Key Stage 3 is covered by pupils aged 11 to 14 (Years 7, 8, 9) and typically spans the first three years of secondary school. It represents an important bridge between leaving primary school in Year 6 and starting the formal external exam process in Year 10.

At Key Stage 3, students begin to form views on their future courses of study and usually choose their preferred subjects by the end of Year 9. The choices they make in these important years could affect exam and university options in the future.

Key Stage 3 pupils also need to adjust to no longer being taught in forms – they are separated into groups based on ability. At the same time, they are taught a wide range of subjects by specialist teachers, rather than by generalists. As children progress through Key Stage 3, they begin to form an idea of their own strengths and preferences.

Compulsory national curriculum subjects are:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • Modern foreign languages
  • Design and technology
  • Art and design
  • Music
  • Physical education
  • Citizenship
  • Computing