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Curriculum Overview

The National Curriculum

A ‘curriculum’ is a list of content to be taught and learnt – a course of study for schools, colleges and universities. From September 2014, schools in England follow a new National Curriculum - a course of study decided by the Department for Education.


Structure of the National Curriculum

At St Mary’s RC Primary school, there are three phases in total:

  • Early Years: ages 4-5 (Reception); the National Curriculum does not cover this phase. For details of the Early Years Foundation Stage’s seven areas of learning and the 17 early learning goals, (see document below)
  • Key Stage 1: ages 5-7 (Years 1-2)
  • Key Stage 2: ages 7-11 (Years 3-6)

For Key Stages 1 and 2, there are three core subjects:

  • English (spoken language, reading, writing, including grammar and punctuation)
  • Mathematics (including number and place value, calculations, fractions, measurements, geometry)
  • Science (including ‘working scientifically’)

In addition, there are foundation subjects; for Key Stages 1 and 2, these are:

  • art and design
  • computing
  • design and technology (DT)
  • geography
  • history
  • music
  • physical education (PE)


A language is also a foundation subject in Key Stage 2 – however we’ve been teaching French to all our children in class 3 to class 5 for four years now.

To view the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for each subject ( and your child’s year group) click here https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum