Characteristics of British education

The characteristics of British education are what determine the effectiveness of this educational process. At Lady Elizabeth School we successfully apply the principles of British education, based on language learning from the earliest academic years. 

Our commitment to education is based on a teaching process that has been proven successful for generations, and integrates modern teaching methods that enrich the content. Here we look at the characteristics of British education and the principles that make it effective in schools around the world. 

British education in 10 key points

  1. The British system includes variations in the curriculum, but most of the syllabus is common throughout the country. 
  2. From secondary school onwards, pupils can choose their own subjects according to their own interests.   
  3. It is a system that encourages creativity and autonomy at all stages of education. 
  4. British education rewards research and provides pupils with a wide range of documentary archives.
  5. Compulsory courses emphasise the benefits of higher education. An estimated 50% of British pupils start university studies. 
  6. Most schools use uniforms, to encourage school identity and to avoid differences between pupils based on secondary issues.
  7. In the case of UK schools outside the UK, language learning is a core skill, which is developed from the earliest years of school. 
  8. Moving from theory to practice is essential. Students experience in the classroom what they have learnt in theory. 
  9. Reinforcement classes help to consolidate knowledge and improve the level of pupils who need help in certain areas.  
  10. The emphasis on the application of values, both individual and collective, is also important in the British curriculum. 

Academic courses in the UK

The British academic process can be divided into four stages:

  • Nursery and reception (3-4 years)
  • Key stage 1 (5-11 years)
  • Key stage 2 (12-15 years)
  • Sixth form (16-17 years)

Nursery and reception

The first two courses are not compulsory. The nursery and reception courses prepare the pupil for later years by establishing the first technical and language-related skills. 

Key stage, primary education

Primary education begins at the age of 5 and is the first compulsory stage for British pupils. 

From the age of 5 to 11, pupils take basic subjects related to languages, mathematics, geography, history, physical education, plastic arts, etc. At the end of each stage of the Key Stage there is a test (SAT) which assesses their knowledge of English, mathematics and science. 

Key stage, secondary education

Secondary education in the British system begins at the age of 12. From the age of 14, pupils are free to choose up to 10 subjects, depending on their interests and expectations.

At the age of 16, pupils must pass an external examination, the General Certificates of Secondary Evaluation, which is compulsory in order to continue with secondary education.

Sixth Form

Sixth Form courses run from the age of 16 to 17. These two courses are designed to prepare students for further education at university. The subjects included in the A Levels allow to determine the level of each student, with a view to university entrance.  

The advantages of the British education system for a Spanish student

In Spain, British schools such as Lady Elizabeth School allow Spanish students to be educated according to the principles of British education. Beyond language learning, which is a considerable advantage over other education systems, there are other advantages that only the British system can offer. 

  • Quality pre-university education: The British education system focuses a large part of its curriculum on preparing students for their time at university. 
  • Globally recognised qualifications: British education centres are a reference arounf the world, and are a guarantee when it comes to opting for further international education. 
  • A suitable academic environment: British schools have the highest standards of education, based on spaces in which the real protagonist is the student, who has all the necessary means for their training. 
  • Complementary activities: Theoretical training in the classroom is complemented by practical activities which are carried out on an ongoing basis. 

Learning English in a British school

In terms of language learning, British schools such as Lady Elizabeth School offer an advantage over the learning process provided by Spanish educational programmes.

On the one hand, the language is practised from the first years. Our brains are prepared to assimilate extensive knowledge of language during our first years of education, and educational programmes that integrate the learning of several languages from pre-school years take advantage of the high capacities that the pupil can innately put into practice. 

Moreover, the use of English is continuous and is developed in a practical way. It is not just another subject, the use of English is vehicular in British schools, therefore the pupil uses the language permanently, putting into practice the theoretical part assimilated in the classroom. 

Due to these advantages, Spanish students on British programmes learn the language at the same level at which they develop their skills in their mother tongue, and these skills are also permanent.

British Programme at Lady Elizabeth School

At Lady Elizabeth School we follow the standard British programme. Our students benefit from all the advantages of the British curriculum, learning the language in a practical way from the very first years of school. 

Our school is committed to the principles of British education, achieving brilliant academic results. 

If you would like to know more about our British school in Alicante, please contact Lady Elizabeth School for more information.