At Education Advisers, we tend to categorise the various private schools by (a) age ranges, (b) curriculums offered, (c) day v boarding (d) nationalities catered for, (e ) faith schools, (f) sixth forms and (g) summer schools, all of which are described in detail in later sub sections.
Schools which take children up to age 7 are known as pre-preparatory schools. Ages under 4 are sometimes categorised as kindergarten or nursery. 3 is probably the most common starting age.
After age 7 the prep stage covers up to either age 11 or 13
This covers either age 11 or 13 up to 18. Those senior schools which start at 13 are often Public Schools or Heritage Schools but note there is no significant difference between the terms – private, independent and public
This is simply a combination of Senior School with Prep and Pre-Prep
Differences in curriculum include the National Curriculum, the International Baccalaureate, Pre-U, Scottish Highers , BTECs and the American AP. Schools may offer one or more curriculums
Schools may cater for day pupils or boarding pupils or both
Most schools cater for British plus a wide range of nationalities, but there are some schools which are intentionally “International” or specific to a country’s nationals such as French.
The largest percentage of religious faith schools are Church of England but there are schools catering for specific faiths, the next largest group being Roman Catholics.
Most senior schools will have a sixth form catering for ages 16 to 18 but it is simply part of the same school. However there are also sixth form colleges for just those ages.
Most boarding schools use their campuses to run summer schools in July and August.