Guide to the UK education system

At Wolsey Hall Oxford we offer a British curriculum to our students but many international families find a guide to the UK education system is helpful. Our article explains the different stages.

Four stages

The UK education system is divided into four main levels – Primary, Lower Secondary, IGCSE and A level. Typically Primary is for ages 5-10 and the key focus is on developing skills in English, Maths and Science. However, we do offer additional subjects such as Art, Humanities and Music for younger learners to enjoy.

Lower Secondary is for ages 11-14 and these students normally take five subjects. Three of these are English, Maths and Science. They can then choose two others to broaden their learning and prepare them for IGCSE.

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Students then progress onto IGCSEs and study these between 14- and 16-years-old. Our courses are structured but flexible as students learn at their own pace. For some, they will be studying IGCSE courses before the age of 14, whilst others may need to go slower and will start IGCSE courses a little later. At this stage to comply with the UK curriculum they have to take English language, Maths and Science but they have the freedom to choose an additional 2-6 subjects. We have a wide range of subjects to choose from, so it depends on your child’s interests and plans for further education and careers.

Moving to further education

At age 16 students can continue to A levels. At this stage they select just three or four subjects to study at much further depth. These courses last two years and their choice of subject is very important if they wish to go to university. Often the student is led by the subjects they are strongest in at IGCSE.

Our university advice service can be accessed prior to selecting A levels. Our advisors can help guide your child on the best subjects to choose if they already have a degree course or future career in mind.

Guide to the UK education system

We hope this guide to the UK educations system has been useful and our video below gives a quick summary.

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