An introduction to British Education
With more than fifty nationality backgrounds represented among the pupils of St. Lawrence College, it is understandable that some parents may have a limited knowledge of how British education is structured. St. Lawrence College delivers a truly British education from the pupil allocation across year groups, through its curriculum, its focus on extra-curricular activities and the development of the whole child in preparation for the modern world.

How is a school organised in the British education system?
The National Curriculum is followed by primary and secondary schools in the UK and ensures that all pupils receive the same high standard of education.

Key Stages  Ages   Year Groups  Nearest Equivalent to Greek System 
Early Years & Foundation Stage   3 - 5  Nursery - Reception    
Key Stage 1 5 - 7 1 - 2 1η & 2η Δημοτικού
Key Stage 2 7 - 11 3 - 6 3η, 4η, 5η & 6η Δημοτικού
Key Stage 3 11 - 14 7 - 9  Γυμνάσιο
Key Stage 4 14 -15 10 - 11 Γυμνάσιο - 1η Λυκείου
Key Stage 5 16 - 18 12 - 13 2η & 3η Λυκείου


What are Key Stages?

Following pre-school, British education in schools passes through five Key Stages (KS). KS1 and KS2 are known as primary education and KS3, KS4 and KS5 are known as secondary education. Here at St. Lawrence College we also use the more international terms “junior” and “senior” school alongside the terms “primary” and “secondary” school.

The creation of Key Stages in British education has allowed for the identification of specific aims and objectives at various points in a child’s education while also creating a point of reference as schooling and children’s progress is monitored and discussed. The transitions between Key Stages are important, notably between KS2 and KS3, when a child progresses from junior to senior school. However, it is even more important to stress the continuity that British education ensures with Key Stages, throughout the development and learning cycles that a child experiences.

What are the benefits of the British education system?
A number of benefits result by identifying what British education is and by having a uniform structure to a school, with flexibility built-in so that the school can adapt to its local needs and unique circumstances:

  • Pupils receive a carefully designed, broad and balanced education that focuses on key skill areas in English and Mathematics, while developing skills across sciences, humanities, sciences, languages, arts and Physical Education.
  • Assessment of ability and knowledge as well as assessment to maximise future progress (“assessment for learning”) are both interwoven into the British school system and curriculum.
  • The regular testing of pupils allows for the development of best examination skills and technique in preparation for public examinations at the end of KS4 and KS5.
  • Pupils are able to make choices, especially beyond KS3, that allow them to focus on areas of interest, while following a core of compulsory subjects that deliver essential skills and knowledge.
  • Local needs can be catered for. Here at St. Lawrence College, all children learn Greek to an appropriate standard for their needs.
  • British education allows for immense depth of study at KS5, with the traditional A-Level qualifications. These courses, which have been the standard UK qualification at KS5 for many decades, remain by far the most common entry qualification for British universities as they foster skills of stamina, self-discipline and independence in study methods, as well as research and personal organisation skills that best prepare the pupil for the transition to life as an undergraduate student at a UK university.
  • Continuity. Parents can rest assured that pupils who have to change schools, perhaps even change countries, can maintain a single continuous experience of education in the British system, developing the same skills and values. Wherever the British school is located, the learning continues uninterrupted.

Last but not least
Above all, the British education system aims to develop in a child the skills that will enable them to be a learner for life. Learning does not stop with the last school lesson.

Everyone needs the ability to continually question; the skill to develop strategies and to confront and build solutions; the interpersonal skills to work in a highly-connected global environment; and the modesty and self-confidence to use self-reflection and learning to improve oneself and to always strive to reach higher. British education develops those skills and St. Lawrence College is proud to deliver on these values.