The Systems of Education in the UK - Scottish and NI Year Groups

Having previously looked at the structure of the school years within England and Wales the following article covers the equivalent structures across both Scotland and Northern Ireland with each following their own systems.

Northern Ireland

The school year system in Northern Ireland broadly follows the same core structure as the English/Welsh system and therefore is not as distinct as that of the Scots, although there are still few features which set it apart.

Each of the UK's systems have a cut off date at which the child's age determines the year group in which they are to join. Across the Irish sea this date is 1 September, the start of the school year, however in Northern Ireland it is 1st July (c.f. 1 March in Scotland). Although the Northern Irish school year also begins in practice on 1 September, it effectively runs from July to July with the summer holidays covering the months of July and August.

Primary school years are referred to as Primary 1 through to Primary 7 (rather than using the English terminology incorporating Reception) and therefore year numbering is comparatively one ahead of the English system, with, for example Year 7 in England being equivalent to Year 8 in Northern Ireland. In many secondary schools, however, the colloquial 'form' naming convention is still used to refer to the year groups with the 'first' to 'fifth forms' and 'lower' and 'upper sixth'.

    Primary School/Education
    Ages 4/5 to 10/11
    Primary 1 to 7Secondary School/Education
    Ages 11/12 to 17/18
    Years 8 to 14

The primary and secondary stages are again split into Key Stages which are broadly consistent with the English system although the Foundation Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 stages both start a year behind their English equivalents.

    Foundation Stages - Primary 1 & 2 (ages 4 to 6)
    Key Stage 1 - Primary 3 & 4 (ages 6 to 8)
    Key Stage 2 - Primary 5 to 7 (ages 8 to 11)
    Key Stage 3 - Years 8 to 10 (ages 11 to 14)
    Key Stage 4 - Years 11 & 12 (ages 14 to 16, ending in GCSEs)
    Sixth Form/College - Years 13 & 14 (ages 16 to 18, ending in A Levels or International Baccalaureate)


As the governance of the Scottish Education system sits with the Scottish Parliament and outside of the control of Westminster, the school year system in Scotland differs considerable from those of England, Wales and Northern Ireland; from the structure of the school year groups to the process involved in determining each year's first intake.

Although the school year in Scotland runs August to August, the date at which a child's age is measured has been separated from these dates and instead the mid point, 1 March, is used. All children must start school in Aug regardless of when their birthday is in contrast with the structure south of the border. However, under this system children who turn 5 years of age between 1 March and 31 July will begin their education in the coming August alongside children who are due to turn 5 between the following 1 August and 28/29 February. Therefore, all children starting their first year of primary school should fall in the age range 4 ½ to 5 ½, with Spring-Summer borns aged 5 to 5 ½ and Autumn-Winter borns aged 4 ½ to 5.

However, this intake is flexible and so children born in January and February who would only be just over 4 ½ at the start of the school year can be held back in nursery for an extra year if the parent wishes, whilst it is also possible, although not guaranteed, to request a delay for those born in the three months preceding that. Prior to their Primary education children have access to Nursery as soon as they turn 3 years of age.

Akin to the naming convention in Northern Ireland (and contrary to England & Wales), Scottish primary school years are referred to as Primary 1 to Primary 7, however, the numbering begins again in secondary school with S1 to S6 year groups:

    Primary School/Education
    Ages 4/5 to 10/11
    Primary 1 to 7Secondary School/Education
    Ages 11/12 to 17/18
    S1 to S6 (S5 & S6 are optional)

Due to the variation of ages in particular year groups and the fact that children take their Higher exams in S5 which can qualify them for University, some leave secondary school at this point although most remain for S6 and take their Advanced Highers before progressing.

Most Secondary Schools are variably referred to as High Schools or Academies with a few referred to as Grammar schools (although this term carries no practical meaning), colleges or simply Secondary Schools. A few schools in more remote areas provide education through both the primary and secondary levels, either up to S4 known as Junior Schools, or in entirety, simply known as Schools. However, there are also a handful of privately run schools in Scotland which sit outside of this structure and instead follow the English system.

© Stuart Mitchell 2012

If you want to find out more about systems of education in the UK, particularly if your school is considering academy status then visit Academy Conversion. If you are a parent and want more information on funding your child when they leave school the visit Junior ISA.

The Benefits Of Learning Languages At Primary School

There has a been a renewed drive in recent years to see foreign languages being taught at primary school level, with ministers and educational professionals arguing for the need to expand provision. This is because learning another language at an early age is seen to bestow a wide range of benefits to young learners, in terms of their cognitive development and cultural awareness, while foreign language proficiency is seen as an increasingly valuable professional skill later in life. But with many teachers, parents and pupils apprehensive about the challenge of learning a another language so young, what are the specific benefits that have been identified by those who believe passionately in its utility?

For a start, it's a widely recognised fact that children learn languages more effectively than adults and older children, having a greater capacity to absorb new vocabulary and grammatical concepts. They're also perceived to be more receptive to language learning and possess a natural enthusiasm that older kids with entrenched habits and preferences lack. The primary school environment is also seen as uniquely suited to the process of foreign language teaching. Because primary school teachers have responsibility for a single class all year round, they are able to integrate an additional language teaching with the teaching of other subjects, helping to shape an holistic approach to language learning. While it's acknowledged that many teachers presently lack the necessary proficiency to pursue such an integrated approach, it doesn't change the fact that primary education offers a uniquely supportive environment for the young language learner.

In terms of cognitive development, learning a second language has been reported to help children inhibit the recall of irrelevant information while boosting the focus with which they approach their learning. Furthermore, some studies have suggested that laying the foundations of language learning at an early age leads to more effective learning at secondary level, meaning greater proficiency and comfort with the language. While the evidence for this effect isn't conclusive, it is true that introducing additional languages at an early age increases the child's comfort and confidence with a second language, which can help to overcome some of the apprehension experienced further down the line.

Finally, language learning is valuable for its contribution to cultural awareness. Learning another language acts as a gateway to a new culture, helping to broaden horizons and improve children's receptivity to new ideas and values. This kind of early cross-cultural understanding is an important attribute in today's globalised world. Proficiency in a foreign language is also a valuable skill that can improve job prospects in later life, meaning an early start could be exactly the right move to give children a helping hand on their path to future success.

In conclusion, it's difficult to make a case against the teaching of foreign languages in primary schools. The educational, cultural and economic benefits are such that kids will gain immeasurably from early contact with a different way of speaking. While wider provision poses some challenges, the possible gains make this a goal worth pursuing.

Hannah McCarthy works for Education City, a leading supplier of eLearning software for schools and families in the UK. Education City offers comprehensive curriculum-based primary teaching resources, which includes French, Spanish and German in its Modern Foreign Languages module.

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In the field of mathematics, perhaps, algebra is one of the most difficult subjects. Well, it is because this subject is really complicated and to solve the problematic cases can be really annoying and difficult. However, such subject cannot be avoided if you are majoring in mathematics. It is because the subject will also affect your assessment. It means that you need to find the right pre algebra homework answers for the assignments that you have.

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The Advantages of Taking Online Master Degree

            Are you very willing to continue your study but that does mean that you have to leave your job because you have to focus on your education? Do you not have so much time to do both? If you so, then you should not be worried anymore now, because online mba degree programs are available for you to help you among your disabilities in choosing between career and job. This kind of online education is now very common to be found these days, as the result of the more popular the internet is. That is why online education is designed to help those people who are getting confused to choose between career and education.

            These days, there are a lot of kinds of programs that are presented online, from rn to bsn online programs. This is of course a very good news for them who have difficulties in managing their times and schedules too. There will be a lot of easiness that is provided by this kind of education to people. One of the best easiness offered to them is the fact that all learning processes are done online. It means that they do not need to attend formal class every single day like what they have to do when attending formal class. Here, they can do their education at home, at work place, or wherever they want, as long as they are connected to internet connection. Not only that, but they can also submit all their assignments and do all the thesis consultations with their professor via online too.

            masters of public administration is one of the program that uses online  education as one of the most important weapons to attract more people to take higher degree for their education. This kind of program provides a lot of easiness to people in order to take the master degree easily too, such as allows them to do online registration, and gives them some kind of scholarship to boost their spirits to continue their studies.

Some Advantages of Taking Communication Degree Online

            Not all of people are good in leadership. That is why taking leadership program and getting leadership certificate will be very beneficial and helpful for them to get more acceptances in every field work they do. These days, there have been a lot of educational institutions that offer people with degree in leadership. They offer both formal and informal degree in leadership that can be chosen based on people interests and needs.  If they want to focus more on this education and they have so much time to attend all class, then formal education will be the best solution for them to take. Meanwhile, for them who do not have so much time to focus on both career and education, the informal education that is now presented via online will be the best choice for them to get their degree in leadership.

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Vector Calculus Solution and Other Assignments Assistance for Struggling Students

The development of curriculum as part of the improved education level also delivers some problems for the students. The curriculum usually demand more standard for the students by requesting more assignments in or outside the class. Independent assignments that should be done outside the class like writing assignments or other assignments can be time and energy consuming and become a real problem for the students. Hard subjects assignments like mathematic can be very hard to do, some students might need vector calculus solution as one of the hardest subject in mathematic class.

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Certification Program Now!

Choosing the TESOL/TEFL program requires the careful considerations. Whether you want to take on teaching English in United State or overseas, you have to choose the best institution which guides you to get the good instruction in TEFL/TESOL. You are probably interested with joining the Boston Language Institute, which has great reputation in giving excellent training in English Language with over 54.000 graduates since 1981. Their team will provide you a complete guideline you need in getting a course and TESOL certification. After following the program or just training session, you can receive the extensive and personal assistance in getting job and continuing the future career. 

The good news is that you have many advantages of taking TEFL jobs abroad. There are considerable needs for excellent English teachers in overseas, especially in Indonesia, Korea, Japan, and Latin America. However, it is difficult to simply get jobs aboard even when you graduate. The Boston Language Institute allows you to break these blocks because they have many networks in job English vacancies. Another advantage you will receive in following the training and course is receiving certificate and letter of reference from the reputable English teaching training in US. With these ones, you will be the more attractive candidate than other teachers. 

Electronic Revolution

For a long time mechanical engineering was the solution to a lot of technical challenges. Using electronic solutions happens more ofter. Although mechanical engineering will never be substituted by electrical engineering, together they can produce better things.


The automotive industry has shown a lot of what electronics can do. As a driver would hit the brakes in a car without ABS, the car would be uncontrollable. Nowadays, systems like ABS and Brake Control decrease the braking distance of a car. Additional, the car is still controllable.

Home automation, or domotics, has been a profession since the last couple of years and are making buildings more energy efficient.


As there can be mechanical breakdowns or jams, there can be electronic failures. Thing is that the knowledge of electronics is at a stage where risks can be contained.


Also within the concept of electrical engineering things has changed. Where earlier a lot of maths had to be done for analog circuitry, now software engineers write the actual formulas and let the maths be done by a chip. For example in the audio world, DSP (digital sound processing) technology has been a major successor. There is a shift from analog to digital which introduced a new profession: Software Engineering.


The reason why it took so long before electrical engineering revolutionized is the lack of knowledge about it. Along with this the reliability of electric systems were not as good as nowadays. With the products on the current market it becomes easier to develop new products.

The reason that electronic engineering is increasing is the possibility to produce easier and better.


The public knowledge about electronics and the software engineering connected to it is increasing. This makes it easier to build more complex devices. These devices can assist humans in their daily life. Therefore the number of these devices will increase. The only thing that is standing in the way, is the interface between devices and humans. But this is a whole different study.

Jalink de Grote - fascinated about everything that has to do with electronic technology. Trying to share this fascination by writing articles. Wrote a website too about a specific device: Mini RC Helicopter

Licenses Required for Nursing Careers

There is no getting around it, there are licenses required for nursing careers and without them, you simply can't enter this profession. You may choose to become a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), registered nurse (RN) or nurse practitioner (NP). All of these professions have varying levels of education and examinations that are required for licensure. RNs are the most common types of nurses. They have higher salaries and are trained for more responsibilities than licensed vocational nurses, but they don't have to complete the same lengthy education as nurse practitioners. You may want to talk with experienced LVNs, RNs or nurse practitioners to get first-hand knowledge about each career so that you will have a better understanding of which choice might be right for you.

The first educational path to become licensed for work as a nurse is to get an associate's degree from an accredited two-year nursing program, although this will limit your career options somewhat. You may also find diploma programs administered by hospitals, which take about three years. The most common educational path for RNs is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited four-year university. This path will ensure a wide range of career options upon completion. Many nurses have been quite successful without the BSN, though, so if you're considering one of the other options, don't get discouraged because you will still have a wide range of career opportunities.

Whichever educational path you take, you will need to pass a licensure exam. For example, you must take the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse to become licensed as a registered nurse. The NCLEX-RN tests nurses' medical knowledge and abilities to provide for patient needs. In order to pass this exam you must be able to answer questions about maintaining a safe recuperative environment, about ensuring patient safety, reducing the risk of infection, taking preventative measures, fostering normalcy for trauma and disaster victims and restoring biochemical, mechanical and physical functions. You should expect the question styles to range from multiple choice answers to mathematical answers about proper dosages as well as questions relating to diagrams of the human body.

After becoming licensed as a nurse, you will also need to periodically renew your license, and depending on what state you live in you may also need to fulfill some continuing education requirements throughout your licensed career.

Find detailed information about top nursing colleges and nursing programs to become a nurse in United states at Choose the best nursing school and program for you and start your path to a rewarding career.

How to Become a School Nurse

If you learn how to become a school nurse you will see that it is probably not as hard as you may have imagined; although, you will need to go to college for a bachelor's degree, which most jobs require these days. As a school nurse you will be responsible for the students of a school or district while they are there during school hours. If students are hurt while at school you will be there to help until paramedics arrive, if it is that serious. Students will come to you when they are feeling nauseous, when they get into accidents between classes, when it appears they have a virus and other such incidents. You will also be expected to make sure students with asthma, diabetes and other conditions stick to their prescribed treatment plans while they are at school. Issues of sexual and mental health may also arise. It is an important job indeed.

The first step to becoming a school nurse is getting a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and passing the state administered exams to become a registered nurse. This exam is known as the NCLEX-RN, and it is the only way to become licensed for this profession in the United States. Your state may also require passage of the National Board for Certification of School Nurses (NBCSN) certification exam, and even if it doesn't it is still recommended. As you study to earn this important certification you will learn the latest news and procedures in the school nursing field.

There are school nursing jobs at elementary schools, junior high and high schools, universities, private schools and public health departments. You may apply for these jobs once you have the required education, training, experience and certification. The school you attend will likely provide detailed information about the specific steps to take to get the jobs, and they may also offer career placement services. The median expected salary for these careers is around $44,000, although this will vary depending on where you live and what kind of place you work. With experience and advancement you can make more.

Find detailed information about top nursing schools which offers nursing degree programs to become a school nurse in USA at Choose the best nursing school in your preferred location and start your path to a rewarding career.

Esthetics Programs

Numerous esthetics programs exist in cities and towns all over the United States that prepare students for careers in the skincare-related field, but they are not all the same. It is important to consider your goals, the requirements for the specific type of job you're looking for and the merits of each school offering education and training programs in the field of esthetics. If you want to become a successful licensed esthetician in a beauty salon, dermatologist's office or medical spa, you need to get a good head start in a reputable program.

The first step to becoming an esthetician is to complete the training program, then you can worry about passing two exams required by the state board: one hands-on and one written. It is important to complete your training in a comprehensive and well-respected program that will provide the tools to ace these exams and allow you to hit the ground running when you start your career. There are cosmetology programs, which encompass skin care, hair care and nail care, but you will be much better off if you choose a program geared specifically towards esthetics. There are programs like this in beauty schools, cosmetology schools, massage schools and schools designed specifically for training future estheticians.

Esthetics programs may last anywhere from six months to two years depending on how the program is structured, whether you attend full or part time and how specialized the training is. You will need to consider factors such as your career goals, budget, personal preferences and learning style when you research the various programs that are available and decide which one is right for you. Also make sure any schools you apply to are accredited by some sort of reputable organization, and speak to an advisor or admissions counselor at each school.

As an esthetician you will have many career options. The salary range for estheticians is $15,000 to $50,000, with part time workers accounting for the lower range. You can find employment in a salon, spa or dermatologist's office, or you can start your own business. So get out there, find a program and get started!

Find top beauty schools which are offering esthetics programs or degree courses at Choose the best school and program for you and start career in a rewarding field now.

High School Senior Scholarships

Scholarships are right there for you, you just need to know where to look to find the right one or ones for you. Among diverse options, you are even more advantageous if you are a high school senior. Here is why you are ahead of many others in your search for scholarships.

First of all, as a high school senior, you are right at the beginning of the long road you are about to take. This starting point of the road can also be the right stop to start looking for scholarships to fund your studies, especially if you have a plan regarding your future. This does not have to be a to-do-list for every other year; you just need to figure out what you want to study and why you want to study that particular field. You will have to make a possibly flexible plan in applying to colleges anyway, why not work on it a little bit more to get the right funding for you?

Your chances are high to get a scholarship also because you have a longer time to investigate and learn more about the scholarships. However, this should not give you the idea that you can spend months to find out which scholarships are available for your proposed field of study. Many scholarship programs require you to apply one year before your study commences. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for you to check the application deadlines of the scholarship program before taking your time to find out more about it.

Of course having an outstanding academic background and high exam results will increase your chances of winning scholarships. However, this does not mean that you cannot get a scholarship unless you are at the top 10% of your class. Unless the scholarship scheme states that only students with some minimum GPA will be accepted, give yourself a chance and apply. You may not win those scholarships which are highly competitive, but you are welcome to apply for many other schemes, and you may even win more than one of them. You will have even more chances if you have a special talent, such as being close to a professional in arts, having won a prize in athletics, or being a talented debater. You should know how to turn these into scholarship opportunities. Other than your talents, community service pays off quite well too. If you have been helpful in the community, by raising funds for a charity, or visiting the home for the aged regularly, or playing a role in the local community even with small attempts, scholarship providers will give you special emphasis. The point is not regretting what you haven't done, but turning what you have done into an asset.

The Financial Aid Super Site has a wide range of articles aimed to help people getting ready to go to college, especially people looking for scholarships for high school seniors.