Friday, 12 February 2016

How the School System Works - Part One

In my day, you started in Year 1, then started again in Year 1 at Secondary School....but now it’s all changed! (Unless you are a younger version!!)

So how does it all work? The time your child is in the school system, from 5 to 16, which are broken up into Key Stages, Key Stage One, from 5 to 7 year old's, starts children from 5 to 7. This takes them into Year One, Year Two, and Year Three. Key Stage Two, Years Four to Six, then onto Secondary School, with Key Stage Three from Years 7 to 9, and finally Key Stage Four, Years Ten and Eleven.

Now normally, children select options in Year 9, and start working towards their GCSE's in Year Ten, but this does depend on the individual schools. Some school start GCSE's (That the new term for O ‘Levels!) in Year Nine, in some schools children (now did!) take GCSE's early in Year Ten.  So, keep abreast of what your school do!

After Secondary School comes Key Stage Five, which could be Sixth Form College's, and Further Education Colleges. Now, I may be unpopular in saying this but, if your child does well at school, do not be persuaded by the 'we do A levels' at Further Education Colleges. In my opinion, Sixth Form Colleges produce better results, unless your child is determined to follow a particular career and decides to do a course at a Further Education College. Want good “A” levels? Go to a Sixth Form!

Just out of interest, A Levels are still in fashion! Only in the first year they are called AS's, the second year A levels.

Now it is prudent for me to mention that there are exceptions to my generalisation. Some Local Authorities have Middle Schools, Some have Secondary Schools called Community Colleges. Some schools are re-branded, usually the failing ones, and given new titles! Your point of call is to check each individual schools Key Stage Four results.

At this point, have a sit down. (That is if you are not already doing so!) I am always amused when working in a more challenging school, for want of another word, when I see great children, amongst terrors. I want to run and find their parents and ask them if they are suffering from some sort of delusion. Statistics do exist! Regardless what the media states, sending your child to the school with the highest GCSE results is always going to be better. Don't listen to the claptrap of how statistics are manipulated! Yes, of course they are, and all schools do it! Which means that those with low scores, are, very, very low!

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