Curriculum requirements: maintained schools

If your school is reviewing or updating its curriculum, find out what it needs to cover to stay compliant with requirements and meet DfE expectations.

Last reviewed on 20 September 2023See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 41491
  1. Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requirements
  2. Key Stage (KS) 1 and 2 requirements
  3. Your school must teach RE and RHE 
  4. Your school also needs to provide for your pupils' SMSC development
  5. Subject teaching time
  6. Next steps

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requirements

All EYFS provision must follow the guidance in the EYFS statutory framework.

You need to make sure all pupils study the 7 areas of learning:

3 prime areas:

  • Communication and language development
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development 

4 specific areas:

  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Understanding of the world
  • Expressive arts and design

The EYFS framework also sets out 'early learning goals' your school needs to help pupils work towards – these are the knowledge, skills and understanding that children should have by the end of reception.

For more detail, you can read our summary of the EYFS framework and profile.

Key Stage (KS) 1 and 2 requirements

All maintained schools must follow the National Curriculum.

Pupils in KS1 and KS2 are expected to learn the core and foundation subjects below (click the links to see the programmes of study).

Core subjects

Art and design Computing (there's also DfE guidance on teaching