Education in Wales

From Academic Kids

Education in Wales differs in certain respects from the system used elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Basically, there are two education systems: one covering England, Wales, and Northern Ireland and one covering Scotland. The two systems have different emphases: traditionally the English, Welsh, and Northern Irish system has emphasised depth of education, whereas the Scottish system has emphasised breadth. Thus English, Welsh, and Northern Irish students tend to sit a small number of more advanced examinations, while Scottish students tend to sit a larger number of less advanced examinations.

In general, the cut-off point for ages is the end of August, so all children must be of a certain age on 1 September in order to begin class that month.

The system of statutory national key-stage tests in Wales was, until 2000, the same as in England, and was managed by the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority (SCAA). In 2000, the National Assembly for Wales took responsibility for these tests in Wales, at which point they were developed by test agencies on behalf on ACCAC, whilst the tests in England were developed for the QCA. In 2002, the Welsh Assembly decided to stop the tests at Key Stage One. Instead, optional teacher-assessment materials were provided to schools in 2003 for use in English, mathematics, and Welsh. These had been adapted from materials that had originally been developed by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and the other test agencies to be used as statutory assessment materials for 2003. At the end of 2003, the Daugherty Report was commissioned by the Welsh Assembly to undertake a review of the country's assessment procedures. The interim report by the committee was perceived by the media as supporting a complete abolishment of the assessments at key stages two and three.

A significant number of students in Wales are educated either wholly or largely through the medium of Welsh; the language is compulsory for all until the age of 16.

School years

  • Primary Education
    • Infant School or Primary School
      • Reception, age 4 to 5
      • Year 1, age 5 to 6
      • Year 2, age 6 to 7 (end of Key Stage One Teacher Assessments)
    • Junior School or Primary School
      • Year 3, age 7 to 8
      • Year 4, age 8 to 9
      • Year 5, age 9 to 10
      • Year 6, age 10 to 11 (End of Key Stage Two Tests and Tasks)
  • Secondary Education
    • Middle School, High School or Secondary School
      • Year 7, old First Form, age 11 to 12
      • Year 8, old Second Form, age 12 to 13
      • Year 9, old Third Form, age 13 to 14 (End of Key Stage Three Tests and Tasks)
    • Upper School or Secondary School
      • Year 10, old Fourth Form, age 14 to 15
      • Year 11, old Fifth Form, age 15 to 16 (old O Level examinations, modern GCSE examinations)
    • Upper School, Secondary School, or Sixth Form College
      • Year 12 or Lower Sixth, age 16 to 17 (AS-level examinations)
      • Year 13 or Upper Sixth, age 17 to 18 (A2-level examinations. Both AS-levels and A2-levels count towards 'A'-levels.)

See also

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