Secondary School

Secondary School

British Secondary School

British curriculum secondary school starts when students are 11 years old as they enter year 7, this is the beginning of Key Stage 3. Similarly with British Primary school, students are expected to achieve certain academic standards by the end of Key Stage 3 and 4 as opposed to at the end of each academic year. On entering secondary school, students begin to study a greater diversity of subjects in greater depth. Timetables are generally now designed to have dedicated weekly lessons for each of the humanities, modern foreign languages and the arts, subjects which were previously only taught during dedicated topic weeks. By devoting time to subjects aside from the core English, Mathematics and Science, students have the opportunity to develop key skills and interests allowing them time to see where they really academically thrive.

How can we help?

At Feynman Education we understand that students perform differently across each academic discipline. If students need support with balancing their packed timetables we are here to help. Science is now split into three separate subjects, Biology, Chemistry and Physics; Maths is moving at a much faster pace; and the humanities and English are requiring more essays and deeper analysis. Our academic specialists are equipped with the knowledge, experience and expertise necessary to support all secondary school students so they reach their GCSE and A Level years feeling confident and prepared.

Frequently asked questions

The British National Curriculum is a formal set of education standards carefully curated by the British Department of Education. It spans a range of subjects and notes the progression within each discipline students should make during a Key Stage (approximately 3 to 4 academic years). The curriculum is regularly updated and adapted to ensure the material covered is relevant, expansive and appropriate.

The British Curriculum strives to achieve two aims:

 

  1. To provide students the adequate foundations to become educated citizens, by focusing on not only building fundamental academic knowledge but also celebrating human creativity and achievements.
  2. Not to limit breadth of knowledge by incorporating enough time for individuals to explore far beyond the realms of the guidelines. It provides an outline of core knowledge that teachers follow whilst allowing them the freedom to design exciting and stimulating lessons in order to communicate this information. It heavily encourages the development of pupils' knowledge, understanding and skills outside of the classroom, balancing academics with moral, cultural, spiritual, mental and physical development.

Traditionally secondary school begins after completion of Key Stage 2 or Year 6 when the students are usually 11 to 12 years old.

The British Curriculum is separated into year groups and key stages as detailed below:

Age Year Group Key Stage Assessment
3 - 4 years
Early Years Foundation
N/A
4 - 5 years
Reception
Early Years Foundation
Teacher assessment but no formal exam
5 - 6 years
Year 1
Key Stage 1
Phonics screening
6 - 7 years
Year 2
Key Stage 1
National tests (previously referred to as the SAT exams). Teacher assessments for English, Maths and Science
7 - 8 years
Year 3
Key Stage 2
End of year, internal school assessments
8 - 9 years
Year 4
Key Stage 2
End of year, internal school assessments
9 - 10 years
Year 5
Key Stage 2
End of year, internal school assessments
10 - 11 years
Year 6
Key Stage 2
National tests (previously referred to as the SAT exams). Teacher assessments for English, Maths and Science
11 - 12 years
Year 7
Key Stage 3
End of year, internal school assessments
12 - 13 years
Year 8
Key Stage 3
End of year, internal school assessments
13 - 14 years
Year 9
Key Stage 3
End of year, internal school assessments
14 - 15 years
Year 10
Key Stage 4
Some early GCSE formal exams can be taken
15 - 16 years
Year 11
Key Stage 4
The majority of GCSE exams are taken. This is the final year of compulsory education in the UK.
16 - 17 years
Year 12
Sixth form or College
A Levels (AS Levels), IB or college based exams
17 - 18 years
Year 13
Sixth form or College
A Levels (AS Levels), IB or college based exams

The British Curriculum is unlike other curriculums in the sense that if a student does not achieve the necessary standards of education within the academic year it is highly unlikely that they would be held back or required to repeat the year. Instead they would progress with their peers to the next academic year and with the understanding that the school will provide them with additional support.

All British curriculum schools will expect students to progress through a formal route, such as GCSE, and then proceeding onto A Level, IB or Btec etc. during their final academic years. Most of these paths will leave the student with a final tangible and internationally recognised qualification that will enable them to either go straight into employment, via an apprenticeship, or into tertiary education and beyond.

Yes, just as with the Primary British Education, Secondary students are also required to take English Literature, English Language, Mathematics and the Sciences. Their timetables will also allocate adequate time to the humanities, modern foreign languages, arts and physical education. Once the student has progressed through years 7, 8 and 9 they will move towards selecting their GCSE options where they have slightly more freedom when choosing their subjects. Please see our GCSE FAQ page to learn more.