Differences between UK & US school curriculum?

(7 Posts)
StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Jan-11 10:35:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

giddybiddy Thu 06-Jan-11 10:32:21

Thanks, that is all helpful. Rubyx3, I have looked at the newcomers site which looks great and I will definitely join when we arrive. Good idea to email about the coffee though! I have a feeling they will be behind, they are currently at an international school and have fallen behind the UK system here...... anyway, we will see. I will do some research on the British Expats site too - thank you!

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MrsSchadenfreude Thu 06-Jan-11 07:28:07

Mine moved from UK state primary to an American international school. (DD1 is now in 1st year of middle school/secondary.)

What we were told:

"They'll be at least a year behind."

"They will only learn American history."

The reality:

Both had a bit of catching up to do. DD2, who was in Yr4/3rd grade was expected to have learned all of her times tables up to 12 x, whereas in the UK she was still fannying about with her 6x and 7x. She was given a month to catch up, which she did.

They teach them to think for themselves and analyse early. DD1's exam at the end of Yr 6/5th grade was a corker. She was given a page of A4 text on Sparta, plus a map and was asked to "exlain how Sparta's political and physical geography played a key role in its military victories." Which threw her!

DD2 is studying ancient Egypt in history. Last year she did North American tribes. DD1 is studying mediaeval Europe. Last year was (I think) French revolution and WW2 in Europe.

The breadth of the curriculum (in this school, anyway) is much broader than UK. Last term DD1, with three friends, wrote a short play, acted it out and filmed it, in her arts class. DD1 is learning digital composing and has had one of her compositions entered in a worldwide competition.

Big emphasis on sports, too.

rubyx3 Thu 06-Jan-11 02:43:11

PS when I said might not be relevant I meant if you definitely aren't going for public schools.
Also did you manage to make contact with anyone from the newcomers and neighbours club?
They have welcome coffees every month or so and if one of these coincided with your trip that would be a good chance to get info about all sorts of things.

rubyx3 Thu 06-Jan-11 02:32:33

Hi Giddybiddy
have you looked at the British expats website?
I think there's some articles there. It will all depend on how old your children are and also whether you're going public/private - I think you said before you were looking at private. I could tell you about my experience of Greenwich public system with 1/3 grade kids - but it might not be relevant. Public schools have smaller classes here than in the UK - both my kids are in classes of under 20 kids. From what I've heard classes in private schools are even smaller. One thing that came as a surprise to me was the difference between American English and English English - this took my kids a while to adjust to. Enjoy your trip.

kickassangel Thu 06-Jan-11 02:24:02

varies state by state.

round here (michigan) most education boards have web sites with an outline of the curriculum. spend some time googling, and you'll prob get a good idea.

schools are also v open to you going in to have a look around. where you live pretty much dictates which school you go to, so make sure you look into that when choosing a house.

giddybiddy Wed 05-Jan-11 13:46:58


We're likely to be moving to Greenwich next year and we're off to look at schools later this month. Does anyone know anything about the differences in primary/early secondary curriculum or have any advice about the sort of questions I should be asking regarding the transition between systems? Many thanks for your help!

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