The national curriculum applies to learners of compulsory school age in maintained schools. It is organised on the basis of three key stages:
- Key Stage 2 – 7 to 11-year-olds
- Key Stage 3 – 11 to 14-year-olds
- Key Stage 4 – 14 to 16-year-olds.
For each subject, in each of the key stages, programmes of study set out what learners should be taught and, for Key Stages 2 and 3, attainment targets set out the expected standards of learners’ performance.