The British school system
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Registered office: 15 Annandale Street, Edinburgh EH7 4AW, Scotland
The modern British educational system provides a wide range of options, including A levels, IB exams, BTECs and vocational qualifications. Many secondary schools also have Sixth Forms for students at 16-18 years of age to study for their A-levels or BTECs, but a lot of students transfer at 16 to a Sixth Form College or College of Further Education. The Colleges offer a full range of A Level and BTEC options and sometimes also GCSEs. Sixth Form exams give entry to Higher Education. Sixth Form in England is equivalent to Highers in Scotland or the Leavers Certificate in Ireland. We work with a wide range of colleges that provide an extensive range of academic, sporting, performing art and enrichment options so whether students are preparing for university, or looking for a qualification which will prepare them directly for the world of work we will be able to find them a programme to suit their needs.
BTEC’s and A levels are the further education courses most commonly chosen by British students. With the educational system in England changing, students are now required to stay in education or an apprenticeship until the age of 18. This means that schools and colleges are working towards offering an even wider selection of subjects to cater for everyone. While some courses, typically A-levels, are changing to 2 years before the exam is taken, others are completed in one year. BTEC’s and vocational qualifications are an excellent alternative to A levels in England and are now being offered by many schools and colleges due to the fact that whilst learning and gaining a qualification they are also being prepared for the world of work. International Baccalaureate (IB)The International Baccalaureate is a further education Diploma programme. IB has in recent years been recognised internationally as an alternative for Higher Education/University entry. The programme is a 2 year course and offered in several of the colleges we work with.
Because they are usually bigger, Sixth form colleges can often offer more study options than a school meaning that a wider range of qualifications are on offer. Many also have sports, music or creative arts academies offering specialist support for students wishing to pursue a career within those industries.
In addition to this, the colleges usually have better facilities than regular schools, eg. media suites, photography studios, performing arts theatre etc and a wider range of enrichment activities to enhance learning. Examples of activities include a wide range of team sports, martial arts, politics and debating societies, drama and music productions. Many colleges also have a gym and dance studio so there are plenty of opportunities to mix with the Birtish students both academically and socially.
Colleges primarily cater for students aged 16 and over, and this means that students are treated as young adults, who want to learn and end enjoy a more informal relationship with their teachers than in traditional schools. This promotes a dynamic and vibrant learning environment where gifted students can excel, especially as these students will be given additional support to tailor their learning towards applying for the top UK universities.