The education system in Britain is divided into four parts, primary education, secondary education, further education and higher education. Children in Britain have to legally attend primary and secondary education which runs from about 5 until they are 16 years old. The education system is also split into key stages which break down follows:
1. Key stage 1- 5 to 7 years old
2. Key stage 2- 7 to 11 years old
3. Key stage 3- 11 to 14 years old
4. Key stage 4 – 14 to 16 years old.
Generally key stages 1 and 2 will be undertaken at primary school, which gives students the first stage of compulsory education. At this stage they have English, maths, science, design and technology, information and communication technology (ICT), history, geography, art and design, music and physical education. Schools also have to teach religious education and are encouraged to prove personal, social and health education and at least one modern foreign language. At 11 years old, students will move onto secondary school were they have the same subjects as at key stages 1 and 2 but also have to provide careers education, sex and relationship education. This is the final stage of schooling. Students are assessed at the end of each stage.
Students in England study General certificate of secondary education (GCSE) over two years, from the age of 15, and take GSCE exams at the end of the period. There is a broad and exciting range of GCSE subjects to choose from. For example students will study 3 core subjects, and then choose up to 3 from a further list of further options. These are the final years of their compulsory high school education. At this point, students can either leave school and get a job or go on further studies at College. During these years all students have to wear uniforms.
Once a student reaches the age of 16, they can start a 2 year programme which leads to A (advanced) or BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council), examination at College. At this stage they specialize in 3 or 4 subjects that usually are relevant to the degree subject they wish to follow at university. At the end of year 1 they take AS level examinations. Then they continue with 3 or 4 of these subjects in year 2 and convert them all into full A or BTEC level qualifications at the end of the year.
When I was in England I did a BTEC national diploma course in media production at Middlesbrough College. I chose to have the media subjects only since I knew I was just going to stay for one year. Middlesbrough College is rated as top ten of all the colleges in Britain and there are about 15.000 students studying there every year. When I finished the year I had to take an AS level examination and pass it to pass the course.
If students wish to go further on with their education after college, they can choose to continue with a bachelor’s degree at university. A bachelor’s degree normally takes three years to complete and most are awarded at honours level. This education gives students an amazing opportunity to immerse themselves in a subject that fascinates them. They can choose from thousands of UK courses in science and technology, computing and business, art and design, social sciences, the humanities and many others. The broad range and flexible approach of the UK education system means that you are free to choose exactly what you want to study.
If they receive the bachelor’s degree and still want to go further on, they