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In this essay, I will be addressing the
overview of the education system in Spain, and in England and Wales. The aspect
of educational policy I will be talking about is curriculum, and also I will be
comparing both of the countries.

Firstly, I will be talking about the
educational system in England and Wales. In England and Wales, it
is compulsory by the law that all children aged five to sixteen must all receive
a full time education.

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The National Curriculum has four Key
Stages, which are:

Key Stage 1- Years 1 and 2 (up to age

Key Stage 2-Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 (age
7 – 11)

Key Stage 3- Years 7, 8 and 9 (age 11

Key Stage 4- Years 10 and 11 (age 14
– 16)

Also, the foundation stage, which was
introduced in 2002 and is part of the national curriculum, this is the early
years learning from the age of three to end of Reception and then the next
stage progresses to key stage 1. The Key Stage 1 and 2 are taught in primary
schools, whereas the key stage 3 and 4 takes place in secondary schools. The progress
from primary to secondary usually happens at age 11.

The National Curriculum is made up of a set of fundamental subjects.
The fundamental subjects are maths, English and science, also the foundation
subjects are information and communication technology (ICT), design and
technology, history, art and design, geography, physical education, modern
foreign languages and music. – These are for key stage 3 only, and citizenship is
only for key stage 3 and 4.

It is compulsory for everyone in England to follow the
National Curriculum. Also, Wales do follow the National Curriculum, but in
addition to that Welsh is made core subject in Wales.

I will now be talking about the Spanish
educational system. In Spain, education is compulsory for all
children who are living in Spain from the age of 6 to 16 years old. The Spanish
education system has four stages, and two of them are made compulsory: Nursery
and preschool – 3-5 years old, which is optional
, Primary– compulsory age 6 to 12 years old, Secondary education (middle
school) – compulsory age 12 to 16 years old, Upper secondary education–

Primary education
which is known as ‘primaria’ it lasts for six years then progresses onto four
years of secondary education which is also compulsory. State education is usually
free of charge in Spain from pre-school till the age of 18, however it may be
the case that some parents may have to pay for books and other materials. The compulsory education length
in Spain is 10 years, this starts at the age of 6 and finishes at 16. First of
all, there is the primary school from 6 to 12 years old, children learn general
knowledge about history, maths, Spanish, arts, music etc. It is then progressed
to 4 years of secondary school, which is when they start to think what they
want to do in their future career.  

The curriculum in Spain – ”the primary
and secondary school level the cross-curricular themes of moral education,
education for peace, for health, for the equality of the sexes, environment
education and consumer education are introduced. Schools must offer Catholic
religion but it is currently optional for students.” The official
state primary curriculum in Spain includes: The
natural, social and cultural environment, Artistic
education, Physical education,
Spanish language and literature,
Foreign languages, Mathematics,
Religion (optional)

In secondary level it many
subjects such as; Spanish language and literature,
Foreign languages, The
regional language and literature of the Autonomous Community,
Mathematics, Physical
education, Natural sciences,
Plastic and visual arts, Social
studies, Geography and history,
Technology, Music
and which is Religion optional.

The primary education
in the UK, children leave primary school at the
age of eleven, moving on to secondary school. All children in the UK between
the ages of five and sixteen are entitled to a free place at a state school. In
Spain, It is also compulsory for
children to attend primary school when they turn six until the age of 12. There
are three, two-year stages or cycles, making a total of six academic years:
Primer ciclo – age 6–8 years,
Segundo ciclo – 8–10 years,
Tercer ciclo – 10–12 years.
The children study mathematics, Spanish language and literature, history,
biology, arts, geography and a foreign language and physical education.

The Secondary
education in the UK, starts at the age of eleven,
children start to study a wide number of fundamental subjects between 10-15
subjects. These consist of; English, Maths, Science, Design and Technology,
Information and Communication Technology (ICT), History, Geography, Modern
Foreign Languages, Art and Design, Music, Citizenship, Physical Education and
other subjects that are optional. In secondary students take GCSE (General
Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations. The GCSE is a single-subject
examination, set and marked by independent examination boards. Students usually
take up to ten; it can be lower or more subjects. After the GCSE examinations,
they can decide to leave school or continue with their education. In Spain, lower secondary school is also compulsory;
the education has two stages from 12 to 14 years and from 14 to
16. In both stages, there are compulsory subjects and optional too. The fundamental
curriculum is usually Spanish language and literature, mathematics, geography, history,
a foreign language and physical education. The optional subjects include music,
technology, and a second foreign language. After the two years, the curriculum
has similar core subjects and the students have to choose some optional courses
which can include; social sciences, music, technology, visual arts. After the
completion of four years, and if the student passes their subjects they will receive
a Graduate of Secondary Education Certificate. The compulsory education ends at
this stage for them. From the age of 16, the students can choose to progress
and study for the bachillerato,
or take other vocational training to go directly into a specific job or they
can leave education completely.

After secondary
school in the UK, it is then the preparation for university, so the students 16
and above can decide to go college or not, it
usually is two years of study, students may take A-Levels (Advanced Level
examinations) that specialise in two or three subjects or BTEC courses that are
usually related to the degree of the subject they want to study in University. Whereas
in Spain, they have upper secondary school which is not compulsory;
students can continue their education by studying for university entrance or
entering vocational studies. At 16, students who wish to continue their
education can study for a further two years to earn the Bachillera certificate.
It also equivalent to the UK A Levels. This is the certificate needed to go to
university although students will also have to sit an entrance exam.

In the UK, after 18
and about it is then the time for them to decide their future and career field
they would like to go into. The next step is university;
if they complete college successfully they can then enrol into three years of university
education known as an undergraduate course. The undergraduate course can be a
BA meaning Bachelor of Arts, BEng which stands for Bachelor of Engineering, and
BSc which means Bachelor of Science. After the completion of this, they may
wish to further their studies and may apply for a postgraduate course and a PhD
– doctorate level of education.
In addition, since higher education is optional, expect to finance your
Bachelor’s degree by yourself. 

Spain, the students who have passed the Bachillerato with the
required standard grad, they can then progress to go on to university to
achieve a degree or post degree education by taking an entrance exam


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