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Best-schools.co.uk

for impartial advice on the BEST UK SCHOOLS from Education Advisers Ltd

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Hurtwood House - a top co-ed boarding school

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Cardiff Sixth Form College - Top Independent School and Top 6th Form College

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Hurtwood House

Sevenoaks - a top IB School

Sevenoaks - a top IB School

Tonbridge School - a top boys' boarding school

Tonbridge School - a top boys' boarding school

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Brighton College - a top co-ed boarding school

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Woldingham School

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The Cheltenham Ladies' College - a top girls' boarding school

Understanding the English School System

3rd March 2017

In England, children start compulsory schooling the September after they turn 4 years old. This marks the start of ‘Pre-Prep’which lasts for 3 years (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2).  In Year 3 (age 7) children move into ‘Prep School’. Some prep schools finish at the end of Year 6 (age 10/11), others continue to age 12/13. Children join senior school at either age 11 or 13, normally following the 11+ or 13+ common entrance exams.

Once in Senior School, students take two rounds of key examinations. 

GCSE 

Starting in September of Year 10 students follow a 2 year GCSE curriculum. All students take English, Maths and Science, and then they can choose from a wide range of other subjects, normally to a total of 9 subjects. In May of Year 11 students take exams in all of their GCSE subjects and the results of these will contribute to their University applications. 

Sixth Form exams 

UK Schools offer a two-year course for students aged between 16 and 18; nearly all of them start in September. Most UK schools follow the traditional A-Level curriculum where students choose three subjects to study, some schools offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) which requires a student to choose 6 subjects to study for the same two-year period. Both courses last for two years and culminate in exams in the May or June of Year 13. University entry is conditional upon the results in these exams.

Age 

Level 

Class 

4 

PrepPrepSchool 

Reception 

5 

Year 1 

6 

Year 2 

7 

Prep  School 

Year 3 

8 

Year 4 

9 

Year 5 

10 

Year 6 

11 

Senior School  

Prep School 

Year 7 

12 

Year 8 

13 

 

Year 9 

14 

Senior School (GCSE Course) 

Year 10 

15 

Year 11 

16 

Sixth Form (A Level/IB Course) 

Year 12 

17 

Year 13 

 

 

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