From 0 to 5 years old, the child follows the statutory framework called Early Years Foundation Stage. This framework consists mostly of standards and procedures to make sure all children can develop in a safe and healthy environment, preparing them to school and to further learning. At age 4-5, the child goes to the Reception class. If they are 4, it means they are still under the EYFS framework; when they turn 5 it means the national curriculum applies. After the Reception class, the national curriculum is organised in blocks of years, called key stages.
There are four key stages and the student should be 15-16 years old in the last key stage. After that, they may choose to take GCSE’s or other national qualification. At the age 16-17, they may start the Sixth Form, which will be completed when they turn 17-18. The student then can take A-levels, which lead to university. According to the Department for Education website, the statutory curriculum consists of: the national curriculum (ages 5-16), religious education (ages 5-18) and sex education (ages 11-18).
The parents can withdraw the child from the religion education classes and/ or from the sex education classes at any age. At age 18, the students can decide by themselves. There are statutory subjects for each block of years, as follows: Key stages 1 and 2 – art and design, design and technology, English, geography, history, information and communication technology, mathematics, music, physical education and science.
Key stage 3 – art and design, citizenship, design and technology, English, geography, history, information and communication technology, mathematics, modern foreign languages, music, physical education and science, and the teaching of careers education. Key stage 4 – Core (mathematics, English and science), Foundation (information and communication technology, physical education and citizenship) and one or more course within the followed entitlement areas: arts (art & design, music, dance, drama, media arts), design & technology, humanities (geography, history) and/or modern foreign language.