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    I Have Broken Down The Differences Between US And UK High Schools Because Trust Me, You Will Find This Interesting

    Senior Year = Year 13 = Sixth Form = College.

    Hi, I'm an American who lives in London. This means I am sometimes baffled by British Culture...

    People: what’s it like living in England? Me: this was front page news today

    ... which I pretend to understand...

    CBC / Via giphy.com

    ... even though I sometimes don't.

    Bravo / Via fiercegifs.tumblr.com

    "Haha! Yes, fellow Englishman! I too enjoy Sultanas.. it is... delicious to me... whatever they are..."

    This week, my British colleague published this post about questions she had about American High School. I realized I also have questions about British "High School" or, as they call it, "Secondary School." So I asked my questions and got a few answers.

    TL;DR I made a chart to explain the differences. Take it in, people!

    You'll notice the "years" don't match up.

    English School begins with "Year 1" which sounds like our "1st Grade" except students are kindergarten age.

    Sony / Via giphy.com

    This leads me to ask: why do Americans use the german word "kindergarten" to describe our first year of formal schooling??? England has their own "kindergarten" before Year 1 which they call "reception." That makes more sense.

    The English system calls their Senior Year "Year 13" which TBH just sounds like bad news.

    Year 13 sounds like a prison camp for troubled students or a supernatural high school TV show or something.

    Also notice that the England calls their final two years of school "Sixth Form."

    This makes me think of one meme and one meme only.

    Manga Entertainment / Via quickmeme.com

    I guess Sixth Form is everyone's final form?

    But wait, why is this period called both Sixth Form and College, you ask? Prepare yourself, because I have the answer.

    After Year 11 (aka "Sophomore Year"), English students go to either a "College" or "Sixth Form" to finish secondary school. This is because some secondary schools don't have grades past age 16 at the same school.

    So, some students attend a different school (called "College") to finish their education before going to university (the same university which Americans call "College").

    CTV / Via giphy.com

    But this means English "secondary school" isn't even their "high school" in the sense that US "high school" is the "highest school" you attend before University.

    It's more like an extended US "middle school" before Sixth Form or College, which should be considered UK "High School" IMHO.

    Or England could just call it "Third School" because it is... the third... type of school... you attend before University...

    Who names these things anyway?

    All that aside, the fact that English secondary school can include Sixth Form is crazy to me! This means students between ages 11 -18 are all in the same building together at some English schools.

    As a 14-year-old freshman, I found the Varsity football players terrifying. 12-year-old me would have been just utterly doomed.

    This causes me to conclude that UK school children must grow up fast.

    14 year olds now a days vs me when I was 14

    In conclusion, I hope this chart helped you understand the differences between American and English schools.

    And one final point: some English people pay to attend a different school than the government funded school, similar to a US "private school." But English people call some of these private schools "public schools." Meanwhile, public schools in England are called "state schools."

    Adult Swim / Via giphy.com

    So, in England, private school = public school. And public school = state school.

    There you have it folks! I hope you found this post educational.

    CORRECTIONS

    A previous version of this post referred to the "English School System" as the "UK School System," which did not account for differences in schooling between England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

    A previous version of this post did not specify that the English School System has Reception before Year 1.

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