The education systems in the U.S. and UK are ranked among the best in the world. With an emphasis on employing highly qualified teachers, providing students with opportunities for success inside and outside of the classroom and offering tailored support, the academic experiences offered at boarding schools in the U.S. and UK have their fair share of similarities, but they also have differences that ultimately distinguish the education on each side of the Atlantic Ocean.
In the UK, students often follow the A-Level academic program in their last two years of secondary school. This program culminates in internationally recognized qualifications, which means that it’s possible for A-Level students to apply to and attend university in the U.S. or other countries. But A-Levels are the standard pathway for entry to university in the UK. With the A-Level program, a student will focus on just three or four subjects that are related to what they would like to study at university, and then they apply to a specific field or program in line with their A-Level studies. In the U.S. students can follow the well-known IB or AP programs, but in addition to those qualifications, they can also receive a high school diploma.
To earn a high school diploma, a student in the U.S. will have to meet the academic requirements set by a state’s department of education. These requirements include all subjects – math, science, humanities, English, and arts, as well as additional electives. This means
Start anywhere west of the Mississippi, from Manitoba down to Texas; head west across the Great Plains and even past California and British Columbia all the way to Hawaii. On this voyage, you will find the many boarding schools represented by the Western Boarding Schools Association. These boarding schools can rival anything found in the East and, quite often, we offer more! For example, did you know that Hawaii Prep has 80% of the world’s ecosystems and a LEED Platinum Energy Lab? Or that one can safely predict that many of the ice hockey medalists at the Sochi Olympic Games will have attended high school at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Minnesota? Or that you can simultaneously watch condors fly overhead while on your way to surfing each day at Cate School in Carpentaria, California? Or that at my school, Brentwood College School, we can integrate marine biology and oceanography into our curriculum because we are situated directly on the Pacific Ocean?