Definition of Key Stage in English:

Key Stage


  • (in the UK except Scotland) any of the four fixed stages into which the national curriculum is divided, each having its own prescribed course of study. At the end of each stage, pupils are required to complete standard assessment tasks.

    • ‘Children at Key Stages 1 and 2 should build on and develop the experiences provided at the Foundation Stage.’
    • ‘There has been a notable improvement in educational standards, as demonstrated by the encouraging Key Stage 3 results for 14-year-olds reported yesterday.’
    • ‘They are designed to link closely to the National Curriculum, Key Stages and syllabuses.’
    • ‘The national strategy for Key Stage 3 is run by the Department for Education and Skills.’
    • ‘Irish pupils perform better than the national average in most subjects at Key Stages 1 and 2, and at GCSE and equivalent.’