Key Stage 1 and 2 Curriculum

What are the Key Stages?

The National Curriculum is divided into four Key Stages that children are taken through during their school life. For example, Key Stage 1 is taught during Years 1 and 2 of primary school. Targets defined in the National Curriculum are assessed at the end of each Key Stage.

The four Key Stages:

Key Stage 1 Ages 5-7 Years 1 and 2
Key Stage 2 Ages 7-11 Years 3, 4, 5 and 6
Key Stage 3 Ages 11-14 Years 7, 8 and 9
Key Stage 4 Ages 14-16 Years 10 and 11


2. Key stage 1 and 2

Compulsory national curriculum subjects at primary school are:

  • English
  • maths
  • science
  • design and technology
  • history
  • geography
  • art and design
  • music
  • physical education (PE), including swimming
  • computing
  • ancient and modern foreign languages (at key stage 2)

Schools must provide religious education but parents can ask for their children to be taken out of the whole lesson or part of it.

Schools often may also teach:

  • personal, social and health education (PSHE)
  • citizenship
  • modern foreign languages (very basic at key stage 1)


The link to access the entire primary school National Curriculum can be found below: 


Key stage 1 School Curriculum 

After researching an overview of the national curriculum for year 1 and 2 I decided it would be more beneficial to carry out more specific research to the primary schools around Bury St Edmunds, so we can tailor any ideas about potential TIE subject directly for the audiences we will be performing to and offering our TIE learning packages to. I took it upon myself to go directly to the websites of the local primary schools and read through the learning plans for each year group and whether the topics for each subject were universal.


GUILDHALL FEOFFMENT SCHOOLImage result for guildhall feoffment




As my mother happens to be a teaching assistant at Guildhall Feoffment Primary School, which I know have had TIE companies visit them in the past, I thought it appropriate to look into the subjects they are currently studying across the curriculum.

Guildhall Year 1 Long term Plan

From my understanding the approach this school takes is to use the stimulus of one particular topic or story and then apply this to each of the subjects individually. From looking at the curriculum I can clearly see that over the academic year the children will study six separate topics which will be explored and applied to each of the lessons.

At Guildhall Feoffment the topics are as follows:

Autumn Term

  • All About me
  • The Jolly Postman

Spring Term

  • Taking off
  • An Island Home

Summer term

  • How does your garden grow?
  • On Safari

Autumn Term

From my understanding we will be performing our TIE pieces at the beginning of the spring term however I thought it was important to look into the topics from the end of the autumn term to, so I could get a better understanding of their learning style and also with the thinking that it might be useful to know the knowledge they have already acquired so far in their education.

Whilst studying ‘The Jolly Postman’ the children would be looking at situations and scenarios inspired by the narrative and ideas from the book and then adapted to fit the learning objective of each of the lessons or used as a stimulus to link back to in some way.

Jolly Postman


  • Pattern and rhyme: Firework poems
  • Pie Corbett: Goldilocks Instructions
  • Letters to Father Christmas


  • Number and Place Value (1 week)
  • Addition (1 week)
  • Money (1 week)
  • Subtraction (1 week)
  • Time (1 week)
  • Addition and Subtraction (1 week)


  • Seasonal Changes
  • Autumn
  • Observe changes in daylight and the weather.
  • Begin to understand that in the UK, we have four seasons


  • Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally – Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night


  • Judaism
  • Belonging
  • Christmas


  • Baboushka
  • Christmas Music

Design Technology

  • Moving pictures

Art and Design

  • Printing


  • People who help us
  • How can we help others.

Spring term

Taking off


  • Recount of Christmas/New Year Resolutions
  • Pie Corbett: Rumplestiltskin
  • Instructions: healthy snack for an astronaut
  • Narrative: Man on the Moon
  • Non-Chronological report – the sun


  • Number and Place Value (2 weeks)
  • Multiplication (1 week)
  • 3D shape (1 week)
  • Fractions (1 week)
  • Addition and Subtraction (1 week)


  • Everyday Materials
  • Distinguish between an object and the material it is made from.
  • Identify a range of common everyday materials.
  • Compare and group everyday materials on the basis of their physical properties.
  • Space.


  • Programming
  • Recognising technology beyond school

Physical Education

  • Games
  • Dance Loon on the Moon


  • Neil Armstrong (significant historical figures)


  • Stories and Books


  • In The Groove

Art and design

  • Painting

Design Technology

  • Design a healthy snack for an astronaut.


  • How do I feel?

Guildhall Year 2 long term plan

Similar to the previous years, Year 2 has a total of six topics across the three terms which the learning timetable is centred around and adapted and related to. At Guildhall Feoffment these topics are as follows:

Autumn term

  • Castles, Knights and Dragons
  • Fire

Spring term

  • Superheroes
  • An Island Home (St Lucia)

Summer term

  • Growing Things (Year 2 Tests)
  • Seasides.


Autumn term – Fire 


  • Narrative – Pie Corbett (The Hobyahs)
  • Explanation – Fire fighters Poetry


  • Multiplication and Division (2 weeks)
  • Fractions (1 week)
  • Addition and Subtraction (2 weeks)
  • Geometry (1 week)
  • Measurement (1 week)


  • Uses of Everyday Materials
  • Find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.


  • Data handling Research Text editing and multimedia


  • Use a map to locate London and Bury St Edmunds in relation to the rest of the UK.
  • Use simple compass directions (N, S, E, W) to describe the location of features and routes on a map.
  • Devise a simple map, use and construct a key.


  • Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot (event of national significance)
  • The Great Fire of London (an event of national significance)


  • Leaders and Teachers in Christianity


  • Songs for Production

Art and Design

  • Collage

Design Technology

  • Design and make a Christmas card with a lever.


  • Learning about money


Spring term – Superheros


  • Narrative – Pie Corbett (The Magic Brush)
  • Poetry
  • Instructions


  • Number and Place Value (3 weeks)
  • Addition and Subtraction (2 weeks)
  • Measurement (1 week)


  • Animals including humans
  • Describe the importance for humans of exercise, healthy diet and hygiene.
  • Know that animals including humans have offspring which grow into adults.


  • Controlling
  • Modelling and simulations


  • Lives of Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell (significant historical figures)
  • Compare aspects of life linked to health, hygiene and medicines in Victorian Britain with modern Britain.


  • Stories and Books in Christianity


  • Charanga
  • Glockenspiel Stage 1

Art and Design

  • Painting

Design Technology

  • Design a healthy salad or fruit kebab for a superhero – cutting, chopping, slicing.


  • People who help us


Image result for sebert wood school



Sebertwood Year 1 curriculum plan

Similar to Guildhall Feoffment, Sebertwood primary school also allocates a specific topic to each half term and then uses that as a bases for all of the lesson subjects to relate to. Although it doesn’t give as as in depth break down as to the content of each term and half term individually in each of the subjects – rather it just gives a brief overview of what they may cover over the course of the year on a vary general and basic level.

The Year 1 curriculum includes many practical first hand experiences for the children. We develop skills in reading, writing, number and other curriculum areas from the starting point of a practical task, a story or a visit. These plans have been reviewed and updated in line with the new National Curriculum.

The main themes are:

Autumn Term 

  • Ourselves
  • Animals

Spring Term

  • Once upon a time
  • Journey’s

Summer Term

  • Homes and Habitats
  • Plants and Growing


Writing and Handwriting

  • The children are provided with a variety of exciting reasons to write during the year including lists, invitations, recount (news), alternative story endings, speech bubbles, posters, information leaflets and letters.
  • The children are encouraged to use the sounds they know in their writing.
  • They are taught correct letter formation and how to join their writing.
  • Spelling, grammar and punctuation is taught based on the statutory requirements in the new National Curriculum.


  • non-fiction books
  • phonics
  • sounding out unknown words


Maths skills are also used during other curriculum areas. The Maths sessions start with a mental challenge, practical activities and recording when appropriate.


  •  counting and understanding number
  • counting in 2’s,10’s, 5’s
  • odd/even
  • knowing and using number facts
  • number bonds to 10
  •  calculating, (addition, subtraction, money).
  • introduction to basic multiplication and division (summer term)

Shape and space

  •  properties of 2D and 3D shape
  • measuring: including length, weight, capacity and time.


  •  ‘fair-test’.
  •  properties of materials.
  • senses
  • naming external and internal body parts.
  •  what animals and plants need to stay alive and healthy.

Computing and Information Technology

  •  how to create and debug simple programs and use logical reasoning.
  • e-safety


  •  colour mixing and printing using primary colours
  • close observational drawing, collage, textiles and sculpture.
  • Famous artists, and produce a piece of work in the style of that artist.

Design and Technology

  • accurate cutting, folding, joining, using a template, and sewing.
  •  produce an annotated design.
  • Food Technology the children design and make a fruit salad.


  • elements of music through singing, using percussion instruments and movement.

History and Geography

  • Lives of  Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong.
  • Local area.
  • Start to name countries and capital cities using a map.


  •  Games
  • Gymnastics
  • Creative dance
  • Country dancing
  • Athletics
  • Yoga.

Personal and Social Education (including Philosophy)

  •  Importance of rules, what makes a good friend, keeping safe and looking after our bodies.
  • Develop their deeper thinking skills and discuss the ‘big’ questions in life.

Religious Education

  •  Belonging
  • Welcoming a baby
  • Stories and Books and Celebrations.
  • We learn about prayer and worship and we compare the Christian faith with the Jewish faith.

Sebertwood Year 2 Curriculum Overview


Overall I think by looking at the structure of the termly lesson curriculum and the school’s angle of learning, will give me as  better insight into the possibly subjects and learning aims we should be looking at when it comes to devising out own TIE productions and thinking about the angle we take to this and whether it is pitched on the right level for the age range. Now I know that the school chose to direct their learning towards one topic which will then act as a stimulus to cover all lesson subjects. From this I can see it important for the children to always have something to relate it back to rather than learning facts in isolation. I hope that by researching the termly focuses of each of the subjects it will ensure that we do not include anything in our pieces that may be beyond their capability or something they are not expected to learn until much later in the year. We do not want to confuse the children by messing with any of the skills and knowledge they have already been taught  – as at such a young age ones brain is influenced easily and slightly conflicting facts and messages can be very confusing and especially unproductive.



Website bibliography

Click to access 1999-nc-primary-handbook.pdf

One thought on “Key Stage 1 and 2 Curriculum”

  1. Excellent research Beth, and in particular making it so relevant by looking at local schools. Just watch out for your referencing and make sure you use the Harvard system of referencing otherwise your work cannot be assessed at distinction standard when you come to unit 12.


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