Senior Year Around The World: England


I'm Kirsty, I'm 16, from England and currently in my final year of secondary (high) school. I blog at kirstyhwright. As I'm not yet at the stage of looking at university, my post may be a bit different to others. As some of you may not understand the English education system I'll quickly explain it to you. 

You start primary school at age 4/5 (before this nursery is optional). At age 4-5 you are in reception, 5-6 is Year 1, 6-7 is Year 2 and so on. Primary school ends in Year 6, aged 10-11. After primary school you start secondary school. Year 7 (aged 11-12) to Year 11 (aged 15-16). After Year 11 you start 6th Form. 6th Form is two years long, during which you take your A Levels/IB. You leave 6th form aged 18 and can then choose whether to go to university or not.

In Year 10 you start learning your GCSE subjects. GCSEs (general certificate of secondary education) are the exams that you have to take in Year 11. These results determine where you go for 6th form. Most people take about 10 GCSEs. Different schools have different compulsory subjects, these can also differ between students. In my school, I have to take English Literature, English Language, Maths, Core Science, Additional Science, Religious Education and Spanish. Then we had the choice between either Geography or History, I chose History, and we could then take two other subjects. If I could have chosen any subjects I would have taken Dance and Photography, but, of course, my school doesn't offer those subjects, so I took Sociology and Textiles. Textiles is a lot of stress, due to being a bit messed around by the school, but I do like it. I really enjoy Sociology, it's probably my favourite subject and I'm so glad I chose it, especially as it was kind of a backup option for me!

Anyway, I'm going to be taking my GCSEs in May and June. Very, very nervous, hopefully all will go well! 

Year 11 is a very stressful year as I have to pick my 6th form and A Level/IB subjects. General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (A Levels) are subjects taken over two years. You chose these subjects and the results will have a big impact on future careers and university. You usually take 3/4 A Level subjects. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is "an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education, and is accepted by many universities worldwide". 

Again, the IB is taken over two years. You take 6 subjects chosen from the 6 subject blocks and you have to take three core requirements: Extended Essay (EE), Theory of Knowledge(TOK) and Creativity, Action and Service (CAS). A Levels are much more commonly offered in the UK, but my current school is an IB school. In my school you have to take 3 Higher Level (HL) subjects and 3 Standard Level (SL) subjects. I am strongly considering taking the IB as I currently have no clue what I would like to do in the future and I believe doing the IB will keep my options open. (Oh my gosh I feel like I'm writing my personal statement! Sorry for the information overload)!

By the way, when you finish secondary, most schools have their own 6th Forms and you can chose to either stay at your school or go to a different one! If I go to a different school I have applied to take 4 A Levels; Maths, Philosophy, Psychology and then either History/English Literature (it depends on the school as different courses are offered). If I stay at my school and do the IB, I am hoping to take Maths HL, Philosophy (HL), Psychology (HL), Chemistry (SL), English Literature (SL) and Spanish (SL).

So, end of school traditions. Well! Prom, I suppose. Prom is a typically American tradition, so my Head of Year is insisting on calling it the "Spring Ball", but we're all calling it prom, because that is what it is. Our school have prom on a boat down the River Thames, which is pretty cool. I suppose another kind-of-tradition is the after parties. I suppose the other things that happen are after the exams,we have a very long summer, a lot of my friends and I are planning on going to festivals! Should be fun. Oh, we also have a yearbook, getting my photo taken this coming week!

Hopefully this post gave you an insight into senior year in England!

Thanks again to Kirsty for writing this post! For more articles, visit her blog; kirstyhwright :)

1 comment:

  1. Hi there,

    My name is Izzy, and I'm a teenage blogger at My Life And I. This blog is helping me so much with blogging, what with being a complete novice and that!

    - Izzy | 15 | My Life And I