The nationalcurriculum inEnglandKey stages 3 and 4 framework documentDecember 2014

Contents1.Introduction32.The school curriculum in England43.The national curriculum in England54.Inclusion85.Numeracy and mathematics96.Language and literacy107.Programmes of study and attainment targets12English13Key stage 315Key stage 418Glossary for the programmes of study for English (non-statutory)21Mathematics40Key stage 342Key stage 448Science56Key stage 358Key stage 468Art and design80Citizenship82Computing85Design and 1Physical education1032

1. Introduction1. Introduction1.1This document sets out the framework for the national curriculum at key stages 3 and4 and includes: contextual information about both the overall school curriculum and the statutorynational curriculum, including the statutory basis of the latter aims for the statutory national curriculum statements on inclusion, and on the development of pupils’ competence innumeracy and mathematics, language and literacy across the school curriculum programmes of study key stages 3 and 4 for all the national curriculum subjects,other than for key stage 4 science, which will follow.3

2. The school curriculum in England1. Introduction2. The school curriculum in England2.1Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadlybased1 and which: promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupilsat the school and of society, and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities andexperiences of later life.2.2The school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences that each schoolplans for its pupils. The national curriculum forms one part of the school curriculum.2.3All state schools are also required to make provision for a daily act of collectiveworship and must teach religious education to pupils at every key stage and sex andrelationship education to pupils in secondary education.2.4Maintained schools in England are legally required to follow the statutory nationalcurriculum which sets out in programmes of study, on the basis of key stages, subjectcontent for those subjects that should be taught to all pupils. All schools must publishtheir school curriculum by subject and academic year online.22.5All schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economiceducation (PSHE), drawing on good practice. Schools are also free to include othersubjects or topics of their choice in planning and designing their own programme ofeducation.12See Section 78 of the 2002 Education Act: n/78 whichapplies to all maintained schools. Academies are also required to offer a broad and balanced curriculum inaccordance with Section 1 of the 2010 Academies ction/1From September 2012, all schools are required to publish information in relation to each academic year,relating to the content of the school’s curriculum for each subject and details about how additionalinformation relating to the curriculum may be obtained:

3. The national curriculum in England3. The national curriculum inEnglandAims3.1The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essentialknowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best thathas been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human creativityand achievement.3.2The national curriculum is just one element in the education of every child. There istime and space in the school day and in each week, term and year to range beyondthe national curriculum specifications. The national curriculum provides an outline ofcore knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessonsto promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part ofthe wider school curriculum.Structure3.3Pupils of compulsory school age in community and foundation schools, includingcommunity special schools and foundation special schools, and in voluntary aidedand voluntary controlled schools, must follow the national curriculum. It is organisedon the basis of four key stages and twelve subjects, classified in legal terms as ‘core’and ‘other foundation’ subjects.3.4The Secretary of State for Education is required to publish programmes of study foreach national curriculum subject, setting out the ‘matters, skills and processes’ to betaught at each key stage. Schools are free to choose how they organise their schoolday, as long as the content of the national curriculum programmes of study is taughtto all pupils.5

3. The national curriculum in England3.53. The national curriculum in EnglandThe structure of the national curriculum, in terms of which subjects are compulsory ateach key stage, is set out in the table below:Figure 1 – Structure of the national curriculumKey stage 1Key stage 2Key stage 3Key stage 4Age5–77 – 1111 – 1414 – 16Year groups1–23–67–910 – 11English Mathematics Science Core subjectsFoundation subjectsArt and designCitizenshipComputingDesign and technologyLanguages 3Geography History Music Physical education 3.6 All schools are also required to teach religious education at all key stages.Secondary schools must provide sex and relationship education.Figure 2 – Statutory teaching of religious education and sex and relationship educationKey stage 1Key stage 2Key stage 3Key stage 4Age5–77 – 1111 – 1414 – 16Year groups1–2 3–6 7–9 10 – 11 Religious educationSex and relationshipeducation3At key stage 2 the subject title is ‘foreign language’; at key stage 3 it is ‘modern foreign language’.6

3. The national curriculum in EnglandKey stage 4 entitlement areas3.7The arts (comprising art and design, music, dance, drama and media arts), designand technology, the humanities (comprising geography and history) and modernforeign language are not compulsory national curriculum subjects after the age of 14,but all pupils in maintained schools have a statutory entitlement to be able to study asubject in each of those four areas.3.8The statutory requirements in relation to the entitlement areas are: schools must provide access to a minimum of one course in each of the fourentitlement areas schools must provide the opportunity for pupils to take a course in all four areas,should they wish to do so a course that meets the entitlement requirements must give pupils the opportunityto obtain an approved qualification.7

3. The national curriculum in England4. InclusionSetting suitable challenges4.1Teachers should set high expectations for every pupil. They should plan stretchingwork for pupils whose attainment is significantly above the expected standard. Theyhave an even greater obligation to plan lessons for pupils who have low levels ofprior attainment or come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Teachers should useappropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious.Responding to pupils’ needs and overcoming potentialbarriers for individuals and groups of pupils4.2Teachers should take account of their duties under equal opportunities legislationthat covers race, disability, sex, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy andmaternity, and gender reassignment.44.3A wide range of pupils have special educational needs, many of whom also havedisabilities. Lessons should be planned to ensure that there are no barriers to everypupil achieving. In many cases, such planning will mean that these pupils will be ableto study the full national curriculum. The SEN Code of Practice includes advice onapproaches to identification of need which can support this. A minority of pupils willneed access to specialist equipment and different approaches. The SEN Code ofPractice outlines what needs to be done for them.4.4With the right teaching, that recognises their individual needs, many disabled pupilsmay have little need for additional resources beyond the aids which they use as partof their daily life. Teachers must plan lessons so that these pupils can study everynational curriculum subject. Potential areas of difficulty should be identified andaddressed at the outset of work.4.5Teachers must also take account of the needs of pupils whose first language is notEnglish. Monitoring of progress should take account of the pupil’s age, length of timein this country, previous educational experience and ability in other languages.4.6The ability of pupils for whom English is an additional language to take part in thenational curriculum may be in advance of their communication skills in English.Teachers should plan teaching opportunities to help pupils develop their English andshould aim to provide the support pupils need to take part in all subjects.4Age is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 but it is not applicable to schools in relationto education or (as far as relating to those under the age of 18) the provision of services; it is a relevantprotected characteristic in relation to the provision of services or employment (so when thinking aboutstaff). Marriage and civil partnership are also a protected characteristic but only in relation to employment.8

5. Numeracy and mathematics5. Numeracy and mathematics5.1Teachers should use every relevant subject to develop pupils’ mathematical fluency.Confidence in numeracy and other mathematical skills is a precondition of successacross the national curriculum.5.2Teachers should develop pupils’ numeracy and mathematical reasoning in allsubjects so that they understand and appreciate the importance of mathematics.Pupils should be taught to apply arithmetic fluently to problems, understand and usemeasures, make estimates and sense check their work. Pupils should apply theirgeometric and algebraic understanding, and relate their understanding of probabilityto the notions of risk and uncertainty. They should also understand the cycle ofcollecting, presenting and analysing data. They should be taught to apply theirmathematics to both routine and non-routine problems, including breaking downmore complex problems into a series of simpler steps.9

6. Language and literacy6.1Teachers should develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabularyas integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in itsown right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the languageprovides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is anessential foundation for success in all subjects.Spoken language6.2Pupils should be taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using StandardEnglish. They should learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to checkunderstanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate andbuild on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effectivecommunication. They should be taught to give well-structured descriptions andexplanations and develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising andexploring ideas. This will enable them to clarify their thinking as well as organisetheir ideas for writing.Reading and writing6.3Teachers should develop pupils’ reading and writing in all subjects to support theiracquisition of knowledge. Pupils should be taught to read fluently, understandextended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) and be encouraged to read for pleasure.Schools should do everything to promote wider reading. They should provide libraryfacilities and set ambitious expectations for reading at home. Pupils should developthe stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation. Theyshould be taught the correct use of grammar. They should build on what they havebeen taught to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar theyuse. The writing they do should include narratives, explanations, descriptions,comparisons, summaries and evaluations: such writing supports them in rehearsing,understanding and consolidating what they have heard or read.100

6. Language and literacyVocabulary development6.4Pupils’ acquisition and command of vocabulary are key to their learning and progressacross the whole curriculum. Teachers should therefore develop vocabulary actively,building systematically on pupils’ current knowledge. They should increase pupils’store of words in general; simultaneously, they should also make links betweenknown and new vocabulary and discuss the shades of meaning in similar words. Inthis way, pupils expand the vocabulary choices that are available to them when theywrite. In addition, it is vital for pupils’ comprehension that they understand themeanings of words they meet in their reading across all subjects, and older pupilsshould be taught the meaning of instruction verbs that they may meet in examinationquestions. It is particularly important to induct pupils into the language which defineseach subject in its own right, such as accurate mathematical and scientific language.11

English7. Programmes of study andattainment targets7.1The following pages set out the statutory programmes of study and attainmenttargets for key stages 3 and 4 for all subjects, except for science at key stage 4.Schools are not required by law to teach the example content in [square brackets] orthe content indicated as being ‘non-statutory’.12

EnglishEnglishPurpose of studyEnglish has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education inEnglish will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate theirideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others cancommunicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to developculturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature,