Unlocking the imaginations of the young and young at heart

National Curriculum

Throughout the United Kingdom there are 5 stages of education. These are:

• Early Years

• Primary Education

• Secondary Education

• Further Education

• Higher Education A

ll children are required to attend between the ages of 5 and 16 (4 to 16 in Northern Ireland). It is not necessary to attend school for this full time education and an increasing number of parents are choosing to education their children at home. Schools are generally split into Primary and Secondary schools.

In England you must stay in some form of education or training until your 18th birthday if you were born on or after 1 September 1997.

The options available are:

• Full-time education – e.g. at a school or college

• An apprenticeship or traineeship

• Part-time education or training - as well as being employed, self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week

Further Education (FE) is not a compulsory requirement. FE is generally taken at further education colleges and Higher Education Institutions.

Higher Education is education beyond A-Levels or BTECs and is generally undertaken at Universities or colleges.

The National Curriculum was established in 1998 to standardise the content framework for education in England and Wales. This was initially focused on the ages from 5 to 18 years. In England, the Education Act 2002 increased the range of the National Curriculum to include education from the age of 3 until the end of reception when children are 5 years of age. It ensures that teaching standards are universally consistent and every child is given the opportunity to gain the same knowledge and skills.

The main aims and purposes of the National Curriculum are:

• Aim: The school curriculum should aim to provide opportunities for all pupils to learn and to achieve.

• Aim: The school curriculum should aim to promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.

• Purpose: To establish an entitlement

• Purpose: To establish standards

• Purpose: To promote continuity and coherence

• Purpose: To promote public understanding