How UK Secondary School Education Compares to the USA

News / February 6, 2013

Secondary schools in the United Kingdom usually incorporate children from ages 11 through 18. Exceptional students can actually advance at an earlier age and enroll in college or sixth form education. For the most part, secondary schools in the U.K. don’t differ much from those found in the United States. Although the United States educational system usually separates grades six through eight in a “middle-school” atmosphere, sometimes the classes are combined as a secondary school. The secondary schools in the United States begin to shape what real-life knowledge our children will need after graduation. What subjects are taught in a U.K. secondary school?

1. English – Although our children can speak the language, the secondary schooling of English delves more into the structure of advanced sentences and proper usage. This is a core class in the U.K. as it is in the United States.

2. Foreign Languages – In the United States, many schools are making Spanish the mandatory foreign language taught in schools. The U.K. has a more diverse curriculum given the location inĀ  Europe. Not too many schools in the U.S. teach Greek or Mandarin.

3. Mathematics – All forms of mathematics are available in secondary schools. This can range anywhere from rudimentary math to trigonometry and above.

4. Citizenship – In the United Kingdom, Citizenship is taught to students as a way to develop their minds and prepare them to be a better citizen in a community. Having the ability to work well with others and promote a more responsible roll in the community can have excellent benefits for the future of the student.

5. Religious Education – As opposed to the United States, the secondary schools in the U.K. are mandated to teach about forms of religion with Christianity being the main focus. This could be viewed as extremely controversial in the United States, but has its merit of understanding where religious people stand in their beliefs.

6. PSHE – Personal Social Health Education in the UK delves into the roll of a person in life. Whether it is in the family or a member of society, this helps develop the student for current and future relationships he or she may develop.

7. Science – Various degrees of the sciences are taught in the secondary schools of the United Kingdom. While some classes in the U.K. will clump many subjects of science into one class, aspects of science are commonly broken into sections such as chemistry and physics.

8. History – Nearly every school in the world has a history class that teaches it from the perspective of that particular location. Although many global events will be similar, aspects of national history will take precedence. Not everyone outside of the United States knows who of John Adams.

Regardless of teaching method, education in any culture should be a high priority. In a face-paced world, our children need to be taught to adapt and go with the flow. Without an education, our children are doomed to repeat our mistakes and grind civilization into nothingness. Teach them to be productive in society and watch the world bloom.

Author Bio

Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of

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