USA school grades compared to English (UK) years and Key Stages have similarities but distinct differences too. Our table (below) provides a quick and simple guide to American school years compared to English (UK) stages and throws some light on that big question often asked here in England after watching an American school-based TV show .... "What on earth is a Sophomore?". (Turns out a Sophomore is equivalent to a Year 11 pupil in England). As it can be confusing for UK and American parents or teachers when a website says "Suitable for Key Stage 3" or "Suitable for 8th Graders" the table should also help them match internet resources to age and ability.
ROUGH GUIDE to US School Grades Compared to English (UK) School Years
|Age||UK Year (England Only)||Key Stage (England Only)||U.S. Level|
|3 to 4 years||----||Early Years|| Pre-Kindergarten
|4 to 5 years||Reception||Early Years|| Pre-Kindergarten
|5 to 6 years|| Year 1 - Infants School
(aka Primary School)
|Key Stage 1|| Kindergarten
|6 to 7 years||Year 2||Key Stage 1|| 1st Grade
|7 to 8 years|| Year 3 - Junior School
(aka Primary School)
|Key Stage 2||2nd Grade|
|8 to 9 years||Year 4||Key Stage 2||3rd Grade|
|9 to 10 years||Year 5||Key Stage 2||4th Grade|
|10 to 11 years||Year 6||Key Stage 2||5th Grade|
|11 to 12 years||Year 7 - Secondary School||Key Stage 3||6th Grade - Middle School|
|12 to 13 years||Year 8||Key Stage 3||7th Grade|
|13 to 14 years||Year 9|| KS3 (or KS4 for
3 year GCSE programmes)
|14 to 15 years||Year 10||Key Stage 4|| 9th Grade (Freshman)
- High School
|15 to 16 years||Year 11||Key Stage 4||10th Grade (Sophomore)|
|16 to 17 years||Year 12 (6th Form)||----||11th Grade (Junior Year)|
|17 to 18 years|| Year 13 (6th Form)
often used as a
route to University
|----||12th Grade (Senior Year)|
In England - from September 2013 - the education leaving age increased to 17 years and then from 2015 it will increase once again to 18 years. This does NOT mean that young people have to stay in school until they are 17 or 18 but it does mean that they must stay in 'education or training' which could also include an apprenticeship, part-time education or training, home education, or even some types of volunteer work.
The table above is for guidance only and shows USA school years compared to years and grades in England. Please DOUBLE CHECK the above data on an official education website before you rely upon it for any purpose. It may be inaccurate or may have been superseded since we last checked it.
For further information and facts on the US school grades and education system, visit the most excellent and knowledgeable Wikipedia for a detailed description of the United States' Education System.
For further details of National Curriculum Key Stages take a look on www.gov.uk.