What is Key Stage 3?


What is Key Stage 3?

What is KS3

Key Stage 3 (often abbreviated to KS3) is the legal wording for the first few years of secondary education in English and Welsh maintained schools.  The years KS3 covers are Years 7, 8 and 9. Pupils usually start Key Stage 3 at the age of 11 and complete it 3 years later when they have turned/or are about to turn 14.


What is on the Key Stage 3 curriculum?


Just like Key Stage 2, the compulsory subjects on the national curriculum are English, Maths, Science, Modern Foreign Languages ((MFL),  Art & Design, Design & Technology, Geography, History, Music, Computing and PE. However, at KS3 Citizenship is also a compulsory subject.

Maintained schools are also required to teach Sex Education and Religious Education though parent/carers have the right to remove their children from these lessons without explanation.


What are the overseas equivalents of Key Stage 3?


Definition of Key Stage 3


What happens at the end of Key Stage 3?


At the end of this stage, teachers create an assessment for each pupil.  Most schools use course work completed throughout Year 9 to do this though some schools also test pupils. The national standard that students are expected to reach by the end of KS3 is between 5 and 6. Their assessments are therefore compared to this level to indicate whether they have or have not reached this expected standard.


How are assessments from Key Stage 3 used?


Achievement levels at KS3 will have an impact on what students are able to choose at the ‘Options‘ stage, when they select the subjects they’d like to study at Key Stage 4 for their GCSEs.


You can find information about Key Stage 1 here, Key Stage 2 here and Key Stage 4 here.


You can find our teaching jobs in the UK secondary schools here. UK based teachers and teaching assistants can pre-register with us here and overseas ones here.