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National curriculum

The national curriculum is a framework of subjects and standards used by primary and secondary schools. All children aged five to 16 follow the national curriculum (all children under six follow the early years foundation stage which is now part of the national curriculum).

The curriculum sets out the knowledge and skills that every child has a right to learn and makes sure everyone is taught the same things. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject and how they should be assessed.

Academies, private schools and free schools don't have to follow the national curriculum but they must teach a balanced curriculum including:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Religious education

Visit GOV.UK for more information on Key stage 1 and 2, Key stage 3 and 4 and other compulsory subjects.