Subjects taught in schools in England

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At a glance

An outline of the subjects taught in primary and secondary schools in England.

Which subjects are taught at primary school?

At primary school your child will learn about a wide range of subjects as well as Literacy and Maths, which are currently compulsory.

Other subjects include:

  • Science
  • Design and technology (ICT)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art and design
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Religious education (parents have the right to withdraw children from these lessons if they choose)

In addition, schools are encouraged to teach:

  • PSHE (personal, social and health education)
  • Citizenship
  • One modern foreign language (from September 2010, a modern foreign language will become compulsory for Key Stage 2 children - Years 3 to 6)
  • Sex education - every primary school must have a written policy on this available to parents and pupils (and parents can withdraw their children from sex education classes if they choose)

Which subjects are taught at secondary school?

At secondary school during Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9, ages 11-14) children are taught the same subjects as at primary school, plus:

  • A modern foreign language
  • Citizenship

Schools must also provide:

  • Careers education and guidance (during Year 9)
  • Sex and relationship education (SRE)
  • Religious education (parents have the right to withdraw their child from these classes and parts of SRE)

Some schools also provide lessons in PSHE (personal, social and health education).

During Year 9, your child will choose which subjects they want to study for their GCSE exams.

Read the article about choosing subjects for GCSE for more information.

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