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100 best British private secondary schools in England and Great Britain for international students after 8, 9, 10 grade

Education information

SMAPSE team presents a list of TOP-100 prestigious private boarding schools and private day schools offering high-quality secondary school education in England. Nowadays, education in the United Kingdom takes an essential place among students as secondary education received in Great Britain will be the first step to a future successful career.

Finishing a school in England acquires not only brilliant language skills, but also gives equal rights with the British children to enter the best universities in the country and in the world. A young specialist with a diploma from respected British university can reckon on successful employment in any international company.

SMAPSE team is aware of parents stress concerning problems of adaptation in a new place and to a new linguistic and cultural environment. Our experts confirm you that, practically, there are no problems as private boarding schools and day schools create perfect conditions for comfortable living and studying of international students.

Don't hesitate to address the samples of entrance tests for admission to private boarding schools abroad, which you can complete in our office without visiting the school itself. SMAPSE services regarding admission are also free.

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Studying at 100 best private boarding schools and day schools in Great Britain for foreign students

In England, foreign students receive primary and secondary education solely in private schools. There are two main types of British private schools:

  • Boarding schools. There students learn and live on campus. Moreover, they are under the watchful eye of qualified educational stuff. It's interesting to note that parents often choose such schools for security reasons;
  • Day schools. Students live in British families or live with their parents and attend classes. According to psychologists, this type is more suitable for independent children who can live on their own.

Moreover, there is a possibility of choosing a private boarding school or day school which is open only for boys or only for girls. Traditionally, they maintain a more strict discipline. It is worth noting that in terms of academic achievement and acquired knowledge, separate and joint educational institutions are identical.

The price for secondary education in the United Kingdom can vary significantly depending on the rating of the institution and living conditions. For high school students, the type of the selected programme is also taken into account.

For exact information concerning tuition fees in particular educational institution, you may contact SMAPSE experts at any time.

Advantages of getting secondary education in TOP-100 British schools and colleges

Schooling for all British children at the age of 5-16 years old is compulsory. From an early age, foreign students can study the same national education programme that is offered to the British students. There are nurseries and kindergartens for kids at the age of 3-4 years old: here children learn to count, write and read in a playful, unostentatious and pleasant way.

Children can attend classes in the primary school in the United Kingdom from the age of 5 to the age of 10 years old. Primary education ends with SAT exams or Common Entrance Examinations. Secondary education is provided for pupils between the ages of 10-11 and 16 years old. Students of the secondary level of education system often choose the GCSE programme that lasts for 2 years. After that students take 8-10 exams and receive a diploma of complete secondary education. There is an opportunity to get a certificate of General National Vocational Qualification, or GNVQ, instead of GCSE, especially if you are planning on doing a career in some sphere of labor market.

At 14-15 years old students can enter upper school or high school. The programs offered on this level of education prepare students for university education.

Primary education in England also has many advantages. From relatively easy adaptation to acquiring equal rights with the British children to entering prestigious universities of Great Britain and the rest of the world. The main goal of primary and secondary education is preparing students for admission to higher education institutions. For foreign students who received a certificate of secondary education at homeland, there are A-Level programme, BTEC, International Baccalaureate, Foundation programme. Students at the age of 16-18 years old get education in the 6th Form which encompasses either A-level programme, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge Pre-U. It's a two-year programme that helps students prepare for the university most effectively.

Secondary education in the UK

The academic year in the United Kingdom of 38 weeks is divided into three trimesters:

  • Autumn – from September to December;
  • Spring – from January to March;
  • Summer – from April to the beginning of June.

Every particular private boarding school or private day school can establish their own exact duration of each trimester independently. However, do not forget about the holidays: there are always short weekly intervals in the middle of each trimester and long Christmas, Easter (2-3 weeks) and summer (6 weeks) vacation.

Schoolchildren study Monday to Friday: usually lessons begin at 9:00 and last to 15:00. Then breaks for lunch are provided. Saturday is a traditionall day for excursions, major events, sports activities, classes in creative studios and elective courses. Sunday is a weekend day.

What do children study at English private boarding and day schools?

The United Kingdom has adopted a unified school curriculum called “The National Curriculum”. However, 100 best private boarding schools and private day schools can establish their own educational programme with an emphasis on certain areas of knowledge. Actually, the curriculum includes the following subjects:

· English language and literature;

· Mathematics;

· Natural sciences;

· 1-3 foreign languages (both modern and classical);

· History;

· Geography;

· Information and Computing Technologies (ICT);

· Music;

· Art;

· Dramatic and theatrical skill.

Almost all British private boarding schools include physical activities and sport sections that are compulsory to attend. There is also a great deal of electives. Traditional British sport such as horse riding, cricket, sailing, football, rugby, hockey, netball and tennis are especially popular with the foreign students.

If the school is adherent to a Christian church, there may be theology lessons like history of world religions. Note that there are private boarding and day schools, where attendance of the Sunday service is obligatory for students. If the educational institution follows the traditions of classical humanitarian education, the emphasis will be placed on the study of languages, including Latin and Ancient Greek, linguistics and philology.

There are always a large number of electives and additional lessons that a student can attend at his own desire. Achievements in the academic field provide an opportunity to qualify for scholarships or financial grants; as well they can help determine the priority disciplines at the A-level programme, with the desired specialization at the university and career direction.

The child's life at English private boarding school

British private boarding schools have large territories with administrative and educational buildings, residences for living, sport infrastructure, gardens and lawns, theaters and concert halls, sometimes even churches, chapels and museums. The whole territory is carefully guarded and outside access is strictly prohibited.

Children are living in the dormitories, which are divided into rooms. Usually 2-4-seat options but high school students in the 6th Form usually occupy private bedrooms. It is because of more complex and persistent studies and the need for personal space and silence for self-training. Along with the children, teachers and other stuff also live on a constant basis in the residences. They can always help each student and they are able to resolve any complex conflict situation. There is often a medical center and a department for in-patient treatment, large dining rooms for board meals, and sometimes student kitchens in residences.

Education in England for foreign students is also distinguished by a unique feature - custody. A care-taker is compulsory for every child studying in the United Kingdom under 18 years of age. This is stated in the Children's Act 1989 and the Child Protection Act 1999. Care-takers are chosen from trustworthy, law-abiding and respected British citizens. The duties of the care-taker in relation to his ward include:

  • Represent the interests of the child in administrative institutions;
  • Supervising a child, providing accommodation on holidays and long weekends, for illness or suspension (or providing accommodation if the child is on full-board basis and for some reason does not live on the school campus);
  • Constant communication with parents;
  • Visiting school meetings and events;
  • Controlling student's financial expenses, payment of accounts, provision of pocket expenses (approved by parents).

In fact, the care-taker serves as a "temporary parent" to each child for the time of his separation from the family. The database of care-takers is constantly checked and verified.

SMAPSE experts will help you award a contract with one of the best agencies so that you were absolutely calm for the safety and comfort of your child in the United Kingdom.

Studying in TOP-100 UK schools and colleges for foreign students at the age of 14, 15, 16 years old

Students at the age of 14, 15, 16 years old, who graduated from secondary and high school in their home country have several options for continuing their education in Great Britain:

  • Firstly, students at the age of 16 years old can enroll in the International Baccalaureate programme, get the certificate of completion, which will allow to enter any leading university in the world;
  • Secondly, students after 16 years can enroll in the A-level programme, which is a classic 2-year preparation course for the university. It allows entering the best higher educational institutions of the United Kingdom, including Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, UCL, etc. Purposeful and motivated students can enroll in the Pre-U programme, aimed exclusively at enrolling in Oxbridge universities.
  • Thirdly, enter the GCSE programme at the age of 15-16 years. The additional year of GCSE will allow the child to adapt to the British educational system without missing out the most important material in the secondary school. This programme is considered to be the basis for the A-level and the standard of the British pre-university preparatory system.

UK Private Schools

Basic rules for entering British private boarding schools

Actually, foreign students enter English private boarding schools or day schools at the age of 11-13 years old (which corresponds to middle school programs and preparation for GCSE). During this period it is easy to adapt to separation from relatives, to a new academic, linguistic and cultural environment. If a child is well motivated, hardworking and disciplined, has good knowledge of subjects and the English language, he can apply at the age of 14 directly to the GCSE course.

Many schools offer boarding (tuition and accommodation) for foreign students at the age of 7-10 years old. At this age a child is most susceptible and adoptive to learning new languages. It is worth noting that by the end of the 6th Form he will know English practically at the level of the native speaker. This is a significant advantage for enrolling in most elite private boarding schools and day schools, colleges and universities.

If you doubt whether the child will cope with the United Kingdom's academic programs, try to spend an academic trimester abroad. Nowadays, a great deal of educational institutions provide such opportunity today. It is an excellent opportunity to adapt to new conditions, to test the level of knowledge of both the subjects and the English language.

Frankly speaking, TOP-100 British private boarding and day schools are interested in the national diversity of their students. Practically, in any institution, 10% of students are foreigners. If you are planning to enroll in an English school, you will have to undergo several stages:

  • Register and apply for a place in a private boarding or day school. It is better to do this as soon as possible (2-3 years before the expected start of studies): the more elite and prestigious is the chosen school, the sooner an application must be submitted;
  • Collect and send a package of documents to the admissions office: assessments (for 2-3 years), the characteristics of the student, the recommendations of teachers (particularly those of Maths and English teachers), the results of passed examinations, various letters and gratitudes, medals and awards;
  • To pass a personal interview with a representative of the school administration or director (in most cases this can be done by Skype);
  • Provide a certificate of sufficient English proficiency - in the UK this is IELTS certificate. The older the student is, the better command of English he must show. For middle classes the requirements start from IELTS 4.5, but for high school and the 6th Form the passing score is usually not lower than IELTS 5.0-5.5;
  • Prepare to pass several subject examinations. Usually this is the requirement of the most prestigious schools: mathematics, natural sciences, internal English exam, academic essay, etc.

Tuition fees at 100 best private boarding and day schools in England

The price of education in the United Kingdom varies depending on the rating of the institution, the results of the graduate examinations, prestige and history of a private boarding school, day school or college. Estimated cost is between 14 000 GBP and 25 000 GBP per year (full-board without living on campus in a residence), in a boarding school (that is, implying living on campus) – between 30 000 GBP and 40 000 GBP per year.

Studying at TOP-100 private British boarding schools for students under 11 years old

In the UK students between the ages of 3 and 7 attend special programs to prepare for primary school. Such programs, in fact, is a preparation for the school itself. Students aged 7 to 11 years are engaged directly in the preparatory programs after which they pass the final testing. The results of testing determine the future fate of students: in case of success, students continue their education in an average educational institution.

It is worth noting, despite the steady increase in the number of educational institutions providing secondary education, often there is not enough space for everyone. The point is that demand for educational services in private schools in the UK exceeds the supply. In addition, the higher prestige of the educational institution, the higher demand for educational services of this school. As a result, in the vast majority of the UK's leading educational institutions, while enrolling students, it is necessary to pass a fairly rigid and rigorous selection. There are cases when well-to-do parents reserve a place in an educational institution before the birth of the child!

It goes without saying that in different private boarding schools applicants have different requirements: different conditions of admission, passing grade, the specifics of exams, the cost of studying, etc. There are secondary schools that accept students only from the age of 13, so eleven-year-old primary school graduates need to undergo additional preparation for the entrance exam and a successful transition to secondary school.

During the course of study at the average private British boarding schools, students are engaged not only in academic development, but teachers also develop personalities of students.

Many prestigious and elite boarding houses of Great Britain have their own developed infrastructure with sports facilities. Moreover, students can take part in various creative circles and courses focused on art, business, economics, medicine and etc. In addition, creative circles can include following types of events: theater, vocal, art circles, as well as craft workshops and much more.

When choosing an average educational institution with boarding, it is not necessary to limit the search by only a list of the most rating institutions. It will be more effective to consider a larger list of schools that include top 30 or even top 100 of the best private UK boarding schools. The vast majority offers high-quality educational services.

Due to SMAPSE experts, you can choose from TOP-100 private schools where foreign students can get high-quality education.

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