Q5. How does the school aid with transitions between phases of education in regard to science and maths?

Why this is important

Pupils should make at least one year’s worth of progress for every year they are in school. At the end of each educational stage, pupils should be well prepared for the next one.

The National Curriculum states that secure understanding of all key concepts and knowledge at each stage in science is required in order to progress to the next stage, so that pupils do not “struggle at key points of transition (such as between primary and secondary school)”.

  • Children start school with varying levels of mathematical understanding, often creating a gap that is never overcome.
  • Ofsted’s ‘Mathematics: Made to Measure84 report suggests that pupils’ attainment at 16 often relates to knowledge and skills acquired by the age of 7. It is important that children are tracked and that their knowledge and understanding are continually assessed.


The Department for Education provides data on the percentage of pupils in state-funded schools in England making the expected progress (two levels) between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in maths. These data are given in Table 3 and show that the percentage of pupils making expected progress in maths rose steadily between 2009 and 2013.85


Table 3: Percentage of pupils making expected progression in maths between Key Stages 1 and 2 in state-funded schools in England

You may like to look at the transition matrices for maths, both from Key Stages 1 to 2 and from Key Stages 2 to 4, produced by RAISEonline. The data show the percentage of pupils achieving a certain level at one key stage who go on to achieve different levels at a later Key Stage.

Ideas for improvement

  • You can ask your school what tracking systems are in place to monitor pupils’ progression across Key Stages.
  • You can check whether teachers are aware of the Expert Subject Advisory Group for Science’s ‘Preparing Your Child for Year 7 Science’. This may be a useful resource to also distribute to parents.
  • School leaders should consider how pupils’ progress is tracked across the transitions between key stages and what is done to make sure that these transitions occur smoothly.

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