The National Curriculum applies to pupils of compulsory school age in maintained schools in England, ie community and foundation schools (including special schools) and in voluntary aided and voluntary controlled schools. The primary phase is covered by Key Stages 1 and 2. The National Curriculum forms one part of the overall school curriculum, along with all learning and other experiences provided by the school for its pupils.

The Education Act 2002 requires that all maintained schools provide a balanced and broadly based curriculum that promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of all learners at the school and within society and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. Schools are also required, through their curriculums and teaching, to actively promote fundamental British values.

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