Key Stage One- The Facts

What is key stage one?

When your child starts school, you will often hear the various stages of learning referred to as ‘key stages’. There are currently four key stages that your child will progress through between the start and end of their school experience. This guide aims to clarify Key Stage One. The way children learn changes constantly, the government regularly changes the way children are taught and how their learning is assessed.

By dividing learning into these stages and we are able to see how children are progressing at various stages of their education. These stages are often measure through national curriculum tests that children will sit at certain key stages. These are subject to change, in line with government requirements and attainment targets.

Currently, key stage one covers the age of five to seven while in primary school education, usually years one and two. The stages are designed to with the aim that children will have achieved a particular set of knowledge and skills. This keeps in mind that not all children will learn at a similar pace, some will advance faster than others who may need a little more time to adjust to their educational environment, with or without additional support.

Teachers, schools and the government are able to monitor the progress of children through analysis of the learning achievements children make at the various stages. This means that those children who may need additional help are identified early and support is put in place to help the child and family work through any difficulties as they arise. Children get a sense of achievement as they advance through each stage. Parents can also use the key stages to understand their child’s education and where they believe their child is succeeding or where they may require additional support.

What tests will my child sit?

Schools will usually set a series of tests for children to do towards the end of each key stage. This allows the school to accurately assess what each child has learnt during a particular key stage. Their performance will be noted and this will be used as a benchmark against which future performance will be measured.

Subjects: what will my child learn in Key Stage one?

Compulsory subjects include:

✔ Maths

✔ English

✔ Geography

✔ Science

✔ History

✔ Design and technology

✔ Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

✔ Physical education

✔ Art and design

✔ Music

Currently, children undertaking Key Stage one, will be assessed according to eight different competency levels. Once your child has been assessed by the school and their performance has been scored through a series of tests and tasks, you will be sent a report by the school which will state the level your child is currently working at. This will help to highlight any areas for further development or where additional, more specialised support may be required. Some common issues are reading, dyslexia, trouble with colours and numbers and communication skills. Help will be offered where needed and the school will work in partnership with parents to address any issues that have been identified during the assessment.

When a school assesses a seven year old child, they will be considering:

• Writing skills

• Reading ability

• Maths

• Science skills

• Communication skills: speaking and listening

Set tasks will involve typically less than three hours of work based assessment and will usually include reading, maths ad writing. Teachers will be looking at your child’s level of spelling and handwriting when considering their writing skills.

In addition to achieving good grades at school, it is equally as important that as parents, you praise and offer positive encouragement through your child’s various stages of learning. Try to encourage your child’s interest by getting involved in their homework, discussing their work at school and offering supportive assistance if they need it.

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