Key Stages and school years

This information specifically applies to England, some information also applies to other parts of the UK, but you should check with the relevant websites for:

Key stages and school years

Age

Year

National Curriculum Key Stage (KS) and examinations

Traditional description

3-4
  • Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Nursery
4-5 Reception
  • Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Nursery
5-6 1
  • Compulsory schooling starts age 5
  • KS1
Primary (Infants)
6-7 2
  • KS1
Primary (Infants)
7-8 3
  • KS2
Primary (Juniors)
8-9 4
  • KS2
Primary (Juniors)
9-10 5
  • KS2
Primary (Juniors)
10-11 6
  • KS2
Primary (Juniors)
11-12 7
  • KS3
Secondary
12-13 8
  • KS3
Secondary
13-14 9
  • KS3
Secondary
14-15 10
  • KS4
Secondary
15-16 11
  • KS4 (Most children take GCSE or other Level 2 national examinations).
  • End of compulsory schooling at age 16.
Secondary
16-17 12
  • No National Curriculum at this age
  • Some pupils continue their education at a Sixth Form College or Further Education College, or may remain at their original school.
  • AS level or other Level 3 national examinations
Secondary (Sixth Form: Lower Sixth)
17-18 13
  • A level or other Level 3 national examinations
  • End of schooling (age 18)
Secondary (Sixth Form: Upper Sixth)

Most students who go on to university do so at age 18. For more information about qualifications and their levels from age 18 onwards see: Levels.

More information

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