All About Key Stage 1

Stages of learning throughout school are split into Key Stages. Here we explore what Key Stage One is.

Key Stage One covers the time when your child is aged five to seven years old and is in their first few years of primary school education (Year 1 and Year 2). The idea is that at the end of each Key Stage, children will have gained a particular set of knowledge, certain skills and have a basic understanding of key subjects. Not all children learn at the same pace as others or make the same progress and any educational needs are taken into consideration.

The Key Stages are useful for teachers and schools, as it allows them to monitor the progress of children and assess any areas where they may need extra help. For children, they can gain a sense of achievement as they progress and reach each stage, which helps keep them motivated. Parents too find the stages useful, as it helps them understand at what point in their learning and education their children are.

The stages are also useful from a government point of view too, as it helps them keep in touch with how children across the country are learning and progressing with their education. This is especially so with subjects such as English and maths, which children take National Curriculum tests for at the age of seven.

What Subjects Are Taught In Key Stage 1?

Children are taught a variety of subjects in Key Stage 1 (and the same in Key Stage 2). Those that are compulsory are:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • Design and technology
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Art and design
  • Physical education
  • Music

Key Stage 1 Tests And Tasks

It’s normal for teachers to set a series of tests and tasks for children to do at the end of each key stage. This acts as a way for teachers to properly assess what each child has learnt, so they can keep a note of their performance and subsequently measure their progress.

In Key Stage 1 (and also in stages 2 and 3) a child’s progress in many of the National Curriculum subjects is assessed according to eight different levels. At the end of each stage, when your child has been assessed by their teacher and their performance rated in a series of tasks and tests, you’ll be sent a report from the school highlighting which level your child is currently working at.

When teachers assess seven year olds, they’ll be looking at their:

  • Reading ability
  • Writing ability
  • Their ability to speak and listen
  • Maths skills
  • Science skills

The tasks and tests involve less than three hours of work and will involve reading, writing and maths. The writing test will include coverage of spelling and handwriting ability.

As well as going to school, children’s self-esteem and confidence in their learning is boosted through receiving support and praise from mum and dad, too. So do try and take an interest in everything your children do at school and the subjects they’re learning (talking about them after school is a good idea) and remember to praise and congratulate them when they do well or crack a tricky subject.