Al Ain English Speaking School 

The British Education System

Al Ain English Speaking School is a member of the Association of British Schools in the Middle East and the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools (UK).
Also Al Ain English Speaking School has in recent years developed its professional reputation within the UK by achieving official status. It is currently recognised by the UK Government's Department for Education (DfE 7036082)
The basic curriculum is that of the National Curriculum of England.
Compulsory education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland currently lasts eleven years, from the age of 5 to the age of 16 (Scotland has its own, independent education system). Compulsory education will conclude at the end of Year 13 as from 2013.
The original model chosen was that of a British system school and that policy has continued to the present. Children can be admitted in the Nursery class, when they have achieved the age of 3 years by 30 August, and continue to take A-Level examinations at age 18.

The curriculum is that of the National Curriculum of England. Pupils take SATS style tests at the end of Key Stage One (Year 2), and Key Stage Two (Year 6).
External GCSE and IGCSE exams are taken in Years 10 and 11, and AS/A2-Levels in Year 12 and 13.
Children may also be prepared for Common Entrance Exams, which are the normal means of entry into independent Secondary Schools in UK and elsewhere. It is a priority of the school that the students are prepared for, and can transfer to, British, American and International Universities. In keeping with the philosophy of good modern practice, the curriculum of the school is broad, and appropriate to the multinational and multicultural nature of the pupils. Music, Physical Education, Creative Arts occupy secure places in the programme as well as the more academic subjects. The school is committed to offering appropriate courses at all levels in Information and Communication Technology.
The school is licensed by the UAE Ministry of Education and, according to its directive; a programme of Arabic Language, Arabic Social Studies and Islamic Studies (for Muslim children) is conducted.

The requirements of compulsory education are set out in the National Curriculum, which outlines learning that is designed to equip the student with the knowledge and skills to make good decisions in his/her personal life and to lead a life as a productive citizen.

The core (compulsory) subjects of the National Curriculum are English, Mathematics, Science, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Physical Education. Achievement is measured at the end of Year 11 by public GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) exams.

Qualifications (recognition of achievement at GCSE) are awarded according to performance in public examinations. School qualifications are awarded by examining bodies (such as Cambridge International Examinations, AQA and Edexcel), and not by the school. These qualifications are recognised throughout the world. Coursework and internal school examinations are used only to evaluate the student’s progress.
Students who have achieved Grade C or above in a minimum of 5 subjects (including English and Mathematics) may elect to progress to courses in years 12 and 13 at AAESS that will prepare them for higher education. It is desirable to have achieved grades B upwards as a good foundation for A level study.

Advanced level study (A level) in the 6th Form normally takes two years. In the first year students will select four AS level subjects which are examined and certificated at the end of the first year. Students can then continue their studies in these subjects but narrowing the choice to three subjects, A2’s which are then examined again at the end of Year 13 and combine with the AS to form a complete A level. University entry in the UK requires a minimum of 2 A levels, normally 3 A levels or 2 A levels and 2 further subjects at AS level.
Entry into university programmes is competitive, and more demanding courses and more prestigious universities will require higher levels of passes at A level. Other interests are additionally desirable for many universities; for example, music, community work, Duke of Edinburgh etc.


Children progress in the British system in years, starting from Nursery/Reception, and then Year 1 though to Year 13; these year groups are arranged into 'key stages'.

The Foundation Stage – Early Years

This stage covers children from age 3 to 5

Key Stages 1 & 2

These stages are based within the Primary School at AAESS

Key Stages 3 & 4

These stages represent the Secondary School phase of a student's education. 

Key Stage 5

These years are the A Level years - in the UK, students in these year groups are historically referred to as being in 'The Sixth Form'.


Curriculum Stage

School Year

Children’s Age


Foundation (Early Years)

Nursery & Reception



Key Stage One

Years 1-2


Key Stage One

Key Stage Two

Year 3-6


L shaped  & Main Building

Key Stage Three

Years 7-9


Secondary Building

Key Stage Four

Years 10-11


Secondary Building

Post 16 (A levels)

Years 12-13


Secondary Building


Which year group should my child be in?

The British System works on September 1st as the key entry date for each school year. It is the age of a child on this date that determines the year group to which they belong.



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Al Ain English Speaking School
PO Box 17939
Al Ain
Tel: +971 03 7678636