American Curriculum

Most schools with American curriculum begin with entry to Kindergarten at age 5. Students can study through to Grade 12, where they are awarded with a High School Diploma.
The lower grades of elementary school (Kindergarten through 5th grade, roughly ages 5-10) allow for a good bit of play and social interaction as children begin to learn letters, numbers and reading

Science, social studies, languages, the arts, and physical education are brought in at various grades and are taught with varying amounts of skill and enthusiasm, depending on the state’s, district’s and/or school’s legal mandates, emphasis or funding.

K-12 System

K-12 education is virtually universal. The K-12 system stands for ‘from kindergarten to 12th grade’. This equates roughly to a school starting age of around five through to Grade 12 at around the age of 18. The system is broken down into three stages: elementary school (Grades K–5), middle school (Grades 6–8) and high school (Grades 9–12).
K-6 is defined as an abbreviation for the grades in school from kindergarten through sixth grade. K-6 stands for primary, or elementary school. It would refer to the first seven years of a child’s formal education.

How is the US Curriculum different from that of the UK?

Unlike the UK, the United States does not have a single, centralised curriculum. Instead, education is the responsibility of state and local government – meaning that the curricula can vary from state to state. Each state has its own department of education, financing systems, hiring practices for teachers, rules on student attendance and curriculum. Each state also determines the ages and/or years of compulsory education. In some states, education is only compulsory until age 16; in others students must continue until the age of 18​​

Year in England Age of student Grade in the US
Nursery 3–4 Preschool
Reception 4–5 Preschool
Year 1 5–6 Kindergarten
Year 2 6–7 Grade 1
Year 3 7–8 Grade 2
Year 4 8–9 Grade 3
Year 5 9–10 Grade 4
Year 6 10–11 Grade 5

Structure of the American Curriculum

  • English
  • Language Arts
  • Maths
  • History/Geography
  • Science

Core Subjects

  • Art and design
  • Citizenship
  • Computing
  • Design and technology
  • Languages
  • Music
  • Physical education

Foundation Subjects