The UK

There are two school systems in the UK. One is in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the other is in Scotland. There are also two types of schools – free public schools and private schools.

Primary schools:

Children go to primary schools from ages 5 to 11. They can be mixed or single sex. Sometimes they are ‘church’ or faith schools. Children who go to these kind of schools have to belong to the relevant church or a mosque.

Children who go to private schools have to pay fees. They are known as Prep schools. Because they prepare students for the entrance exams into the private secondary schools or ‘public’ schools. Some children take the secondary school entrance exams at 7, while others will stay on until 11.

Secondary schools

There are state comprehensive schools (everybody can go to these schools), faith secondary schools and ‘academies’. In ‘academies’ the focus may be on fewer academic subjects and on vocational courses instead.

Then there are the grammar schools. The only way to get into grammar school is by passing an entrance exam which is based on academic ability. They have a similar kind of education to private secondary schools, except they’re free.

Some areas have ‘middle schools’ which are for kids from around 12 to 14 years of age.

Universities (higher education)

Higher education is provided by universities and other institutions that give academic degrees. Like university colleges, and liberal arts colleges. It includes both the undergraduate level and the graduate level.


Like in Britain there are two kinds of schools – public schools and private schools. Everybody can go to public schools. But you have to pay some fee to go to private schools

Pre-schools/nursery and Kindergarten

Before school children can go to pre-schools/nursery schools and kindergartens (age 2-4). There children learn the alphabet, colours, and other elementary things. Parents have to pay for children to go to these schools.

children in USA usually go to school in these yellow buses

Elementary school

At age of 5 or 6 children go to elementary school. Elementary students are usually in one classroom with the same teacher most of the day.

Intermediate schools

These can be Middle Schools (where they usually move from class to class each period, with a new teacher and new classmates in every class – that is because students select their subjects), or Junior High Schools. Junior High School  is meant to be a preparation for High School.

High school

In high school, students in their first year are called freshman, in their second year sophomore, in their third year junior, and in their last and fourth year senior.

There they have more subjects than before. Students must earn a certain number of credits so they can  graduate and be awarded with a High School Diploma – there is no final examination like in many other countries.


The education in Australia lasts 12 years. Primary schools and high schools depend on the age of the student.The students with problems in their studies may be put into special classes.

Primary school

Children begin primary school with the age of 5 years. They go to primary school until they are around 12 years old. After that they go to High school

High schools

Students start going to secondary school with 12 years. It lasts 2 years. After that they receive a junior high school certificate, but not a high school certificate. If they want a high schools diploma they have to go to school 2 more years.

Students who leave school when they are 14/15 can take some training to enter the work force, or to study in any vocational course.

The last 2 years students study for their chosen professions. The student will choose what to study depending on the career in which they want to follow. For example, a student who wants to do Engineering in University should chose subjects such as physics, and high level mathematics instead of subjects such as history, or biology.

Most common subjects in schools

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