What age is KS2 and what do children learn in KS2?

What age is KS2 and what do children learn in KS2?

People often ask: “What is KS2?” and, “What age is KS2?”   KS2 is Key Stage 2. This means it’s the second stage of a child’s education which starts at age 7 and finishes at 11.

Children will have completed Key Stage 1 which is for children between the ages of 4 and 7.

Key Stage 2 may also be referred to as Junior School and Key Stage 1 may have been referred to as Infant School. The two together, Infant and Junior may also be referred to as Primary School.


Key stage 2 is divided up into Years 3 4 5 and 6.

Year 3 will include children who are 7 and 8. They will have their 8th birthday in this school year.

Year 4 will include children who are 8 and 9.  They will have their 9th birthday in this school year.

Year 5 will include children who are 9 and 10.  They will have their 10th birthday in this school year.

Year 6 will include children who are 10 and 11.  They will have their 11th birthday in this school year.


What age is KS2?
What age is KS2?


Lower Key Stage 2

Lower key stage 2 is made up of year 3 and year 4.


Upper Key Stage 2

Upper key stage 2 is made up of year 5 and year 6.


September 1st

September 1st is an important date in the school year. It is the first day of the school year.

A child who is 7 on the 31st of August will be in year 3 I would be one of the youngest children in the year group. A child who is 7 on the 1st of September would be in Year 2 and would be one of the oldest children in the year group but still in Key Stage 1.


Infant, Junior and Primary Schools

In most parts of England, Key Stage 2 children will go to either a Junior School or a Primary School. A Junior School will just contain Key Stage 2 children and a Primary School will have Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children.


Class sizes

Most key stage two children will be in a classroom size of up to about 30 children.


School sizes

School sizes vary tremendously.

One-form entry schools have one new class each year, whereas 4-form entry schools have four new classes joining the school each year.

A one-form entry Junior School will have four classes and about 120 children. In a one-form entry Primary School, there will be seven classes and about 210 students.

Junior schools with a 4-form entry have 16 classes and around 480 students, while primary schools with a 4-form entry have 28 classes with approximately 840 students.

Obviously, this means that children can have very different experiences of primary school just because of the size of the community they are joining.

At the other end of the scale, you can have very small schools in villages with just a few pupils who work in mixed-age groups.


What do children learn in Key Stage 2?

KS2 school children are required to study the following national curriculum subjects:

·         English – speaking and listening; reading; reading comprehension; writing, including stories, non-fiction, persuasive writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar (known as SPaG).

·         maths – number and place value; addition and subtraction; multiplication and division; measurement; fractions, decimals and percentages; statistics; geometry

·         science – plants and animals; living things and habitats; rocks; light, reflection and shadows; forces and magnets; electricity; states of matter; and sound.

·         design and technology – designing and making things evaluating their ideas and applying the technical knowledge that they are gaining in science, cooking and nutrition are included in the design and technology curriculum.

·         history – changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age; the Roman empire and its impact on Britain; Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots; the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the kingdom England to the time of Edward the Confessor; a local history study; study of an aspect of British history after 1066; looking at some of the achievements of the earliest Civilizations perhaps things like the Indus Valley, ancient Egypt or ancient China; ancient Greece including Greek life, achievements and Influence; the study of a non-European society that contrasts with British society, so that could be something like: an early Islamic Society, a Mayan society or a west African Society

·         geography – key topics include geographical skills such as being able to map the world what is longitude and latitude understanding time zones understanding maps including things like contours, keys and symbols; children should also explore different types of places such as the Lake District or a mountainous area; they learn about the Natural World so things like mountains, weather and climate, biomes, rivers and oceans, earthquakes and volcanoes. They also learn about human geography which would include things like settlements, economic activity and trade; and also, about sustainability and plastics; issues around natural resources, fossil fuels and renewable energy. They should also do some fieldwork where they can put into practice the skills that they learnt in the other sections, so not just how to read a map but actually reading a map; they might do an investigation and then analyse present and evaluate their findings.

·         art and design – practising art, craft and design techniques; learning about great artists, architects and designers in history.

·         music – singing and playing musical instruments and some musical composition

·         physical education (PE), including swimming – throwing and catching or running and jumping either as skills in themselves or as part of a game, for instance, football, cricket, hockey, netball, rounders, badminton, tennis.

·         computing – learn to use technology safely particularly internet safety, design computer programs, take photographs and edit them and create digital music

·         ancient and modern foreign languages – learn games and songs, some conversational skills and some reading and writing.

While religious education (RE) must be provided in schools, parents are entitled to withdraw their children from the lessons.

Among the other subjects many schools teach are:

·         personal, social and health education (PSHE)

·         citizenship



Although children must learn about many different subjects, they only have tests in three subjects: English, maths and science. These tests are called SATs.

These tests are taken at the end of year 6. These are used both to see how children have progressed and for the government to see how successful schools have been.


What does SATs stand for?

SATs stands for Statutory Assessment Tests although you’ll often see them called standard assessment tests.


The National Standard for KS2

The National Standard for children is that they are expected to reach a scaled score of 100 on the KS1 and KS2 SATs. A child who achieves a scaled score of 100 or more will have been deemed to have reached or exceeded the expected standard for that subject.

Children in KS2 are given a scaled score for maths, English and science in their SATs exams.



Even though they’re quite young, 7-11, key stage two children are expected to learn quite a range of subjects in some depth. Parents are often surprised at the level of difficulty of the tests that are taken in Year 6 when they come across them the first time.


Short video in which I talk through the “What age is KS2?” table.

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