KS1 Key Stage One (Y1-Y2)
Covers the 5-7 age group. Schools have flexibility over when and how the tests in reading, writing (including spelling and handwriting) and maths are administered. The average 7 year old is expected to achieve a level 2. This is not a pass/fail situation; the tests are designed to indicate whether a child is working at, above or below the target level. The tests can be taken at a time to suit the school and are not reported separately but are used to inform teacher assessment of the child. Teacher assessment looks at speaking, listening and science skills as well as the areas covered by the tests.
KS2 Key Stage Two (Y3-Y6)
This covers children aged 7 to 11. Children are tested in English, maths and science, at age 11 (Y6), prior to the move to senior school,. The results are reported to the DfES and to parents. The average 11 year old is expected to achieve a level 4.
KS3 Key Stage Three (Y7-Y9)
Tests are taken in Y9, at senior school, when a child is typically aged 14. Children are tested in English, Maths and science and the results are reported to the DfES and to parents. Teachers assess pupils in these areas plus art, citizenship, design technology, geography, history, ICT, MFL, music, PE. The target level at KS3 is level 5, with the most able achieving a level 8. There are wide variations reported in the levels achieved at this stage. Very few independent schools take key stage 3 tests, most will have assessed the child at 11+ or 13 + via The Common Entrance examination (see below).