How Are The Ages For UK School Years Calculated

All school ages of UK children are calculated on the 1st September, as this is the start of the UK academic school year and runs through to 31st August in the following year. For example a child with a birthday of 21st September 2004 would be age 7 on 1st September 2012 so would be in year 3 from 1st September 2012.

Find out more about the timeline of UK education including school ages, timing of exams and questions to consider at each stage of education in our UK Education Timeline.

Nursery (age up 4)

Pre-prep school 

  • Reception (age 4 on the 1st Sept)
  • Year 1 (age 5 on the 1st Sept)
  • Year 2 (age 6 on the 1st Sept)
  • Year3 (age 7 on the 1st Sept)

Prep school

  • Year 4 (age 8 on the 1st Sept)
  • Year 5 (age 9 one the 1st Sept)
  • Year 6 (age 10 on the 1st Sept) 11+ exam (if relevant) taken at the end of this year

Start year of some senior schools, or last two years of prep school

  • Year 7 (age 11 on the 1st Sept) First year in senior schools that start at age 11
  • Year 8 (age 12 on the 1st Sept) Common Entrance Year

Start of some senior schools and many public boarding schools

  • Year 9 (age 13 on the 1st Sept) Foundation year in ‘public school’
  • Year 10 (age 14 on the 1st Sept) Start of 2-year GCSE courses
  • Year 11(age 15 on 1st Sept) GCSE exam year

Sixth Form

  • Year 12 A1 Level (age 16 on 1st Sept)
  • Year 13 A2 Level/IB (age 17 on 1st Sept)

Find out which year your child will enter school


Day
Month
Year

YOUR CHILD WILL START IN

NURSERY


ENTERING RECEPTION IN

September

Many independent schools have a pre-prep department where children can start schooling in nursery.

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YOUR CHILD WILL START IN

RECEPTION

Compulsory UK Education Begins

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YOUR CHILD WILL START

YEAR 1

PRE-PREP

Second year of pre-prep or primary school.

Things to think about

How do I support learning at home?
How do I encourage my son to read more?
What extra-curricular clubs and activities should we try?
Should my bright child move up a school year to be more challenged?

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YOUR CHILD WILL START

YEAR 2

PRE-PREP

Third year of pre-prep or primary school.

Things to think about

How do I encourage my child to read?
Should my bright child move up a school year to be more challenged?
What extra-curricular clubs and activities should we start?

Get in touch to find out more
YOUR CHILD WILL START

YEAR 3

PRE-PREP/PREP VIA 7+ ENTRY TESTS

Last year of pre-prep or first year of prep school, depending on day or boarding type of school.

Things to think about

How do I choose the right prep school, if I need to move on after pre-prep?
Do I want my child to board in future and at what age?
Should we return to the UK or relocate to the countryside, out of London?
When should I move between state and private schools?

Get in touch to find out more
YOUR CHILD WILL START

YEAR 4

PREP VIA 8+ ENTRY TESTS

First year of prep school for many boarding prep schools.

Things to think about

Starting to think about possible senior schools for entry at 11+ and 13+.
Boarding vs. day.
What are the benefits of flexi or weekly boarding.
Do I need a tutor and how do I find one?
Does my child have learning difficulties and how to I have these assessed?
Should we return to the UK or relocate to the countryside, out of London?
When should I move between state and private schools?

Get in touch to find out more
YOUR CHILD WILL START

YEAR 5

PREP

Second or third year of prep school, depending on type of school.

Things to think about

Finalising senior school choices for 11+ or 13+ entry.
Which senior schools shall I register my child with?
Understanding the entry process for senior schools.
What should I ask when visiting and senior school?

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YOUR CHILD WILL START

YEAR 6

PREP

11+ entry tests for grammar schools.
11+ entry for London day and independent day and/or boarding schools which start at year 7.
Last year of primary school.
Pre-tests for some senior schools with entry at 13+.

Things to think about

Do I need a tutor and how do I find one?
How do I prepare my child for NVR, VR tests?
How do I prepare for interviews?
Should we return to the UK or relocate to the countryside, out of London?
When should I move between state and private schools?

Get in touch to find out more
YOUR CHILD WILL START

YEAR 7

PREP/FIRST YEAR SENIOR

Common Entrance curriculum starts at prep school.
First year for some senior schools with entry via 11+.
Some international pupils start at prep school for two years, if applying to senior schools for 13+ entry.

Things to think about

Pre-tests for some senior schools with 13+ entry.
How do I prepare my child for NVR, VR tests?
How do I prepare for interviews?
How do I apply for a scholarship?
Should I start some flexi, weekly or full boarding to help my child settle later?

Get in touch to find out more
YOUR CHILD WILL START

YEAR 8

PREP

Common Entrance year or 13+ entry tests - final year at prep school.
Second year for some senior schools if entry via 11+.
Occasional place entry via 12+ in some schools.

Things to think about

Preparing for 13+ entry tests
How do I prepare my child for NVR, VR tests?
How do I apply for a scholarship?
How do I apply for a bursary?
How do I prepare for interviews?
Study and exam skills
Planning an effective revision timetable.
Should we return to the UK or relocate to the countryside, out of London?
When should I move between state and private schools?

Get in touch to find out more
YOUR CHILD WILL START

YEAR 9

SENIOR SCHOOL

First year for schools with only 13+ entry.
Third year for schools with entry at 11+ and 13+.

Things to think about

Some schools start GCSE courses.
Expanding creative, sporting and artistic talents.
Take up a new musical instrument.
Learn a new language.
Settling into senior boarding school life.

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YOUR CHILD WILL START

YEAR 10

SENIOR SCHOOL

GCSE or IGCSE year 1

Things to think about

Choosing the right subjects for GCSE or IGCSE.
Dual award or triple award sciences?
Do I need to study a second language?
How do I find a tutor?
What is Duke of Edinburgh Award or CCF?

Get in touch to find out more
YOUR CHILD WILL START

YEAR 11

SENIOR SCHOOL

GCSE or IGCSE year 2
Pre-sixth form preparation course for one year for overseas applicants.
One-year GCSE course for overseas applicants.

Things to think about

Study and examination skills.
Goal-setting and mentoring.
Will I achieve good enough results to stay at my current school for sixth form?
Should we return to the UK or relocate to the countryside, out of London?
When should I move between state and private schools?

Get in touch to find out more
YOUR CHILD WILL START

YEAR 12

SIXTH FORM AT SENIOR SCHOOL OR SIXTH FORM COLLEGE

A Level – Year 1
IB Diploma - Year 1

Things to think about

IB vs. A Level courses.
Choosing the right subjects for sixth form.
Initial career planning.
Pros and cons of changing school for sixth form.
Dates and deadlines for applying for sixth form places.
Moving from single sex to co-ed school.
Moving between state and private schools
Returning to the UK from international school overseas.
How do I apply for a scholarship?
How do I apply for a bursary?

Get in touch to find out more
YOUR CHILD WILL START

YEAR 13

SIXTH FORM AT SENIOR SCHOOL OR SIXTH FORM COLLEGE

A Level - Year 2
IB Diploma – Year 2

Things to think about

Deciding on university course choices and careers.
Exploring degree apprenticeships or internships.
How do I write an effective personal statement?
When are the UCAS deadlines?
How to prepare for a university Interview?
Applying to a US university
Do I take a gap year?
How do I find effective work experience?
Study and exam skills
Planning an effective revision timetable.
Where can I find an Easter holiday revision course?

Get in touch to find out more

YOUR CHILD WILL ENTER HIGHER EDUCATION OR TAKE A GAP YEAR

Things to think about

What shall I do during my gap year?
Settling into university.
What if my results don’t go to plan?
How do I manage UCAS Clearing?
Where and when can I re-take?

Get in touch to find out more

YOUR CHILD WILL ENTER HIGHER EDUCATION

Things to think about

Career planning for graduation.
Second degree courses, for example law conversion, medicine, master’s courses.
Writing an effective CV.
Applying for internships and jobs.

Get in touch to find out more

Find out more about the timeline of UK education

Our guide includes school ages, timing of exams and questions to consider at each stage of education.

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