International schools in Britain
The Good Schools Guide covers all schools in the UK including international schools based here; with in-depth reviews of the 1200+ 'Good Schools'. But, if you are looking for a British or international school at home or overseas - our fabulous sister site: The Good Schools Guide International (GSGi) covers the world - virtually.
The GSGI features more than 280 articles geared to those moving from one country to another, not least the transitions into our out of the UK and British school systems.
Where to start
Schools abroad: how do I even begin?
From American schools to British: English National Curriculum
Which curriculum will get you into university (UK or US)?
The national curriculum, examinations and qualifications
Interpreting exam results, abbreviations, ages and stages
British and International Schools overseas -
The Good Schools Guide International. A first class guide to world class schools
The Good Schools Guide International is the one-stop, education shop for ex-pats. Written specifically for parents, The Good Schools Guide International independently reviews the best schools for children 3-18, state or independent, across the globe... It covers American schools, British schools overseas, international schools, schools that offer the IB or GCSE or...
The Good Schools Guide International is The best international schools guide in the world" And the only one that's completely independent!
The sharp, candid, entertaining school reviews give you all the local, insider knowledge you need - from the comfort of your armchair.
Much more than just a guide to schools and education, a subscription to The Good Schools Guide International includes invaluable, inimitable information on ex-pat living and life overseas. A wealth of articles, written by those with first-hand-experience highlight crucial information: curriculum or accreditation; real-time updates and red alerts in case of coups d'etat or war, and so much more.
Every school system and country has its own set of national or standardised exams. We're in the process of decoding the most commonly used exams in English-speaking school systems by breaking them into system-based articles with abbreviations, full names, information on how to understand the scoring systems, and how to interpret ranges or averages mentioned in this Guide.
The National Curriculum is the framework used by all state schools in England. There are 4 key stages, with national testing at the end of each (the fourth being GCSE at which point the national curriculum no longer applies). By the end of key stage 1 (age 7), the average child is expected to achieve national curriculum level 2; this rises to level 4 at the end of key stage 2 and level 5 or 6 by the end of key stage 3.
Schools also sometimes suggest that, if you think your child will go on to a US university, it is not necessary to do the IGCSE examinations (even if students have followed a curriculum based on the IGCSE syllabus) as the US colleges/unis (universities)* only want to see internal grades and high school transcripts from the US system...and won't accept (or even understand) exam results from another system.
Moving from the American system into the British system is probably one of the trickiest transitions of all, and success very much depends on the age of the student and on his/her ability and willingness to adapt and take on the extra work that will undoubtedly be required. It would be exactly like jumping onto a jogging machine already going at full tilt.
Some privileged expatriates may get a “look-see” visit to their new location prior to accepting a posting - depending on a company's, or government's, generosity. If you are one of them, the time you have for your visit will never seem like enough, but a bit of judicious homework and planning can make you feel less like a well-spun hamster by the end of the day.