In England and Wales, children are required to attend school between the ages of 5 and 15, though of course they can attend outside these age ranges. The two main types of schools are Primary and Secondary, which can sometime be split into different types. Here is a list with all the different key stages for the British Education system:
Primary: Age 5 - 11 years
Many primary age schools are split up into Infant (Key Stage 1) and Junior (Key Stage 2) schools. Before attending a primary school, many children attend a Nursery school. Nursery schools can take in children between the ages of 3 and 5 years and may or may not be attached to a state infant/primary school. The primary age year groups are as follows:
Reception/Year R (age 4-5) - Foundation
Year 1 (age 5-6), Year 2 (age 6-7) - Key Stage 1
Year 3 (age 7-8), Year 4 (age 8-9), Year 5 (age 9-10), Year 6 (age 10-11) - Key Stage 2
Secondary: Age 11 - 15 years
Most Secondary schools are known as Comprehensives, but in some towns there are Grammar Schools where admission is based on a successful selection test (11+). Some secondary schools do not have a Sixth form, so children leave at the end of their fifth year. Those secondary schools that do have a sixth form have children who stage at school until their eighteenth year. The Secondary age year groups are as follows:-
Year 7 (age 11-12), Year 8 (age 12-13), Year 9 (age 13-14) - Key Stage 3
Year 10 (age 14-15), Year 11 (age 15-16) - Key Stage 4
Schools with a sixth from have two more year groups: Year 12 (ages 16-17), Year 13 (ages 17-18). (These latter two year groups are sometimes called the lower and upper sixth forms).
First and Middle Schools
In some counties of Britain, instead of primary schools, they have First and Middle schools. For example the counties of Suffolk and Dorest have this school system. First schools take in children between the ages of 5 and 9, whilst middle schools take in children between the ages of 9 and 12. After this the children then go on to attend a secondary school.
Children in Wales follow more or less the same model as the English system, though there are some notable differences. For example, children first start primary school in the term after their fifth birthday, and Welsh as a subject is compulsory in all Welsh state schools. Testing at Key Stage 1 is no longer compulsory and this is being extended to Key Stage 2 and 3 by the year 2007-8. For more information on Welsh schools press here
Children in Scotland usually start school in the year when they reach age five. They spend seven years at primary school before going on to secondary school around the age of 12 years old. The year groups in Scottish primary schools are called P1, P2, etc, whilst those in Scottish secondary schools are called S1, S2, etc. Pupils will follow a wide curriculum for the first two years, before going on to study less subjects in more detail for the next two years. At the end of S4 pupils will sit examinations in either Standard Grade or Intermediate. In their fifth year they study a smaller number of subjects, usually at Higher (although they might still study Standard Grade or Intermediate). In their sixth year they progress to Advanced Higher.
For more information on Scottish schools and education press here
Northern Ireland Schools
Children in Northern Ireland follow a similar system to England and Wales with primary and secondary schools, though until recently all primary children took the 11 Plus exam for possible entrance to grammar schools. This exam is no longer compulsory in Northern Ireland, though the majority of children do still take this exam. For more information on schools and education in Northern Ireland press here
To find a school press here