Guide to UK Key Stages by age & year


The UK Key Stages are targets to be achieved in various subject areas as set out in the UK National Curriculum.

The UK Key Stages were first defined in 1988 Education Reform Act to accompany the first introduction of the National Curriculum. The following guide has been particularly helpful for our overseas teachers.


Y = School years

Key Stage 0 (KS0)

Age 3–5. Y0.  Nursery / Reception (Early Years Foundation Stage)

Key Stage 1 (KS1)

Age 5–7. Y1–2. 1st–2nd form infants

Key Stage 2 (KS2)

Age 7–11. Y3–6. 1st–4th form juniors 11 plus (generally only for Grammar School entry)

Key Stage 3 (KS3)

Age 11–14. Y7–9. 1st–3rd form secondary

Key Stage (KS4)

Age 14–16. Y10–11. 4th–5th form secondary GCSEs

Key Stage (KS5)

Age 16–18. Y12–13. Sixth form secondary, FE college A-Levels, AS-Levels, NVQs, Diplomas


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