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Schools in England & the UK & British Schools Education System

Top-150 Schools in England & the UK & British Schools Education System, Rankings 2024 and Reviews

UK Schools and British Education system and types of schools in England, Wales and Scotland

In the UK, primary schooling, which consists of key stages one and two of the curriculum, starts at age five and lasts until age eleven. There are primary schools that have separate levels for infants and juniors. These are often different schools located on the same property. The infant age range (Key Stage 1) is from age 5 to 7. The Junior age range (Key Stage 2) is from age 7 to 11.
The year groups at primary School level are:
Year R (Reception) (age 4 – 5)
Year 1 (age 5 – 6)
Year 2 (age 6 – 7)
Year 3 (age 7 – 8)
Year 4 (age 8 – 9)
Year 5 (age 9 – 10)
Year 6 (age 10 – 11)
Secondary school – years 7 and 8
In the UK, the first two years of secondary school are called years 7 and 8. They are a part of the Senior School in certain independent institutions, and the Junior School in others.
All pupils in the UK school system learn science, math, English, humanities, and modern languages. In addition to these courses, students can select a few electives from a list of optional disciplines offered by each school, which includes Latin, Art, Music, Drama, Sport Science, Design Technology, and Computer Science.
In certain schools, seventh-graders take the Common Entrance Exam. Three exam sessions are scheduled for November, January, and May/June. The results of those institutions' Common Entrance Exams may determine whether a student is admitted to the Junior or Senior School (years 8 through 9).
Secondary school – year 9
In the British school system, year 9 is crucial since it marks the majority of pupils' transfer from junior school to senior school. It serves as a gateway to all schools and provides a solid basis for the GCSE curriculum.

Pupils study Languages, Humanities, Sciences, Math, and English. Students also select a few courses from the list of electives that each institution offers.
Secondary education – years 10 and 11
GCSE curriculum and Top UK schools
Students begin preparing for the GCSE exams at the age of 14 during the final two years of secondary education, known as Year 10 and Year 11. During the GCSE program in the UK education system, students study nine to twelve courses. A few are required (English, Math, 2/3 Sciences, History/Geography, a Modern Language, etc.), while others are elective, with each student selecting the ones that best suit their skills and interests. After completing the two-year GCSE program and passing the exams for every topic they studied, students are awarded GCSE Certificates.

Intensive 1 year GCSE
In Year 11, several schools provide a one-year GCSE program for foreign pupils interested in attending schools in the UK. Students aged 15 years and older who meet the necessary academic requirements from their home country can enroll in these rigorous, one-year courses.
International students can prepare for the A-Level and/or IB through the IGCSE program (International General Certificate of Secondary Education).  Students take five to seven topics in total, with science, math, and English being among them. Students take tests in every topic they have studied and are awarded IGCSE Certificates at the end of Year 11.
University preparation – years 12 and 13
When a student becomes sixteen, they can begin a two-year curriculum in the UK school system that ends with exams for the Advanced (A) level. Students typically specialize on three or four subjects that are related to the degree program they want to pursue in college. A-levels are state exams that are accepted by all universities in the UK as well as other countries. After taking exams in every subject, students who complete Year 13 get A-level certificates.

(IB) International Baccalaureate
Some independent schools offer the International Baccaularete Diploma Programme, which allows students to continue their studies in a wider range of courses if they would like to study more than three or four subjects.

Students study six courses in the IB: three at the higher level (HL) and three at the standard level (SL). Different disciplines are offered at varying study levels (HL/SL) by each school. A mandatory Core program comprising Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Extended Essay (EE), and Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) is also part of the IB program. When their courses come to a finish, students take written exams covering every topic.
University Foundation Courses and Programmes 
International students can choose to attend one-year foundation programs at the UK schools starting at age 17, as an alternative to A levels or IB. As an alternative to A-levels, these courses result in private exams. UK colleges and UK schools that have partnerships with universities recognize their foundation courses.
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