Secondary education (11 to 16 years)

Secondary education is for students aged 11 to 16. This includes the following school types:

  • Secondary schools
  • Middle schools
  • Upper schools
  • Special schools
  • University technical colleges
Secondary school types and corresponding school years
School typeSchool years covered
Secondary school Years 7 to 11
Middle school Years 5 to 8
Upper school Years 9 to 11
University technical college Years 9 to 11

Qualifications from 14 to 16

GCSEs - General Certificate of Secondary Education

GCSEs are the main qualification students take in Years 10 and 11. Depending on what's available in individual schools, students can take GCSEs in a whole range of subjects from Maths, English, French and Art to Applied Business, Engineering and Health and Social Care.

GCSEs are two year courses. To find out more about GCSEs, please visit the Bright Knowledge website.

Diplomas

Diplomas combine theoretical study with practical activities. They are designed to help students develop the skills that employers and universities look for. They are two year courses and are available in a range of subjects.

To find out more about Diploma Qualifications, please visit the Bright Knowledge website.

Work related courses

Work related courses are designed for students who want to learn more about a particular area of work. They are usually offered by BTEC or OCR examination boards. They are available in subjects such as Applied Science, Engineering, Business and Performing Arts.

To find out more about BTEC and OCR courses and qualifications go to the Bright Knowledge website.

Students can take these work related courses in conjunction with their GCSEs.

Specialist industry-led qualifications

University Technical Colleges offer 14 to 19 year olds the opportunity to take a full-time, technically-oriented course of study. Some of the subjects offered are biomedical and environmental science.

 Entrepreneurial activities and employer-led projects, as well as specific enterprise-focused events, will be part of the specialist industry-led qualifications.

Students will still be expected to study GCSE courses, but 40% of the course will focus on the industry-led qualification. To find out more, please go to the University Technical College Cambridge website.

Secondary education links

Apply for a secondary school place
Cambridgeshire secondary schools performance tables
Search for a secondary school's Ofsted inspection report
Contact details for secondary schools in Cambridgeshire

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