The UK Education System


UK boarding schools focus on developing the whole student, pupils are allowed time to focus on what they are good at both academic and in sport, drama, art, music and enjoy developing their skills and talents.


Prep Schools offer an education from the age of 4 – they offer the highest standard of academic education and provide an excellent foundation for future study. Students study English, Maths, Science, Geography, History, Music, PE, Information Technology, Art and a modern language, for example French or German. Other subjects that may be offered include Home Economics (Cookery), Textiles, Design Technology, Drama.



Some prep schools assess the progress of their pupils using a series of national tests at the end of Key Stage 2 (age 11), while others assess their pupils using an alternative system, as it is not compulsory for pupils at independent schools to take these national tests. Prep schools, particularly boarding schools, traditionally prepare pupils for the Common Entrance (CE) examination, which assesses the student’s ability in core subjects before progressing to a senior school.


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Students’ progress to a senior school at the age of 11 or 13, during their time at senior school they will study from a wide range of subject options at GCSE/IGCSE Level, A-level or International Baccalaureate (IB). Schools may also offer the Cambridge Pre-U as an alternative to A-level, or the SAT necessary for entry to American universities. There are other ways that schools can offer educational depth, via enrichment programmes and qualifications, Oxbridge preparation, university application preparation and other programmes to foster intellectual development.


US & International Curriculum British Curriculum Age Programme if study/qualifications
Grade 9 Year 10  Age 14  GCSE Year 1
Grade 10 Year 11 Age 15 GCSE Year 2
Grade 11 Year 12 Age 16 A Level, BTEC or IB Year 1
Grade 12 Year 13 Age 17 A Level, BTEC or IB Year 2