Introduced in 1988, the National Curriculum works with state schools to inform them of what must be taught to pupils up to the age of 16. Subjects are split into two categories - Core and Foundation. The Core subjects consist of English, Mathematics and Science, and all other subjects can be found under the 'foundation' umbrella (Geography, History, Religious Education (R.E.), Physical Education (P.E.), Music, Art, Information Technology (I.T), Design and Technology (D&T) , Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) and Citizenship).
During their time in education, pupils take SAT's (Standard Attainment Tests) to formally test their ability at the ages of 7, 11 and 14 years old. When in year 11, pupils take their GCSE's in a range of Core and Foundation subjects and then during an optional year 12 and 13, students can choose to take AS and A2 exams (Advanced Subsidary and Advanced2) which enable them to get accepted to their chosen University.
|Key Stage||Years||Age Range|
|Key Stage 1, Reception||1&2||4-7|
|Key Stage 2||3,4, 5 & 6||8 - 11|
|Key Stage 3||7, 8 & 9||12 -14|
|Key Stage 4||10 & 11||15 - 16|
|Key Stage 5||12 & 13||17 - 18
Ofsted inspectors enter schools on a varied basis to assess the standards of teaching of staff both individually and departmentally. They have a range of 'standards' that schools must perform to, and it is both this and the deliverance of the National Curriculum that these inspectors ensure.
General Teaching Council of England
English National Curriculum
Schemes of work and lesson plans