowledge and understanding to new as well as familiar situations
Handling and evaluating different types of information source
Thinking logically and presenting ordered and coherent arguments
Making judgements, recommendations and decisions
Presenting reasoned explanations, understanding implications and communicating them logically and clearly
Working and communicating in English.
Schools can offer a choice of 55 different subjects and schools can offer them in almost any combination. This flexibility means schools can build an individualised curriculum, and learners can choose to specialise in a particular subject area or study a range of subjects.

Cambridge International A Level is typically a two-year course, and Cambridge International AS Level is typically one year. Some subjects can be started as a Cambridge International AS Level and extended to a Cambridge International A Level.

Tests and Assessments

Year 1 phonics screening check

The check will take place in June when your child will read 40 words out loud to a teacher. You’ll find out how your child did, and their teacher will assess whether he or she needs extra help with reading. If your child doesn’t do well enough in the check they’ll have to do it again in Year 2.

Key stage 1 (Age 5-7)

Key stage 1 tests cover:
– English Reading
– English (grammar, punctuation and spelling)
– Maths

Your child will take the tests in May. You can ask the school for the test results.
You’ll be sent the results of your child’s teacher assessments automatically.

Key stage 2 (Age 7-11)

Your child will take national tests in May when they reach the end of key stage 2. These test your child’s skills in:
– English Reading
– English (grammar, punctuation and spelling)
– Maths

The tests last less than 4 hours. You’ll get the results in July.
The school will send you the results of your child’s tests and teacher assessments.

Stage 3 and 4 (Age 11-16) IGCSE

Cambridge IGCSE assessment takes place at the end of the course and can include written, oral, coursework and practical assessment. This broadens opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning, particularly when their first language is not English. In many subjects there is a choice between core and extended curricula, making Cambridge IGCSE suitable for a wide range of abilities.

Grades are benchmarked using eight internationally recognised grades, A* to G, which have clear guidelines to explain the standard of achievement for each grade.

Cambridge IGCSE examination sessions occur twice a year, in June and November. Results are issued in August and January.

AS and A levels (Age 16-19)

Students can choose from a range of assessment options to gain Cambridge International AS & A Level qualifications:

Take the Cambridge International AS Level only. The syllabus content is half a Cambridge International A Level.
Take a ‘staged’ assessment route – take the Cambridge International AS Level in one examination series and complete the final Cambridge International A Level at a subsequent series.
Take all papers of the Cambridge International A Level course in the same examination session, usually at the end of the course.
We hold Cambridge International AS & A Level examination series twice a year, in June and November. Results are issued in August and January.