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National Curriculum

National Curriculum

National Curriculum

What is “Key Stages”?

In the UK, the National Curriculum is divided into four main Key Stages (1-4) that is compulsory for every child to go through in their school life. The unofficially named Key Stage 5 is given to students who attend sixth form or college. Targets and assessments are given at the end of each Key Stage to measure progress of each student.

The Five Key Stages

Key Stage

Educational level


School Year

Key Stage 1

Primary School

Ages 5 – 7

Years 1 and 2

Key Stage 2

Primary School

Ages 7 – 11

Years 3, 4, 5, 6

Key Stage 3

Secondary School

Ages 11 – 14

Years 7, 8 and 9

Key Stage 4

GCSE Level

Ages 14 – 16

Years 10 and 11

Key Stage 5

AS/A Level

Ages 16 – 18

Years 12 and 13

How will my child be taught?

For each Key Stage, programmes of study set out what teachers should cover in each subject.

Here at Ideal, we have ensured that all our subjects are comprehensively based on the National Curriculum. Our programmes will provide additional support to your child, where our classes will work in parallel to their schoolwork, making sure your child gets the most from their private tuition.

Aside from the national guidelines, we also have additional requirements that will apply to all standards.

  • Always providing a safe and encouraging environment for your child to prosper.
  • Tailoring each lesson (and homework given) at your child’s pace.
  • Always follow health and safety guidelines
  • Provide a teaching space that includes multiple perspectives from a variety of ethnic groups
Core Subjects support

All are subjects are based on the national curriculum. Whilst assessments can differ between Exam Boards, these would be the general topics taught to your child. Regardless of this, our tutors will always be happy to best support your child in any way they need it.

The following content provides a tuition overview for the core subjects (English, Maths and Science) that we will help your child become confident in.



KS1 & KS2

It is important during this time to introduce and consolidate basic numeracy skills and so your child(ren) should be confident in the following:

  • Counting and ordering
  • Number and place value
  • Addition, subtract, multiplication and division.
  • Timetables
  • Fractions and percentages
  • Measurement
  • Factors, Multiples and Primes#
  • Square and cube numbers
  • Weight and Mass
  • Area, Perimeter and Volume
  • Money
  • 2D and 3D Shapes
  • Analogue and Digital Time
  • Symmetry
  • Lines and Angles
  • Rounding and Estimating

KS3 & KS4

It is important that your child consolidate and refine basic numeracy skills but now they will learn more advanced Maths skills for their upcoming GCSEs Exam.

  • Positive and Negative Numbers
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Standard Index Form
  • Transformation and Measurement
  • Power and Roots
  • Operations
  • Geometry
  • Square and cube numbers
  • Co-ordinates
  • 2D and 3D shapes
  • Problem Solving
  • Algebra and Quadratic Equations
  • Symmetry
  • Lines and Angles
  • Expressions and Formulae
  • Patterns and Sequences
  • Pythagoras Theorem
  • Inequalities
  • Probability
  • Collecting, recording and representing data.


It is very important that your child masters their Maths skills and knowledge so that they can attain the grade requirements they need for their chosen university choices.

  • Mathematical argument, language and proof.
  • Mathematical problem solving
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Proof
  • Algebra and functions
  • Coordinate Geometry in the (x,y) plane
  • Trigonometry
  • Exponentials and logarithms
  • Differentiation
  •  Integration
  •  Numerical methods
  •  Vectors
  •  Statistical sampling
  •  Data presentation and interpretation
  •  Probability
  • Statistical distributions
  • Statistical hypothesis testing
  • Quantities and units in mechanics
  • Kinematics
  • Forces and newton’s laws
  • Moments


KS1 & KS2

It is important during this time to introduce and consolidate basic Literacy skills and so your child(ren) should be confident in the following:

  • Read easily and fluently.
  • Acquire and build a wide vocabulary.
  • Learn what adjectives, nouns, verbs and pronouns are.
  • Know what the difference is between Similes and Metaphors.
  • Learn and practise using prefixes and suffixes.
  • Practise and develop handwriting.
  • Understand when to use upper case and lower-case letters.
  • Being able to write your own story or poems.
  • Understanding of grammar and spelling.
  • Write clearly, accurately, and coherently adapting language for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  • Use discussion to clearly convey their understanding and ideas.

KS3 & KS4

It is important that your child consolidate and refine basic Literacy skills but now they will learn more advanced English skills for their upcoming GCSEs Exam.

  • Read and discuss English Literature: pre-1914 and contemporary, including prose, poetry and drama.
  • Read and analyse Shakespearean plays.
  •  Develop and practise essay writing skills.
  • Being confident to use a range of literacy devices.
  • Being able to read and write a variety of imaginative writing such as stories, scripts and poetry.
  • Develop debating skills and consider other viewpoints effectively.
  • Read and analyse a range of other texts, including arguments, and personal and formal letters.
  • Develop vocabulary and grammatical tools in their own writing and speech.
  • Understand differences between formal and informal English.


It is very important that your child masters their English skills and knowledge so that they can attain the grade requirements they need for chosen university choices.

  • Read and analyse a range of unseen texts.
  • Analyse the ways linguistic elements integrate in a text to create meaning.
  • Write analytically about the effects produced by a range of linguistic elements and literacy features.
  • Integrate individual analytical points into broader overall responses to texts.
  • Recognising and commenting on the overall style of a text, and exemplifying this through specific instances of language analysis
  • Using quotations and evidence, with judgement, to produce precise, meaningful commentaries
  • Using appropriate language to link quotations and evidence with explanatory comments
  • Integrating quotations and evidence into a cohesive argument


KS1 & KS2

Now, whilst are no national examinations for KS1 and KS2 Science, it is still content your child will learn and so they should be confident in the following: 

  • using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • gathering and recording data to help in answering questions
  • identify and describe a variety of common flowering plants, including trees
  • identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals
  • identify, name, draw and label the basic parts of the human body and say which part of the body is associated with each sense
  • identify and describe properties of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, plastic, glass, metal, water and rock
  • describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other
  • describe how animals obtain their food from plants and other animals, using the idea of a simple food chain, and identify and name different sources of food.
  • Understanding and explaining how forces work. 
  • Observing changes across the four seasons and looking at different types of weather.
  • Exploring Earth and space.
  • Understanding how electricity works

KS3 & KS4

It is important that your child learn and consolidate scientific skills for their upcoming GCSEs Exam. 


  • Plants and animal cells
  • Structure and functions of human skeleton
  • Content of human diet
  • Reproduction in humans and plants
  • the interdependence of organisms in an ecosystem
  • The variation between and within species; natural selection
  • Biodiversity


  • Different states of matter (solid, liquid and gas)
  • Atoms, elements and compounds
  • Conservation of mass changes of state and chemical reactions.  
  • Filtration, evaporation, distillation and chromatography
  • Representing chemical reactions using formulae and using equations
  • Combustion, thermal decomposition, oxidation and displacement reactions
  • Defining acids, alkalis and PH scales.
  • Exothermic and endothermic chemical reactions (qualitative).
  • The varying physical and chemical properties of different elements
  • The Periodic Table: periods and groups; metals and non-metals
  • The use of carbon in obtaining metals from metal oxides
  • The composition and structure of the Earth
  • The rock cycle and the formation of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks
  • The carbon cycle
  • The composition of the atmosphere
  • The production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate.


  • Understanding and comparing different forms of energy and energy resources
  • Motion and forces
  • Speed and the quantitative relationship between average speed, distance and time.
  • Auditory range of humans and animals.
  • The transmission of light
  • The transmission of light through materials: absorption, diffuse scattering and specular reflection at a surface Science – key stage 3 12
  • Electric current in series and parallel circuits
  • Positive and negative charges
  • Magnetic poles, attraction and repulsion
  • Earth’s magnetism, compass and navigation
  • Conservation of material and of mass, and reversibility, in melting, freezing, evaporation, sublimation, condensation, dissolving
  • Our Sun as a star, other stars in our galaxy, other galaxies
  • The seasons and the Earth’s tilt, day length at different times of year, in different hemispheres


It is very important that your child masters their Scientific skills and knowledge so that they can attain the grade requirements they need for chosen university choices.


  • Biological molecules
  • Cells
  • Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  • Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
  • Energy trans in and between organisms
  • Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  • Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  • The control of gene expression


  • Atomic structure
  • Bonding
  • Energetics
  • Kinetics
  • Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
  • Thermodynamics
  • Periodicity
  • Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells
  • Acids and bases
  • Transition metals
  • Alkanes, halogenoalkanes and alkenes
  • Alcohols
  • Organic analysis
  • Optical isomerism
  • Aromatic chemistry
  • Amines and polymers
  • Amino acids, proteins and DNA.
  • Organic synthesis
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Chromatography 


  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and radiation
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and materials
  • Electricity
  • Further mechanics and thermal physics
  • Fields and their consequences
  • Nuclear physics