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  #141  
Old 06-16-2021, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
Sorry, but sometimes I get confused with British education terminology. If "public school" actually means a fee-paying school and state school means a public school in US/Canada terminology, what is exactly a "private secondary school" and how does it differ from a British "public school"?
Yes, I would so appreciate it if someone would explain the British schooling system. For those not familiar with the US, we have free public education:

Elementary:
K - kindergarten
1-5 grades

Middle school:
6-8

High School:
9-12

And of course we have lots of (not free) private schools in K-12. As well as lots of home schoolers.

Then we have a system of (not free) community colleges (trade certificate, 2 year Associate’s degree and others), four year colleges and universities leading to some sort of bachelor’s degree, then professional schools (law, medicine, theology, for example) as well as master’s levels in things like speech pathology, counseling, and Ph.D.’s in all sorts of things.

Thanks in advance for explaining- I get so confused by “ A levels in ....”. Our system is just different
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  #142  
Old 06-16-2021, 04:22 PM
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Nursery: From a few weeks old (if necessary) to 4/5.

4/5 -11 is Primary school. This is called Reception to Year 6.

This stage of schooling can also be called Preparatory (Prep) school which is fee paying (private/independent).

Many Prep Schools can also go up to 13 (as James's school Eagle House does). It is supposed to be preparing you for your public school. Eagle House is considered a feeder prep school for Wellington just as Ludgrove where William and Harry went to is a feeder for Eton. But you don't *have* to go to these specific schools.

Some private schools have pre prep (Reception to Year 2) and prep departments as part of the larger school up to 18. So you can theoretically say in one school your entire live until 18.

Secondary school goes from 11-16 years old. Or 11-18. This is Year 7-11 And is called that both for private schools (not public) and state schools. This is where people take GCSEs at age 16 (Year 11)

6th Form goes from 16-18. It can also be called Year 12 and 13. This is when A Levels happen.

It is often a completely different department in many schools with it's own block or section of campus. And can even be a separate "6th Form College" where you leave one school and start another for two years. This is especially true of state schools but there are so fee paying/private 6th Form colleges as well. This is the type of school that Princess Elisabeth attended in Wales and Princess Leonore is joining.

Some public/private schools don't differentiate as much between 6th Form and 11-16 as others.

Some public schools don't use the year 7-13 numbering system and go from Upper 3rd (11 years old) or Upper 4 (13 YO) to Upper 6th. That system is where the term 6th Form comes from but it seems to have stayed on as a concept after many schools when with the State School labelling Reception to year 13.

Most universities in England are 3 years with some four years for languages or some sciences/engineering for undergrad.

Universities in Scotland are often 4 year undergrad degrees.

I don't think we have the differentiation between public/private universities as much as there is in the US and nothing like "in state tuition". There are some community college equivalents but it's not quite the same, or so I'm lead to believe.

Oh, and the exact rules and regulations are different in different parts of the UK. In Scotland they take Highers, not A Levels and Standard Grades not GCSEs.

I'm not sure I'm uncomplicating things!
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  #143  
Old 06-16-2021, 06:02 PM
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It is a bit confusing!


The vast majority of children attend a nursery up to the age of 4, then a primary school up to the age of 11, then a secondary school up to the age of 18. GCSE exams (formerly O levels) are taken at 16 and A levels at 18, except in Scotland where Highers are taken at 17. Schools can be either state schools (i.e. state-funded schools) or private (independent, fee-paying) schools. Some private primary schools are called prep schools. A lot of private secondary schools admit pupils by entrance exams, which are usually a lot harder than the "common entrance exam" used by public schools!


For wealthy/upper class people, boys may attend a pre-prep school until the age of 7, then a prep school up to the age of 13, then a public school such as Eton, Harrow or Winchester - the very prestigious schools, also independent and fee-paying. It looks as if James is in this system, as he's still at his prep school even though he's now 13.

I wonder which public school they've got in mind for him. We don't know that much about him, but he seems like a fairly quiet lad, so I'm not sure Gordonstoun would suit him.
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  #144  
Old 06-16-2021, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Alison H View Post
It looks as if James is in this system, as he's still at his prep school even though he's now 13.

I wonder which public school they've got in mind for him. We don't know that much about him, but he seems like a fairly quiet lad, so I'm not sure Gordonstoun would suit him.
I have assumed Wellington. But only because Eagle House is a feeder school for it and it's fairly close by allowing him to potentially flexi board as necessary if they don't want him to be a full time boarder. Eton is also reasonably close by but doesn't really offer flexi boarding (where kids board as necessary whilst their parents are working) or weekly boarding. Of course we have no idea what they're looking for in a school for him so it's all guess work.

I'd be surprised if he went to Gordonstoun but you never know.
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  #145  
Old 06-16-2021, 07:04 PM
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Thank you both! I get confused too. This has been very helpful.
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  #146  
Old 06-16-2021, 08:19 PM
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St. Mary's Ascot is or was a Roman Catholic school. Therefore, is Lady Louise actually attending St. George's Ascot (where Princess Beatrice of York may have gone) or Heathfield where Princess Alexandra of Kent went? Is it that the information is wrong so as to put the public off in order to give Lady Louise a break?
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  #147  
Old 06-16-2021, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Susan D View Post
St. Mary's Ascot is or was a Roman Catholic school. Therefore, is Lady Louise actually attending St. George's Ascot (where Princess Beatrice of York may have gone) or Heathfield where Princess Alexandra of Kent went? Is it that the information is wrong so as to put the public off in order to give Lady Louise a break?
No, I very much doubt it. If it was many decades ago then no, Lady Louise would be Princess Louise and unlikely to attend an RC school.

There's no "break" needed for Louise, thankfully, that they have to obfuscate which school she's at. If she had gone to St. George's where her cousin went I'm sure we'd know.

St. Mary's is RC and it does have that influence in it's teaching but many, many parents send their daughters their because it's considered a great school with a lot of pastoral emphasis.

To be honest you wouldn't find that much difference *on the surface* between mid-high church Anglican and Roman Catholic services. If that was a consideration for them.

If they sent their son to Ampleforth etc that might raise more eye brows. But St Mary's near where they live, no.
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  #148  
Old 06-16-2021, 09:26 PM
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It confuses me too. I think it means it is open to the public if they can pay the fee. Is this correct?
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  #149  
Old 06-16-2021, 09:29 PM
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Thank you all for explaining the educational system in England:) An interesting and helpful discussion!
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  #150  
Old 06-16-2021, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavs View Post
Nursery: From a few weeks old (if necessary) to 4/5.

4/5 -11 is Primary school. This is called Reception to Year 6.

This stage of schooling can also be called Preparatory (Prep) school which is fee paying (private/independent).

Many Prep Schools can also go up to 13 (as James's school Eagle House does). It is supposed to be preparing you for your public school. Eagle House is considered a feeder prep school for Wellington just as Ludgrove where William and Harry went to is a feeder for Eton. But you don't *have* to go to these specific schools.

Some private schools have pre prep (Reception to Year 2) and prep departments as part of the larger school up to 18. So you can theoretically say in one school your entire live until 18.

Secondary school goes from 11-16 years old. Or 11-18. This is Year 7-11 And is called that both for private schools (not public) and state schools. This is where people take GCSEs at age 16 (Year 11)

6th Form goes from 16-18. It can also be called Year 12 and 13. This is when A Levels happen.

It is often a completely different department in many schools with it's own block or section of campus. And can even be a separate "6th Form College" where you leave one school and start another for two years. This is especially true of state schools but there are so fee paying/private 6th Form colleges as well. This is the type of school that Princess Elisabeth attended in Wales and Princess Leonore is joining.

Some public/private schools don't differentiate as much between 6th Form and 11-16 as others.

Some public schools don't use the year 7-13 numbering system and go from Upper 3rd (11 years old) or Upper 4 (13 YO) to Upper 6th. That system is where the term 6th Form comes from but it seems to have stayed on as a concept after many schools when with the State School labelling Reception to year 13.

Most universities in England are 3 years with some four years for languages or some sciences/engineering for undergrad.

Universities in Scotland are often 4 year undergrad degrees.

I don't think we have the differentiation between public/private universities as much as there is in the US and nothing like "in state tuition". There are some community college equivalents but it's not quite the same, or so I'm lead to believe.

Oh, and the exact rules and regulations are different in different parts of the UK. In Scotland they take Highers, not A Levels and Standard Grades not GCSEs.

I'm not sure I'm uncomplicating things!
Thank so much - this was very helpful! One more question: what are A and O levels for? To get into university? And what are GCSEs?

We have the SAT or ACT national tests to get into undergraduate college or university and GREs to get into graduate school; but other specific tests for law and medicine.

Thanks again!
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  #151  
Old 06-16-2021, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royalist.in.NC View Post
Thank so much - this was very helpful! One more question: what are A and O levels for? To get into university? And what are GCSEs?

We have the SAT or ACT national tests to get into undergraduate college or university and GREs to get into graduate school; but other specific tests for law and medicine.

Thanks again!
Did you read Harry Potter?

Remember OWLs and NEWTs.

A levels, O levels and GCSEs are a bit like that - externally set and marked exams based on a national syllabus. That means if a student studies GCSE History, for instance, every student who studied that course, in the country, will sit the same exam, at the same time and the papers will then be sent to another place to be marked to the same standard across the country.

A levels are the end of school and are a major part of what a student needs to get into university.

Going back for instance:

Charles earned 6 O levels and 2 A levels (History B and French C). Those grades weren't really good enough for Cambridge but he still went there and graduated with a 2.2 degree.

William earned 12 GCSEs and 3 A levels (Geography A, Biology C and History of Art B) Those grades were good enough for St Andrews where he graduated with a 2.1.

Harry earned 11 GCSEs and 2 A levels (Art B and Geography D).

Catherine earned 11 GCSEs and 3 A levels (As and both Maths and Art and a B in English). She also graduated from St Andrews with a 2.1.

Beatrice earned 3 A levels (can't find the number of GCSEs) - A in Drama and Bs in History and Film Studies before going on to graduate from Goldsmiths with a 2.1 in History and History of Ideas.

Eugenie also earned 3 A levels - As in Art and English Literature as well as a B in History of Art. She then graduated with a 2.1 from Newcastle University in English Literature and History of Art.

Diana famously didn't get any O levels even though she tried twice.

Louise is currently studying for her A levels which she will sit next year, I believe. From there she may take a gap year before university. Her father earned three A levels - 1 C and 2 Ds. Again these grades weren't good enough for Cambridge but he went there anyway and graduated with a 2.2 in History.
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  #152  
Old 06-17-2021, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
Did you read Harry Potter?

Remember OWLs and NEWTs.

A levels, O levels and GCSEs are a bit like that - externally set and marked exams based on a national syllabus. That means if a student studies GCSE History, for instance, every student who studied that course, in the country, will sit the same exam, at the same time and the papers will then be sent to another place to be marked to the same standard across the country.

A levels are the end of school and are a major part of what a student needs to get into university.

Going back for instance:

Charles earned 6 O levels and 2 A levels (History B and French C). Those grades weren't really good enough for Cambridge but he still went there and graduated with a 2.2 degree.

William earned 12 GCSEs and 3 A levels (Geography A, Biology C and History of Art B) Those grades were good enough for St Andrews where he graduated with a 2.1.

Harry earned 11 GCSEs and 2 A levels (Art B and Geography D).

Catherine earned 11 GCSEs and 3 A levels (As and both Maths and Art and a B in English). She also graduated from St Andrews with a 2.1.

Beatrice earned 3 A levels (can't find the number of GCSEs) - A in Drama and Bs in History and Film Studies before going on to graduate from Goldsmiths with a 2.1 in History and History of Ideas.

Eugenie also earned 3 A levels - As in Art and English Literature as well as a B in History of Art. She then graduated with a 2.1 from Newcastle University in English Literature and History of Art.

Diana famously didn't get any O levels even though she tried twice.

Louise is currently studying for her A levels which she will sit next year, I believe. From there she may take a gap year before university. Her father earned three A levels - 1 C and 2 Ds. Again these grades weren't good enough for Cambridge but he went there anyway and graduated with a 2.2 in History.
What does 2.1 and 2.2 mean? In the US when you graduate from university you generally earn a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) or B.S. (Bachelor of Science). Some universities will note if you graduate from an Honors school/program, most will note if you graduate 'cum laude' (with honor), 'summa cum laude' (with great honor), or 'magna cum laude' (with highest honor). Does 2.1 or 2.2 equate to those terms?
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  #153  
Old 06-17-2021, 12:20 AM
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I will need to leave 2.1 and 2.2 to a Brit.

Here in Australia we start with a Bachelor's degree.

The 2.1 and 2.2 or 1st/3rds are only awarded to those who do the extra year for an Honours Degree. I didn't do that and went straight from my BA to MA and M.Ed and now Ph.D (may not finish but if I do it will be a couple more years).
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  #154  
Old 06-17-2021, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Sunnystar View Post
What does 2.1 and 2.2 mean? In the US when you graduate from university you generally earn a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) or B.S. (Bachelor of Science). Some universities will note if you graduate from an Honors school/program, most will note if you graduate 'cum laude' (with honor), 'summa cum laude' (with great honor), or 'magna cum laude' (with highest honor). Does 2.1 or 2.2 equate to those terms?
In the UK (and Australian systems), honours levels are classified as 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Under 2nd class honours, there is level 1 and level 2. Level 1 is considered a credit grade (65-74%) and level 2 is pass level (60-65%).
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  #155  
Old 06-17-2021, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Royalist.in.NC View Post
Thank so much - this was very helpful! One more question: what are A and O levels for? To get into university? And what are GCSEs?

We have the SAT or ACT national tests to get into undergraduate college or university and GREs to get into graduate school; but other specific tests for law and medicine.

Thanks again!
The school leaving exam, at age 18, which is a key input into the university admissions process is the A-levels. You are required to take 3 A levels, though a number of children take 4 and use the best 3 for their grades.

The GSCEs are taken at the end of Year 11, when you are 16. The predecessor to these were the O levels. These exams are not usually a major input into your university admission process, but mark the end of your broad education covering 10-11 subjects. Somebody close to me recently did his, and had exams in Maths, English Literature, English Language, Physics, Chem, Biology, History, Ancient History, Product Design, French and Latin.
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  #156  
Old 06-17-2021, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Alison H View Post
He's 13 now, and boys usually enter public school at 13, rather than 11 for state/private secondary schools, so I would assume he's in his last year and will be starting his new school, whichever one it is, in September.
His current school is a “feeder” school for Wellington College so my guess would be that’s where he is going in September. I can’t see him attending Eton like his older cousins or being sent to boarding school like his oldest cousin Peter.
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  #157  
Old 06-17-2021, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ladyjolene View Post
It confuses me too. I think it means it is open to the public if they can pay the fee. Is this correct?
Yea roughly speaking, and a public shcool has a board of governors. (there are scholarships for clever kids).
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  #158  
Old 06-17-2021, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Molly2101 View Post
His current school is a “feeder” school for Wellington College so my guess would be that’s where he is going in September. I can’t see him attending Eton like his older cousins or being sent to boarding school like his oldest cousin Peter.
William and Harry also boarded. They were sent to boarding school when they were aged 8 - as was Edward, Andrew and Charles.

Zara also boarded at Gordonstoun and Eugenie at Marlborough - a few years behind Catherine.

Of the older cousins the only one who didn't board in high school was Beatrice due to going to St George's at Ascot.

Wellington College takes day pupils and is in Berkshire so he may very well attend there. Eton is full boarding only - no day pupils.
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  #159  
Old 06-17-2021, 04:33 AM
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yes nearly all royal kids boarded. But I think that now there may be a compromise of them being weekly boarders so that thier parents are not needed to be there all the time, but the children are not away form home for months on end.
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  #160  
Old 06-17-2021, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
I will need to leave 2.1 and 2.2 to a Brit.

Here in Australia we start with a Bachelor's degree.

The 2.1 and 2.2 or 1st/3rds are only awarded to those who do the extra year for an Honours Degree. I didn't do that and went straight from my BA to MA and M.Ed and now Ph.D (may not finish but if I do it will be a couple more years).
We start with a Bachelor's degree - usually either BA (Bachelor of Arts) or BSc (Bachelor of Sciences). You do a 3 year course and then get a degree. It is possible just to get a pass, but that's unusual - the vast majority of people get an honours degree, which can be a 1st, a 2.1 and 2.2 or a 3, i.e. first class honours, third class honours, etc. 2.1 and 2.2 are upper second class honours and lower second class honours.

Just to confuse the issue, it's different in Scotland, where you study for 4 years and then get an MA/MSc (Master of Arts/Sciences), which would require an additional course in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

William, Kate, Beatrice and Eugenie have all got 2.1 degrees. I'm not sure about Peter and Zara.
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