National curriculum

A classroom

The National Curriculum currently details what is to be taught to children between the ages of five and sixteen in maintained schools. Nursery schools and schools with pupils under five years old must follow the Foundation Stage curriculum, for more information visit Early Years Foundation and Key Stages 1-3|External link .

In Key Stage 1 (5-7 years) and Key Stage 2 (7-11 years), the National Curriculum is followed. The subjects are:

The National Curriculum has been reinforced in recent years by the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies which have focused on improving children's skills in English and maths.

Religious Education

In addition to the National Curriculum, the teaching of Religious Education (RE) is a legal requirement. In Calderdale, SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education) is involved in ensuring that high quality RE takes place in Calderdale schools. The latest report below provides an overview of work already done, and what future work is intended to further develop RE.

SACRE also have a page on the Services for School website. This has useful documentation on the teaching of RE, including the agreed syllabus for all age groups, advisory brochures, SACRE meeting minutes, and useful web links.

Key Stage 3 and 4

The National Curriculum continues in Key Stage 3 (11-14 years) where it is reinforced by the Secondary Strategy, which focuses on improving teaching and learning across all subjects.

In Key Stage 4 (14-16 years) pupils must study English, mathematics, science, ICT, PE, RE and work-related learning. Schools offer different choices to pupils for the rest of the curriculum - these choices will be influenced to some extent by the school's individual specialisms. For example a school with a modern foreign language specialism is likely to offer a wider choice of languages at Key Stage 4 and will probably expect all pupils to study at least one language.

Pupils are entered for a variety of qualifications including General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), Applied GCSE and other vocational qualifications.

After the age of 16, pupils can be educated in the Sixth Form of a school, in a Sixth Form College, in a College of Further Education, in work-based learning or in a combination of these. Pupils have the choice not to follow any of these, but participation in education post-16 is high.

For further information, contact:

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Last Updated: 17/10/2013