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General information about UK state schools

State schools in the UK have a generally very good reputation for their teaching and welfare of students.

In recent years, different governments have invested enormous sums in the schools infrastructure – buildings, facilities, sports fields etc.

The school system

The school system works as follows:

Primary

Year

Age +/-

Reception (R)

4/5

1

5/6

2

6/7

3

7/8

4

8/9

5

9/10

6

10/11

We do not place students in Primary schools

Secondary

Year


Exam year

7

First year in most secondary schools that start at age 11. Students must be age 11 on 31st August – ie the day before the official start of the school year.


8

Students must be age 12 on 31st August as above.


9

Start of some senior or ‘upper’ schools – where there is a middle/upper school system. Students must be age 13 on on 31st August as above.


10

Start of 2-year GCSE courses. Students must be age 14 on 31st August as above.


11

Final year of compulsory education - GCSE (Public external) exam year. Students must be age 15 on 31st August as above.

x

Sixth Form (sometimes part of the secondary school, sometimes a separate school)

Year

Age +/-

Exam year

12

Start of 2 year A Level (public exams) courses. Students must be age 16 on 31st August ie the day before the official start of the school year.


13

Final year of Further Education – A Level exam year. Students must be age 17 on 31st August as above.

x

Subjects

In secondary schools there is a wide curriculum, covering all the usual subjects:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Science
  • Modern Language(s)
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Design and Technology

The exact curriculum and names for subjects can vary a little from school to school and County (region) to County.

In year 11, students take national GCSE qualifications in a wide range of subjects. Students interested in year 11 must enrol for the full year. We cannot accept one or two-term enrolments in this year.

In year 13, students take national “A” level qualifications in a smaller number of subjects. Schools will not accept students in Y13. However students of Y13 age can be accommodated in Y12. The grades students get in A Level examinations determine which university course they can attend. In the past, only a small percentage of students continued to “tertiary” education (University) but in recent years this has risen to around 50%.

The school year/terms/holidays

The school year is divided into 3 terms:

Term name

Months

Weeks +/-

Holiday that follows term

Autumn

September to December

12

Christmas (2 weeks)

Spring

January to March/April (depends on how Easter falls)

12

Easter (2 weeks)

Summer

March/April to late July

12

Summer (6 weeks)

In the middle of each term, there is a one-week “half-term” holiday (late October, Mid February and Late May). Not all schools have the same start dates or school holiday dates even if they are situated in the same county. Term dates can be found on each individual school's website.

Uniforms

Most schools have uniforms up to and including Year 11. We will advise you on whether you will need to buy a uniform and where to get it. Uniforms generally cost around £200, although it is sometimes possible to buy items second-hand - the school may be able to help with this.

Further information

We can imagine you may have many more questions - this is a big decision! Just contact us: [email protected]


Contact us

English Naturally
Unit 19
City Business Centre
Winchester
Hampshire UK SO23 7TA

Tel: +44 (0)1962 859700

Email: [email protected]


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