In England education is made compulsory for people from the age of 5 to 16, this is primary education and high school education, with children at the age of 11 moving from primary school to high school. This may then be extended till the age 18 as people leaving high school will have the option of attending college or sixth form for further education. The next option up from this, higher education, is university.
However in the US, compulsory education is different depending on the state, this begins from the ages of 5 to 8 and finishes at 14 to 18. The three options you can take during these years of education are public school, private schools or on a home schooling program which has to be approved. In public and private school, three levels of education are involved, starting at elementary school, secondly moving up to middle school which is often refferd to junior high school and lastly high school classed as secondary education. University in the US is known as College this is called post-secondary education (higher education in England) and is governed seperatly to both elementary and high school system.
Grading is different in both countries, America uses a grading system consisting of 12 grades. At elementary school you begin in Kindergarten usually at the age of five after the first year in kindergarten you move into grade 1 and for every year move up a grade up until the 5th grade. Middle School goes up to the 8th grade and usually are attended at the age of 11 to the age of 14. When attending high school you move into the last four grades, all these having names:
9th Grade – Freshman
10th Grade – Sophomore
11th Grade – Junior
12th Grade – Senior
Post-Secondary education (college) has 5 years to complete four are schooling, these also like high school are called freshman, sophomore, junior and senior. This stage of education is known as tertiaty education.
In England the grading is known as the curriculum system, in year 1 and 2 (ages 5 – 6) the curriculum stage is key stage 1. From years 3 to 6 is the 2nd key stage and the end of primary school education. Key Stage 3 takes place in the years 7 to 9, the start of high school education. Key stage 4 is known as GCSE’s, the lowest grade you can recieve is a U and the highest is an A*, C or higher is classed as a pass. The grades you get at school help point you in the direction you need to go and the better you do the better colleges you can go to do your further education when leaving high school. At college the grades are known as A levels or you can do a BTEC course, these are graded in a fail, pass, merit, distinction and distinction star being the best you can get. You need these grades to go into higher education at university.