What is an independent school?
In the UK, schools are either public, government-funded and free schools for all students, or they are charter schools and fees for parents of students. Almost all schools participating in the HMC Project Scholarship Scheme are charter schools. In the UK, charter schools have an excellent reputation for high standards of teaching and learning and almost all students attend prestigious universities on departure. There are also many excellent government schools, three of which are provided through HMC projects. Public school scholarships can only be offered to students from EU countries.
Is the school even in the UK?
There are fundamental similarities. For example, all boys and girls must complete comprehensive education by the age of 16 years. In charter schools, most students stay in school until they are 18 years old and almost all students go to university after leaving school.
There are also significant differences between practices in England and Wales and Scotland.
This provides a framework for education between the ages of 5 and 18. All public schools must comply. Charter schools do not have to follow the national curriculum in great detail, but they must prove that they provide good general education and are checked regularly every few years.
How does the national curriculum work?
The national curriculum consists of five main phases:
Basic phase 1 – year of establishment and years 1 to 2 – for students aged 5 to 7 years
Basic phase 2 – 3rd to 6th grade – for students ages 8 to 11 years
Basic phase 3 – 7th to 9th grade – for students ages 12 to 14,
Basic phase 4 – 10th to 11th grade – for students ages 15 to 16 and
Basic phase 5 – 12th through 13th grade – for students ages 17-18.
In public schools, each year a student receives a number. Primary education begins in the first year. Most students begin their high school education at the age of 11 (7th grade), but some HMC schools have students entering school from the age of 13 (9th grade). By the age of 16 (end of grades 4 and 11), all students take a series of tests known as GCSE and usually take about eight to ten lessons in English and Mathematics. Phase 5 is aimed at students ages 16-18 (sometimes 19). Most schools take advanced exams after a two-year course.
Almost all HMC collaborators enter the first year of basic phase 5. All students entering 12th grade (thirteen years of the National Curriculum) begin new courses at this point in their education.
In Scotland, students attend high school at the age of 12. At the age of 16, they take an exam called International Class and then attend Senior and Advanced. These are very similar to advanced and advanced English courses.
How many topics have HMC scientists studied?
The majority of HMC scientists are studying the advanced level program, but a small number are studying international undergraduate or higher Scottish programs.
Advanced Level: For advanced programs (basic level 5) almost all students study two or, exceptionally, four courses for two years and take exams only in those at the end of the second year. You can take one or even two extra subjects for a year only at the advanced sponsor level (AS) and bring them there by the end of the year. Some schools offer AS level exams for students in the course they are studying at the end of the first year of the two-year A-level course. Universities use advanced levels as entry qualifications.
ii) Senior Scots: Students take at least five courses at a higher level and reduced to three or four for advanced courses.
iii) International Baccalaureate (IB): More and more HMC schools are accepting students for International Baccalaureate, a parallel graphic course for advanced students, which is also used by universities for entry qualifications. The IB requires students to take classes in six courses, three at the formal level and three at the advanced level. Students must take a knowledge theory course, write a major essay, and do community service. This course is very similar to the graduation courses commonly used in Europe.
The table above shows the relative number of scholarships available in schools at A-Level (blue), IB (red) and Scottish Highers (green) as part of the HMC projects.
How is the daily program organized?
Each school organizes its program differently. Classes can last 35, 40, 45, 55 or 60 minutes! For each lesson, a student will participate in class approximately 5 hours per week and complete at least 6 hours of private study. Students usually take courses in general science or philosophy or other similar subjects. There is also time for physical education or sports, whether it is a matter of study or not. In England and Wales, and in some Scottish schools, two-year advanced level or an international diploma are often referred to as “sixth grade”, but, once again, every school is different!
What activities are organized outside the classroom?
In addition to sports, schools offer an extensive program of “extracurricular activities”. That is, activities that can offer students a wide range of spiritual, cultural and relaxing experiences. All schools offer music, theater, science and society literature and provide opportunities for outdoor education and other recreational activities. Visits to theaters and concerts, to places related to the curriculum (such as art galleries and museums, religious centers or historical sites, scientific societies and works) are part of life in a sixth school.
Will the qualifications be recognized in the UK in my country?
You should contact your country’s education authorities and universities in your country to see if they recognize and recognize the UK qualifications. Lots to do, but you have to ask for it in your own country.
Can I study for my national exam in the UK during my scholarship?
You must use your country policy to find out how you can take your national exams, including whether you can visit them in the UK or whether you must return to your home country to take them. You can definitely study for the exams in your home country while you are in the UK, but you need to think carefully about how much extra work there is.
Does my qualification in the UK help me attend a university in the UK?
Yes, but you must carefully weigh the fees charged by UK universities. This more than doubles the cost of a student in the UK. Students with an EU passport will not have the same fees as UK students and will not be eligible for student loans. This change took effect on January 1, 2021. It is not uncommon for a scientist to turn down a very attractive offer at some of the UK’s best universities, such as Oxford or Cambridge, simply because tuition is banned. Visa requirements for UK university students are different both from what you may have met as a student on a school scholarship. Necessary research is needed!