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Primary school education in the UK is organised into blocks of years, called Key Stages. The Primary Years covers three Key Stages: The Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) includes all children aged 3 to 5 years, until the end of the Reception year. Key Stage 1 (KS1) includes all children aged 5 to 7, in Year 1 and Year 2. Key Stage 2 (KS2) includes all children aged 7 to 11, in Years 3 to Year 6.
All Primary Schools teach the Primary National Curriculum, as well as Sex Education and Religious Education.
The National Curriculum is a set of standards and subjects used by schools to ensure that children learn the same content and are assessed to the same standards.
The subjects which are compulsory within the Primary National Curriculum in Primary Schools include English, Maths, Science, Geography, History, Design and Technology, Music, Art and Design, Computing, PE (including swimming), Ancient and Modern Foreign Languages (at KS2 only).
Schools may also often choose to teach Citizenship, PSHE (personal, social and health education) and Modern Foreign Languages at KS1.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a statutory framework that covers all children aged from birth to 5 and sets standards for their care, development and learning. For all Ofsted-registered early years providers including childminders, nurseries, pre-schools, schools and reception-aged classes in schools, it is mandatory to follow the EYFS.
The EYFS curriculum is split up into 7 areas of learning which often overlap. Of these 7 Areas of Learning there are 3 Prime Areas of Learning which are: Communication and Language Development, Physical Development, and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. The other 4 Specific Areas of Learning are: Literacy Development, Mathematical Development, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
In addition to the 7 Areas of Learning the EYFS is also made up of the Characteristics of Effective Learning which underpin the different ways in which young children learn. The Characteristics of Effective Learning are: Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creating and Thinking Critically.
The National Curriculum for English in Key Stage 1 and 2 aims to ensure that all pupils reach a high standard of language and literacy by giving pupils a strong foundation in spoken and written language and encouraging pupils to build a love of literature through reading for enjoyment.
The English Curriculum for Key Stage 1 and 2 is broken down into the following categories: Word Reading, Reading Comprehension, Writing Transcription, Writing Composition, Handwriting, Grammar, Vocabulary and Punctuation.
The National Curriculum for Maths in Key Stage 1 and 2 aims to equip pupils with the skills to solve problems by applying their maths knowledge to a wide variety of problems and breaking them down into multiple steps. It gives pupils the opportunity to become fluent in the core principles of maths so that they are able to develop conceptual understanding and rapid recall. The Maths curriculum also gives pupils the opportunity to develop their mathematical reasoning skills by following lines of enquiry, and developing arguments, justifications or proof, using maths language.
Through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Science education gives children the opportunity to more fully understand the world they live in, and how it may be shaped in the future. The Primary Curriculum for Science gives pupils the opportunity to develop their scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding. It helps pupils to understand nature, processes and methods of science through different types of scientific enquiry and questioning. The Primary Science Curriculum also ensures pupils develop the scientific knowledge required to understand science today, and it's uses and implications for the future.
The National Curriculum for Science in Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) is as follows: Year One - Plants, Animals (including humans), Everyday Materials, Seasonal Changes. Year Two - Plants, Animals (including humans), Uses of Everyday Materials, Living Things and their Habitats.
The National Curriculum for Science in Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4) is as follows: Year Three - Plants, Animals (including humans), Rocks, Light, Forces and Magnets.
Classes in Primary Schools are generally of mixed abilities and are often large, around 30 pupils. Even the most gifted teacher will struggle to appeal to the needs of each individual in the class at all times. Generally the quiet and well-behaved pupil, who is getting on OK, may not receive the attention that those at the top or the bottom of the class will.
A tutor is able to provide direct one-to-one tuition, with the focus needed to help an individual progress quickly to reach their potential. A tutor can help develop a child's confidence and motivation in their school work and learning. A tutor can offer academic support to a child, if they have missed out on some of their learning, whether through illness or absence. A tutor can provide academic challenge for a gifted child, if they do not find this at their school. A tutor can also help a child develop the right exam technique, so that they are able to show their best in a pressured exam situation.