Primary education (4 to 11 years)

Primary education (4 to 11 years)

Primary education is for children aged 4 to 11 in maintained schools in Cambridgeshire. This includes the following school types:

  • Primary schools
  • Infant schools
  • Junior schools
  • First schools
  • Middle schools
  • Special schools
School types and corresponding school years 
School type School years covered
Primary school Reception + Years 1 to 6
Infant school Reception + Years 1 and 2
Junior school Years 3 to 6
First school Reception + Years 1 to 4
Middle school Years 5 to 8

These schools all follow the same curriculum (the main difference between them is the age of the pupils they admit).


The curriculum is organised into blocks of learning called Key Stages.

Key Stage 1 covers first and second primary school years (reception year is covered by the Early Years Foundation Stage).

Key Stage 2 covers third to sixth primary school years.

The subjects which are covered in Key Stages 1 and 2 are the same:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Design and technology
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art and design
  • Music
  • Physical education

Schools also have to teach religious education - although you have the right to withdraw your child from all or part of the curriculum.

Schools are advised to teach personal, social, health education (PSHE), citizenship and one modern language.

Find more information on the curriculum for specific subjects in primary schools on the Department for Education website.


Children are assessed by teachers through end of key stage tests to see how they are doing and to identify which pupils may need more help.

Year 1 (Key Stage 1)

Children have a phonics test in June.

Find out more about phonics on the Department for Education website.

Year 2 (Key Stage 1)

A teacher assessment at the end of Key Stage 1 will assess your child on:

  • reading
  • writing
  • speaking and listening
  • maths
  • science

The school will send you a report telling you what level your child is working at.

Year 6 (Key Stage 2)

In May of Year 6, pupils take national tests which are designed to assess their level of knowledge and understanding in:

  • English - reading, writing (including handwriting) and spelling
  • maths (including mental arithmetic)
  • science

To find out more go to the GOV.UK website.

If you are worried about your child's progress, you can make an appointment to see their teacher.