educational system in england
School in the UK is compulsory between the ages of five and sixteen. Children younger than five can go to a toddler group (accompanied by a parent), playgroup or nursery school.
Compulsory schooling begins at the age of five. Pupils first attend primary school, which lasts for six years. Often primary school in the UK is divided into infant school (the first two years) and junior school (the following 4 years).
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The four divisions are called Key Stages – Key Stage 1 SATs are administered at the end of year 2 and Key Stage 2 SATs at the end of year 6. Students in Key Stage 3 are not given a series of exams, but are continually assessed by their teachers throughout years 7-9. Key Stage 4 ends with students taking General Certificate of Secondary Education exams (GCSEs).
All maintained schools (most state schools) in England follow the National Curriculum, which lays out learning targets, essential and optional subjects, and an assessment strategy for school years 1-11. This includes four National Curriculum Tests (NCTs), which are more commonly known by their former name, SATs (Standard Attainment Tests).