National Curriculum Key Stages

The National Curriculum provides a framework for your child's learning throughout their education up to the age of 16.
This framework sets out Key Stages that identify a child's abilities and skills, and sets Attainment Levels that describe what a child at each Key Stage will be achieving.

Attainment Levels

Key Stages are accompanied by eight levels of attainment 1 being the lowest and 8 highest, with each level subdivided a-c to allow a greater level of performance monitoring and progression.

The Attainment Levels are continuously assessed by your child's teacher, feedback will be given about your child's performance in school reports and at Parent Teacher evenings.
At the end of Key Stages 1,2 and 3 (ages 7,11 and 14) your child will be formally assessed in SATs (Standard Attainment Tests) which provide a national standard that all children are assessed against.

Key Stage 4 is assessed by GCSE's or GNVQ's and is the final stage for your child in compulsory education.


GCSE subjects include a mix of compulsory (English, Maths, Science, ICT, Physical education, Citizenship, Religious Education) and voluntary subjects with grades awarded from A* to G, and most are tiered ensuring that your child is entered into an exam at the most appropriate level determined by their teacher.
Most students will also take additional voluntary subjects often including a foreign language and a creative subject such as art, or design and technology. (other subjects include; history, geography, art, music, business studies and health and social care)


GNVQs provide a work based approach to learning and are available for a variety of subjects such as leisure and tourism and health and social care.

The vocational qualifications usually provide time in the workplace and are equivalent to GCSEs at the following levels:
One Foundation Level GNVQ is equivalent to two GCSEs at grades D to G.
One Intermediate Level GNVQ is equivalent to two GCSEs at grades A* to C.

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