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Types of Independent Schools

Independent School: Sometimes referred to as a private school, public school or fee-paying school. Independent schools are free to set their own curriculum, enjoy freedom in the choice of their pupils and are not dependent on Government or Local Authority finance.

Pre-Preparatory School (Ages 2-7): Traditionally an independent school for 4-7 year olds, many now take children from 2 years old. Also called nursery school or kindergarten, a Pre-Prep is the independent equivalent of a State First or Infants school. Children are taught to read, write, develop numeracy and learn to play. Pre-prep schools are often attached to specific junior schools, while many preparatory schools have now opened their own pre-prep section.

Preparatory School (Ages 8-11/13): Traditionally prep schools are for 8-13 year olds, though many now educate children between the ages of 3-11 in areas where independent day schools and state grammars are popular options for children. Whilst many prep schools prepare their students for entry to a range of senior schools, some are closely associated with a single school.

All-Through School (Ages 2/5 – 16/18): Many schools take pupils all the way through from early ages to 16 or 18/19, though usually in quite separate departments or separate schools under the same management.

Junior School (Ages 7-11/13): Often called preparatory or prep school, junior schools have a full range of subjects leading to admission to senior schools at 11 or through the 13 Common Entrance Examination.

Senior School (Ages 11-18): These schools offer three years of general studies followed by two years for GCSE and two years for AS/A2 or the International Baccalaureate. Schools which admit pupils at 11 sometimes have a lower school for children aged 11-13. There may be a special entrance examination to the upper school at 13. Some boys’ senior schools still have the traditional age of entry at 13. These schools offer one year of general studies followed by two years for GCSE and two years for AS/A2 or the International Baccalaureate.

Public School (Ages 11/13-18): Traditionally a single-sex boarding school, although many now accept day pupils and are coeducational. The majority date back to the 18th or 19th centuries, and several are over 400 years old.

Independent Grammar School (Ages 11-18): A number of grammar schools are now fee paying schools.

For more detailed information on independent schools, visit www.isc.co.uk

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