Senior Year Around The World: Wales


My name's Rhiannon, and I'm a student in the small country of Wales, in the UK. I'm 18 years old, and am in my final year of Chweched Dosbarth (Sixth Form - the equivalent of a US high school Senior Year).
The school year with us (like many other countries, I think) starts in the first week of September, and ends in July. The year is then split into 3 terms: Tymor yr Hydref (Autumn), Tymor y Gwanwyn (Spring) and Tymor yr Haf (Summer).

Ysgol Gynradd (Primary School) starts here in Wales at 3 years old, when children begin in Dosbarth Derbyn (Reception Class). At my Primary School, this class lasted for 2 years, but it can vary dependant on the local council or the type of school (council-run/private/religious). The school then runs from Year 1 to Year 6.

After this, children aged 11 go to Ysgol Uwchradd (Secondary School). These are split into 4 categories: Category 1 (completely Welsh education), Category 2a (most subjects taught in Welsh), Category 2b (most subjects taught in English), Category 3 (completely English education). My school's a Category 2a.

In the first 3 years, everyone has to study a wide range of subjects, to broaden their understanding of the topics. Then in Year 10 and Year 11, students take their TGAU exams, where they have to choose 3 subjects to study alongside the core subjects (Maths, Science, Welsh, English, Religious Studies and Computers).
After Year 11, you can either decide to go out to work and earn a living, study a vocational subject in college (i.e. hairdressing, building, childcare), or study A Levels in school or college.

I decided that I wasn't ready to go out to work, so I went to study my Lefel A (A Levels) which last 2 years. One thing I really like about being in the Chweched Dosbarth is the freedom I have, compared to in my earlier education. You can choose exactly which subjects you'd like to take, and there's free time between lessons to work, and revise (and - if you're like my friends and I - to sing Disney songs!)

Last year, I decided I'd spend my 2 years studying English Literature, Religious Studies and Psychology (with 1 year studying Biology), and am sitting my final exams in the summer. This is a really important year for me, because the grades from these exams will determine whether or not I get accepted into my chosen university - which is both really scary and really exciting!!!

So there we go. A taste of Senior Year (and more) from a Welsh perspective. Hope you enjoyed! x

Thanks very much to Rhiannon for contributing to our series! For more of her articles, visit her blog: A Little Red Notebook!


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  2. I was interested to read your blog entry. It is good to know how the school system works in Wales. I wish you all the best for your future.