Study in the UK Full Year

The UK High School Year program will start in September and end in July. However in the UK Studying is not continuous.

UK School Holidays

UK School Holidays

October Two weeks off for half term
December Two weeks off for holiday celebrations
February One week off for half term
March/April Two weeks off for Easter
May One week off for half term
June Study leave
July Exams

For a walk around a typical UK Sixth form please watch the video below.

For more information on UK schools please also {see here=]

British school students usually wear uniforms
This is probably a major difference between a British schools and your home school. While students in most other countries can wear more-or-less what they want, students in Britain are usually required to wear uniforms More traditional schools will have blazers and ties and more modern schools wear a logo polo shirt or sweatshirt with neutral trousers or skirts. Each school has its own colour code, crest and uniform policy. Girls are allowed to wear trousers instead of skirts. In some schools the uniform tends is more relaxed for students aged 16-18. Some schools allow students to dress in their own clothes where as other schools request you come to school dressed as if you were going to work in an office.

Most the stuff you need is provided by the school
In the UK Students are expected to buy their own bags, uniform (as well as sports kit) and pens and pencils, but that's all. Textbooks and exercise books are provided by the school, for free. For the first three years of primary school, all students get free school lunches as well. Whether this seems generous or stingy will depend on which school system you're used to.

With everyone wearing the same uniform and using the same textbooks and exercise books, it's certainly the case that school students in the UK can be a more homogeneous group that in other countries - what can be different is that in the UK, each school will have its own distinct identity and branding, so while all students from that school will be dressed the same and using the same materials, they could also be quite distinct from the school just down the road.

School days are shorter in the UK
A school day lasts from around 9 in the morning until around 3.30pm in the afternoon. There will be two short comfort breaks one in the morning and one in the afternoon. There is also a lunch breaks which varies from school to school. Our host families provide a packed lunch for you to take to school but there is always a cheap canteen on site where you can buy yourself a hot meal and snacks if you wish. Schools mark time by the ringing of a bell. The bell tells you its time for school, the start and end of break times and the end of the school day

The length and timings of a school day can vary considerably around the world. A Brazilian school day might start at 7am but end at noon. Chinese school days can be very long, from 7.30am to 5pm or even later. French school days last longer than British ones, running from 8am to 4pm - but that includes two hours for lunch. British school days start around 9am, usually with a 15 minute break mid-morning, and an hour for lunch.

We don't repeat years in the UK
One way in which the British school system differs considerably from that of other countries is that it is virtually unknown for students to repeat a year.

More normal is for a particularly bright student to be moved up a year, so that they will be among classmates who are a year older than them. This is still relatively rare - so the majority of the time, you can expect to be in a class filled exclusively with people who are the same age as you

UK schools are usually autonomous
In the UK schools are required to follow the national curriculum, however, an individual school has the freedom to decide which exam boards it will use, which optional subjects it will teach what sort of uniform students wear, which foreign exchanges it puts in place, how it spends its budget on things like new buildings and facilities. A new type of school called a Free School has even more freedom more individual flexibility than this, they can change the holidays and the school day.

The main consequence for students is that no two schools in the same area with a similar sort of intake can be the same in fact they are quite different depending on the choices made by the headteacher and the school's governing body.

Teachers are treated respectfully, but don't earn respect by default
In the UK the teacher/student relationship is quite informal. Most of the teaching staff are called "Sir or Miss" We rarely call teachers by their first name. You wont find your teacher on Facebook either. The most old-fashioned teacher will expect the class to stand up when they enter a room. The class will be expected to be quiet and pay attention when the teacher is speaking, but if the teacher makes a factual mistake of some kind, someone in the class will point it out.

We study fewer subjects than in many other countries
At the start of secondary school, a British student might study a dozen subjects: English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, History, Religious Studies, Art, Computing, Technology, Physical Education and one or two languages. At the age of 14-15, this would drop down to the core subjects of English, Mathematics and the sciences, plus another three or four of the rest. So far, so in line with most other countries.

However, at the age of 16-17 - the start of the sixth form, students taking A-levels (the most popular school leaving exams in the UK) usually take a mere three or four subjects entirely of their own choice - so after the age of 16, they could focus entirely on sciences, and never study humanities again, or vice versa. The consequence is to make students choose an overall academic path much sooner than they do elsewhere, and to give them an education that is much more deep than broad.

British Students are encouraged to speak up and share their opinions
The traditional Victorian image of students sitting in rows in front of a blackboard, patiently writing down everything that their stern teacher says, doesn't much resemble a modern British school. For one thing, teachers aim to keep their lessons lively and varied, but more importantly, students speaking up and having their opinions heard is considered a major part of the educational process. So you might just as often see students sitting around working in groups and discussing a task with one another, or with their desks in rows facing one another for a debate. If everyone is facing the board, they're as likely to be listening to a presentation given by one of their classmates as they are to be listening to a teacher.

There's usually something to do after school.
The school day proper may run from 9am to 3.30pm or thereabouts, but many schools have breakfast clubs from 8am or earlier and after-school clubs that might run until 4.30 or 5pm. Choirs will practise during lunchtimes and after school; there is after-school sports practice; and there may even be the option of picking up an extra qualification with after-school lessons. You can go swimming, join the gym, rehearse in the school production or just do your homework.

These kinds of school-based activities are usually cheap if not free, are a normal part of British school life, and most students will be involved in one or more activities. While British schools don't get involved in students home life the school is not just a place of education, but a kind of community hub for all to enjoy

British school in the media
Media is becoming more a part of school life, every school has a website, even though this is just for information and maybe homework. Some schools have twitters and you tube accounts. Some schools even issue free ipads and laptops so you can do your homework and assignments