There are two main types of school in the UK: state-funded and fee-paying independent schools. Most of them offer boarding facilities for both British and international students.
Children of the age of seven/eight to the age eleven/thirteen years, depending on school rules, go to Independent Preparatory (Prep) schools. After completing Prep school student begin Senior school in Year 7 or 9, according to the chosen school. Boarding facilities are available at both levels at many private schools, and schools ensure a comfortable, pleasant and safe environment as well as an amazing and unforgettable experience for all their boarders.
Most of the British schools offer up to four main types of curriculum in their final four years (Years 10 to 13), which are the GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education), followed by A Level (Advanced Level)/ the IB Diploma (International Baccalaureate)/ Cambridge Pre-U. While many Scottish boarding schools are adopted for GCSEs and A Levels or the IB, some continue to offer Scottish Nationals and Highers.
The GCSE course is two years long, and it usually begins in the British Year 10, at the age of fourteen. Especially for international students at around fifteen years of age, the one-year Pre-IB or GCSE courses in Year 11 provide an ideal point of entry into the UK school system.
The A Level (Advanced Level) is the established school leaving qualification. A Levels is the course which is two years long (Years 12 and 13), and typically three or four subjects are studied here. Thus A Levels course is the perfect option for students with particular strength in a certain academic area. Since 2015 the focus from modules and coursework has been moved onto examination at the end of the course in order to increase the qualification’s academic rigor. Moreover, some British schools offer a variety of AS Levels (Advanced Subsidiary) in addition to A Levels, whilst these have been distinguished from A levels and now are separate qualifications.
The IB Diploma is the international program, which nowadays has become very popular within the UK due to its wide range of curriculum which enables keeping university courses options for longer. This course is designed for students aged 16-18, who study a total of six subjects selected from six separate subjects groups, three at High Level and three at Standard Level, with equal weighting given to each.
In the year 2008, the Pre-U program was created by the University of Cambridge, offering students to study three chosen subjects from around twenty-five on offer. After completing the course in two years at the age of eighteen, students are examined. The Pre-u program is designed for developing student’s critical thinking, self-directed learning, independent research as well as other high-valued skills at university.
The Scottish system consists of Nationals following by Highers which are issued by all Scottish state schools. Usually, six to nine Nationals are taken at the age of sixteen, and then students move on to the Highers where they take three to five subjects. Furthermore, for students who are wishing to maximise the chance of getting to their preferred course and university, they at the age of eighteen stay another year to complete two or three Advanced Highers.
The boarding fees per term at most of the British independent schools vary between £6,500 and £13,000, making up approximately £20,000 to £40,000 per academic year.