With the great diversity of curriculum and educational programs that boarding prep schools adopt, it can be difficult to find a program that best fits a child. Most parents are left bewildered by sheer confusion about these boarding school programs, which is why it pays knowing exactly what they offer. Here are some of the most common curriculum types followed by some of the top boarding prep schools in the UK:
- A Level programs – A widely adopted senior curriculum, the A-Level program is typically taken over the course of 2 years, offering students a choice of over 40 different A-Level subjects, although the majority of boarding schools only offer up to 25 subject choices.
- IB programs – The IB or International Baccalaureate program is a diploma program that offers international qualification. This highly rated international program is beneficial because it is transferrable from one country to the next, provided that the school you wish to enter uses the same syllabus.
- Pre-U programs – University prep programs or pre-university programs have also increased in popularity in recent years, especially with the freedom that they provide in choosing subjects to study, unlike IB diploma programs where courses are pre-set on some level.
- Foundation Programs – Foundation programs are post age-17 programs that are typically offered by universities or private sixth form colleges. They provide a fast-track entry to university programs, allowing course completion in as little as 12 to 18 months. However, these programs are not as full or academically robust as other curriculums and may not be accepted by the top universities. They are, however ideal for those who want to expedite entry to lower-standing UK universities.
- Scottish Higher and Advanced Highers – Higher and Advanced Highers are exclusive systems followed by Scottish schools. They are roughly equivalent to the A2 and AS levels and equally valid for application to universities.